It’s official. The holidays have snuck up on us once again and with them the clean eater’s devastating dichotomy: Do I go all out and ride the blood sugar wave into the new year or—*sigh*—stick to my paleo guns? I am here to tell you that you can enjoy delicious holiday feasts without succumbing to the pressure of gluten-filled comfort foods. Instead of a sigh, you will ring out the cry, “I LOVE MY (metaphorical) GUNS!”
The first thing to remember is The Basics: mainly meat and vegetables. Keep the image of the “Paleo Plate” in mind when you fill your plate. You should have about 60%–70% vegetables and fruit (salad, sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberries), and the remainder should be protein and fat (snag that dark meat!). If you assemble your plate this way, there won’t be any room left for the you know what (it rhymes with schmuffing).
So you have your game plan, the ideal paleo plate. Suddenly, they are passing around fresh, aromatic rolls. The idea of a warm, buttery bun in your mouth is raising your insulin levels. It takes all of your will power, but you successfully pass the basket without indulging. Now comes the real challenge. “Don’t you want a roll?” Mom asks. Option 1: Respond with, “Wheat is poison” and successfully insult and alienate everyone at the table who has a croissant hanging out of a now frowning mouth. Option 2: Respond with “I’m conserving stomach capacity so I can run a train on those sweet potatoes! They smell so good!” or something along those lines. Let’s stick with Option 2. That way, you will change the subject from your eating habits to the delicious sweet potatoes; plus, you’ll avoid eating the things you don’t want without insulting everyone who is eating them. Remember, you have to spend ALL DAY with these people, so avoid debate and NEVER call the food in someone’s mouth “unhealthy.” They will probably feel inclined to spit it at you.
Finally, remember to enjoy yourself! Enjoy yourself all day long, not just at the dinner table. Keep in mind how you are going to feel for the rest of the day. Do you plan to play with nieces and nephews or grandchildren? Is there a pickup football game later? Make sure that you know what you want to get out of your body, and let that dictate what fuel you put in. And, of course, we will always be back at the box in case you feel the need to do penance or have some mysterious pounds that need shedding.