The Holidays. The time of year when many people start to stress about eating.

What should be an enjoyable experience has become a problems for far too many people. And there is no shortage of meddlesome butt-in-skis who want to tell everyone else how they should eat. Talk about your Scrooges! Bah humbug to all these types, I say.

My holiday eating guidelines are very simple; eat whatever you like at parties and family get-togethers. No rules, just right, to steal some company’s advertising slogan.

And please, if you are going to bake don’t embarrass yourself and insult your guests by following any of the depressing alternative, low-fat recipes. Nothing steams my onions more than biting into a brownie that’s been made with low-fat sour cream or some other egregious, ersatz ingredient. Try an experiment; make a plate of real brownies and another of low-fat brownies, label them accordingly and see what happens. You know what happens, admit it.

And Santa knows if you dishonestly substitute these odious ingredients into your baked goods, and will deliver a healthy lump of coal into your stocking if you do so. Even you non-gentiles.

I am on record as saying the Holidays are the wrong time, the worst time, to try and make a change to your eating habits, and that food avoidance is a losing philosophy for both the fit and unfit. I don’t care if it’s this time of year or the summertime cookout season, you shouldn’t try to make a change to your eating habits when the opportunities for great eating are plenty.

Trying to prove that you have willpower by changing your diet during this time of year is foolhardy, and is like an alcoholic going to a liquor convention. For all of the types who say to me, “But Sal, you don’t have to worry about what you eat, so it’s easy for you to say!” I say, “I take care of business for the vast majority of the year so I am going to eat, and eat a lot, of the seasonal stuff that I like.” And actually, I do have sympathy and rachmones for those folks who struggle with what they eat, which is why I advise NOT to try to make changes now.

Wait ’til it gets a little easier.

But at the same time, I’m not going to be a nutritional goody-two-shoes and not eat what I like because of what other people say or can’t eat. Christmas cookies and pumpkin pie and eggnog and other holiday delicacies only come around once a year; enjoy them.

So if you are the New Year’s Resolution type, another tradition that I dislike, wait until January 1, 2012. Get it out of your system and enjoy the next month or so; eat, drink and be merry knowing that in 30 days you will be making changes.


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