Christmas Success

What a successful Christmas! I survived it. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year with all the traditions, Christmas carols, food, drink, friends and family. I decided this Christmas not to worry about my eating, drinking and working out. I decided that this week was going to be stressful enough without putting any added pressure on myself. I am going to enjoy some favorite foods and some wine.  And if I can work out and run, that will be an added bonus.

Christmas Eve is always a special time for me.  I look forward to this day all year long.  I can always count on my family being together for this festive evening.  This year I decided to  make a Camastro traditional Italian dinner.  We started out with appetizers from Viviano’s Market with salami, prosciutto, three different kinds of olives and an assortment of cheeses. We also had toasted ravioli with homemade meat sauce. The dinner was rovallini which is a breaded swiss steak simmered for several hours in a marinara sauce. We had mashed potatoes and Italian bread. Our vegetables were roasted brussell sprouts and peas. Both vegetables were sauteed in olive oil, garlic and onions. And my dinners are never complete without a tossed salad with olive oil and vinegar. Our dinner was accompanied by Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines. For dessert we had Bailey’s Irish cream liqueur, Christmas cookies and my favorite, peppermint ice cream. It was so delicious. And I enjoyed every morsel that went into my mouth.

I did go into the holidays with a plan.  I decided that I would bake the cookies, eat a few and throw out the rest. Which I did. I also will be freezing all the leftover Rovallini for later dinners. Rovallini is definitely not a low calorie meal. And I know John will enjoy the future meals. The bread will be eaten not by me. I enjoyed the bread on Christmas Eve but for now I can do without it. The meat sauce will also make it’s way to the freezer for future meals. I am actually looking forward to Spaghetti Squash with my tasty meat sauce.

The gift giving is always the highlight of the evening. I got some presents that will definitely help me in my future workouts. I received a kettle bell and I just can’t wait to try it out. You tube is filled with kettle bell workouts. I also got some ear buds for when I run. These buds will not fall out of my ears because they lock into your ears.  I also got a head band made for runners that is thin but will keep my ears warm. I got a darling ornament of a girl runner. Who would have thought that I would receive a workout anything. And my favorite gift was a collage with my Turkey Trot running number and favorite photos. It made me cry.  The gift was so thoughtful.

And I gave myself the best gift of all. I have lost so far 43 pounds.  And my doctor took me off of   my blood pressure medicine.   So I definitely think the Christmas of 2013 was a total success.



Christmas Tradition

Christmas Cookies

Every Christmas the grandkids come over, spend the night and help me bake dozens of cookies.  I started this tradition years ago with my oldest grandchild Cameron.  And he is now 15.   Each grandchild got to choose what cookie to make.  Hadley chose chocolate chip cookies, Timothy chose sugar cookies and Cameron chose Reeses Peanut Butter cookies.  Cameron was in charge of the dry goods and Hadley and Timothy helped with the butter and eggs.  After a few hours of baking and several dozen cookies later, we all settled down in front of the fireplace to watch our favorite movie, Elf.

So let’s talk cookies.  How can anyone make cookies without licking off the dough from ones fingers.  And cookie dough is so delicious. So I put a wet rag right by the bowl and continually wiped my hands so the batter would not stick to my fingers.  I really am too old to lick the spoon and bowl, so my middle grandson Timothy took care of that.   So mission accomplished with not eating the cookie dough.

How can anyone make dozens of cookies and not eat any?  And does eating a broken piece of a cookie count?  Certainly, a taste of a cookie will not hurt.  That question kept going over and over in my mind while looking at the cookies.  So what I did was break a cookie in half.  I gave one half to my grandson and I ate the other half.  And it was absolutely delicious.  I savored that delicious morsel in my mouth.  I could taste the butter.  I love crunchy cookies and these cookies had just the right amount of crunch.

Now, what am I going to do with the rest of the cookies?  I brought some to a family Christmas Party.  And I gave some to the grandkids.  I will keep some for Christmas Eve dessert for our traditional family dinner with the kids and grandkids.   What does not get eaten on Christmas Eve will be given away to anyone that would like them.  And what is left over will go directly into the trash.

Now, one might ask why when I am still on my quest to lose weight, would I put myself in front of such temptation?  Why did I make friends with the devil?  I absolutely love cookies.  I can stay away from most sweets but crunchy buttery cookies is my downfall.  I used to make cookies for our clients at the studio but I would end up eating them.  And my rear end got bigger.  So now we have chocolates and I can very easily stay away  from them.

So now I look at the several platters of cookies on my table and say is it worth eating one?  One home made cookie has 2 points.  Not a big deal.  But the question is, can I just eat just one?  Some days yes.  But most days no.  So for today I am not going to have a cookie.  I may eat one later.  But for right now I am going to take a pass.

So getting back to making a deal with the devil?  If cookies are so tempting for me to eat, why do I make them with my grandchildren?  That’s a simple answer.  Because they like making cookies.  It is a wonderful activity that we can do together.  It is a time to bond.  I truly believe that they will remember this special time with me.  They will remember this pre Christmas tradition.  I have been doing this tradition for so many years, I don’t want to stop it because I have a problem with cookies.  I would rather keep this tradition and show some self restraint than give it up.  And don’t thin grandma’s make cookies with their grandkids?

Thin Grandma’s don’t lick the cookie dough off of the spoon.  They don’t lick the bowl.  And they may taste a cookie but they do not eat ALL of the cookies.   That is why they are thin.  I am now a thin (or thinner) grandma.  I am going to act like a thin grandma.  I am going to enjoy the act of baking cookies with my grandchildren and not the act of eating ALL the cookies.

Fat or thin, Christmas traditions are not meant to be broken.  This is one Christmas tradition I hope to keep for a very long time.  I do love eating cookies but I love being with my grandchildren as a thin grandma better.