The holidays can be a stressful time of year. A lot of people, a lot of food and a lot of temptation. Luckily there are a few things working in your favor to keep you on track and eating clean at all of your holiday festivities this year.
Plan ahead. Whether you are the host/hostess or a guest, planning a head is key to staying on track. If you are hosting, plan a menu filled with holiday inspired paleo dishes. Luckily many holiday meals are easily paleofied (is that a word?), as meat and vegetables are the staple of any Christmas dinner. An added bonus is that colorful vegetables are not only paleo and delicious, but they look pretty on the table! If you are the guest, let the host/hostess know that you have dietary restrictions in advance. I have no doubt your family and friends will be more than accommodating, and if not at least they won’t be offended when you don’t eat the green bean casserole.
Bring a dish. One way to ensure that there will be at least one thing on the menu that you can eat, is to bring it yourself. Ask the host/hostess if you can bring a side dish like mashed cauliflower or oven roasted broccoli , or a yummy paleo dessert, like paleo apple crisp, apple cider donuts or Christmas cookies. The host/hostess will appreciate the help and your non paleo friends won’t even realize they’re eating “paleo food.” If you are the host/hostess and want to make sure that your non paleo guests have their favorite side dishes and desserts, ask them to bring a dish to add to the table.
Sub it out. Instead of piling your plate with traditional, non paleo side dishes, pile it high with delicious paleo friendly alternatives. Mashed cauliflower and mashed sweet potatoes make a great substitute for mashed potatoes and bright colored vegetables make a great alternative to corn. You can even go that extra mile and make a homemade, paleo cranberry sauce instead of using the one from the can.
Drink up. People tend to over eat around the holidays, filling up on appetizers instead of waiting for the main event. Drink lots of water throughout the day and dinner to keep yourself hydrated and full! Apples are also filling and a great way to avoid filling up on less healthy appetizers.
Drink smart. Although alcohol is not strict Paleo, being around family during the holidays usually means you’ll need at least one cocktail. Since not all alcohol is created equal stick to those made from fruit, such as wine. Red wine is my personal favorite, but both red and white wine are made from fermented grapes. Wine, which often come in an organic option, in moderation its good for your heart and it contains antioxidants. This is definitely the healthiest thing on this list, so sit back, relax and enjoy a glass of red.
For more helpful tips on eating clean at not-so-Paleo events, check out my guide on Partying Paleo. And don’t forget to share your tips and tricks for eating paleo around the holidays below!