holiday meals don’t cause obesity

As we approach Thanksgiving and Christmas, there will undoubtedly be news journalists and magazine writers telling people to not overeat at holiday feasts. So let me preempt their “breaking news” and tell you to not listen to them! Eating more than normal at the occasional feast doesn’t mean you’ll get fat or that you’re a glutton. There has been actual research done on this which showed that the average weight gain for the entire holiday season is just 0.8 pounds. Look at that number — less than one pound! So don’t worry about a meal here or there. It’s your daily habits that determine if you’re overweight or not. Go ahead and enjoy the family get-togethers during the holidays. Enjoy the food and don’t feel guilty if you occasionally eat more than normal.

I’ve ranted on this before, so I’ll just link to that, which links to the actual news article with the research: holiday eating is not making you fat.

If you typically concern yourself with counting calories and saturated fat grams and such, don’t let that keep you from enjoying your meal. As I wrote above, one meal is not the problem. But if you feel the need to have restraint (like if your doctor told you to avoid sugars), then decide before the meal what you will eat and how much, then eat the meal within those boundaries so you don’t ruin your enjoyment of the meal, like I wrote about recently in my post about a bowl of chocolate versus a responsible adult. It’s a mindset strategy so you can enjoy your situation even when there’s restrictions.

Oh, and if someone wants to argue about it before or after your family get-together, you can tell them about the actual study in the news, but if they’re determined to not enjoy their meal, that’s on them and it may not be worth your time arguing about it. Just go eat another piece of pecan pie… 🙂

bowl of chocolate vs responsible adult

What should be done with this?

We have a big bowl of chocolate candy bars in our dining room. This is not normal, because we try to eat reasonably healthy most of the time. But we just passed Halloween, and for various reasons we had less trick-or-treaters this year. (I’d guess because it was a Monday — a school night — and our closest neighbors decorated less than normal. More people went to the other side of our subdivision, which had more decorations.) Regardless of how and why, the end result is a lot of tempting chocolate in my house.

So what am I supposed to do with all this chocolate? The obvious answer is to EAT IT! But there’s a flaw in the slaw: I’m trying to be a responsible adult here. One of my goals is to lose some weight and be more fit, and chocolate bars don’t exactly fit in fitness. But the counter-argument is that I’m a grown-up, so I can eat whatever I want. And that’s true. Therein lies the dilemma.

Do you remember being a kid and being limited by your parents on things like eating sweets and watching TV and playing video games? You probably dreamed of how one day you’d be a grown-up who can set your own rules and how wonderful that will be. And it is good. But you also (hopefully) learn that there are good reasons to be responsible and it’s better to do those things in moderation. It reminds me of this funny quote:

I don’t think I can talk Jen into installing a deep fat fryer in our kitchen. That’d rock! A short order grill. I can sit home and make grilled cheese sandwiches, hash browns, French fries, and pancakes all day long. Mmm. The fat kid in my brain just got really excited. The adult in my brain has to calm him down. Which really is what “growing up” is all about — telling the kid in your brain to sit down and behave, while the grown-up in our brain says, “You know, it’d be more responsible of us if we did this instead…” Stupid brain. ~ Jeff Schell

That’s the mental battle that we all must endure. But let me caution and encourage you with the word “moderation” in another context. Being an adult — especially when you have children — means being serious and responsible a lot more often than you may want to be. If we go too far on the serious side, it can drain the joy and happiness out of life. We don’t want to become an adult that forgets how to have fun. (I suppose that applies to everyone. But if you don’t want to laugh and be happy, that’s your choice, but I don’t recommend it.) Life is much better when it’s enjoyed. You can still be responsible and serious while enjoying the journey. That’s where moderation applies here — it’s not just about limiting the fun, but it can remind us to be serious in moderation. Allow yourself to have fun, even when life is busy and overwhelming. Actually, being able to enjoy your life makes the serious parts less tedious! So it’s helpful to have fun!

So the next time you’re about to eat a piece of chocolate that you might feel somewhat guilty about, find the balance — set a limit of how much, but within that limit, enjoy it as much as possible. While eating it, don’t think about calories or saturated fat grams or sugar or how much exercise it would take to burn it off — just close your eyes and savor each delicious bite. (You tend to enjoy it more when you eliminate distractions, so closing your eyes actually helps.)

Now go enjoy a reasonably-sized piece of chocolate! 🙂

eating like a millionaire

I don’t make it a habit to daydream about how I’d live if I won the lottery and had millions of dollars. It’s just not all that productive or fruitful, though I admit it has happened before. But I thought of it again recently due to a news story.

Mike Lindell (CEO of My Pillow) is back in the news because the FBI “raided” him at a Hardee’s drive-thru and took his phone (with a warrant). I won’t get into all the politics of that (except to remind you to get your news from multiple sources so you get the full story and not just what fits the narrative of “conservative news” or “liberal news”). (Also let me remind you to not get into a political rant in the comments or it may be deleted. If it’s a funny joke, that may be okay, though.)

Anyway, so Lindell is a multi-millionaire, at one point worth an estimated $500 million. He can afford to eat anything he wants. And of course, he is free to choose to eat anything he wants, so if Hardee’s is his preferred place for a burger, that’s fine. It just seems odd to me. I’m not trying to dis’ Hardee’s at all — they sell fast food at a certain price point, and there’s a market for that — but there are better burgers available, albeit for a higher price. It’s just that Lindell can afford any burger he wants.

I don’t know what restaurants are available in the town where he works, and I don’t care to research that. But here’s my idea. Since he’s the CEO of his own company, he could just hire someone to grill burgers for him with an actual charcoal grill and cook whatever else he wants whenever he wants, and clean it all up, and he could write the whole thing off as a business expense. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

Granted, it is somewhat extravagant to have your own personal chef, although he is a millionaire. But he could do even more with that idea — he could share that food with other people in the company, which would boost morale significantly. I used to work at a large corporation, and I still remember when they’d have free burgers. They weren’t great burgers, but they were good, and they were free. People get excited about free food. And even if the company didn’t want to add that expense, they could offer it to the employees at cost. They could even use high-quality ingredients, then. That would boost morale, and it would encourage employees to take a shorter lunch by staying on-campus. Then it becomes a win-win.

I do realize this whole discussion is based on the premise of grilling a great-tasting burger. I don’t know if most people feel this way or not. But I have researched the taste of my own grilled burgers against the burgers at various restaurants around town, and I prefer a freshly-grilled burger at home. If others don’t feel the same way, maybe that just means they’re not as good at grilling… 🙂 It is important to note that the quality of ingredients matters, too — not all beef patties are the same quality, as well as other ingredients, and technique matters.

Maybe Lindell is is penny-pinching because he’s concerned about that lawsuit over the voting machines where Dominion is suing him for all-the-money… Although one could argue that he should live it up while he can because he may soon be poor or middle-class like most of us.

Note-to-self: if any of us ever win the lottery and start a research company, we could do this food write-off proper. Well, not just proper (which is a saying), but next-level awesome. The concept could be applied to other foods, too. And while free food is great, the IRS now wants to tax employees for it when they receive free food at work, so selling it at cost might be the better option. Imagine if for your lunch break you had the option to get a steak grilled to your liking using high-quality ingredients, at cost. I figure most of us would like to eat more steak, but it’s quite expensive, especially if you want it done well. If it was at cost, it could be just a few dollars, which would greatly improve morale around the workplace…

pictures of Halloween costumes

Here’s a quick post showing a few Halloween costumes I’ve come across.

This is creative.
I suppose this is creative, but WHY?
This is a good attempt at Optimus Prime, but a reminder of the “uncanny valley”, that as you get closer to reality, it can appear further away. It also shows how DIY costumes are often harder to pull off than you might expect. And to be fair, the costume would work a lot better if he had his helmet on.
Here’s an example in the opposite direction — this is less realistic, but it looks better because you aren’t comparing it to reality.
Their expression says it all. (And that is one sad clown!)
This is kinda neat, although we can’t tell how the person is able to see.
Let’s end on a high note — this is a well-done costume! This is in the style of a 1983 Topps baseball card, but 3D.

(To see more funny pictures, click on the “Funny Pictures” category in the sidebar.)