Diet Advice and the Holidays

I read two interesting pieces recently regarding what makes an optimal diet. Couple that with the oncoming parade of fall and winter holidays focused on food, which has me thinking about what I eat.

Here are the links to the two pieces:

A story about sugars from Kris Carr’s blog.

A story about yet another study singing the benefits of a Mediterranean diet on the Take Part webpage.

Kris Carr’s story is a nice little refresher about sugar. All sugar isn’t evil. We need some of it in our diet so that our organs function properly. But a pattern of too much refined sugar can lead to organ damage like chronic disease and even cancer. And remember, sugar naturally occurs in foods like dairy, fruit and vegetables. So a little extra added sugar adds up fast. This is something I need to keep reminding myself of as the holidays roll on. Moderation is key!

Kris Carr is so inspiring. I love her website. It’s so positive and motivating. Ten years ago, she was diagnosed with incurable (but very slow growing) stage 4 cancer. Faced with those circumstances, she grabbed life by the horns rather than wallow in sadness and fear of the disease. She gave herself a complete health overhaul, and is now a healthy lifestyle advocate that we can all learn something from, even if most of us are not facing the same odds she is. I encourage you guys to check out her website KrisCarr.com.

Seems like every year at the holidays, I throw caution to the wind and overindulge in treats and alcohol. Show me someone who doesn’t do this and I’ll give you $10. The Hubs and I have joked the last couple years “that it just ain’t the holidays unless you’re borderline diabetic and alcoholic by the time they’re over.” Then comes the January crack down.

The second story was about yet another study, this one published in The Annals of Medicine, confirming the benefits of a Mediterranean diet, particularly for women. Women who largely followed the Mediterranean diet, were 40 percent more likely to live past age 70 with fewer cognitive and physical ailments. That’s pretty astounding. Isn’t that what we’re all after: living into old age with few medical problems? The study confirms what is pretty much common knowledge now. Eat a lot of vegetables, some fish, very little red meat, copious amounts of olive oil and enjoy a little wine for a healthy long life.

I like all of these kinds of foods: lots of vegetables, nuts, fish, and especially wine. It shouldn’t be hard to follow that diet since that is what I really like to eat. Something else to remember, also as the holidays approach. That piece of store-bought pie and whipped topping at any one of the myriad of holiday gatherings isn’t going to be as tasty as homemade, and is simply not worth it. Just skip it. That being said, there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself during the holidays, I just need to make sure it’s something I REALLY want like the Hubs’s aunt’s kraut balls (Hi, Drema!) or his Maw Maw Doris’s recipe for baked beans, and it’s a reasonable portion. No need for seconds!

The two stories couldn’t have come at a better time. Neither is very long, and worth a read. It’s time to get ‘ya mind right for holidays and not turn into sugar zombie. More shrimp (U.S. wild caught) cocktail and maybe fewer cheese cubes from the deli tray.

Definitely more of this for lunch:

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And a little less of this come happy hour:

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