I spent Thanksgiving Day with family and was a bit disappointed that my sister-in-law Barbara didn’t make her famous bean pie. I could eat bean pie every day. It’s got beans in it so it has to be healthy, right?
The holiday season officially started on Thanksgiving Day. For many of us that represents a month of eating. Unfortunately, for most of us, there will be a month of handwringing and feeling guilty about what we ate. We’ve spent most of the year in a quest to “be good” and to do the right thing with our diets. I’ve made an effort to cut down on bread (except pizza), increase my lean meat intake and finding ways to include avocados in my diet.
However, within the 30 days several things are going to happen to both you and me. We’re going to pack up and visit family. While hanging with your sister in the City of Brotherly Love, you’re going to indulge in a messy, juicy, Philly Cheesesteak with melted cheese on a fresh fluffy roll. Or you will get invited to the Sunday brunch by friends. There will be an obligatory holiday party given by the boss. The boss’ husband inevitably will be a chef and there will be the social pressure sampling all the delectable sauces, cheese balls and desserts. Resistance will be futile.
They have a saying in California, “Ignore your health and it will go away.” It’s an interesting contradiction. We think we shouldn’t have that piece of Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie with our best friend. But life is short. We rationalize to ourselves, “I could get hit by a bus tomorrow.” And if we go crazy and eat everything that’s put in front of us, life will be short.
We tell ourselves we will get back on course after Christmas, Hanukah, and Kwanzaa (okay, that’s what I tell myself. I’m sure it’s just me). To all of that I say, let’s give ourselves a break. Food, beverage, family and friendship go hand-in-hand. We are social beings. Food is a part of our social nature. Many of our best memories involve time spent with those we love while eating.
You should choose wisely and moderation is the key. I’ve decided if I’m going to indulge, it needs to be “worth it.” Feel free to indulge in the apple strudel cheesecake over lunch with your BFF. However, you may want to pass on the sugar cookies that have been sitting at the break station for the past two days.
BGCA is helping families across America by hosting the Third Annual Triple Play Fit Family Challenge. Hundreds of Club families have been participating in fitness and nutritional activities while spending quality time together through the holiday season. Five deserving families will win a trip to Los Angeles and spend time with Jackie Joyner-Kersee in January. The Triple Play Fit Family Challenge is designed to help families practice smart nutrition, become more physically active and to spend quality time with each other.
Wayne B. Moss is BGCA's senior director of Sports, Fitness and Recreation.
We debated mightily about if the holidays were the best time to conduct the Fit Family Challenge. In the end, we all concluded this was an opportunity to support families during the season. We’re seeing impressive stories coming from around the country about families spending healthy time together.
And since family time is always a special time ... I’m looking forward to Barbara’s bean pie at the Kwanzaa celebration.