Monday, November 29, 2010

Holiday Balance

How did you do this Thanksgiving holiday - Did you survive Turkey Day?  Did you stay true to your normal clean eating habits or did you "go off the rails" on a grain and sugar binge?  This holiday was the first holiday where I really felt comfortable maintaining my eating habits - I decided that I wanted to stay as close to my normal eating routine as possible and made the exception of having more "sugar" than I normally would by having some Paleo friendly desserts.  Both sides of my family humored me and made sure that there were things that I could eat - even altering traditional recipes so that I would also be able to eat it - which was very much appreciated by me!

One important thing about maintaining a Paleo lifestyle over the holidays is to stay true to your normal routine - eating clean and continuing to work out - but also finding balance.  Keep your normal routine, do a workout and eat clean for the holiday weekend and then make a cognizant decision to have one dessert or eat your mom's candied yams.  Just make sure you don't use the beginning of the holiday season as an excuse for why you are abandoning what you've been doing before the holidays started.  In addition to navigating the holiday meals, anyone that works in an office also has to face the piles of desserts, cookies, candies, popcorn, etc that begin to show up in office kitchens everywhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Remember to find balance, but also decide is eating that cookie really worth it?  Tasting some of my co-worker's famous home-made biscotti last year was worth it for me - plan what you're going to try and don't beat yourself up if you do have somethings that you wouldn't normally eat or drink over the holiday.  What is most important is that you CHOOSE to eat it or not, and that you don't use a small indulgence or exception to your normal eating and fitness habits as the catalyst to abandon all of the healthy lifestyle changes you've made.  Keep on track and know that you are in control of your food choices and maintaining your workout schedule - whatever those choices are they are yours.

So remember this holiday season is yours to enjoy and the choices you make are exactly that - choices that you can make.  Just like vacation (but the holiday season is a little bit longer) remember to live a little but do what you want to do!  There are many great Paleo or Primal alternatives out there that you can share with others as well.

Here are some great resources that I've found to help you stay on track over the holidays, and also to give you a little guidance when you slip up.  Are there any other resources you use, recipes you tried over Thanksgiving that were a big hit?  Please share what you tried.


  1. I know that I sort of went off the rails last week. My 30 days ended a few weeks ago, so I decided to reintroduce some foods and felt terrible when I did. This weekend was just retarded, and *none* of it was worth it. Not even my aunt's mac and cheese, which used to be half of my plate every holiday.

  2. Well said, Laura! I often tell clients that when they choose to indulge, always make sure that it's worth it. Though I personally avoid certain proteins (gluten, casein and eggs), on occasion I'll indulge in something that goes way off my normal eating path. However, that something has to be very 'special' in the sense that it's not just a twinkie. Rather, an homemade, organic, chocolate cake or whatever. AND that I eat each bite mindfully to take time to savor the flavors. I find that I eat less of the treat and feel satisfied instead of craving more crap.

  3. great post!! Glad you didn't use the word cheat....instead CHOOSE. @jen- a twinkie is not on my list either. now french fries thats different!

  4. Hello again, Laura. I don't know if Tim told you, but I went to a Whole9 Nutrition meeting at CrossFit Lancaster and boy did I sure learn a lot. I then re-started my Whole30 the day after the conference and I can proudly say that I'm currently on Day 11! I even stayed on track during Thanksgiving and my mom made sure there were things that I could eat when I explained to her my dietary restrictions. I still need to work on getting more sleep - and more consistent workouts in, as when I don't get enough sleep I find that I seriously lack the energy to get intense workouts in. But, I'm getting there and I'm proud of that! Thanks again for all of your advice and postings.

  5. @Susan, so glad you were able to attend a Whole 9 workshop and that you're much more successful this time around on the Whole 30 adventure. Great progress and keep it up!