If you have been following my blog for any length of time you know that besides showing you my adventures at the local beaches, awesome shells and sharks teeth - I also from time to time share the escapades of my family. After my father passed 10 years ago we invited my mother to sell her huge house & move in with us. My mom or GeeGee as she is called by her grandchildren downsized her life and moved from the town she grew up in, married in, raised her children in & buried her husband of 40 years in and moved 100 miles south to live with us.
We have a great time living together and have learned to enjoy our new-style nuclear family which also includes 24 yo niece Pookie. GeeGee had not been feeling well for some time. After some tests and a heart catheterization they took her immediately to the hospital for emergency open-heart surgery. So 5 bypasses, a new aortic valve and 2 years later she is doing pretty well. But now there are the "every 6 month check-up's" with her cardiologist.
Eating healthy around our house is a challenge. Because of various work schedules & activities meal times can be catch-as-catch-can. Pookie is a self-styled -organic eater who still indulges in Checker burgers. Hubby eats mainly Breyer's Butter Pecan ice cream, chicken noodle soup, & shredded wheat. With my crazy work schedule I eat whatever is left in the fridge or oatmeal. GeeGee tries to eat healthy for her heart but still uses Paula Deen as her cooking inspiration. GeeGee's last doctor's visit sent her into something of a tail spin - She must lose 30 pounds or else. Oh good Lord and it's the holidays. Her traditional Christmas treats of homemade Chex mix, Rum Cake, & other southern butter-based specialities are on the banned list. No Lindor truffles - no egg nog - no butter. Her holiday spirit has gone on a diet. I found this little ditty that has some how brought a little smile back to her face & recovered a little Christmas joy.
Holiday Eating Tips
1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they’re serving rum balls.
2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. Like fine single-malt scotch, it’s rare. In fact, it’s even rarer than single-malt scotch. You can’t find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It’s not as if you’re going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It’s a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. It’s later than you think. It’s Christmas!
3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That’s the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy . Eat the volcano. Repeat.
4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they’re made with skim milk or whole milk. If it’s skim, pass. Why bother? It’s like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.
5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people’s food for free. Lots of it. Hello?
6 Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year’s. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you’ll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.
7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don’t budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They’re like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you’re never going to see them again.
8. Same for pies. Apple Pumpkin. Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don’t like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?
9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it’s loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.
10. One final tip: If you don’t feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven’t been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.
So, the plan is: Enjoy the Holidays because January is bringing new eating habits for the entire family, aquatic exercise for GeeGee, & hopefully lower weight & cholesterol levels for all of us. But most of all -don't lose your sense of humor - keep laughing - keep your Christmas joy level up. Like the ultimate wise man King Solomon says "A merry heart does good like a medicine"(Proverbs 17:22)