I am fairly certain what I’m about to say will offend some of you. Consider yourself warned but also know what when we are offended it’s usually because some part of what we heard is true or at least hits close to home. So here it goes. There is so much in my arena, the arena of food and nutrition, focused on holiday eating: what to eat at holiday parties, how to avoid gaining weight over the holidays, the average person gaining 5 pounds over the holidays, surely you’ve heard much of this. And I have delivered my share of quotes on holiday eating, I’ll admit it. I then had a friend say something that struck a cord, something that knocked “have a glass of water for every glass of wine” on its head; she said “people get fat over the holidays because they expect to get fat.”You know what? She may be right.
After all, why is it that people who would never eat a pig in a blanket at any other time of year feel its ok over the holidays? Why, if you are always a Sauvignon Blanc girl is egg nog suddenly on your radar? And don’t explain this away with “these foods are only here only one time of year”. First, we live in a world where you can get strawberries in January; we can in fact get most foods all year round. And second, at holiday parties we tend to see these special treat foods again and again, so we see them multiple times this month alone.
The other argument for holiday eating is that we partake in certain foods to avoid offending our host or hostess. Again I have to cry foul because any host or hostess isn’t perched on your shoulder watching you all night. And even if you are right next to the host, did a friendship ever end because someone declined a mini quiche? My 5 year olds school has a policy in classrooms that encourages them to take a “polite bite” of foods offered. After that, they aren’t compelled to eat any further. Kindergarteners don’t eat the foods they aren’t truly interested in and adults shouldn’t either.
So, what I am saying is that our rules shouldn’t change because there is Holiday music playing. You can enjoy your favorite holiday food (that is food singular) and savor it but be selective. If you are someone who is focused on healthy eating, keep it that way. The season is festive; your eating doesn’t need to be.
Where do you fall in all of this? Do you plan to “get fat” over the holidays?