It's that time of year again. Family, food, office parties, holidays of all kinds, and yes, stress. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year, but it also marks the beginning of what can be a high anxiety couple of weeks. No matter what you do, or do not celebrate, this time of year brings an added layer of chaos; special social events, family gatherings, gift giving, and cold weather moving in. I know, it can feel overwhelming, but overwhelming doesn't have to overshadow the best the holiday season has to offer.
I can't believe it's been an entire year since last year's Rosh Hashanah recipe post. No matter what holidays you celebrate, I think we can all agree that they provide the perfect opportunity to gather friends and family around a table for delicious food. For me, they are also a great excuse to try new recipes and focus additional energy in the kitchen. This year was no different. David and I hosted 10 friends, both old and new, for an evening of apples and honey, lots of wine, and cheesecake!
It's the most wonderful time of the year (you know how the song goes). The cold, chilly, winter weather finally got the hint, the sun is shining at full force, and Passover has begun; the holiday where we retell the story of the Jew's exodus from Egypt. I equate my feelings about Passover with the excitement little children feel on Christmas morning. I started prepping weeks in advance by cleaning the kitchen, separating out the not Kosher for Passover (K for P) food, making daily trips to the grocery store for specialty items, and cooking up a storm to make sure we have delicious meals for the week.
Holidays create stress (at least for me), but they also create the perfect excuse to revisit your favorite festive foods. This past week we celebrated Purim, the Jewish holiday where we hear the Book of Esther. For some reason, Purim maintains a lesser status on the Jewish calendar, but you would never know this by the number of people who celebrate. Who doesn't love a holiday with costumes, festivals, drinking, and food? Each year I fully intend on breaking out my baking skills, but often lose track of time, so this year I was determined to do Purim right and make some hamantaschen cookies.
Before the holidays become a distant memory, I want to quickly share these cocoa fritters (donut holes) I tested for a family Hannukah meal. Fried foods, especially donuts, are traditional during Hannukah to commemorate the miracle of a small amount of oil lasting eight days, but these fritters would be a crowd pleaser any time of year.
Last week I asked you to think about leaving your New Year's resolutions behind for the sake of sanity, and self love. This week, I am trying to take my own advice. I sailed into New Year's Eve weekend feeling strong, and confident in my ability to fight the cultural pull of eating better, or exercising more in 2017, but then reality set in.
I started this blog as a personal project; an outlet to express my thoughts, feelings, and anxieties on my continuing journey toward finding sanity in today's crazy, body image obsessed world. I feel my own experiences, plus my professional background, allow me a voice in the larger discussion. I sometimes forget, however, that Finding Normal didn't completely solve my struggles; that in fact, bad food anxiety days still occur, and some days the body I see in the mirror appears in contrast to reality.
It's that time again; we all sit around contemplating how to make improvements in the coming year, but what if your New Year's resolution actually derails your progress toward lowering anxiety, and reducing stress? The tradition of choosing a resolution reaches back thousands of years, but history may not lead us down the best path in this case. I understand you may want to use the new year as a time for self-improvement, but indulge my thinking for just a moment, because I am entering 2017 without a resolution in sight.
Walking enthusiast, kitchen experimenter, sports lover (watching, not playing), and future world traveler.
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