Sunday, February 1, 2009

Dietary Sabbatoge

Today it's Super Bowl Sunday, when most Americans (and some Canadians) sit down to hoards of high calorie food items washed down with beer or regular soda.

This whole event reminds me that almost every month in our country (America), our efforts to eat well and exercise regularly are sabbatoged by holidays, sporting events and parties.

Just think about it,

In the past 4 months, we've had the following food-centered activities to manage:

Halloween - either the trick-or-treating or the parties will get you

Thanksgiving - we all know the eating starts at 11am and doesn't stop all day

Christmas - from the baked goods to the gift-wrapped candies and chocolates to the Christmas dinner, we all know we're destined to put down some blubber

New Years Eve - the champagne and the late night eating doesn't do anyone's waist-line a favor

Super Bowl in January - wings, dips, cheeses, crackers, sausage, beer.... what more can you say?
Next month, we've got Valentine's day, centered around an evening meal at some over-priced restaurant, followed by something covered in chocolate.
The following month is St. Patty's Day rich in green beer, corned beef and hash (gross...) and green cookies or candies.

After that, there's Easter and we all know that means a basket full of chocolates followed by a morning brunch of some high-calorie casserole and bacon.
No wonder American's have a hard time maintaining a healthy weight. Some how along the line, the country (marketers...) decided that food had to be the center of each holiday and party event. And not even good food! It was high calorie, high-sugar and fat and totally low in nutrients. But why?
Can't we celebrate a holiday or special day without food? Or, if it's food, at least make it healthy and nutritious like hummus with fresh cut vegetables, all-natural turkey sausages and whole grain pilafs, like quinoa with parsley, olive oil and lemon juice? Then, pair this day with a group activity, like volleyball, soccer, baseball, mountain biking, hiking cross-country skiing, skating, etc. The possibilities are endless.
The bottom line is that we can enjoy holidays and events just like everyone else, but we should try to shift our focus from eating horrible foods to enjoying the day with friends, accompanied by healthy foods and a fun activity.
Change the way you celebrate and your belly will love you. You won't need a Flat Belly Diet or an Abs Diet either, you'll just constantly maintain a healthy weight and always enjoy being happy and active. It's not that hard and it can be done. Influence those around you to do the same, and they will figure out that it is good for them too.
Have a great day!


Kimberly said...

I think it OK to treat yourself on holidays, as long as you keep it in proportion.
Plan ahead, and know what your weaknesses are for - indulge in your craved food, but not in others and keep the portions reasonable. Thanks giving is one day long - and even if you fall you can get right back on the horse. If you know for example that thanks giving is tomorrow -or next week, "save" your treats till then...:-)

Marni said...

Karel finds it funny that we (americans) center all holidays around eating. Last night he bought beer to be American on Super bowl :) Silly European :)
I doesn't have to be about the food! if anything, make healthy food and then you don't have to feel guilty!
Thanks cass..hope you are feeling better.