Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and that makes it the official start of the Holiday Season. And, as everyone loves to point out, it also signals the start of a long series of holiday feasts. Why is everyone so quick to complain about the holiday calories, and yet so quick to eat them? It’s a sad cycle that is certainly not conducive to healthy self-esteem: you hate that you’re going to eat, you eat, you hate that you ate, and then you make a New Year’s resolution to lose the weight. Couldn’t we just skip a few steps and worry a lot less? There’s nothing worse than to see this anxiety play out as someone heaps mashed potatoes and gravy onto her plate at the table. Eat it or don’t, but please do everyone a service and shut up about it!
…So this brings me to my super-cheesy holiday challenge: can’t we all just indulge a little bit? Eat the Christmas cookie, and maybe even two—but then walk away. Indulge in that piece of pie (maybe even two…) after the big Thanksgiving meal, but be content not to eat the rest of the pie. Can you do it? Even further—can you do it without agonizing about what you ate or about the rest of the pie that you didn’t eat? Can you indulge (a little), enjoy, and then walk away? What’s the worst that could happen? Some might say that the worst thing that could happen is to gain a few pounds. I say the worst that could happen is to go into self-hatred mode. I’ve been there—it’s much easier to lose five pounds than it is to feel good about yourself after feeling like you’ve broken rules that don’t even exist.
This holiday season, don’t treat food as an enemy. Don’t hate your body over a pound gained. Don’t lose faith in your self-discipline over a piece of pie. The way I see it, we all have three choices: We can eat our pie in peace, we can peacefully choose not to eat the pie, or we can stress the hell out about whether or not to eat it.
If this blog post finds you at a place in your life in which you cannot exercise control, then what I would like for you to take from this is a new perspective. Consider setting a goal that is not measured in terms of weight; instead, make it your goal to learn how to enjoy food in moderation. If you are currently on a nutrition plan that is conducive to a goal that you feel good about, then please talk to your trainer/nutritionist before making any changes. However, if you struggle with food and your body and want peace in your life, then start now by making changes to your approach!
Today’s recipe: Hawaiian rolls!
Heat water and add honey; stir in yeast to dissolve. Set this mixture aside until the yeast blooms, about ten minutes. Mix in the juice, sugar, vanilla, eggs, and butter (all ingredients but the flour). Slowly add the flour, about a cup at a time, until a dough is formed. Turn out onto floured countertop, and knead a few times. Do not over-knead this dough. Form into a ball and return to bowl; cover with damp towel. Allow dough to rise in a warm place for about an hour. After dough has risen, punch it down to deflate it. Turn the dough out onto lightly floured countertop, and roll into a long loaf (think French loaf in size and shape). Cut into 12 equal slices, and roll each section into a ball. Place the dough balls into a well-greased rectangular glass baking dish, and bake for 35 minutes at 350. Cool for five minutes in the pan, and then turn out onto a cooling rack. Serve with cinnamon butter!