Trick or Treat

Halloween, that major marker of the year, which is quickly coming to a close, has left its candy wrappers, costumes and moldy jack-o-lanterns in its wake.  One slow blink and Thanksgiving will arrive with feasts to be followed by festivities of Light to brighten the darkest days of the Northern Hemisphere.  With all the opportunities for over-indulgence, will we ring in the New Year healthier or with a “weighty” hangover?  Now is a good time to design a strategy to jump-start a fabulous 2011.

There is something about endings, like saying goodbye to 2010, which stimulates the grasping reflex. Human beings as a species are not conventionally adept at letting go, that takes training and conscious attention.  Throwing away the leftover candy from the trick or treat bags, tossing Susie’s costume from last year or pitching the pumpkin Jack had such fun carving takes concerted effort.  Endings trigger fear; not enough time, not enough money, not enough personal resources to go around. As the clock starts ticking louder and the daylight shortens, and the deadlines loom, we reach for familiar comforts to assuage the anxieties our human limitations impose.  Food is handy and abundant. It’s an exalted tradition this time of year.  But, as distant notes of Old Lang Syne drift closer, we need not rush.  After the ball drops on Times Square there will be another meal.

Throughout the years, rumor is that five pounds is the average weight gain for the holiday season, beginning with Halloween.  However, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reports the average weight gain to be about one pound.  Good News!!!  However, they also found that weight gain was not reversed in subsequent months.  Ouch!!  How many winter holiday seasons have you lived?

Let’s look at the good news.  Just one pound, that’s all we need prevent.  As the clock speeds up rushing to year’s end, slowing down may be the ticket to averting the obstinate addition.

  • Languidly savor those special foods that mark the traditions of your family.  Your brain will have a better chance of keeping up with its satiety meter when you eat slowly.
  • Avoid skipping meals.  If your blood sugar gets too low, restraint is impossible.
  • Drink a Nutrimeal Shake before the party, it’s fast and easy and takes your favorite Usana bar in your bag or briefcase when shopping or closing that last minute deal.
  • Transform holiday favorites to lower glycemic options.  See my offering below.

With a bit of attention, our traditions can honor our health as well as the rituals and feasts or the season. Reclaim the fundamentals for celebrations and Thanksgiving: family, friends and life, itself.

Abundant this time of year is the time-honored squash. Pumpkin, butternut, acorn, Hubbard, spaghetti are ripe for the picking. They are moderate choices on the glycemic index. In honor of the Harvest: Pumpkin Squares.

Posted in Uncategorized on 11/04/2010 03:08 pm

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