Holiday 2013 mindful eating tips

by Dr. Ellen Cullman, FLT Columnist

The holidays are a culinary treat, whether it is grandma’s home cooking, your favorite charity’s fundraiser or the circuit of neighborhood open houses you attend. The food is delectable, yet not diet friendly. If you have completed my workshops or coaching sessions, then you are armed with mindful-eating tools to support you as you eat a piece of grandma’s pumpkin pie or select a canapé from the buffet table. Here are some tips gleaned from my past columns to take with you to grandma’s or the neighbor’s open house.

1. Pause before your first bite and ask yourself, “How hungry am I?” This keeps you in manual control rather than mindlessly shifting to cruise control.

2. Notice when your body tells your mind that it is shifting to being satisfied. This is your body naturally letting you know when to enjoy just one more bite.

3.  Give up depriving yourself of the sensual pleasure of your favorite foods. Instead find the balance between eating what you really desire and respecting your body’s natural signals that say, “I’m full.”

4. Let go of judgment, guilt and shame about anything you eat. These are unwholesome side effects of diet-mind. Besides, you are not dieting anyway. You are mindfully eating and are in mindful-mind.


5. Have the courage to practice your new membership in the “I Don’t Clean Plates Club”.  You do not need to announce it, just unnoticeably lay your napkin over your plate and talk to the people around you.

6.  Remember each time you practice mindful eating you are retraining your mind and body to be like you were as a very young child. Then you would eat when you felt hungry, stop when you felt full, and only eat what you really liked. Even your mother could not make you disobey these wholesome and natural physical signals with which you were born.


When you pay attention to your mind and body in the present moment while eating and you trust and honor their natural message, then you are mindfully eating. This is all you need to support you through the most magnificent culinary season of the year.  erhaps as an anchor when you go out, write on your palm the phrase and my byline – “Mind-Body Awareness, One Bite at a Time!”

Come and hear Dr. Cullman speak at The Employers Association 2013 Wellness Conference on January 16th at The Hilton Garden Inn (Levis Commons). The Winter Mindful Eating Workshop begins January 24th and meets at 975 Commerce Dr. in Perrysburg. Call 419-494-7699 or email for information about individual sessions, workshops, presentations, seminars and retreats.