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Home for the holidays and fortunate

Henry Kliebenstein
For the health of it

I would like to take a break from the food guide pyramid today and get on my proverbial soapbox, as I do periodically, and share something with you from my heart instead of from my reference books. For those of you who have been perched on the edge of your seat counting the days left for the last installment of my pyramid series, I humbly apologize.

Christmas is right around the corner and with it comes the usual holiday stress of what to get Aunt Mabel and Uncle Harry, squeezing in the office parties and how to keep your figure from bulging like the Christmas packages you’re trying to wrap. I happened to see one of our so-called experts (and I use this term loosely) on the tube talking to a program host and sharing ways to keep the pounds off this year.

One of the most absurd things she recommended for your parties was to take one bite of an appetizer and throw the rest away. Are you kidding me? Only in America! Can you imagine how bad your host would feel cleaning up after the party to find most of the food that he or she spent hours preparing in the trash. Instead, try this: Eat what you want and then work out extra hard the next day. It’s the holidays and you should enjoy yourselves ” just don’t overdo it.

As I have said many times over the years, moderation is the key.

In a current world where top news stories are about mergers and acquisitions, war, and who in Hollywood is dating who, this is a great opportunity to take a step back and reflect for a moment on just what Christmas really is. Yes, we all love to think about Santa and presents, and we all spend way too much hard-earned money on our loved ones, though it warms our hearts when the gifts are opened and we observe a happy smile on their faces. The season is about giving ” but are we doing it right?

Our western religion tells us the story of God giving his only son born on Christmas day so that man may be saved through this most generous gift. Now there’s a Christmas gift. I think we tend to forget that this is what the holiday is all about.

I would like to suggest something for each one of us this year: to go one step further and send a few dollars to a shelter that feeds the homeless. Think how good we would all feel knowing that $20 gave a homeless person a hot meal and a warm blanket for a night. Even though we are all stressed about finances at one time or another in our lives, imagine if you were living in a cardboard box on the street, and never knew from one day to the next where your next meal would come from.

These people are homeless for many reasons and have had terrible things happen to them in their lives that drove them to their fate. There are families who, through no fault of their own, lost everything and have nowhere to turn for help. You have the power to make a difference and a few dollars is all it will take.

I wish you all a very warm and merry Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year.

Stay hydrated and I’ll see you next week, when we will talk about the last step of our new healthy food guide pyramid.


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