Tuesday, December 20, 2022

The Nostalgia of Christmas


Cookie making with grandma 
This is an article I wrote as a guest writer for the Beef Initiative. I hope you enjoy! Be sure to check them out, sign up for the substack, order some beef. Go shake a ranchers hand and take control of your health. 

The lights, sounds, songs, smells of Christmas bring us back to our childhoods, memories of your children enjoying the magic of the season, good times had with family and friends, those special moments this season brings. Why is this?

Our sense of smell is connected to our memories. When we smell those fresh baked cookies, cakes, Christmas dinner, we are taken back to those times. This isn’t some trick from our bodies and senses. This is meant to help guide us to what real food is, deeply nourishing our bodies, spirit and heart.

When we take the time to connect to our ancestors through food, we are feeding our genes. Genes are passed down generationally and these genes remember. A part of this memory is to help us know what foods are deeply nourishing and which ones to avoid. When we nourish our genes they will express themselves optimally, creating all aspects of health. We not only need deeply nourishing foods for optimal gene expression, we also need to connect with our past through positive memories or those special treats brought to us by our ancestors. These foods are a connection to our pasts. This is a way to remember those who have gone before us, where we have come from. Holiday meals and traditions go beyond food. By skipping the cookies, cakes, grains, sugar, we are denying ourselves a piece of our past.

What are we to do during the Christmas, holiday season when we are striving to deeply nourish our bodies; maybe we have given up grains and sugar? Be miserable and not have anything at all, deny ourselves any joy and pleasure, forget the nostalgia of Christmas, the connections to our pasts, ancestors, heritage, where we came from, suck it up and push through? I think not. This is denying important aspects to what makes us who we are, where we came from, simple joys and pleasures in life.

Bake the cookies, treats, special desserts, side dishes you only eat during the holidays. Remember your childhood, the fond memories, the joy, the crazy things you and your siblings did, reminisce. Create memories with your children, family, and friends baking those special foods. Then, enjoy the bounty of your labors. Don’t gobble up everything in sight. Sit down, have something to drink, tea, coffee, wine, whisky, truly enjoy the food you are eating. Savior each bite, what all are you tasting, spices, seasoning? What is the mouth feel, texture?  What memories are brought back? What memories are you currently creating? Take a deep breath, enjoy and savior each bite.

Use the highest quality ingredients you can when baking, lard, butter, and farm fresh eggs, for your spices, extracts and grains, source the highest quality you can, make your own. Even though you are treating yourself, it doesn’t mean you need to skimp on quality or taste. By using the highest quality ingredients you can afford, you will be deeply nourishing your body along with everyone who eats your goodies. No reason to skimp! Your cookies, cakes, and indulgences will taste amazing. Food is always better when we use the best ingredients we can.

Savior the goodies that are most important to you, bring you found memories, the ones the special rolling pins, cookie cutters, and dishes come out for, leave the rest.  

This doesn’t mean you need to stop deeply nourishing your body with food because it is the Christmas season either. Your body will naturally crave the deep nourishment of the food you have been feeding it. Honor those hunger signals for food. Maybe, it is time to create some new traditions with our family and friends for whole food, something special with beef maybe? Going to a party, why not bring something healthy to the party? Introduce your family and friends to deeply nourishing foods you love these days. It doesn’t have to be an indoctrination into your style of eating. This can be a gentle, delicious way to help those you love see how amazing real food is.

As a health coach, I grant you permission to slow down, live your life to the fullest and enjoy some of those special desserts, traditions that are important to you this time of year. Remember, this season only comes around once a year. Slow down. Take a deep breath. Reconnect to what and who is important to you through food, cooking together, laughter, family traditions, creating new traditions. Savor the final cookie, bite of cake, knowing you have feed your genes, connected to your past by being present and enjoying those around you today. Tomorrow, begin your day with steak and eggs.

In courage, gratitude and kindness,


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