A Few "Gifts" to Lessen Your Holiday Worries - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/23/03

A Few "Gifts" to Lessen Your Holiday Worries

* There is very good news this Christmas. There is no need to fear the poinsettia any longer. While it may cause an upset stomach if ingested, it is no longer considered a 'poisonous' plant.

In fact, most of the worry about poisonous plants at Christmas is unfounded. Almost any plant, if ingested in quantity, will cause reactions. So bring in the holly and the mistletoe, just keep them out of reach of thee kids and pets. We have been worrying too much.

* If you intend to diet after the holidays, the South Beach Diet has been given a sort of "OK" in the Wellness Letter from the University of California, Berkeley. It is a more balanced approach to reducing calories and may help some to loose weight by banning or limiting certain foods. Be aware that the science behind the diet claims are not very solid but if it helps, go for it.

* We do not have any good news for those who imbibe too much over the holidays. All those hangover cures on the market do not work, despite the claims. The ingredients range from ginseng to white willow bark (which may contain aspirin)

Some worry that, by claiming to cure a hangover, these remedies may encourage binge drinking in young people. The only 'cure' is not to drink too much. If you do consume too much, lots of liquids, pain relievers, and time are the only real cures.

* Lastly, if you are flying over the holidays, you know how difficult it is to find healthy food at the airport. And Dallas-Fort Worth is one of the worst, according to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

Some of the choices you may want to look for include a vegetable panini (grilled sandwich) at Starbucks and veggie tacos. Salads and portabella mushroom sandwiches are also good choices. If you can find nothing else, a plain hamburger with lettuce, tomato, and ketchup or mustard is good or a plain, thin crust, slice of pizza will do.

Merry Christmas and a very healthy New Year!

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