It’s Christmas Eve! I’m spending my much-needed family time in the deep south. Tejas!
Growing up in such a rich (literally) Hispanic-centered foodie capital has had its thumbs ups and downs.
For example, it took going to college (and living alone!) to realize the meaning of portion control.
In a family of 6, with 4 men, making calabaza con pollo for anything less than 10 people was considered a joke (and still is).
Honestly, Paula Deen could sit and take notes from my grandmother on the proper uses of various lards, fats and butters. At least, she could have – before grandma jumped on my healthy train (and the doctor’s orders set in).
We, as a culture (and I truly hope you don’t find this offensive or rude – it’s matter of opinion but usually a rule) loooooove our fats.
Making tamales? NEED LARD. If you didn’t know – that’s why they’re so delicious. Oh, and they get a sprinkle of magic, too.
Calabaza con Pollo? Extra oil, please.
Wedding cookies? Lard AND Butter. Double check, check!
According to the Office of Minority Health, Hispanics are almost twice as likely to develop diabetes over the non-Hispanic communities. The CDC reports that over a third of the Latinos surveyed have high blood pressure and are not treating it.
Why the hell not, right?
Because we, as a population, tend to fore-go doctor’s office visits when informed of a possible health threat. That is…if a Hispanic bothers to get to a physician in time to be diagnosed and receive treatment.
So you see, attending college was a huge step forward for me – both educationally and health-wise.
I needed to get away to learn how not to feed my body.
Don’t start hating on me right away.
I am a devout foodie and realized (almost instantly) that I simply couldn’t function without my favorite foods from home.
Step one – learn how to fix recipes for a single person.
Step two – don’t revert to cooking for a family of 6 and think “It’s ok, I’ll keep it for leftovers.”
Leftovers with gigantonormous portions are such a terrible idea! Self-control has left the building.
Thankfully, I finally figured out portions and working out. It took a long damn time – but I figured it out. The boyfran and I fell into step with fitness and are loving it. [sidenote: he’s out cycling right now while I post this…laaaazy Sarah]
Collectively, we have lost 60 pounds in the past 7 months. Between rock climbing, running and the occasional What-a-Burger (just about the best burger you’ll ever have) – we are fittin’ it!
With all this fitness going on, we can come home for the holidays and realize that [despite the fact I purposefully do not own a 20 qt pot so I do not “decide” to make tamales for the pair of us] we do not need to inhale every ounce of food placed in front of us. Honestly, that’s how he gained 50 and I gained 35 pounds the first summer back from our freshman year. Oh, hell yes we did! And, it’s horrifying to look back on those pictures.
We come home, eat a few faves and then make sure to go for a run or simply maintain our jean size. It’s too much hassle to worry about calories while we’re here in South Texas. In fact, it’s damn near impossible.
One tamale contains the same (if not more) calories than a McDonald’s Big Mac. How gross is that?
Instead…we eat what we want and hit the gym. Don’t see this as a reward system though! I fell into this trap once and the beau had to drag me the hell outta there!
Don’t tell yourself, “Oh, I can eat this fattening piece of scrumptiousness because I ran five miles.”
Eating it just threw your workout into wonk-mode and now you have to work out again.
No! You are not a dog. Eat to be fit, not fat.
Eating to support your foodie habit is one thing (because it’s in moderation and balanced), but eating to support donuts and heavy cream with a side of lard – not so smart. You could be a fitness freak with clogged arteries and simply drop dead, mid-run.
Be smart about the choices for your body. I promise, you’ll be happier (and healthier) for it.
Go enjoy your roast beast at your Christmas feast!
Tonight’s post will be all about the yummy foodles and antics that go on in our household. Family time is always an adventure, especially around the holidays. We’ve got screaming aunts, menudo pots on the floor, recipe-flinging and baking cakes without getting tripe in them.
All in a day’s work, while on vacation.
You’re gonna love it!