A very short few days from now, it will be Christmas, but for today, it is Wednesday, What I Ate Wednesday to be precise, and it is once again time to thank the wonderful Jenn of Peas and Crayons for uniting us in the celebration of creativity in the culinary world.
BUT, since it is the holidays, I thought it might be a good time to discuss some of the traditions of this time of year that I sadly have NOT eaten this Wednesday, or any other day this week, month, year, recent memory, because my ridiculous fear of the ingredients or treats themselves, prevent me from enjoying.
Let me clarify and you are probably very sick of hearing this, but since this is my first holiday “season” home in a while, it is really the first time I am “participating” in any special December festivities, parties, etc.
It is also my first time working in an office environment where it is pretty much customary for every single employee to bring some sort of dish, cookie spread, dessert tray, food gift, you name it, and place it around our work areas.
If I am going to be one hundred percent honest with you, cookies, cakes, brownies and other sweets, are not always what grabs my attention. Personally, those things I could walk away from and not really think much about it.
Things like pizza or sandwiches, nuts, some sort of salad I just couldn’t bring myself to try because Gosh-forbid there was oil in the dressing, YES, those items…they can be rather tempting.
Rationally let’s think about it. Pizza, a Panini, the things I have listed above, really are not that unhealthy.
They can be rather good for you actually if you break them down into nutrients, considering cheese contains calcium, protein, some essential fat for my body to function.
Nuts can do wonders for your joints, brain, hair, skin, and the other parts of my body that are still majorly healing from years of destruction.
So why can I not bring myself to enjoy that darn toasted sammie?
I actually had this discussion with my dietician last week, when we were talking about sandwiches specifically and why I have such a silly phobia of two slices of bread holding together some fixin’s.
“Because such and such a magazine told me to eat an open-faced lunch or make it into a salad because those bread calories are unnecessary.”
This would also be the same magazine that advised me that 1500 calories was all my body needed per day.
The poor nutritionist that I go to has no just resorted to staring at me when I make such ludicrous remarks because she knows I will correct myself eventually.
And after a few minutes, and a prompt from Ryan I reframed my thoughts because maybe SOME people only need 1500 calories per day, who are perhaps older, sedentary or trying to lose weight, but I am a relatively active girl. Dropping pounds is not my goal, and 1,500 calories, believe it or not, was what I ate most days when my body was eating itself to live, aka “starving.”
With all these things in mind, perhaps I should not be listening to this particular magazine for nutritional advice, but yet I do.
Between magazines, my beloved Today Show, and/or any other source of media that is out there, diet advice is pretty much non-avoidable.
Not a news segment, or day goes by that I am not being broadcast some new study, eat this/not that propaganda, or new, sure-fire way to “improve my health” by dropping a few pounds and the sad part is, I buy into all this stuff, feeling as if the person reporting is talking directly to me!
There is some disconnect in my brain (obviously there are many) that makes me believe this stuff is written just for my benefit, yelling at me, telling me what I need to change in order to become a “better” person.
…because obviously a slimmer body equates to a “better” person…
But the point is, going back to my original point about holidays, treats and specialties galore, my depriving myself because of these ridiculous beliefs, is that not only is my tummy and body missing out on these delicious nutrients and foods, but I am also once again NOT participating in life.
Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, whatever you celebrate is NOT necessarily about the food, at all. It is in fact the spirit, love, family, and much more important things than calories, FOR SURE, but, many traditions tend to revolve around food and they can sometimes be diminished if one does not REALLY participate.
For example, decorating Christmas cookies has always been a big family activity for us.
We make sugar cookies, use the cookie cutters, decorate them with sprinkles and icing, and I have not eaten any of our beautiful finished products for as long as I can remember.
I don’t eat the Mickey Waffles we make every Christmas morning, or drink a mimosa with my mom.
I am kind of like the Grinch, sitting on the outskirts cursing those who are enjoying and rejoicing in the cheer.
Although I still am not ready to take a bite of some of the things I have mentioned, I can at least be more open to being involved and letting myself enjoy a piece of gosh darn bread if I want to, right?!
And I can absolutely stop spending my time agonizing over my meal choices when really, I should be focusing on the too little time I have with my entire family.