With the holiday season quickly approaching (11 days until Christmas, y’all, 10 if your culture celebrates it on Christmas Eve, as mine does), we tend to indulge on a lot of stuff. Good stuff, but not really. From hot chocolate, to Starbucks holiday drinks, gingerbread cookies…. Oh my, let me stop there! All these treats and sweets can be so delicious and irresistible, that sometimes we might not know what they’re doing to us on the inside.
Let me clarify that I’m not here to lecture you on why you should not eat sugar, because I’d be a hypocrite. My taste buds (and my brain) love sugar. I’m sure yours do, too! Also, you’re a grown-up, and you will do what you want to do and you know what you should do as well. A lot of people actually do the opposite of what you tell them, ever notice that…?
This is not about having your waistline messed up and your favorite jeans not fitting you on January 1st. Ok, maybe it is a little about that. But it’s really about our quality of life. We can be so uninformed about things, but once we’re exposed to the truth and the facts, then we can choose to either ignore them or do something about it. I’m the latter type of person, and that’s why I’m writing this blog post.
Let’s get this one thing straight, I’m not a nutritionist, a dietician or a physician in any way to say anything about anything. I do use common sense quite often, though, but that doesn’t mean I don’t educate myself on things that matter to me and my family.
I’m not going to geek out and be scientific, although you should seek to do further reading on this, to make sure I’m not giving you lies and for your own health’s sake. With that being said, here are 3 things we should all ponder about before picking up sweet things off the table at our next holiday party or gathering:
- Consider genetics – If your parents or their parents have a history of diabetes, liver problems, heart attacks or other heart diseases, pay close attention so that you’re not next in line having to cope and deal with a chronic disease that could have been avoided. Obviously, if there is obesity in the family tree, then eating products high in sugar won’t help in the long run. One thing I know, personally, is my genetics are no joke. There’s type 2 diabetes in my family along with serious heart problems, including heart attacks. Why would I not pay attention to that? I want to do my part in having a long life span now that I’ve found the fountain of youth, which I believe to be exercise, besides good nutrition. It makes you look young and feel young! Sometimes we ignore the signs for too long until death occurs (I’m not trying to ruin any holiday parties, by the way, just want us all to enjoy many more in the future). Also consider that people without any history of cardiovascular disease, diabetes or anything else are by no means exempt from developing them. Good eating habits and exercise should reverse your genetic destiny and give you a great, energetic life.
Good eating habits
and exercise should reverse
your genetic destiny
and give you a great, energetic life.
- Avoid the addiction – Have you seen what happens when a smoker of coffee drinker decides to quit the habit? Their body starts going into withdrawal, they can’t function right, they sweat, they get irritated, they can’t concentrate, among other things, and then, they have to yield to their master once again, because it’s become an addiction. We all probably know a person or two that are in a situation like that. These are everyday, acceptable habits by society. Notice I’m not even mentioning recreational or heavy drugs. Well, newsflash, sugar is the same way. Your brain feasts on glucose and wants it constantly to the point that mood swings can occur if you don’t feed your body something sweet. Then when we’re hungry, we’ll reach for the empty calories / fast foods, namely snacks, which are mostly simple carbohydrates (candy, bread, chips, soda, anything desserts…) and get us addicted, instead of having a real meal, with good sources of protein, complex carbohydrates, good fats and fiber (yup, your veggies). Research and meal preps are one of the solutions to avoid eating too much sugar and getting addicted and then sick over time.
- Balance it out – It’s funny, when kids eat sugar, they get super hyper. When adults eat sugar, they crash. I wish it was the opposite! So constantly eating these simple carbs will not only cause addiction, but they will make us feel sluggish and tired; performance and productivity regarding anything will decrease significantly. I have been feeling very much like this lately. Office party here, family gatherings there, gifts here, surprises there… lots of desserts! And I honestly feel like crap. There’s a simple solution to this: moderation. Yes, what you eat matters, but if you’re really wanting to have that crème brulee dessert, or if you’re like me, who loves hot chocolate and Panettone, then I recommend indulging responsibly, so be on top of portions. I bought a mini Panettone instead of the full-size one, for example, and I’m limiting how many I buy this holiday season also. Instead of having all the chocolate bark on the table, grab one (after having a decent meal – eating a simple carb by itself will make you hungrier, for more carbs!). All I’m saying is pick your poison with caution. Go for the one thing you really like and know you’ll enjoy, instead of trying everything for the sake of trying. Sometimes we have such a good meal that I don’t even crave any sugar afterwards, because my body is satisfied with everything I fed it. Self-control is key and I so need to work on that, immediately!!
This is more
than a waistline,
but our own quality of life.
Hopefully this will be something we’ll think about in the upcoming days besides everything else going through our minds, and I hope we will all make the best of the festivities with these simple guidelines and a sweet dose of wisdom. 😉