Reality Check: Christmas Food
Since I didn’t do a menu plan for the last couple of weeks, I can’t really tell you how closely I followed it. (Would it count as 100%? or 0%?) Instead I’m going to give you some of the highlights of yummy food, healthy food and meh food that we ate over our Christmas celebrations.
*Shrimp: High in zinc and selenium, and one of many seafoods that I’d like to figure out how to get into my diet on more regular basis. Conveniently, shrimp also ranks high on the yummy list. (I’m sure the cocktail sauce I was eating with the shrimp was less than healthy, but it least had a healthy dose of horseradish. Kapow!)
*Grapefruit: I normally dislike grapefruit rather strongly, but deciding to add a bit of fruit to my plate was a surprisingly good desicion, as the grapefruit was some of the best I’ve ever eaten, and I even went back for seconds!
*Oranges and clementines: These were a good (frequently available) option for adding some fruit to the rich, celebratory foods on my plate.
*Ham sandwich: This probably doesn’t strictly belong in the meh category, but it’s worth noting that I skipped eating a sandwich at one of the Christmas celebrations. I normally enjoy sandwiches, but I decided the best strategy was to focus on eating the special foods I would enjoy the most, even if that meant skipping the official main course, and a food that’s good in its own right.
*Most Christmas cookies: There are a few exceptions, such as reindeer droppings (technically a candy, made from white chocolate and crushed candy canes), salted caramel pretzel bark, and kiflis, but in general I skip the sweet Christmas treats, as I rarely find them worth it.
*Artichoke dip, salmon dip and other dips: These were some of my favorite foods I ate over the Christmas celebrations this year (and most of them would qualify as mostly healthy, though–true confessions–I was generally eating them with white flour processed crackers). I made a homemade artichoke dip with mayo, sour cream, lemon juice, salt, onion powder and a dash of cayenne that I took to two different Christmas parties. I also really enjoyed a salmon dip from Costco that my husband’s family contributed to two different Christmas parties we were both at.
*Raspberry jam with havarti cheese: There were several good (aged) cheeses that I experienced over Christmas, but the raspberry jam that was paired with havarti stole the show.
*Kringle: A Danish pastry which is a Christmas tradition handed down from my sister’s husband’s family, and is one of the few Christmas sweets worth eating. The walnut ones are my favorite, but interspersing a few pieces of fruit Kringle into the mix is also amazing. (It’s even better when you have Kringle, sausage links and coffee. One amazing Christmas brunch!)
After our Christmas celebrations were over, my husband and I were both feeling the results of having eaten a lot of amazing, but very rich, food for most of a week. Our first thought was that we needed salad, but after brief contemplation realized that what we really both wanted was fruit and tomato (specifically sandwiches with tomato and lettuce). We ate quite a few sandwiches the week after Christmas using nitrate free turkey lunchmeat, quasi whole wheat bread (the storebought bread that’s like a cross between white and whole wheat), cheddar cheese, tomato and iceberg lettuce.
Our breakfasts for the week were mostly oranges and bananas.
We also ate a few leftovers such as mashed potatoes and kielbasa (which I ate with a ton of homemade sauerkraut and some homemade ketchup) and a couple of frozen pizzas.