This post is basically just a letter to myself. But, if you would like, feel free to address it to yourself as well.

Dear Beth,

I love you. I really do. I know you workout and try not to ingest the illegal amounts of cookie dough you would like. I've seen how you've turned your head when passing by Sprinkles. I heard you use the word, "skinny" before ordering many of your favorite Starbucks drinks when I know you hate artificial sweetners. I've also noticed how you've attempted to eat more fruits and veggies this year.

Let's not ruin this.

The average American can gain between 7-100 lbs during the holidays (figures may or may not be accurate). Do not be a statistic.

What are the "harmless" things that can cause this to happen to you?

  • Sugar cookies decorated to be cute little snowman and Christmas trees.
  • Gravy. And more gravy.
  • Pies. Flaky amazing pies.
  • Chocolate in so many forms I can't fathom them all at this time.
  • Stuffing. Pay attention to the name of the game for this one. Stuffing is for Teddy Bears only!
  • Peanut butter fudge. Fudge makes pudge.

And the list goes on...

How could anyone possibly pass this test?! It seems impossible, but, Beth, you will be okay. I suppose the key is moderation. Sample a little here. A litte there. Do not leave yourself in a room alone with any of the above items!

And if you blow it--which you might--I still love you. The treadmill will always be there.

Beth, Happy Holidays! Happy Thanksgiving! And Merry Christmas!


I love Central Market. I really do. I have friends dispersed in every department. It's like a living example of the Sesame Street song "These Are the People in Your Neighborhood."

But something new has made it's way to Houston: Trader Joe's.

I first discovered Trader Joe's in California. It was small, but bustling with food activity. That was about 15 years ago, and then, I didn't really have a grasp on organic or specialty foods. I had just left college where my diet consisted of children's breakfast cereals and Kraft macaroni and cheese.

My friends in other states have shared stories of Trader Joe's that have wet my appetite for the store over the years. But, Trader Joe's couldn't find it's way to Houston. I had heard rumors for years it was coming. And now, it's finally here!

I decided to fight the crowd, and visit the store opening weekend. I went late on a Saturday thinking that everyone else would be out doing something besides going to a grocery store. I was wrong. Everyone and their grandmother was there. I carried a small basket and basically had to carry it on my head in order to maneuver through the crowd. I hadn't seen crowds like that since Cabbage Patch Dolls went for sale at K-Mart.

Items disappeared off the shelves. I found myself wanting to get my hands on anything I could. I grabbed some random items and waited patiently in the velvet roped line for about 20 minutes or so. It was so worth it.

My visits back have been kind of the same shopping method: random. I don't really have a flow to my shopping routine for the store as of yet. I usually know the products I like best from certain stores and can easily make a plan of attack and exit. Trader Joe's is still new to me--and every thing seems like a new product--a dangerous situation for a foodie!

I will admit, I miss my peeps at Central Market. I know that Marvin in the produce section will ask me where I've been. He'll be upset that he hasn't gotten to hear about my new boyfriend. And he'll probably be able to tell me the last time he saw me in the store.

I'm just checking this Trader Joe's thing out. I'll still be loyal to Central Market. But I do feel a bit like a traitor. Sorry, CM!