11.03.2010

Food for thought...or not?

It is officially November, which means the holiday season is nearly upon us and it is once again diabetes awareness month. This time of year is full of family gatherings, holiday parties, and of course, lots and lots of delicious food. Most of us look forward to this time of year because it gives us the excuse to eat anything and everything because, why not? The holidays only come once a year, and besides, you’ll work off all of those extra pieces of pie and helpings of stuffing come January when you begin your New Years resolution.

But when is enough, enough? Most of us have high intentions to “be healthy” and we do great for that first month, but somehow find ourselves eventually falling back into our old routine. This month is Diabetes Awareness month. One of the leading risk factors for developing diabetes is obesity, and with all the extra eating that we do at this time of year, gaining a few extra pounds is definitely on the radar. I was shocked when I looked at the statistics today and found that 24 million Americans are already suffering from diabetes, and if we continue the generally unhealthy trend that this country is on, 1 in 3 of our children will develop diabetes in their lifetime. Pretty intimidating if you ask me.

And then I got to thinking, what if we nipped the whole binge season in the bud before it even started? What if “food for thought” meant that we thought about the food we eat before we put it in our mouths? There are so many healthy (and delicious) holiday recipes to try. Last year, I convinced my family to let me make the stuffing for Thanksgiving because I wanted to try a little experiment to see if they could tell it was a healthier version. To my delight, they had no idea- and I even got compliments on the flavoring (because of all of the seasoning I used as a replacement for the butter!)

So I challenge you- what replacements can you bring to your holiday celebrations that will help prevent those extra pounds—and diabetes risks—from creeping on? I guarantee that if you plan ahead now to be healthier this holiday season, you’ll feel much more confident come January. You probably wont even need to make a New Years resolution (besides maybe saving up that extra cash for a spring break in March when you become absolutely sick of the cold weather). Bonus: imagine how good you’ll look in your swimsuit?!