Holiday Calories

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I must admit, eating vegetarian made Thanksgiving a breeze to get through since all my friends and family consumed non-vegetarian foods, meaning lots of saturated fat laden eats sat on the table.

I prayed for mankind and the turkeys and gracefully took part in green beans and mashed potatoes and the love and bantering that manifested in this festive gathering. I must admit my calorie intake was still more than normal due to my die-hard sweet tooth that gave way to the yummiest pumpkin and apple pie sitting right under my nose.

But still I must ask the proverbial question, “So, how many calories did you ingest yesterday?”

It’s a question most of us rather not know but let met state this right now, for most people it probably numbered in the thousands. Each Thanksgiving the average American consumes around 3,500-4,500 calories, with a whopping 200 fat grams in the mix during this traditional stuffing of our bellies.

The Thanksgiving meal itself probably ran about 3,000 calories, the beauty of butter and gravy saturating everything. The rest from the added calories of snacking before and after the meal.

But besides the generous intake of food and fun that would take a 30-mile walk to burn off, I see it also as the day we showed up for our warm up exercises to get our mouths ready for the great marathon that awaits our digestion for the next month to come. Our mandibles and chewing muscles were simply primed yesterday for the bombardment of calories that will pass through our ready mouths and promptly invade our soon-to-be-overworked stomach with holiday pastries, endless streams of candy and drinks that defy our taste buds and logic.

All forms of excess will parade into our scene in humongous heaps and mounds. So let me bring a little awareness into the scene. If you’re brave enough, read on because it will put a damper on all the delicious morsels that show up in every nook and cranny of your day.

Let’s start with the lovely boxed candies that make the holiday rounds. These candies are simply divine with there chewy nuggets and lovely truffles, a siren call to fats and sugars that lie in wait under cover. One serving size equals two candies for approximately 170 calories. That’s almost 100 calories apiece for two little candies that innocently nestle themselves in brown crinkly wrappers using their wafting chocolate aroma to lure the unsuspecting to its box. Eat only six little pieces and that totals about 1,020 calories.

OK, I’m sorry, I have to do this but beware the holiday coffee drinks. I know what a Scrooge I’m becoming with the calories, but my friends, they add up all too quickly. Take a delicious Peppermint Mocha with expresso, steamed 2 percent milk, mocha sauce and peppermint flavored syrup, topped with sweetened whipped cream and dark chocolate curls. Oh, very tempting indeed with 410 calories per 16 oz. Get one with caramel and add whole milk and it’s about 470 calories, a big 90 percent of the calories that should be eaten for lunch instead.

Then there are the holiday parties with holiday drinks like the Fig Sidecar Martini, a 3oz glass that contains the usual amount of about 100 calories, so with two under the belt that’s a 200-calorie liquid diet with absolutely no true value accept for its help in a round of cheers for the holiday. (No, the infused figs don’t count.)

Throw in a slice of pecan pie eaten earlier at about 456 calories and we’ve got a sugar rise that surpasses the Grand Canyon.

My point is that in one day it is so easy to consume six little chocolate candies, one coffee drink, slice of pie, and two martinis to add an additional 2,146 calories for the body to digest along with all the extra food I didn’t mention that parlays its way into our mouths.

This season, allow yourself the luxury of thinking about calories, the use of gallant moderation and finding alternatives that garner a healthier you for the upcoming New Year.

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