Visions of Sugarplums

17 Dec

SugarPlumRecipeA not-so-healthy list of  “Holiday Eating Tips” includes these suggestions:

1. Avoid carrot sticks at Christmas buffet tables. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit.

2. If something comes with gravy, use it. That’ the whole point of gravy. Pour it on.

3. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people’s food for free.

4. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year’s. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do.

5. If you come across something really good at a buffet table (like frosted Christmas cookies), position yourself near them and don’t budge. They’re like a beautiful pair of shoes. You can’t leave them behind because you’re not going to see them again. *

You do know that we’re kidding, right?

(This is not a “don’t eat this or that” post … just encouragement to be careful and wise. By the way, if you want the recipe for those pictured Sugar Plums, here you go!)

So … do we dare talk about food and healthy lifestyle at Christmas?

Probably a good idea, if you’re anything like me (Dawn). Christmas eating is fun, but not an excuse to go crazy with food choices. Everyone indulges for a day or two ~ OK, maybe five or six or so ~ but an entire month of foolish eating is going to make us hate our bathroom scales in January.

[Actually, the problem is more likely that we’ll gain weight if we’ve been indulging with bags of Halloween candy and too many pies around Thanksgiving! And then add to that the football celebrations around New Year’s. Yikes!]

We have a friend named Danna Demetre, a healthy-living expert. Pam wrote about her in her book, Fantastic After 40!**

“Danna,” Pam wrote, “has two terrific questions women should ask so they can maintain a more healthy lifestyle:

1. “Am I doing the right things for the right reasons and trusting God with the results?” (The point is not to reach a weight on the scale or a specific size, but rather take great care of the body God has given you.)

2. “Can I eat and exercise this way most days for the rest of my life?” If the answer is no, then you’ve just gone on another diet or “program.” If the answer is yes, you’ve made a lifestyle change, and there is a greater chance that the results will be lasting. You need to lose weight the same way you plan to keep it off ~ and that must be through a lifestyle change.

We can ask those questions now, during the “Christmas season,” because we need to see the holidays in the context of our entire life. We were created to glorify God with our bodies (1 Corinthians 10:31). We can’t accept the lie that we can be mindless and give up our power to choose during the holidays and not have it affect our lives.

It’s not about being a spoilsport. Really!

It’s OK to indulge a bit. Have a few Christmas cookies, if you can safely eat sweets. I am going to make some red/white/green “Rainbow Cookies” (one of our traditional Christmas cookies).

And enjoy those meals on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Try to plan in some great healthy snacks and treats, too, to round out your holiday eating (not your body!)

The key word is, “Think!” Don’t inhale mindlessly. And realize that you are making decisions that will count in the overall scheme of your body and health. When you pray, ask God for His perspective on holiday eating (James 1:5).

Remember that there were days of feasting as well as days of fasting in the Bible ~ but they all eventually come to an end!

* Adapted from “Holiday Eating Tips,” http://www.basicjokes.com/djoke.php?id=1057

** Fantastic After 40 (Harvest House Publishers), p. 121

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