12.20.2009

Truly Happy Holidays or How Not to Overindulge


I generally love the holiday season- (not necessarily more than any other season, mind you, as I try to enjoy every day of my life- the holidays do bring that little sparkle of spirit...) but it is so easy to get carried away and overindulge in everything while not really savoring anything.

Does that make sense? How many times have I sat down to a particularly decadent holiday feast and overindulged in either food or libation? Now I know most people will say that’s what you’re supposed to do over the holidays- but I beg to differ. All of the hors d’oeuvres, roasts, candies and chocolates, cocktails, mince pies and eggnogs offered this time of year are all lovely- but I don’t really see the use of overindulging in them to the point where they are no longer special or considered a delicacy.

Now don't get me wrong- not overindulging is very difficult for me. I am a foodie and nothing delights me more than a delicious morsel of something to eat. But I am learning that it’s all about restraint- about relishing that delicious salmon in puffed pastry or that particularly tasty chocolate truffle. It is not, however, about having 7 more truffles after that one.

Oh, but how to not have the 7 other truffles? This goes back to Eating- Comme les Français- eating in the moment- savoring each bite in a sensuous, practically obscene manner. If I give that delicious chocolate truffle my entire attention when I’m eating it, rather than shoveling it nervously into my mouth while trying to socialize, I am more likely to enjoy it and less likely to reach for another.

So far this season, it has worked liked a charm. It could be that I find myself in L.A. rather than England, so I have less mince pies and mulled wines to fend off- or it could be that I am finally coming to the point where I can enjoy every little moment- every little morsel and be content with less…

How are your indulgences this holiday season?

Truffles from my favorite chocolatier in L.A., Chocolatt... from Belgium are pictured above.

15 comments:

Oshiya said...

ur article reminds me of the book "French Women Don't Get Fat... Yeah, if you eat and talk at the same time, you'll eat more..

M.Lane said...

Really fine thoughts. I am going to TRY and use them this week! The photo of the candy doesn't start me in the right direction though...

ML
mlanesepic.blogspot.com

Josephine Tale Peddler said...

Gradually over the years I have come to appreciate less is more. I can remember scoffing entire boxes of chocolates for breakfast on Christmas morning as a child! Only four more sleeps! xx

Rebecca said...

It's very difficult especially since the chocolate, eggnog, cookies, etc. are so accessible this time of year. I agree that being aware of what you are putting in your mouth and savoring as you indulge is the best way to not overindulge. But it's so easy to eat the entire plate! I try to think about how I will feel afterward, that seems to help. :)

eurochic said...

I was given a box of chocolates and a 2" x 4" block of fudge by two of my co-workers...I managed to share all but six pieces of the chocolate with other co-workers and am eating one each day as a dessert after lunch. The fudge I took home and have been having one slice about 1/4" thick each night after dinner with the rest of my wine. Christmas dinner will be in a restaurant in New York so this year will be a year without too many temptations.

Its vastly different than my years working in Interior Design where boxes of goodies came in by the boatload from both vendors and clients.

Paris Pastry said...

Yes, I read your post about not overindulging, and I have to say I completely agree with you! Though I bake quite often and have a passion for food, there's no worse feeling than "a bite too many".

LPC said...

I agree. I think with a little intention, eating 2 truffles can feel as indulgent as eating 10.

BonjourRomance said...

You are so right about not overindulging. Problem is I'm still trying to figure out how to manage this whole French way of eating - not stuffing - but savoring each bite. Good for you being able to do that, wish me luck!
Hope all is still going well with your family and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

Bonjour Madame said...

Sounds like you've got it mastered, good for you!

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Oshiya- That is a great book and it's been books like that combined with living in Paris where I get my motivation from!

M. Lane- I know! I debated about putting that photo there because it made me want to eat the whole box :)

Josephine- Only two more sleeps now! I hope you have a wonderful day...

Rebecca- Thinking about how you'll feel afterward is a great thing to do- although sometimes it's not enough to stop the urge of debauchery :)

Euro Chic- I love that you got a box of chocolates and have one a day as a treat- that is such a great idea- that way you're not missing out on any of the treats and you are still enjoying them in moderation. I think that's the hardest thing about being met with a box of chocolates- wanting to try them all!

Paris Pastry- your blog is responsible for me wanting to overindulge- your pastries are divine!

LPC- so true

Bonjour Romance- It is hard and I still haven't accomplished it as Xmas hasn't happened yet- but wish me luck and I'll do the same for you :)

Bonjour Madame- so far so good! I hope you have a wonderful holiday... xo

ParisBreakfasts said...

Very interesting indeed...
Something I have gleaned about the French is that they DO indulge quite a bit on those special occasions.
But then the next day they restrain themselves. They have developed an inner balance -- so they can come back to equilibrium in a matter of days after, which is different then being restrained while indulging.
They do know how to sit down and enjoy a daily meal, something long forgotten in our culture.
As well as how to enjoy each other at that meal.
I just watched a fun movie on this topic, La Buche.
You would enjoy it :)

Tine said...

I think I learned my lesson on year by eating too many chocolates! Now I have one (or maybe two!) and that's it!

Rose said...

I've had lots of mulled wine and all that stuff the last few weeks and am actually tired of it all now and have been a bit off food generally!

Off to parents tomorrow though and they have a totally different range of foods! salmon, rose and violet creams etc. I will try to restrain myself but I have to have everything I want on Christmas Day itself.

Gary Heller said...

Good posts for this time of the year. I agree about over indulging. We lose an appreciation for the good things when we have them in abundance and indulge ourselves. Appreciate and savor what it is you have and do not think about moving on to the next.
Discipline and a proper mindset is needed.

sanjeet said...

if you eat and talk at the same time, you'll eat more..

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