You know you’ve gone over board with the Christmas cheer when you have to pull tinsel out of your baby’s crack.
I don’t know how these things happen but they do. Penelope kept complaining about how her butt itched. I went to check it out and I found a shiny green piece of tinsel hanging out of her crack.
This pretty much symbolizes how things roll at our house during the season… an over abundance of Christmas goodness to the point of discomfort.
I’ve been trying to be extra diligent about trying to maintain a balance during this time of year. Throughout history my go to move has been to give up any semblance of health and just decide to give in to all of my indulgent needs. I always do this with the promise of getting back on track the day after Christmas… well, how about New Year’s Day… nope, nope I’ll do it when I have to go back to work on the 7th. The end date to this debauchery inevitably ends up getting pushed back, and in the meantime I end up wreaking havoc on my body and my self-esteem.
This year I’m on a mission to find a way to balance the good and the bad. The scale is tipping more toward naughty than nice but I’m still putting up a fight. Here is what this holiday is looking like health wise so far.
Parties and Get-Togethers:
I have had my fair share of parties recently. On top of that a few friends and I decided to throw a girls night out into the mix where we drank copious amounts of red wine…
These were my crossfit girls from way back in the day (pre-Penelope). So even though we were indulging in wine and chocolate cake we also discussed the health benefits of the kombucha drink our friend was making at home and selling from the trunk of her car.
I’m not even kidding… the “Boochie Momma” took us to her car to share her goods.
I came home with a bottle of her strawberry/raspberry kombucha. I tried it the next night as I relaxed in my jammies and found it quite delightful. The only other time I had tried kombucha was when I bought a bottle from whole foods. That version had chia seeds in it making it have a really slimy gross texture. (After a few glasses of wine I told the girls what it reminded me of… but I won’t share that here. You’re welcome.) However, it turns out that regular kombucha is quite nice… unless you put chia seeds in it. Don’t do that.
The next morning I was a bit hung over but I still made it to the gym where I met up with my long time frenemie…
I haven’t been able to work with a sled in a long time and felt like a warrior goddess by the time I got done with my work out. The awesome thing about being a slightly over weight 30-something mom is that people don’t expect you to be a bad ass. I’m new at my gym so when I walked passed the super buff patrons in the hardcore section of the gym, I couldn’t help but feel that they were giving me patronizing glances as I made my way to the sled.
A guy had just gotten done using it and he literally snorted at me when I doubled the weight he had been walking with. This pissed me off so I added more weight then took off running with it across the gym as fast as I could. My lungs were about to explode but it was a refreshing reminder of how strong I am… the Viking Princess was back.
Speaking of Vikings… I have a new show I’m kind of obsessed with. I don’t know if it’s my Scandinavian roots or Rathgar’s enchanting eyes but I’ve found myself sitting in my pajamas night after night consuming an episode every chance I get.
I tried to convince Brent to watch it with me. (I thought it could be our new Game of Thrones while we waited for the next season.) But I got too impatient and continued to watch it without him. The only problem with watching Medieval dramas is I feel like I need to join them when they drink wine from their goblets. Plus, there is just something about the way they devour greasy fire roasted meat that makes me want to buy a rotisserie chicken and eat it with my hands. (But I’m kind of a weirdo so I’m sure you won’t suffer from those side effects if you decide to watch it.)
During the weekends I tend to bake with the girls. There is just something about warming up your house with the heat of your oven and perfuming your kitchen with the sweets that you make with your little ones. So far my favorite treat is… Christmas Crack.
I’m talking about the buttery toffee like treat, not the tinsel that you pull out of your toddler’s ass (???) I’m going to attempt to share the recipe with you even though I just put that image in your head. (I am way too inappropriate to ever consider being a food blogger. Remember the
slutty street tacos I tried to share after a particularly painful spin class?)
Anyway, I love this treat because it’s cheap and easy. This makes it the perfect gift for teachers and neighbors because it’s tasty, it doesn’t take a lot of time or effort and doesn’t break the bank.
1 stick of butter
1 c. brown sugar (packed)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 sleeves of saltine crackers
2 C. chocolate chips
(You are only limited by your imagination.)
Directions: Preheat your oven at 350 degrees. Line 32-40 saltine crackers on a foil lined cookie sheet. (The amount depends on how big your sheet is.) In a sauce pan melt your butter and add brown sugar. Bring the two ingredients to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for three to five minutes, stirring constantly until it thickens and has a caramel like consistency. (Don’t Burn it!) Remove from heat mixture and stir in the vanilla. Pour it over the saltine crackers spread evenly and bake for 5 to 7 minutes. Once you take it out of the oven sprinkle the chocolate chips on top and let them melt. After a few minutes spread the chocolate out evenly. Then add whatever additional toppings you want.
After “taste testing” several pieces of Christmas Crack I tried to cook healthy things throughout the week. I was only partially successful.
I’ve been trying to balance all of the decadence with healthy home made treats but the closer Christmas comes the harder it gets. I conveniently forgot to take pictures of the take out pizza I ordered and those sugary lattes I’ve been drinking but I did manage to take pictures of some of the healthy goods I’ve made.
I went to my go to move of making Iowa Girl Eats Kale Chopped Salad with Maple-Almond Vinaigrette …
I also made Pinch of Yum’s Crockpot Chicken Wild Rice Soup…
I was so proud of myself when I chopped up the vibrant organic purple carrots that I had bought. But it turned the whole soup a weird lilac color. This was awesome until I had to reheat it for left overs. What was supposed to be creamy looking looked grey and weird. I ate it anyway because it was tasty and I used it as an opportunity to secretly pretended to be eating mush from a Charles Dicken’s novel.
I had also tried to make Ellie Krieger’s healthy green bean casserole…
It was so good!
In between the home cooked meals we ordered pizza, drank beer, slathered butter on bread and indulged in a few other unhealthy recipes found on pinterest.
We did this all for the sake of being festive. I blame society for my love handles… it’s my culture.
Now as the days creep even closer to the holidays I find myself caring about the nutrition content less and less. I’m this close to not giving a damn and saying, “Ah screw it! I’ll take care of the after math when Christmas is over!” But I’m not quite there yet.
In the meantime, I’m going to not stress over it and just enjoy this time with my family and friends. I’ll drink some hot chocolate, lifts some weights, eat some cookies, and go for runs. It’ll all work out in the end. Just don’t ask me for any pictures of me sporting my heinous before and after outfit any time soon.
*** What is your strategy for finding a healthy balance during the holidays?***