Hansel and Gretel.

Sugar plum fairies, stockings hung with care, filled with sweets and treats of the seasonal flare.

Where does this end? The once in a while sugar overload and testing of the pancreas seems to be non-stop for adults and kids alike.

Our holidays and traditions are interlaced with sugar and decadence. It’s like we are hard wired to enjoy the holidays if only blissing out on the food endorphins alone.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place, and I believe moderation is the key to balance. But when did the scales tip so far? Why does everything centre around so much caloric value uptake? And what about balancing the nutritional component?

I vowed not to make cookies this year. Mostly because I was horrified at the hydrogenated transfats in my family cookie recipes (Crisco anyone?). Not only that, but the amount of white flour and sugar use goes up astronomically this season. Maybe if you are a baker this feels less harsh. But for a foodie and health conscious individual, the prospect of mixing one cup of butter with half a cup of flour and even more icing sugar makes me cringe. Even on a decadent day my pancreas goes into spasms thinking about eating those ingredients individually. Yet most of us call it whipped shortbread, and don’t really think twice about popping the extra cookie on our plate (or giving a little of the good stuff to the ‘little ones’).

I’m not here to judge. Even I ate the buttercream icing on my daughter’s birthday cake last month. Eat whatever you wish. But educate yourself on what you are eating. Then ask yourself the question: would I eat these ingredients separate of one another?
Just something to think about this holiday season.
Take second look at that whipped shortbread. If you can see the tablespoon of butter, mound of confectioners sugar and lump of flour in your mind’s eye and still enjoy, then do so.
But do so consciously.
This year the sugarplum fairy can stay in my dreams. I’ll be sipping my coffee in the corner with a Christmas orange and one-cookie-a-day allotment. And maybe, on the actual holiday fill my plate with sugar and flour and butter. If only to be reminded of why the limit on such things, as the sugar rushes to my head and a pit fills my stomach.
Oh the joys. Tis the season!


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