A traditional US Thanksgiving day dinner. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It’s the holidays – enjoy them! It’s totally okay to indulge in some of your favorite holiday foods. This doesn’t mean partaking in copious amounts of things you could really care less about. (READ: dinner rolls, Stove-Top stuffing, that damn jello salad…) Choose the foods that only make appearances during the holidays, and pick only the ones that result in ‘a party for your taste buds.’ Really ENJOY your choices, and when you’re satisfied – stop eating. If it doesn’t taste absolutely awesome, then it’s not worth it anymore.
Don’t get ‘wasted’ or liquid sugar-logged. This is a big one! Many times we mindlessly sip ourselves into trouble – alcohol, egg nog, seasonal lattes, cider, or soda… Is a ‘cup of good cheer’ really where you want to spend your ‘indulgence’? If the answer is yes – then make sure you TASTE and really ENJOY the drink. Mindless sipping, warm beer, and fizzless soda should not be making the cut!!
Uh-oh! Grandma and the rest of the family have you on ‘dinner table defense’. This is when it starts getting tricky… Let’s say you cleverly avoided the unnaturally green, whip cream, jello, pineapple concoction that is known as “Aunt Susie’s Special Salad”, on the its first pass around the table – but unfortunately, it didn’t go unnoticed. Someone ‘helpfully’ points out to you (and everyone else at the table), that you didn’t have any and they pass it on over again. All eyes are on you; watching and waiting for your hand to grab the spoon and dish up a big scoop of ‘green goodness’. Think fast! It’s time to run interference!! If you find yourself in this situation try this – “Oh goodness, I can’t believe I missed it but I’m SO full from all this other delicious food. Would it be okay if I take some home to enjoy later when my stomach has room for it?” How’s that for some wicked trickery?? The maker of the dish will be flattered that you want to take some home and no one will be able to fault you. In the end you walk away food dye and cool whip free, smelling like roses.
If the above interference play doesn’t fit your game plan, or ends up in a fumble, here’s a surefire way to recover. Dessert is yet to come, so pull the old “I would love some but I’m saving room for (insert worthy food item of choice).” card. Yep, dessert always wins – no one is going to argue that.
Just shoot it straight. Be honest about why you are or aren’t eating/drinking certain things. Feel free to throw in words like ‘health’ and ‘diabetes’. Tell them (READ: briefly) about how eating the way you do makes you feel. Sell them on the high points of ‘your way’ – but don’t be overbearing or pushy. Let them ask questions if they want to know more.
Host the party or meal. I know, it’s a lot of work – but it puts you in control of the food that’s served. If that just seems like a bad idea, or if the tradition is ‘we always go to grandmas on the holidays’, then bring a paleo friendly dish for everyone to share. This way you’ll definitely have something other than turkey to eat… Alternately, see if you can help prepare the meal. Come bearing the needed ingredients and go to town!
There’s one in every crowd… It’s highly likely that we all have to deal with at least one of those people that just can’t let it go. You know the type. It’s not so much a genuine interest or question, but more of a way to see if they can make you squirm. If you get attacked by one of these smart alecks here’s a surefire way to shut them up and hopefully ward off further confrontation. Sample conversation: Smart Aleck asks, “Why aren’t you having any (insert food/drink item here)?” Instead of going into a lengthy explanation (also known as ‘wasting your breath’), turn the question around and ask them, “Why are you eating/drinking (insert chosen food/drink item)?” While saying this inconspicuously raise your eyebrow – this will confuse them and if nothing else, it will make them pause and wonder what the hell just happened there. This should give you adequate time to head over to Cousin Tom and start a chat about the weather. Best case scenario, you make them think about that fourth glass of egg nog or third piece of fudge. Yeah, they’ll leave you alone…
More at: Holiday Help: Dealing With Non-Paleo Peer Pressure…