Is dessert your weakness? Do your knees buckle at the sight of a hot apple pie, pumpkin custard, or chocolate souffle with homemade whipped cream? How about cookies—all shapes and colors. Or Italian and French pastries—cannolis, eclairs, Napoleans. What the heck are you gonna do when faced with a table filled with desserts?
You’re going to eat. A little. Not a ton. And you’re going to love yourself no matter what. And you’re going to enjoy your holiday, dammit.
Get a good night’s sleep. Studies show that you are more likely to overeat when you’ve had a lousy sleep. If you have time to take a disco nap before the party, do that. Shore up your defenses. Plus, sleep does so many wonderful things for you, you can think of it as a zero-dollar health regimen, one you can’t buy at Sephora or CVS.
Pick your favorites or play the field: taste each dessert or choose one full serving of a special treat. If you decide to have five different tastes of pies, cookies and cakes, limit your taste to a forkful of each. Better yet, find a dessert buddy and share, and help each other be accountable. But if you have your heart set on a particular pie, choose it and enjoy the entire piece. And be sure to pick something memorable that you absolutely love. You probably won’t regret a gooey piece of molten chocolate cake, but you might kick yourself for a plate full of Chips Ahoy, even if they are the kinds with the red and green chips. Which leads us to:
Go for homemade. Chances are the homemade options were baked with better, fresher ingredients. A pre-packaged dessert may have sat on a shelf for a really long time, and is most likely a highly processed beast filled with additives, artificial flavors, colors and chemical nonsense that not only compromises your health, but doesn’t taste nearly as good as the real thing.
Forgive yourself. That’s one way to describe it. Another way is 80/20. 80/20 means that you do your best 80% of the time, with the intention of doing great 100% of the time, and give yourself a break the other 20%. Because you’re human. And you cannot always control your environment. Nor should you, especially during the holidays. And hopefully, even though you are health conscious, the holidays remind you that there are more important things than your jeans size. Like family and friends and world peace. Peace that begins with each one of us. Peace that we make with ourselves by not warring with the image we see in the mirror, or the treats we encounter at the dessert table.
Pecan pie, we come in peace.