When in Rome...(A Xmas Eve Story)

Merry Christmas!! Joyeux Noel!! Feliz Navidad!! Oh & Happy Winter Solstice! It is the time of year for presents & family & for being religious. Shopping for presents often creates stress for us. Whether it is the lines, the crowds, or the bills. Family can be another source of stress. But more importantly, this is a time to be grateful for our families & for the good things that have happened to us this past year. I, for one, have learned to count my blessings & not complain about any little mishap that may occur. “Complaints erase good fortune.” I’ve taken that saying to heart – so I do my utmost not to complain. :) Example - the food!! I am not going to complain about the various comfort foods that abound during this time of year!! I am always on guard with my diet! My body has been detoxed & healthified & slimmed down & I am happy with it. I could go militant on myself this time of year…but I won’t.

I am Spanish & in latin culture we celebrate Christmas Eve. I’m also Buddhist - so we don’t really celebrate Christmas, in the Christian sense. There have been Christmas Eves where my family hasn’t even winked when the day came around & others when there were dinners with lots of yummy…delicious…food! This Christmas was different from ones in recent times. My mom decided she was going to have a dinner so I chimed in with “let’s make pernil”!! I LOVE pernil!!! I don’t usually eat it because pork – the other white meat – doesn’t really fall into my diet. Blood type incompatible & whatnot. But this time I decided to go all in! I’m a good girl 90% of the time so a little pork won’t kill me. Then there was the question du jour – white rice or brown rice?? If one makes black beans, or any kind of beans for that matter, there is always the side of rice & it is always white. Even when it is yellow – it is white rice with seasonings that make it “yellow”. The nutrition-savvy, health coach knows that brown rice is healthier for so many reasons but the side of me that loves my comfort food says that white rice just tastes better with black beans.

What to do?? What to do??

I decided to go with the ‘when in Rome’ approach!  We had white rice & black beans. & it was delicious!! Every bite…a little piece of heaven :) Can you tell I love my food?? I did make one little tweak to my rice. I started by very lightly cooking chopped garlic, in olive oil, (that I had chopped & let air out for 15 minutes to release all the antioxidants & nutrients) with some sea salt for 2-3 minutes & then added the white rice. I made sure that all the rice was coated in the olive oil & garlic, and then I added the water & carried on. The black beans were also cooked with lots of garlic & onions.

& then we ate!! & there was silence at the table! The hallmark of a great meal!

The moral of the story?? When in Rome, do as the Romans! Make a few minor changes & just enjoy the food. Change the oil you cook with. Add garlic & onions. Maybe some greens. We had baked sweet potatoes. It is the time of year to spend with your family & loved ones. So let your hair down a little. We don’t have to be “perfect” 100% of the time. Enjoy yourself! Treat your body with love! Don’t waste precious moments worrying about every bite! Savor life!


Happy Holidays!! :)

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