Recently I had the fortune of arriving at my Aunt Mary’s house, and found that she had made my favorite Rum Cake for dessert. My mouth watered as the flashbacks of eating that wonderful cake began to return to memory. It was warm, light on the inside, and crunchy on the outside and rich with rum flavor! Before I had my coat off, I thought it wouldn’t be that bad just this once, to have not just one, but two slices of the cake when it was served. The anticipation was building!
Thank goodness I had a little time before I actually would execute my plan. I began to weigh the “consequences” of what I was about to do; pros and cons. My professional wisdom began to fill my brain, letting me know for sure that I was violating some significant long-term practices of mine. But, my other side also reasoned with the thought that; “Well, how often do I get to have the rum cake, and, maybe Aunt Mary will even stop making it one of these days?” After all, what is a holiday without this warm and wonderful cake?
Situations like this happen every day during the holidays for ALL of us! Making hard and fast rules probably will not work out in reality. After all, people try to do the best they can, and sometimes they just get tripped up; in memories of other holidays, and such. In fact, we all have our side that requires good adult reason, and the other side that says, “but, it is just so GOOD!”
My advice, if any, for myself and others, is not to go with a plan. But rather, deal with situations as they come up. Measure your decisions by these questions:
- When did I last have that item?
- Is it really “worth” eating given the caloric outlay?
- Is the product fresh and of high quality?
- Where does it fit in my day, as a breakfast, snack, lunch, or dinner?
- Can I compensate for eating now and sacrifice a little later in the day?
There are no real, hard and fast rules to the “eating game.” So, think at the moment, think on your feet, and you will win the challenge every time.
So, what did I end up doing with the delicious Rum Cake? I ate only one slice. The company was delightful, the roast beef and Yorkshire pudding was outstanding. And, at the end, I only had room for one slice! Enjoy the holidays, each and every day, and each and every meal.
Looking for more healthy holiday eating tips? Set up a consultation with our Registered Dietitian!
By Rita Larsen, RD, CD; Elite Sports Clubs Dietitian and Nutrition Counselor