Use Common Sense To Make Your Holidays Healthier

English: Pumpkin pie with whipped cream

In this day of Biochemical dietary hazards, it is ‘Buyer Beware’!

Here’s a quiz. You’re having pumpkin pie and you need whipped cream. You don’t have time to make real whipped cream. Do you buy a can of whipped cream, or Cool Whip Lite? Cool Whip Lite is recommended by South Beach Diet, so that must be the right choice, right?

Let’s read the labels –

Cool Whip Lite
Calories 20 From Fat – 10
Saturated Fat – 1 g 5% 0 trans fat
Total carb – 3 g 1%
Sugars – 1 g

Water, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated vegetable oil, less than two percent of sodium caseimate (from milk), natural and artificial flavor, modified food starch, xanthan and guar gums, polysorbate 60, sorbitan monostearate, sodium polyphosphates, beta carotene (for color)

Readi-Whip – Regular
Calories 15 From Fat 10
Saturated Fat – .5g 3% 0 trans fat
Total carb – less than 1g 0%
Sugars less than 1 g

Cream, non-fat milk, corn syrup, sugar, mono and diglycerides, natural and artificial flavors, carrageenan, propellant, nitrous oxide

The right choice is a no-brainer, right? Don’t be fooled by hype and false claims on the front labels.

One more bit of Common Sense

You don’t have to not eat the holiday goodies – you just need to eat them responsibly. Just a couple of cookies. And then make sure that you are balancing the bad eating with plenty of healthy eating – you know, vegetables, fruits… Real Foods. Skip the packaged and fast foods as much as possible. You’re not at parties all of the time.

Eat Well!


Christmas of discontent

candlelit Christmas tree

There is something different going on this year.

Black Friday Sales were down. I haven’t seen a report on Cyber Monday yet. Many people attribute that to the fact that stores were open on Thanksgiving, that Christmas sales start earlier, and last into Christmas. It goes on forever now, doesn’t it? It’s not special anymore.

I know in my family and circle of friends, that people are tired of the whole spend a fortune on gifts practice. We all have enough stuff. We want to get rid of stuff, not get more.

Stuff doesn’t hold us the way it used to. There is so much – its not special anymore.

But when we were sitting down to our Thanksgiving Dinner – there was a beautiful sunset over the lake. It was coral, and purple, and gold. Everyone stopped to look. The young adults ran out to take pictures to try and capture it – because it was special.

I think we are yearning for getting back to the things that really take our breath away. Things that make us smile, or make us feel love.

Why are pictures of dogs, cats, nature and babies so popular? They make us feel.

Instead of looking at the Christmas tree and noticing only the thousands of dollars of presents underneath – we want to see and feel the magic of the Christmas tree.

I find that when I look at the sale papers, I’m bored. Its just not inspiring anymore. The gift card craze makes sense. No one can buy me a sweater or jeans that fit perfectly. Only I can buy that.

My daughter is very hard to buy for. Easier now that she is setting up house…I got her the 2 in 1 coffeemaker for her birthday. Now she can make her single cups in the morning, and she still can make a pot of coffee on weekends or when company comes over. And she can use her own coffee instead of spending a fortune on the cups that don’t even make a full cup of coffee. She can buy Starbucks coffee and still be saving a lot of money.  She says it is awesome!

Now I have no clue what to get her for Christmas :(

One side of my family has opted for no gifts. We will still get together and share good food and good company – the real gifts of the season.

Remember how much fun it used to be to get lots of Christmas cards and hang them up? Not many people send cards anymore…

Maybe its just age.

My daughter is celebrating her first Christmas as an adult living on her own. She is having great fun buying ornaments and presents. For her it is new and special.

Or maybe its that we have strayed so far from what the season is supposed to be about, we’ve forgotten how we should feel.

English: Angels lit up at night over the Chris...

How do you celebrate with angels?

How do you feel the power and the magic of it all?

And how do we get  back to the place where our gifts are born of love instead of obligatory spending?

How can we spend hundreds on needless gifts when people in our neighborhoods are hungry?

Wikipedia is doing their annual fundraiser. They state that if everyone gave just $3, the fundraiser would be over in an hour.

If we all tithed like we are supposed to, there would be no hunger. God says that if we do, our warehouses would be overflowing. But we don’t believe him. Isn’t that a sad statement?

Maybe if the malls are emptier, the churches will be fuller? I think a lot of people are searching for something this year.

I have lots of questions this Christmas season, and not many answers.

How about you? Are you going through Christmas discontent?

Timing the Turkey

English: Oven roasted turkey, common fare for ...

The biggest question on Thanksgiving day, is how to get dinner on the table at the right time! What time do you have to get up? What time does the turkey need to be in the oven?

I have dinner at around 5. I know the turkey needs to come out of the oven at 4:15 ish…It has to sit for 20 minutes before it can be cut, and allow 10-16 minutes for cutting. The other dishes that need to be finished off in the oven can go in at that time.

The biggest turkey I could find this year is just about 21 lbs. 21 lbs. x 15 minutes per pound /60  is 5.25 hours. So figure I need the turkey in by 11 am.

I need a half hour just to wake up and be sort of functioning. I allow an hour for washing the turkey, stuffing it and getting it all buttered up and ready. It doesn’t have to take that long, but I allow it, just in case… so I have to be up by 9:30.

If your dinner is at 3, you would have to be up by 7:30.

If the rest of your dinner takes more time than the turkey, you are working way too hard!

There you have it!

Find recipes for traditional Thanksgiving Dinner here

Get the whole book – Dance Through Thanksgiving  including the entire blow by blow Thanksgiving day plan

How to get the house clean and ready

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Free Thanksgiving Planner

dancingsmWell guys, it is here. The Thanksgiving Dash. 2 weeks until Thanksgiving. A little over 6 weeks til Christmas. But I can make Thanksgiving easier with the free Thanksgiving planner – How to Dance Through Thanksgiving.

You’ll get a full keep your sanity plan -

  • Things to buy now
  • Inventory and planning
  • Cleaning schedule
  • Menu plan
  • Step-by-step dinner plan

I’ve been doing this for a lot of years, and I’ve got it down to a science!

Download the Thanksgiving Planning Guide here. (right click and save as)