Can Your Body Survive the Holidays?

I recently read an article in the Oct. 2020 Ensign magazine called, "Stop Making 'Dead Man's Goals'" by Eliza Broadbent. Apparently, Dead Man's Goals is a term psychologists use to describe things we do in trying to break a bad habit that even a dead person could do, like give up sugar. Dead people don't eat sugar. The idea is, you need to replace the bad habit with something positive and proactive. If you just try to quit doing something, you leave a void that is going to be filled with something, and chances are, it will be your old habit or something equally bad, or even worse.


There's a saying I like, which I might have used before, but I think it's by Earl Nightingale, and it says, "Evil is no match for good if good is active, but if good is not active, evil is automatic." Like weeds in your garden, you don't have to put any effort into bad habits, but good ones take conscious effort.


My pattern over the years has been to put on ten pounds over the holidays and only lose five of it in the the new year. Do the math. Not good. But no matter how resolute I am in the new year, and how disgusted I am with myself, as soon as my birthday hits in mid-January, I'm off the wagon. Then there's Valentine's, Spring Break, Easter, Mother's Day, family reunions... You get the picture. There always something, and I'm a social eater.


So, my take-away from this article I read was to have good, healthy snacks available that I could grab instead of the chocolate, sugar and chips. Nothing ground breaking, I realize, I've heard that before, but never followed through and actually came up with a plan. This time I thought about healthy things I like to snack on, and put them into the little snack size bags.


Is that really necessary? Why not just grab a handful of baby carrots or almonds? Why waste snack bags? For me, there's something about the convenience of having it already portioned out and easy to grab that makes it more feasible that I'll choose the healthy over the fast and easy unhealthy.


Some of the combinations I came up with are raisins and almonds; carrots and peppers or celery; dried mangoes and almonds; apple slices with cinnamon; and popcorn popped in coconut oil with sea salt. What do you like? Come up with your own combinations, but the key is to prepare them ahead of time. If it's a choice between that macadamia nut cluster with chocolate and caramel, or having to cut up a bunch of veggies, the nut cluster will win every time.


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