An article titled Simple Rules for Healthy Eating caught my eye earlier this fall. I find it particularly relevant as we move through the holiday season and then set resolutions, often diet related, for a new year. I appreciated all of the tips, but number 7 resonated with me the most:
Eat with other people, especially people you care about, as often as possible. This has benefits even outside those of nutrition. It will make you more likely to cook. It will most likely make you eat more slowly. It will also make you happy.
I'd add to this - eat sitting down. Why? Sitting down can help facilitate a slower meal and bring some awareness to the food in a way that standing around an appetizer buffet discourages. When we eat together, food becomes about much more than fuel. Tied to the ritual of gathering around a table, it offers an opportunity to disconnect from digital life and connect with each other in the flesh. The very act of sitting encourages grounding, an important element to incorporate in daily routines during autumn (see my previous post on staying healthy throughout the fall season).
You'll likely read plenty in the next few weeks about navigating holiday parties without gaining 10 lbs, which steps to follow to guarantee a healthier you in the new year (gluten-free? plant-based? protein-focused?), whether to cleanse or not, and on and on. What if you keep it simple and sit down to eat, mostly in the company of others, without a screen? Without changing the contents of your plate, would you feel happier and healthier? I'd argue yes, but don't take my word for it. Try it for yourself.