Greater Health

Keeping Christmas Eating Under Wraps

Need some healthy tips for holiday eating?  I’m bringing back this magazine article I wrote in 2004 because every single tip remains applicable and relevant.

* If the text is too small in the printed article, scroll down and you can read it below.

Gwinnett Lifestyle Article

Despite your attempts to cut the calories, count the carbs, and steer clear of the holiday food temptations, it would probably be safe to say that the turkey wasn’t the only thing that ended up stuffed on Thanksgiving…right?  With another holiday around the corner, we need to make sure to focus on the reason for the season, Jesus, rather than on food.

The holidays can conjure up many emotions and anxiety related to food.  Ask yourself this question:

“Do I even know when I am truly hungry?”

Unfortunately, many of us have ignored our hunger signals for so long that we have lost touch with our God-given cues.

Here are 12 tips to help keep Christmas eating under wraps:

  1. Eat when you are hungry…stop eating when you are full ( Sound too simple?  It’s not the Atkins diet plan or the low carb diet; it’s God’s plan for you.  He set two boundaries for our eating:  hunger and fullness.  Listen to your body!
  2. Do not plan to diet on January 1st. Rather than thinking “diet” think “eat smarter.”  After all, 95% of diets fail because DIETS DON’T WORK!
  3. Make a plan. Think about where you will be, who you will be with, what foods will be available, what foods are really special to you (that you really want to eat) vs. those that you could probably do without.  What are your personal triggers to overeat and how can you minimize them?
  4. Eat a light snack before going to holiday parties. It is not a good idea to arrive at a party famished.  Not only are you more likely to overeat, but you are also less likely to resist the temptation of eating the higher fat and higher calorie foods.  Try eating a piece of fruit, a little yogurt, or string cheese before you go.
  5. Before you take a bite, ask yourself, “Am I truly hungry or am I confusing my emotions (loneliness, anger, boredom) as hunger?” So often we use food for comfort.
  6. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Guilt can lead to depression which leads to more overeating.
  7. Go grocery shopping when you have a full stomach – it makes those apple pies less tempting.
  8. If you’re an emotional eater, try creating a list of things other than food that make you feel good. When you are on the verge of a breakdown binge, use that list to find another way to soothe yourself.
  9. If quantity is your problem, start by using smaller plates. Also slow down, focus on your food so you recognize when you’re full, and don’t preload your fork with the next bite while still chewing the last one.
  10. Eat Breakfast – Ninety-six percent of people who lose weight and keep it off eat breakfast every day, according to Ann McDermott, a nutrition scientist at the Tufts University.
  11. Don’t tempt yourself by keeping trigger foods or comfort foods around the house. If you have them, it certainly increases the likelihood you will overeat.  Susan Barr, Dietitian and Program Director for Weight Watchers says “The idea is out of sight…out of mouth.”
  12. Remember that your body is a temple…Therefore honor God with your body! [1 Cor 6:19-20]

As we celebrate Christ’s birth this year, I pray that you will turn to Him for acceptance, comfort, and companionship rather than to the refrigerator or cupboard.  Julie


Greater Health

This Can’t Be It…Exposing What’s Missing

So often our ministry is found where our misery has been.  My eating disorder began in high school and took deeper roots in college.  It was my misery.   My heart aches when I look back to the younger me and remember the pain, isolation, and hopelessness that encompassed those dark days.  After many years of treatment and learning to love myself again, the time came where I knew I had been commissioned to share my hope and story.  It’s my empathy and compassion for those with eating disorders that propels me to reach out to those in search of recovery.

In 2003,  I first became aware of my calling to help other women; I earnestly prayed for a platform – a place to start.   I was given the words, A Hunger for Something Greater as the answer to my questions of why we struggle with eating AND what do we do about it.


If you’re battling an eating disorder, could it be that your food struggles are symptoms of a void?  You want more from this life and you turn to food as an answer.   Do you ever say to yourself, “This can’t be it!”

That emptiness, that yearning you have deep within; it’s there by design  – You have a hunger for something GREATERNot a physical hunger but a spiritual one – one that has never quite been satisfied.

Food only offers a temporary fix to a spiritual void.  This is good news because you have hope.  An eating disorder is not your identity.  You were made for a purpose – a divine purpose, created by a majestic creator.  Don’t settle anymore for empty places – invite God to begin filling up the voids.

Blaise Pascal said it perfectly,

“There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.”

For we know, that no matter what we go after to find fulfillment, the only thing {One} who will satisfy is JESUS!  

God’s will for you is to be a healthy servant who can witness of his healing power.  His freedom is for you!  The Hunger for GREATER  blog is the outlet where I will share my struggles and how God met me right there – in the middle of it all.

May God guide and direct your path to freedom!

**And if you know someone who in the trenches with an eating disorder, please point them in my direction. God is ABLE!