Another holiday season is upon us! Holidays typically bring joy, togetherness, and celebration but they can also bring about concerns particularly for those of us living with chronic disease. With an unprecedented year that has turned so many of our day to day functions upside down, the holidays may look quite different than those of years past as well. One thing that remains constant with many holidays is food.

While there are great articles about how to make your holidays healthier. Here I’ll highlight how to embrace the holiday food hustle with your mindset. A mindset that may assist many with the struggle that comes with holiday eating is the intuitive eating approach.

The Original Intuitive Eating Prosâ have outlined ten principles. Here I’ll discuss the final two principles as quoted from the website:

9. Movement—feel the difference: Forget militant exercise. Just get active and feel the difference. Shift your focus to how it feels to move your body, rather than the calorie-burning effect of exercise. If you focus on how you feel from working out, such as energized, it can make the difference between rolling out of bed for a brisk morning walk or hitting the snooze alarm.

10. Honor your health—gentle nutrition: Make food choices that honor your health and taste buds while making you feel good. Remember that you don’t have to eat perfectly to be healthy. You will not suddenly get a nutrient deficiency or become unhealthy, from one snack, one meal, or one day of eating. It’s what you eat consistently over time that matters. Progress, not perfection, is what counts. 

During the holidays, it’s easy to get in the mindset of “I can’t eat that”, “that’s not healthy.” But re-framing your mindset around holiday eating can balance eating for your disease and eating for your fulfillment alike.

It takes practice to re-frame your conventional thoughts but here are a few examples of how The Original Intuitive Eating Prosâ approach may tackle those thoughts.

Conventional Thought

Re-framed Thought

“I can’t eat that”

“I can enjoy a modified portion suitable for my tastes and my condition”

“I need to walk miles to burn off this food I ate”

“I can walk in the brisk Fall air to enjoy the scenery and assist my body in using the fuel I ate”

“I’d better eat all this food now since I won’t get it until next year”

“I can enjoy any food I want, any time of year”

“That’s a bad food”

“All food serves a purpose”


The purpose of intuitive eating is not to throw the “rules” out the window, but to find peace with food. While it may not come naturally to re-frame your thoughts, with time and practice it can enhance your relationship with food and make the inevitable holiday food spread more enjoyable.

Enjoy your holidays, your loved ones, and your food this season! Happy Holidays 2020!