Friday, May 25, 2012

Enjoy! But, be well!

On the radio this morning they gave away "brat bucks."  Twenty dollars worth of brats which I guess is 10 brats for the annual brat festival.  The DJ said that last year someone at the station ate 30 brats over the festival's 4 days and suggested the winner of the bucks try to beat that number.  It's also a tradition for folks to stop in to the festival right about now and pick up brats for breakfast.

While I will never begrudge a local tradition of fun and community, we really don't need to over-do an annual event.  A brat here and there is perfectly fine.  What's on the menu for your Memorial Day weekend?  Is it bar-b-q?  Potato salad?  It's true that we turn to traditions for the holidays and we should.  Food is not just about nutrition, it is also about emotion and bringing people together.

Just don't over do it.  A holiday, a festival, a family gathering are all good reasons to indulge in foods that wouldn't be part of your normal diet.  Who eats brats for breakfast normally?  Good ahead, do it!  Enjoy it! Be part of the annual workplace tradition.  Once you have the brat for breakfast, however, are you also going back for supper?  And another tomorrow when you return to the festival?  This is the problem.

A special meal is a special meal.  It's no longer special when it gets over-done.  When we over indulge, we take something away for the food's special-ness.  To enjoy something is not to eat or drink until one is sick (and I don't just mean in the moment, but in the long term- heart disease, etc. kind of sick as well).  Unfortunately, we have this mentality in our culture that over-indulgence is celebration, is enjoyment, is being part of something American. How about enjoyment being able to taste and smell and experience the food or drink?  Not like a wine connoisseur, but someone present and mindful of what's going in the body?

If you are eating or drinking to enjoy, please do!  But please, don't over do it.  It's time our culture changes it's version of enjoying food and drink - smaller portions that allow us to taste, enjoy, and walk away healthy and well.

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