This is a time of mince pies, mulled wine & champagne, family sized boxes of Quality Street for one and enough turkey sandwiches to feed a small army. While I am not going to tell you to “go for it”, neither am I going to tell you to “stay away!” from all these festive delights. Now is a time for relaxing, spending time with the family, de-stressing from work and enjoying yourself. Food is an integral part of this enjoyment for all of us and I am certainly not going to be the one to tell you that you can’t have something.

What I will say though is when you are tucking in over these next few weeks ‘do it consciously. Mindfully. Joyfully.’ (from an article by John Berardi at Precision Nutrition.) What I mean is, be aware of what you are eating and make the most of it. Rather than sitting in front of the television and realising you have just eaten a whole box of Celebrations without even noticing you were doing it; eat that mince pie, enjoy it for what it is, don’t feel guilty about it and savour each bite and the pleasure it gives you.

Drinking that mulled wines with friends, eating your gran’s Christmas pudding, or the croissants around the breakfast table, are all part of your special festive experience. For me, it is eating all the chocolates off the Christmas tree one by one and blaming the poor unsuspecting cat when everyone else realises there are none left for them (you snooze, you lose!). It is also tucking into the gigantic, fragrant (some might say smelly), cheese board that my mum lovingly curates every year. We sit around the family dinner table savouring each one, oohing and aahing as we taste one that is particularly odorous and gooey. This is holiday season for me and I would not have it any other way.

So, don’t spend the next couple of weeks crippled with guilt with every bite you take. Just be aware of what you are choosing to eat and then enjoy to the full.

I just get so overexcited with all the food choices at this time of year!….This very unflattering photo is in fact me winning the Carr’s cracker challenge; 8!!!