After reading a comment Kary made at MizFit I emailed asked if she’d expand on her remark regarding food, Mexico and traditional Mexican holiday celebrations.
I was particularly interested in hearing her thoughts regarding Three Kings Day because I’d written about/researched it extensively for a newspaper serial.
(The serial was written for elementary school aged students & The Three Kings Day chapter is linked below should you be curious for a peek into Miz’ dayjobworld).
I have B.A. in Communication, worked 10 years as coeditor in two newspapers and one software company. At this moment I work online as Quality Assessor and I write two blogs as hobby, one in English and one in Spanish. I have a personal blog too, cafeveracruz.blogspot.com, but I’m slowly translating it to English to do it more friendly. Hopefully someday I will have profits from the first two, but for now I’m more focused in trying to be healthier and help my family be healthy too.
As reader of this blog, I can say I have learned a lot. I started reading this blog because in Mexico the information on health and fitness is scattered and I haven’t found someone as Miz (and other bloggers who write about this topic): informed, committed and that see fitness and health not as an obsession but as a way to feel better as a human being.
In Mexico I see people who are completely disconnected from the notion of eating well and being healthy or who equals being thin with being healthy (no matter how you achieve the goal of being thin).
Our holidays frequently are sort of a ‘fight’ between these two kinds of ideas. While some people (almost always the older people) say that you should just eat and not worry about the quantity and the quality of food, others are always ‘on a diet’, but fad diets (just one kind of fruit, no carbohydrates at all, no meat, etc). There seems to be no middle ground, but
nobody seems to notice.
For example, one of the holidays MizFit was asking me about, 3 kings day, celebrated in January 6th and also known as Wise Men Day, involves eating bread made with a good amount of butter, covered with egg whites, sugar and
on top of it dried and candied figs, quinces and cherries, among other things. So, one slice of this bread has 300 calories approximately.
Depending of the size of this bread you can obtain anywhere from 7 to 20 slices. Typically you eat more than one because the bread has inside it a little plastic figure (that represents Child Jesus) that must be found. The person who finds the figure has to take a Child Jesus representation to the church on February 2th and also offer ‘tamales’ to the same people who eat the bread with you (tamales are, as Wikipedia defines it, a food consisting of steam-cooked corn dough with or without filling). Also, this bread is accompanied with chocolate.
Lately bakeries have made variations of the bread adding chocolate syrup or other fillings to the bread. It’s a nice tradition, but sometimes I think it should not be so associated with food or to be almost an obligation to eat more food than we want.
I believe we are completely clueless about what can a certain dish do to our bodies.
Mexicans are used to think of food almost as a status thing; for example, for a peasant eating processed food it’s almost like saying they are like middle class people, that they can buy this “expensive” food. Food industry doesn’t help either: they strongly publicize all kinds of junk food and they lobby to prevent schools to ban this food to be sold inside them.
They worry about sales only, without thinking at all at the obesity rates (we are second in the world after US) or the diseases related with eating junk food (like diabetes, we are the first place in the world).
OK Bumbling Band. This MizFit is woman enough to say she’d not even heard of Three Kings Day before she stumbled up the holiday & decided to use it as writing fodder.
(Click here to read the chapter from my serial which focused on Three Kings Day)
Are you of Mexican descent and celebrate Three Kings Day? Have any insights, musings or memories to share?
Are you not of Mexican descent, celebrate Three Kings Day with traditional Mexican foods, and wanna share a recipe in the comments?
Thoughts & reactions to Kary’s assertions with regards to how, for the most part, people in Mexico view health, wellness & fitness?
Reactions to the notion of food as a status statement?
Please to hit us all up in the comments.