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    The Low Carb Luxury Online Magazine   Low Carb Connoisseur
 
    December 5, 2003    PAGE 12       > About LCL Magazine      > Cover Page      > Inside Cover      Feature Pages:   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12    

 
Featured Articles
 Light The Lights!
 Breaking Bread
 Managing Christmas Stress
 Jo Cordi's  Lifestyle Series
 Holiday Wishes
 An English Christmas
 The Leaves of Wrath
 Confessions of a Gift Giver
 Holiday Cookies!
 Travel: Wading Thru Venice
 Cooking with Jarret Hughes
 Holiday Treats or Traps?


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          When Holiday Treats Become Holiday Traps by Terri Lynch

Terri Lynch knows the workplace from all perspectives: employer, employee, vendor and customer. Issues of obesity and "fat acceptance" play out in the workplace with a cost in cold hard cash. Terri is ideally qualified to probe all angles of size issues in the workplace.


This wondrous, magical time of year can add sparkle and warmth to our lives. But for many people in the work world it can also add food-related pressures. Most of us, to some extent, encounter norms and expectations about what, and where, meals are to be eaten with the boss, clients or customers, vendors, and colleagues and co-workers. These expectations change with the season. Often, the holiday norm becomes — directly or indirectly — eat more.

Some people are required to entertain clients in a certain style…

Janice, in her job as a manufacturer's rep, is required to make the rounds of her top accounts and take the buyer someplace nice for lunch. Each day, on the company's tab, starting on the first workday in December and ending the day before Christmas, she will play hostess to a different customer. This is her company's way of thanking their best customers for their business during the year.

As Janice says "By the time I've finished wining and dining the last account I can feel myself ready for the next size up wardrobe. On top of all that, I still must attend the soup-to-nuts company party the weekend before Christmas! I've gone through this every year for the past 18 years. I love my job, and I'm in a six-figure income bracket so I don't want to give it up. But realistically, I find it impossible to stick to any kind of healthy food plan at this time."

Meanwhile, Bob, a senior level management consultant, struggles with the expectations of his clients, many of whom hold office parties that he increasingly looks forward to with dread. In his words, "Last year, within the space of a week and a half I crammed in eleven client lunch and dinner parties. Although partying with clients and eating holiday goodies are all part of the 'I'm there for you' feelings associated with the consulting tradition, it's hard not to overeat and gain weight."

You don't need to step out of the office, like Janice and Bob, to run into these food traps in December. Trouble can lurk even within the confines of the office when food seems to pop up everywhere and co-workers turn into food pushers.

Katrina views the approach of December with apprehension, worrying how she'll deal with a steady stream of goodies the women she works with generously bring to the office. In her words, "It starts in the first week of December with the new recipes that must be tested..."

"You absolutely have to taste these cookies I made!"

"What do you think of this fudge I made to ship to my son?"

"How would you rate this bread recipe? Does it contain enough cinnamon?"

"Aren't you going to try the dip I brought in?"

"By the time Christmas week arrives, I've sampled and graded candy and cookie recipes, tarts and appetizers, and breads of various kinds. Last year, there was even a rich, creamy soup."

Sometimes, outsiders bring goodies to the workplace as an expression of appreciation... or perhaps a bit of a bribe.

Dan teaches 5th grade in a Midwestern farming community, where there are a lot of stay-at-home moms who take pride in setting a hearty table. Says Dan, "I think many of my students' moms see me as a single male who's deprived of home-baked treats and gooey little confections. The day before Christmas, kid after kid approaches my desk with tins of goodies, and homemade breads and jams. I even see an occasional pie. I know better than to haul it all home, so after leaving school for the day I make my way to a few friends' homes to unload some of the loot. Some of the remainder gets eaten (by me) and the rest gets tossed in the trash."

Jeff, a male nurse, is in a similar situation. Families of his patients somehow think their loved ones will get better care if they ply the nurses with food. During the holidays this is magnified. "Family members come in bearing boxes of treats; everything from chocolates to pizza. The cheesecakes and coffee cakes are always a big hit," says Jeff. "Even in this environment where everybody knows better, nothing goes to waste."

Then there are cases where no human push is needed. The work environment itself is a food pusher.

Every December, Pauline takes a second job working for a local candy company that makes exquisite truffles which it sells in regional upscale chocolate stores. All day long she is surrounded by mouth-watering and sumptuous temptations which she packs in elegant gold foil boxes. During the packing process, if something should become broken or damaged in any way, those pieces are put aside for the staff to enjoy, free. Pauline admittedly can't stop herself from indulging in this "little bit of luxury" when she has the chance; otherwise she'd never get this treat — she couldn't afford it on what she gets paid.

The situations just described would be hard for many to comprehend, especially those who work from home. But they are problems — sometimes quite serious — for the people who experience them while trying to control their weight. In the next issue, we'll look at some strategies for handling them.

Copyright © December 2003  Terri Lynch and Low Carb Luxury


                                                          





The Low-Carb Comfort Food Cookbook The Low-Carb Comfort Food Cookbook

As many of you know, I have several bookcases packed with every low carb cookbook, diet plan, and research paper that I can fit in them. I read a lot; I cook a lot; and I experiment a lot. So finding a low carb cookbook that stands out above the others for one reason or another is always a thrill for me. And this one really does! It's different... catering primarily to those dishes that have always had a bit of an emotional attachment for many of us. This one speaks to the heart of our love for certain foods and addresses it head on.

Southern Fried Chicken Michael and Mary Dan Eades (of Protein Power fame) have put together a collection of easy to cook recipes like Apple Brown Betty, Crumby Chicken Salad Casserole, Eggplant Parmigiana, Blintzes, Barbecued Peanut Butter Chicken, Sweet Potato Casserole, Quesadillas, and even Southern Fried Chicken with Pan Gravy. Many recipes have both a lower carb version, and a low carb version.

They begin with cooking guidelines, run the gamut of recipe categories, and end with tips and mail order sources. Each recipe offers full nutritional values and fiber, and sources are listed.

This is a must-have book if you've been feeling that some of those must-have foods have abandoned you. Now get cookin'!

We highly recommend you pick up a copy of The Low-Carb Comfort Food Cookbook!

     

 
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