Happy, Healthy Holidays- Nov./Dec. 2013

I love window boxes that are filled with late fall flowers to “dress up” the house, indoors or out!

Wow! We’re already into November and the rush of the 2013 holiday season. And this year for the first time, the first day of Hanukkah falls on Thanksgiving! The reason for Jewish holidays not being on the same day in the English calendar is that the Jewish calendar is lunar. “The date of Jewish holidays does not change from year to year. Holidays are celebrated on the same day of the Jewish calendar every year, but the Jewish year is not the same length as a solar year on the civil calendar used by most of the western world, so the date shifts on the civil calendar.” (http://www.jewfaq.org/calendar.htm)

Since Hanukkah & Thanksgiving coincide, there is new holiday name that’s been coined, called Thanksgivukkah! Here’s one website with recipes:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/christinebyrne/thanksgivukkah. ALso, here’s a photo from the website and I will post one of the recipes closer to Thanksgiving itself:

At Thanksgiving, instead of baked sweet potatoes, we will probably make potato latkes, which is a great segue to the Jewish cookbook I had planned to review last month, but decided to save it for this month so I could include a potato latke recipe in the review.

The holidays often lead to a great deal of stress, so I hope to post something about how to cope with stress during this busy time. One good thing, though, if you are from a mixed Jewish/Christian marriage you can shop for Hanukkah & Christmas at the same time!


November is also National Diabetes Month.  I will do some research on this disease to see what new theories or studies have been done to help those with diabetes or has someone in the family with diabetes with some helpful hints. Since it is a leading cause of death in America, we need to be on our toes about prevention & treatment.

Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite vegetables. I am working on some new recipes for these tasty tubers and will post a few recipes during these two month and perhaps re-post earlier recipes from previous years.

I would like to feature some other recipes using red, white, and green foods because these seem to be the colors of the oncoming winter season: red for holly berries, white for snow, and green for conifers. Maybe I can match up red, green, and white foods to serve during whatever holiday you are celebrating, but that are acceptable on a diabetic prevention or treatment diet. That way I can tie in the foods with National Diabetes Month.


December 10th is Human Rights Day. I just received a mailing from the Human Rights Campaign and this year the focus is on human rights for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender). I think this is a new campaign for this group, so tracking it should prove interesting.

In late March 2013, as the U.S. Supreme Court was hearing arguments in two marriage equality cases, HRC shared a pink & red version of its logo. The traditional logo of the equal sign is generally a blue background with yellow equal signs.




Finally, consider how you can help others in need during this season. Perhaps invite lonely neighbors for dinner or help out at a soup kitchen. Give from your heart. Your time and presence are great presents! Or a donation to the National Diabetes Society or Human Rights Campaign might be a good idea. Whatever holiday you do celebrate this season, hopefully you will not overindulge to the point of illness or becomes so stressed out that you cannot enjoy the holidays. Flu season is on its way, so take care!

Happy, healthy holidays!

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