Food Is Fuel (and the Holidays are about Family)

Tracy Davenport, Ph.D. Health Guide
  • The holidays can be a tough time for many, especially those with digestive disorders. With the abundance of parties, desserts and liquid cheer, this is a great the time of year to employ a psychological strategy known as “reframing.”


    A “frame” (a.k.a. frame of reference) is a set of beliefs that we all use when we try to make meaning of something. An example of a frame of reference might be, “to me, the holidays mean great food.” To “reframe” means to step back from that previously unquestioned idea or belief and begin to question the assumptions that were used to create that belief and then consider alternative meanings. An example of reframing would be to step back and redefine the holiday season “as a time of faith” or “as a time to spend with family and friends” (leaving food out of the meaning of the holiday season).

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    Reframing the meaning of the holidays can reduce the pressure to overeat or to eat the wrong foods. And, if you are caring for someone with acid reflux disease, this reframing can also help with the disappointment that can come from watching your child forego some of the treats others enjoy. I understand this idea first hand, as I have come to learn that putting together Christmas cookies with my children is not about the cookies at all, but rather it is about taking the time to be together around a table and laugh and listen to Christmas carols. Reframing rarely changes the situation. Rather, it puts the situation into a healthier perspective.


Published On: December 10, 2014