How to go Paleo at Pre-Christmas Parties
I love Christmas. Oh that feels so good to say as an adult. I love seeing twinkling Christmas trees up in peoples homes, Christmas carols playing in every single shopping centre, the trees along main streets wrapped in dodgy fairy lights and Christmas parties.
When I reflect back on all the Christmas parties that I have been too, one thing comes to mind; The Christmas Food! Its so weird that we go all silly with our food at this time and even stranger, we can so easily justify it and right it off as ‘normal’ eating when we over indulge and have fruit-mince pie’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I think this is the reason why I love Christmas. According to various experts that do random studies (I share this as interest, not a hard and fast fact) but we put on an average of 0.5kg to 1.5kg over the two weeks around Christmas. I have seen this first hand in myself. So what I wanted to share with you today is a few hints that might help you navigate the ‘Pre-Christmas Party’ food traps and avoid a sugar hangover on top of a traditional one.
Let’s assess our food options. Parties are generally a finger food affair. Translation; lots of high calorie unconscious snacking traps. I am not here to give you all the ‘healthy diet at Christmas tips’ cos lets face it, they sux and no one every adheres to that after their second glass of bubbles.
In saying that here are a few of my practical suggestions;
Don’t eat before you go – we are weak when it comes to finger foods. They are so delicious looking, beautifully presented, gives you something to do when you have no one to talk to and well, they taste really good. But have one or two big glasses of water as your getting ready or in the afternoon before you get there.
Listen to when you are full. Go and eat the party food – but notice when the food plates start to look a bit sad and have that ‘the dregs’ look perhaps it’s a sign that your done too?
Don’t stand near the food table – it’s just too easy to keep grabbing for another if your right near it. But when they come around enjoy!
Alcohol – I’m not here to give you the dos and don’ts around alcohol. But I know in myself I have an ‘F it, who cares’ attitude after a few glasses – which is when I will keep eating – because I can’t feel my hunger/fullness message anymore. Enjoy a few drinks; know when you are festively merry and when you are an embarrassment to yourself. (I know for me its around 4 standard drinks)
Oh, and have food before your first sip – it will send the right message to your stomach and brain.
Type of drinks; beer, wine, dry/non sweet bubbles and clear spirits ie vodka are all acceptable as they don’t contain fructose. Avoid soft drink – this includes tonic water. Mix with soda water and a squeeze of lemon or lime.
Type of foods to enjoy;
If it’s on a skewer its prob ok – chicken, beef, and prawns are usually served on this – they may come with sauces so go easy – however a teriyaki marinade won’t be to damaging.
Cheese plater – have a few big hunks of cheese – this will make you feel very satisfied and full quickly. Avoid the dried fruit and lots of crackers – however 4-5 thin wafers with your cheese is totally OK in my opinion. Sometimes you need the crunchy vessel for the food!
Avoid the deep fried stuff ie spring rolls and wontons– not that its sugary – but that is usually fried in cheap vegetable/seed based oils (more on the harms of oils later)
Enjoy a party pie or sausage roll if they are there. These are usually small and very filling. Go easy or avoid the tomato sauce, its often half sugar.
If there are veggie sticks for dipping – fill up your plate with this. Then add on your cheese. You can easily pick at this all night and not feel like you are missing out.
By the end of the evening you should feel comfortable full – not stuffed. This makes it easy to say no to the sweets or cake that might be around. But I have noticed that now I am off sugar I don’t go looking for it anymore – where as in the past I would get nervous and anxious waiting for the cake to come out. I’m cool and relaxed about it now. So when I have this attitude, I can take it or leave it. And 9 times out of ten I don’t see the need or desire anymore.
As you can see there are super easy ways to navigate your way around the buffet table. I’m happy to answer any questions you have about certain foods or options so feel free to throw some at me!
Until then, go forth and enjoy your pre-Christmas joy confidently and without the calorie counting or guilt.
I will be posting a Paleo Christmas day food guide in a few weeks. It will contain some food recipes and ideas to help you avoid the millions of questions from your relo’s about what ‘diet’ are you on now.
Until then have a happy sugar free silly season