I was talking with my mother-in-law, whom I love dearly, this week about Christmas. She had been busy baking her traditional Christmas cookies. When she saw that I was not enthusiastic about her project she began to defend herself. “But its Christmas” and “I made Jan’s favorites.” And “You have to let him have a little.”
First of all I do not tell my husband what he can and cannot eat. He has read enough of my articles and the articles I share with you from other sources to know what is good for him and what isn’t. I also know that he doesn’t make poor choices behind my back; he does it in front of my face. He does not miss the sweets on a daily basis, but if they are available he will not abstain from them. In that way he is like a child, as we all are at times.
Her comments got me thinking about what is Christmas, and how do we celebrate it. Many Americans think of snow, a warm fire, a highly decorated tree, presents, and lots of rich foods to eat when they hear the word Christmas. Kids mainly think of Santa Claus and presents. Being a melting pot of cultures there are wide variations from house to house at Christmas time. Some things remain fairly constant. They are the gathering of friends and family, plenty of food, and gifts for excited children. When we don’t have these things we tend to get depressed and actually mourn for what we are ‘missing’. In fact depression is at an all time high between Thanksgiving and New Years. Let’s take a look at that.
In many households the Thanksgiving meal and the Christmas Dinner are almost carbon copies of each other. There is the traditional turkey, accompanied by lots of starchy and sugary foods. Sometimes the turkey is replaced by a ham or pork roast. The accompaniments typically consist of mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, dressing or stuffing, cranberry sauce, pickles, olives, cookies, cakes and pies. Do you see a pattern here?
The meat portion is not problematic unless it is conventionally raised. Then it is full of antibiotics, pesticides and hormones. This combination attacks your immune system and makes you more vulnerable to illness or infection. Mashed potatoes are good, if they are made from whole organic potatoes, organic (preferably raw) milk and butter. If they are instant potatoes your body will see it as if you had eaten that much white table sugar. This is because of the processing of the potatoes, including the small size of the particles. Another problem is that there are people who are sensitive to nightshades, which is the plant family the potatoes come from. These people will wake up the next morning feeling like a bus has run over them as a chemical in the plant ignites all sources of inflammation in their bodies.
Sweet Potatoes are also a healthy base, but it is what we do to them that make them questionable. We usually add brown sugar, cinnamon and marshmallows to them to make them almost as sweet as the pumpkin pie we will have later on. Most brown sugar is simply white sugar that has had some molasses added back to it. Sometimes it isn’t even molasses, but a chemical substitute. Cinnamon has many good uses for our bodies; it helps with controlling blood sugar levels. With all the starch and sugar in this meal we will need it. Marshmallows are basically whipped sugar held together in a shape. It retains little of the benefits of the marshmallow plant.
Traditional dressing or stuffing has evolved to cubes of white bread that has been dried and remoistened with chicken bouillon or stock. If you are fortunate it may have some onions, celery and garlic added. Typically it is very salty, with a touch of spices such as oregano and sage. If you have read other articles you will know that I feel white bread has no redeeming food value. From the body’s standpoint it is similar to eating a bowl of sugar.
Cranberries are a super fruit. They are packed full of antioxidants. If you were eating fresh, raw, organically grown cranberries you would be doing your body a wonderful favor, but is that what is put on the holiday table? The typical cranberry sauce comes out of a can. Sometimes it has chunks of cranberries, but many times it is a smooth gelatin consistency. The sugar content in these cans negate any benefits from the antioxidants. The cooking and canning process has also destroyed them all before it ever gets to your plate. A dollop of cranberry flavored jelly would be just as healthy.
Pickles are typically either sweet or dill. Both contain a lot of salt, as do the olives. The olives have an advantage because the base plant is extremely healthy; it is all in how they are processed. Many people shy away from the olives because of their fat content, but remember that it is one of the healthiest fats we have available in our world today. The downside is the salt content, which can leave many people feeling bloated and uncomfortable. Those with heart problems have been told to avoid them, for good reason.
Now we come to the desserts. Most of them are chock full of white flour, white sugar, artificial colors and sometimes artificial flavors. All these things are detrimental to good health. There are healthier versions but many people don’t take the time and effort needed to investigate them. Others are so grounded in tradition that even though they know they are lovingly serving their family poisons they continue to do so.
So now that I have taken all the joy out of the Christmas dinner what’s a body to do?
First of all remember what Christmas is really all about. For the Christian it is the celebration of our Savior’s birth. For those that don’t know Christ it is a celebration of friends and family. That is what we need to focus on. In relationships comes compromise. Sometimes you eat foods you wouldn’t normally eat so as not to offend someone you care about. Sometimes you eat them because they are there and they look so good. Sometimes you eat them because you always have and habit is stronger than the new learning you have acquired.
There are two key factors to consider when choosing to eat the food in front of you.
First is not to stress over it. Stress is harder on your body than all the refined white sugar and floor combined. Stressing about the foods you are eating floods your body with harmful chemicals that takes days for your body to filter out. The relationships around the table are more important than what is on the table.
Secondly, give your body the ammunition it needs to take care of itself under the onslaught.
What do I mean by this?
For me I use Sterol Max on an empty stomach to boost my immune system, then again at the meal to block the cholesterol I am eating. I use also use Plant Enzymes with every meal and large snack to make sure I can digest it quickly and not add stress to my system. I make sure I am getting my Complete Vitamins Plus because I know that even though I am getting plenty of calories the nutritional value is questionable. I also make sure I am getting my Metabolic Complete to make sure I am getting the antioxidants I need to stay healthy. Because here in Oregon there isn’t an awful lot of sunshine during the winter I also make sure I am getting my Wellgenix D3-Genix to keep my vitamin D levels up throughout the winter. In this way I know my body will have the essentials needed to fight off any effects of the food I am eating. Beyond that I simply try to make the best choices I can from the food that is available. In this way I can relax and concentrate on building relationships with the people around me.
If you don’t have a lot of friends and family around this holiday season seek out some new friends. A community center, a church or other house of worship is a good place to start. If you are fortunate enough to have a home then look for people that are hungering for friendship and invite them to come and share your holiday meal with you. Christmas is not the time to isolate yourself and live only with your memories. I believe one man that did that was named Ebeneezer Scrooge.
Wholistic Skin and Body Rejuvenation Level One Certificated Course Material by Gloria E. Gilbere, N.D, D.A.Hom., Ph.D, Wholistic Rejuvenist, copyrighted 2008 by Gloria E. Gilbere, LLC.
Invisible Illnesses by Gloria Gilbere, N.D., D.A. Hom., Ph.D., copyrighted 2nd edition 2005, 2002 by Gloria Gilbere, N.D., D.A. Hom., Ph.D
Never Be Sick Again by Raymond Francis, M.Sc. with Kester Cotton copyright 2002 by Raymond Francis published by Health Communications, Inc.
Natural Cures ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About by Kevin Trudeau copyright 2004 by Kevin Trudeau published by Alliance Publishing Group Inc.