Healthy Eating During the Holidays

Many of you have made fantastic progress on the program and we want to make sure you feel empowered to continue your great momentum through the holiday season! Use these tips below from Lindsey, our clinical nutritionist, and navigate the holidays feeling refreshed and full of vitality. Friends and family members may even be inspired to join you to feel healthier, too!

Tip #1: Plan Ahead!

Going to a Family or Friends House:

  • Contact the host before the event and explain dietary plan that you are following.
  • Work out menu details with your host before the event. Many hosts are willing to accommodate you if you just ask.
  • Depending on what’s being served, plan to bring one or more side dishes.
  • If you are helping to cook, bring your own oil, sea salt, and other cooking supplies.

You’re Hosting the Meal:

  • Even though it may be more work, you’ll have control over the food being offered.
  • Try an all-paleo meal! No one will notice your rolls are made from almond flour or your pumpkin pie is made from tapioca and pure maple syrup rather than cane sugar, wheat and/or dairy.

Tip #2: Communicate with your family and friends about why you’re eating this way

  • Open communication with your family and friends is key!
  • If you don’t tell your family that you are following a certain food plan, you can’t blame them when they offer you something you can’t have!
  • Many times family and friends will be more than supportive.

Tip #3: Don’t allow Food Pushers to get in your head

  • A food pusher is someone who pushes food on you, someone who won’t stop trying to make you eat something even though you’ve already politely declined. Realize that this behavior is usually coming from the person’s own insecurities including:
  • They may need assurance that you like and appreciate them.
  • They may be jealous of how amazing you’re feeling.
  • They may feel bad for you, as if you’re being deprived.
  • They may think you’re not eating enough or getting enough nutrients in your food choices.

Tip #4: Be okay with saying “No Thank You”

  • Politely declining food that’s not on your plan is one of the best tools for being successful in eating healthy!
  • Your health matters more!
  • To get the attention off of you, try changing the subject! “No, thank you” “…but how do you like your new job?”
  • It may be uncomfortable at first to say no, but overtime it will become easier and easier and you will be happier and healthier for it!
  • Be confident about your decision and others will be confident in it as well- whether they agree with you or not!

Tip # 5: Avoid food debates

  • Food debates can be just as intense as politics and religion.
  • Blanket statements like “[food x] is unhealthy” are likely to make other people very defensive and cause arguments.
  • Instead, try making it personal by saying “I don’t feel well when I eat gluten.”
  • Don’t feel the need to have to defend your new eating habits; just drop it and change the subject.

Tip #6: Bring a yummy dish to share

  • If you are going to a friend’s or family’s for the holiday, make a yummy dish or two to share with everyone! This will make you feel more included!
  • No need to share that it is the “paleo version.” You can share that with them after they try it and tell you how yummy it is!
  • Sample Recipes include: Bacon Braised Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes, Paleo Pumpkin bread, Paleo muffins made with almond flour, Roasted Root Veggies, Sweet Potato Mash, etc.

Tip #7: If you are tempted by sweets, make your own paleo dessert!

  • If you are easily tempted by sweets, come prepared by making your own dessert and bringing it with you!
  • You can enjoy your delicious Paleo dessert, guilt-free!
  • So many options to choose from: Paleo Pumpkin Pie, Apple Pie, Blueberry Pie, Apple Crisp, Cinnamon Coffee Cake, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cupcakes of your choosing, the list is endless! You can make a paleo version of just about everything!

Tip #8: Have a drink alternative

  • Non-alcoholic Wine Options
    • Ariel Cabernet Sauvignon (red wine)
    • Sutter Home Fre Brut
    • St. Regis Non-Alcoholic Chardonnay
  • Coconut Milk Egg Nog
  • Paleo Punch

Tip #9: Take enzymes with your meal

  • When going out for a holiday meal, whether it is at a restaurant or to your family’s or friend’s house, there’s always a chance that no matter how diligent you are there may be some hidden foods that sneak into your meal.
  • You may also be consuming a bigger meal than you are used to!
  • For these two reasons, it’s a good idea to take an enzyme with your meal!
  • Please reach out to Lindsey for recommended brands! Take at the beginning of meal!

Tip #10: Have the right mindset and remember your why!

  • Remember you are not on a “diet!” You are adopting a lifestyle of healthy eating!
  • Every decision you make can either lead you closer to health or farther away from it.
  • Food is the building blocks for your body. Choose nutrient dense, power-packed foods that are yummy and satisfying!
  • Remember your reason for sticking to your food plan and what your ultimate why is! Why did you start this health plan? What are your health goals?
  • View food as your medicine to help heal your body and help you live a happy and healthy life!