Thursday, December 12, 2013

Virile Holidays

More than just some...

And days later, I'm still digesting.

Now that the big (or double big) holiday is done, there's still little escape from the feasting opportunities. The prerequisite work related holiday parties (3 this week), the times to be social with pals (2 cocktail parties plus my annual "guys steak night without the spouses" I've done with 3 of friends every year for the past decade or more.) And let's not forget New Year's Eve. Cooking, socializing and nibbling that's more like grazing.Yup, even for someone like me who doesn't celebrate Christmas still gets overwhelmed by festivities and stress. It's festive eats, with stress related eating.    

Now granted, this is the time of year I see folks who I only see occasionally. many of them have never seen me in Streamlined form. Even those who have seen me still comment how great and different I look. The comments are now skewing away from "You're so skinny!!" to "Oh my god, you look like a football player!" *fumbling grope towards my chest and arms* 

But even with this ego stroke and my friends copping a feel, I still have bouts of doubt about my appearance. Bigger muscles means tighter clothes which means thoughts of weight gain, which leads to....yes...stress eating.

So, I am trying to continue my awareness when it comes to food intake now more than ever. After these years of Streamlined life, I tend to be more set in decent size meals and afternoon  snacks (usually a piece of fruit), but evenings can be dangerous. Add to that the holiday grazing and it can be very messy.

At this time of year you can find eight billion articles, blog posts and videos on trying to "eat right" during the holidays. But instead of looking for low-cal egg nog and only eating rice cakes, I have to just go with the more mindful eating ideas. I know I'm going to want to try certain holiday snacks and totally denying it will probably just make me have a binge attack at some point.

However, I also don't subscribe to "Oh, it's a special occasion" because, let's face it, you can justify that for just about anything. And with 5 events in one week, does that mean every meal is a special occasion? I don't think so. Yes, I'm the one who just brought in 5 lbs. of rugelach from my neighborhood oasis, Moishe's, for my staff party, but I didn't eat any. Why? because I can get them anytime! (They are good, though!).

So, unless there is amazing sweet or gooey homebaked something I must try (and even then only a few bites), I tend to stick to the cheese, nuts, fruit and olive plates at parties. A little salt, a little fat, a lotta fiber and protein. It keeps you going, it keeps you social and while it can still be a chore not to graze, it keeps you less on the sugar fueled binge attack mode. 

And these are my usual go to snacks. I was never a huge nut eater in my Retro Ska Librarian days, but now they perform a tasty duty in my diet. And there's certainly enough recent studies showing their health benefits.  

When I was in my more severe calorie counting stage, I kept pistachios on hand at all times. It was also easier to pour a bowl of unshelled pistachios and the extra bit of effort to eat them made it less likely I would just be mindlessly shoveling them in my mouth from the jar. In some ways it's like a little extra treat when you find one that you haven't unshelled and eaten. You can even fool yourself of the extra half a calorie you burned shelling them. 

And bonus! A recent study shows pistachios can improve erectile function parameters! Between increased testosterone from weight lifting and my pistachio intake, I'm should be leading a remarkably fulfilling social life!

And how YOU doin'?

Manly functionality aside, my goal is to get through this month and start 2014 at the same place I was 2013. Yet I know that's impossible, because my body is already so different. It took me a few years to get used to skinny Dan. Now I'm muscly Dan. Neither of those is what I was for 90% of my life. But I intend to ensure that I will not slip too far this holiday season, nor will I obsess needlessly over anything gained right now.

In fact, all those nuts should make me very popular this new year!

Streamlined Ska Librarianship is a lifetime commitment. Not a sloppy holiday slip. With or without nuts.


Aldemir, M., Okulu, E., Neşelioğlu, S., Erel, O., & Kay|[inodot]|gil, Ö. (2011). Pistachio diet improves erectile function parameters and serum lipid profiles in patients with erectile dysfunction. International Journal of Impotence Research, 23(1), 32–38. doi:10.1038/ijir.2010.33

Snacking Your Way to Better Health. (n.d.). Well. Retrieved December 9, 2013, from

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