I love the holidays. Getting together with friends and family, sharing food and drinks, making memories, taking photos; it’s all so joyous and full of love. A big part of the holidays is food, and holiday food is steeped in tradition. Much of what we typically eat is not the healthiest of foods, but with a little work, there are many Paleo alternatives that are just as tasty, if not tastier than the originals.
With that said, there are times during the holiday season that it’s impossible to eat a truly Paleo menu. Friends and family may not be on the same page nutritionally, and foregoing or avoiding a holiday meal would be worse than any “Bad food” intake. For this reason, I do my best to eat Paleo, but when I’m at a holiday meal with friends or family, I eat whatever is presented (within reason: I am not a fan of sweet potato with marshmallow topping. Ew!). I may eat smaller amounts or try to pick and chose certain side dishes over others, but for the most part, I partake in whatever food is given.
Even during the holiday season, it’s rare to have more than one or two of these dinners a week. Even at the height of the season, one or two meals in a week is not excessive. I’ve learned through experience that I don’t gain a lot of weight after eating a non-Paleo meal. Sure, I retain some water and my weight may spike 1-3 lbs, but as long as I continue to eat Paleo after the non-Paleo meal, the weight goes right back down to where it was before the non-Paleo meal within a day or two at most. Knowing this makes it esay to partake in the holiday festivities and cheer guilt-free.
Enjoy the holidays. Eat some food. Drink some wine. But don’t overdo it, and don’t lose track of the big picture. Eating a holiday meal is not slipping or falling off the wagon: it’s partaking in life’s special moments, and that’s important. Don’t cut yourself off from friends and family because of your diet. Enjoy yourself, and harden your resolve to withstand the non-Paleo meal and follow it up by being especially diligent in sticking to the plan. It can be done, and it’s not as hard as you may think.