Thanks for a different bird
Year end donations and deductions

Started your diet yet?

Me neither. But I have a good excuse. There are still leftovers (half a pumpkin pie!) to dispense with.

Then in a few weeks, we have Christmas cookies and gift basket goodies and wine toasts and eggnog cheer.

Weight_scale_2So why not wait until the new year, when everybody resolves to lose that holiday poundage, along with the love handles we added the other 10 months? Yeah, check back here at the ol' blog in January.

Actually, the hubby and I were relatively restrained yesterday. We stuffed our turkey instead of ourselves.

Well, we didn't really stuff our turkey. This Thanksgiving, as most of the 27 we've shared, there were only the two of us. That's not necessarily bad.

With no one else around, we get to stay in our PJs most of the day and there are no distractions during the annual Cowboys' game. (We're in the thrall of Romo Mania here!)

But I digress.

Since there are only two mouths to feed, we get a Butterball turkey breast roast; no bone, just white meat, less leftovers and no place for stuffing. No problem. I always make cornbread dressing, cooked in a separate pan.

Lots and lots of cornbread dressing from my grandmother's recipe, wonderful, as usual, thanks primarily to her kitchen prowess. We did, though, manage to pace ourselves and leave plenty of room for the pumpkin pie the hubby always makes.

So we're not in too bad of shape, at least not from this one holiday. But we'll have to be careful. Christmas is just a month away, and I make my Mum's sugar cookies with powdered sugar icing for that holiday.

Parceling out portions: In order to make it through that upcoming eating event, we're going to start watching our regular meals now. That's not a bad idea year round. I suspect that regular over eating, not simply consuming high-calorie foods or downing excessive meals a couple times a year, is what contributes to most of our weight issues.

Here's something that might help: a portion control chart. Go ahead and make jokes about me finding it on the AARP site. You just wait, whippersnappers. You'll be there sooner than you think!

The article discusses the difficulty of figuring out what a "normal" portion size is, although I can tell you that 3 Oreos are definitely not a portion to my way (weigh?) of thinking.

The AARP meal-time suggestion: Visualize your servings to get a good idea of what a recommended portion of food should look like. Some of the sizing comparisons are interesting.

A pancake should be the size of a CD. I hope that doesn't mean it should be that flat.

A slice of bread should be the size of a cassette tape. A cassette tape? Maybe it's just my locale, but I'm going with an 8-track tape, Texas Toast size slice! I'll cut back on something, anything, else instead! I promise.

Other portions are described as a deck of cards and stacked dice. Apparently this nutritionist has been on the Senior Citizen Center bus that makes regular runs to Las Vegas or Atlantic City.

Anyway, the basic advice is sound. Eating less means fewer calories. And that means reduced trips to the gym as well as a reduction in your waistline.

Nutrition_label_2 Counting calories: This Essence magazine article details the calorie, fat and carb counts for various traditional holiday munchables. If it persuades you to cut back, check out this MSNBC story that suggests alternatives to the usual Christmas buffet offerings.

You also can click on the following for recipes that promise low-calorie goodness, although to me, that's oxymoronic … .

And finally, the Food Network suggests 10 foods for better health. That's it. I'm not vain and persuaded by innumerable images of anorexic models. I just want to eat healthier. A much nicer spin to get me to a spinning class.

The IRS as personal trainer: The cost of weight-loss treatments are deductible, but only if the program is medically necessary. This means you need the treatment for what doctors call a morbidly obese condition, one that will kill you sooner rather than later without extreme intervention.

The tax break does cover the cost of some weight loss program fees and foods, but again, only when they are part of a doctor-prescribed regimen to help you fight conditions such as hypertension or heart disease.

The tax write-off does not apply to Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, that grocery cart full of Lean Cuisine or the gym membership for those of us simply seeking help to take off 5 or 10 or a few more pounds, especially after holiday indulging.

And remember, eligible treatments count toward the itemized medical expenses that must exceed 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income before you can deduct them. You can find full details on medical deductions in IRS Publication 502.


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This is a very nice post, and I want to see how others react to this.


Gastric bypass is also tax deductible, but I hope it doesn't come to that!
Turkey is healthy, pumpkin pie is healthy. Sweet potatahs are healthy if they aren't gooped up with marshmallows. Besides, indulging one day per year (or even one day per month) won't cause anyone to become morbidly obese.
The only bread I can think of that's the size of a casette tape is "pain americain" they sell in france. And who'd eat that? Ick.

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