How to Handle Gifts of Food

One of the things that happens around the holiday season is that all of the amazing bakers come out in full force. Even if they don’t normally bake throughout the year, out comes the favorite family recipes and they whip up some of the most spectacular baked goods. And… they give them as gifts.

If you, like me, are in a service field, you may receive many delicious, homemade gifts during this holiday season. Cookies of all sizes, shapes and tastes, breads, cakes, fudge and candy. Although I am particularly fond of homemade gifts, it can be overwhelming if you have made that change to eating 90% nutritious food and only 10% non-nutritive food. It’s tough maintaining that split when gifts of yumminess keep rolling in.

When I still worked in the hospital, it was so much easier. As all nurses know, doctors are like vultures where food is concerned, so all I had to do was take a taste of the delicious gift and then bring it to the hospital unit to share. Within minutes, the doctors had devoured it all. So, if you have the option of bringing it to work to share with co-workers, by all means, share the love.

Option #2 is to take your taste of yumminess and divide the rest into individual portions and freeze. Include the date on the package so you know how fast (or slowly) you are going through your 10%. If you have overly generous gift-givers and have way too much to freeze, every single doctors office loves goodies (trust me on this one). Bring your extras to your favorite doc and staff and share.

FYI… finally, people get it and don’t make this health coach sweets anymore. Hooray!! Especially since I have to be gluten-free, soy-free and mostly dairy-free. I still love to bake the things I can enjoy… in moderation. Share your gifts… baking




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Holiday Stress

If last year’s holiday season was a whirlwind of non-stop rushing and way too much stress, are you going to repeat the same scenario again this year? I ask because you really do have  a choice. You can choose to have fun and joy this season or the same craziness.

Decide what is really important… to you. And then discuss it with your family. You may be shocked to learn that all of the extras you’re doing “for them” are meaningless to them. I had a client that participated every holiday in this extravagant cookie exchange. It meant baking elaborate cookies for days. This was difficult for her eating issues but she felt compelled “for her family”. I suggested she give it up but she was not having it. When she finally addressed it with her family, their response was “who cares”, stating it was “her thing”.

Holiday stress is one of the triggers that causes us to overeat or eat sweets, making us feel temporarily better. So why add to the already abundant food supply at the holidays by increasing your stress so it’s tougher to resist the ever-present holiday treats. What holiday extras are truly important and what ones could you ditch in favor of spending more loving, caring time with the special people in your life?smiling woman






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