Season’s eating

The holiday season has always been a special time for me. In fact, I can remember going to the lighting of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller when maybe just 100 people were there to watch. (This confession should cue you into how old I am.)

It happened just as it got dark and there was no media coverage. Just a lit tree to help bring in the season.

Now it’s a national spectacle that disrupts my practice and all of mid-town Manhattan businesses for weeks.

I’m not trying to be a Scrooge. I just hate it when over-the-top-commerce strips the true meaning away from our traditions.

And in case you haven’t noticed, this is what has happened with the entire holiday season when it comes to eating.

You’ve probably already heard the statistics. The average American will gain 10 pounds from Thanksgiving to New Years. And the percentage that will take that off is quite low.

To me, the holidays are always a time to see friends and family. We get to have some time off from work to relax, and maybe even to travel a bit to see people who we don’t normally get to see.

But whatever holiday you celebrate–even if it’s none–just keep in mind that it’s harder to take off those 10 pounds than it is to put them on.

Yes, we all have traditional family foods. In my family, we serve up seven dish courses for a traditional Italian Christmas Eve feast. But they all don’t have to be filled with pasta. And we don’t need five different desserts to follow it, either.

If you’re going to indulge, please make each meal a true celebration. Eat a little of what isn’t healthy and eat more of what is. Take just a little of the breads or the pastas and more of the proteins and the vegetables. Take just a bite of each dessert.

And let’s not forget about the endless rounds of parties. No problem. Eat before you go–especially if you know there will be absolutely nothing that you think is healthy to eat.

Or simply eat from the cheese plate, eat something off the cracker, or out of the pastry shell. There are many ways to skin this cat and still have a good time.

Follow my New Hamptons Health Miracle. And use the recipes. Take a covered dish to a dinner party. ‘Tis the season and the more the merrier. (Though you may want to check with the host or the hostess first so as not to commit a faux pas.)

Better yet, take control and invite everyone to your home. You don’t’ have to cook what you’ve had at every holiday meal since you were five years old. Make the unexpected and make it delicious. It’ll be a holiday bash that everyone will talk about until next year.