Nutritional rules are declared null and void

In case you missed the pronouncement, let me give you the official word. As of Dec. 1 and through at least Jan. 4, all nutritional rules and regulations have been temporarily declared null and void.

I spent one brief portion of one Christmas vacation, perhaps 12 or 13 years ago, trying to get my children to sustain some form of culinary normalcy during this season, with vegetables and regular meals and a minimum of sweets.

Unfortunately, as I dished up their fare, I generally had a mouth full of fudge, which tended to send them very confusing signals.

Shortly thereafter, I realized that I had spent every pre- and post-Christmas of my life munching on goodies and I still have all my teeth. Hence, I threw up my hands and surrendered to perhaps the greatest joy of the season. My eyes may be wide with a permanent sugar buzz but I am armed and ready for the cookie exchange. From the first office party, to the final plate of cookies delivered by generous friends, I may be able to avoid going near the stove completely. Now that’s a holiday, baby.

Come on, now. Don’t look so horrified. I believe we need to take a closer look at the nutritional content of our steady diet this time of year.

The nightly shopping runs may have to include some fast food, since time is sparse. From there, we all know that leftover pizza for breakfast has produced a host of Phi Beta Kappa’s, so you can’t go wrong with that.

Somewhere in the day, we may consume several healthy, fiber-filled servings of nuts, surrounded by chocolate maybe, but nuts just the same. And don’t forget we have gotten at least an apple a day in all the mulled cider we are downing.

That cold cuts platter was downright slimming and I’m confident I got plenty of greens in that yummy zucchini bread. Can anyone truly question that six or eight oatmeal cookies are as good as a bowl of hot porridge? If you slip in some raisins or cranberries, you’ve got those servings of fruit completely taken care of.

Although our grazing has included enough butter and sugar to seal our veins completely shut, there was protein-filled hardboiled egg around that cream cheese and there had to be some in the caviar that topped it all. I also see a ton of vitamins in that shrimp cocktail sauce and that bowl of salsa.

Wait. I believe I actually drank some milk with several of my cookies. Now that does a body good, eh? And if you missed your calcium in that, just double up on the egg nog.

We won’t be so silly as to defend New Year’s Eve champagne as a source of nutrition, but throw a little orange juice in there and, voila, a mimosa with your daily dose of vitamin C.

Richard Simmons, eat your heart out. No wait. That’s us. Well, OK, Richard. Just get back to me next week when I have to doff my sweat pants and try to buckle a belt again. Right now I submit that man cannot live by shortbread alone, but I’m willing to try.

Jean Gillette is a freelance writer and happy holiday snacker. You can contact her at jgillette@coastnewsgroup.

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