The Hemp Connection + [tips]

Food of the week: Food you enjoy!

I know, I know, that includes a lot of foods. I promise after the holidays, I'll get back to information about specific foods. But it being the holidays, and the relationships we have with food during the holidays not always being healthy, I wanted to digress today.

Part of the reason I want to digress is because I've had some wonderful food experiences this week. Monday a friend and her husband invited people over for a Caribbean holiday dinner. From the mango-cucumber-avocado salad with the peanut butter chutney dressing to the platanos to the almond paste…it was fabulous! And most of all, the conversation around the table was a wonderful way to spend a blustery winter evening.

Last night Ivonne, who sometimes posts on this blog, asked me to meet her and her fiance so she could share some gingerbread (made with stout) that she loves to make over the holidays. Again, we spent a couple of hours chatting and laughing in the coffeeshop of a local Barnes and Noble and just enjoyed the company. And, I had a delicious yet unconventional treat for breakfast this morning!

These are not foods I normally eat, but Christmas is not a normal time of year. The important thing is not what I ate. It was how what I ate blended into the rest of my life. I am still working out, but I'm not adding an extra hour to make up for the extra calories. I am still enjoying the food, but I'm not starving myself in between to"account" for the goodies. And, I haven't thrown up my hands in defeat and started eating and drinking everything in sight with a"What's the use, I've blown it?" kind of attitude.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that when your life is balanced, that is, you're eating a variety of foods in moderation, you're physically active, you're getting enough sleep, and you're managing your stress, an occasional Caribbean meal or gingerbread breakfast, in the long run, shows up as a slight blip on the screen, but it doesn't send off the warning bells. But, only if you TREAT it as a blip on the screen.

There's no need to punish yourself with extra exercise, starvation, guilt, whatever, because you took the time to enjoy the food that accompanied the festivities. Holidays are not an excuse to eat, and they're not a reason to punish yourself. They're about family, friends, reflection, and celebration.

I sure hope you've got Ivonnes, Gerdas, Joses, and family in your life to help you partake in the fun! (I'll talk about comfort food next week after my family celebration.)