Why do our celebrations encourage a race to the bottom?

The other day a friend posted on facebook that he cooked up potato skins with cheese and bacon for Thanksgiving.  When his friends reminded him that turkey would be better for him (he’s had heart surgery and his health has been touch-and-go) he responded he doesn’t like food that’s better for him.

A young mom  described her drinking binge, and how ill she was today.  Her partying friends retorted,  “I’ll drink for you!”  Another has a family history of alcoholism and “needs to drink to feel sociable”.  Her addiction is placated by her friends.

A middle-aged woman trying to lose weight confided in her friends that cheese is her downfall and she’s trying to avoid it so she can lose weight.  At get-togethers her friends now make sure there’s lots of cheese, wine, and high calorie foods, and encourage her to “live it up and have some cheese!”

Why do we champion what make us and others sick and unhappy?  Why not look instead for solutions to make our celebrations more fun and meaningful – but without the toxic side effects?  Why do we feel compelled to put road blocks to positive change, making others and/or ourselves feel deprived or “not part of the group” if we choose to improve our health and lives?

If someone you know and love is trying to avoid cheese, why not look up cheese substitutes and have plenty of tasty ones on hand, or change your meal or snack focus to other foods that aren’t in the cheese family?  If someones drinking is causing them sickness physically or mentally, why not serve non-alcoholic beverages instead?

If you say you don’t like “healthy foods” or feel you can’t survive a social event without alcohol, you may be unfamiliar with culinary delights available now.  For our health sake – and our pallet’s sake – it may be time to take on the fun adventure to expand our horizons past the cheese/white bread/high fructose corn syrup/alcohol diet that we have come to symbolize as ‘fun’ food.    Our bodies and our minds deserve better.

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