The holidays are just around the corner and we know what that means – wanton amounts of foods ranging from the fatty to the sugary ones. For many Paleo practitioners, the thought of going through the holidays is enough to make them shudder. There is this unfortunate truth that majority of our holiday-favorite foods are not Paleo friendly. However, Paleo folks shouldn’t fret. Preparing meals for the holiday season might be fairly tricky but it is certainly not impossible. There are numerous ways that will help you navigate the holiday cheers from a Paleo perspective. To all of my readers that are on Twitter, make sure to follow me at: twitter.com/drlanesebring!
Here are some general tips to help you cook well-rounded Paleo-friendly meals for the holiday season:
1. Focus on the “can” rather than the “can’t” – Unfortunately, there many holiday staples that you should pass from like you the family’s favorite gingerbread. However if you should just search high and low, you can easily find many Paleo-friendly dishes for the holiday. Some good examples include roasted turkey, prime rib, roasted chestnuts, apple cider, mulled wine, champagne and more.
2. Be choosy with your sweeteners – Even though sugar isn’t regarded as Paleo-friendly, a number of other sweeteners are. Consider sweetening your holiday eggnog using maple syrup or double-glazing your Christmas ham with honey as well as orange juice (there is a recipe for that). Along with the mindful usage of sweeteners, the holiday season can be equally as sweet as the years before while still being Paleo of course.
3. Think historically – Many of the foods eaten about 50 years ago were in fact Paleo friendly. Holiday feasts have always been a human thing, so you will no doubt find historic recipes that involve Paleo friendly foods. Perhaps, you can try digging within your grandma’s old holiday cookbooks? There is a good chance that you will find many Paleo-friendly recipes.
4. Give yourself a break – Yes, we know that this particular tip can be downright counterproductive. However, one of the most effective ways to handle the holiday stress as a Paleo is to acknowledge that these days exist. Food has been universally used as a tool cultural exchange. Thus, by turning down that nice gingerbread, you are effectively cutting yourself off from that cultural connection. This can give you an unpleasant sense of regret and missing out. Plan for cheat days during the holiday season. Your diet will always be there, waiting for you.
For all of you paleo beginners, I attached a paleo food list so that you can build your holiday menus around it! Hope you enjoy and happy holidays!