Friday, December 7, 2012

Open House, Not Open Heart Surgery

I've been a ponderin' and a plannin'.  Most people are smart enough not to start a new lifestyle during the Holidays, because there is just too much fun to be had. The pudgy parson, on the other hand, dived right in and started all of this during the week before Thanksgiving.  Which has actually been fine, and I don't feel like I've missed any of the fun. (I actually feel better this year than I ever have.  Read about it here)

But the problem comes with the open house that I've been planning since I took this church in September. Entertaining is serious business to me, and normally, I would've already been cooking for a week or so by now. I would have been making lots of sweet things, and things wrapped in bacon.  I probably would've gone through at least six blocks of cream cheese, a bag of chocolate chips, half a bag of flour, half a bag of sugar, a bag of confectioner's sugar, and at least a pound of butter by now. The thought alone makes my stomach do flips.  And I could do it this year, without worrying about sabbotaging myself. I would be fine to make all those things and not eat any of them.

Of course, I realize the hypocrisy of doing that.  Here I am trying to create a healthy lifestyle, and at least mentally, walking around with a "please don't feed the pastor" attitude.  How can I do that while simultaneously feeding my guests things that aren't good for any one?  Especially when I'm getting ready to start a program at the church that focused on creating a healthy community?  Yeah, I can't.  At least not in good conscience.

So, this year's open house guests will be treated to a variety of healthy things.  I've gotten the new Hungry Girl cookbook (which I LOVE).  Her whole thing is that everything is under 300 calories, and each recipe has the nutritional breakdown. She gets creative about using non-traditional ingredients to add nutrients and texture (like pumpkin mix into brownie batter-- instead of all the other stuff.)

I've been wrestling over how to handle the open house for a while. But I'm pleased with my decision.  I really don't think people will notice that I'm feeding them "healthy" things (or at least they wouldn't if I hadn't talked to so many of them about the lifestyle I'm creating.) Even if they did notice, I don't think they would miss the other things.  And besides, this gives me a chance to bear witness to the fact that choosing to be healthy isn't the burden that many people think it is.

Now that this is settled, the only other thing I have to figure out is how many calories polishing the silver burns.  And if my pearls go with a cute suzie-homemaker sort of apron.