Sunday, 10 January 2016 18:53

Setting course for a leaner season

time to eat healthy food time to eat healthy food

So the ‘festive season’ is (thankfully?) over and the talk around town is now about the weight everyone’s put on, the diets they have started, had meant to start or are going to start and/or will probably never start.

I am all for food myself – I love a good meal surrounded by friends and family and yes, I too had a meal during which I ate ‘too much’ – but only the one, I hasten to add. I think most of us probably have a tendency to be gluttonous all year round, in truth.

Funnily enough, I grew up with a tradition of enjoying a Christmas Eve meal of noodle soup and hot sausage, and don’t recall any other overly-festive meals on Christmas Day. But that was possibly just my family’s way of doing things, maybe also my loss, or just simply ‘the olden days’.

I do have Austrian friends who cook eight-course meals on Christmas day and a hearty festive dish of duck or carp is common. The whole world celebrates with traditional Christmas dishes ranging from boiled potatoes and fermented fish in Sweden to a total of 12 different dishes in Poland to, well… souvla in Cyprus. Japan – which doesn’t really celebrate Christmas – is even said to consider KFC a special, seasonal meal for this period.

Thus, big meals and a lot of (over) eating during Christmas and New Year’s seems global, but visiting to some supermarkets during the holiday season (foolishly thinking I’d quickly pop in for an item or two) got me wondering…

Is there actually an increased focus on food? If so, is it a sign that things are getting better economically and people want to show it, celebrate it or is it a sign that things are not improving and people want to hide that and forget about it? Or even… has it always been like this and it’s just more noticeable now for some reason?

Maybe people do watch what they are eating all year and use this period as a time to really indulge? As one friend said, there are just so many more choices nowadays and at Christmas people feel they ‘get to have it all’.

Many of us like to indulge and I am the first to admit that a cold beer and a bag of potato chips or a pizza can and will be used as a ‘reward’ for pretty much anything, but I consider this bad habit only mildly worrying as I like to think I have a fairly healthy diet otherwise.

Hopefully the festive overindulgence is now done with for a while and won’t leave too many marks on scales around the island.

Apparently legend in some European countries has it, that those who do not dine well on Christmas Eve will be haunted by demons. So I guess we’ll all be safe on that front and better stick to those diets, the better to ensure more feasting and protection against demons next year.

Article as published in The Cyprus Weekly of January 8 2016 

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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