Hello snowflakes! Okay, well it is not quite snowing in New York yet but I am writing in front of a crackling fireplace with Christmas music playing. It has me excited for the magic of the season! I still enjoy the holidays even with my numerous food sensitivities. Over the past few years I have figured out ways to participate in the celebrations without jeopardizing my health and healing process.
I’ve felt pretty amazing the past two years and I have my diet and vitamins to thank for that. It can be challenging to navigate the holidays between the travel and all the unhealthy desserts served up. I’m here to tell you it’s definitely not impossible! I never indulge. I maintain a strict diet because I honestly feel terrible if I accidentally eat something I am not supposed to. While I feel fine, my body has not healed completely yet. For me, it’s not worth it.
If you are attempting to eat clean through the butter cookie season, here are a few tips to keep you feeling fabulous through the most wonderful and fattening time of the year:
Host the Holidays
The best way to enjoy the holidays while staying on a restrictive diet is to be the host! Hosting gives you the flexibility to substitute any ingredient your little heart desires. You can also put portions of food to the side before the heavy dressings or gravy are added! Mix in some of your clean eating dishes with the traditional stuff. Maybe they will be a hit and inspire others!
Bring Your Own Food
If your crazy aunt insists on hosting you can kindly let her know your food sensitivities. Ask if there is anyway to leave off any allergen ingredients. Most people are eating turkey or a ham which is easy to keep free of ingredients like gluten and dairy. If you do not feel comfortable asking the host to make dietary modifications, you can always bring your own food in case there is nothing available. If you are flying somewhere, you can easily hunt down a local grocery store and pick up a small serving of something to cook separately and offer to contribute a side dish. I was able to hunt down a health food store in the middle of Indiana. Anything is possible.
If you are flying somewhere, it’s always a good idea to have a big meal before you leave in case you get delayed in an airport. I like red-eye flights so I can eat a big dinner and then sleep through the night. You can also pack a plane meal. I love making turkey wraps with lettuce and apple to get some protein in while I am on the go. I also pack a ton of Lara Bars and Cliff’s Kit’s Organics bars. These come in handy for breakfast and on the go snacks. I never travel without them. I also love bringing roasted chickpeas which you can purchase or make yourself. Oh, and lots of nuts. I tend to pack high-protein snacks to keep my hunger at bay.
There is Always Room for Dessert
You cannot go a holiday without dessert! There are incredible options today for clean eating desserts. Go wild and make something that excites you. There is nothing worse than having to avoid eating everything in front of you. If you have substitutions it will be much easier to stay on track and not feel isolated and unsocial!
Holidays and life in general revolve around drinking. To avoid dealing with people asking you why you aren’t drinking, whip yourself up a fancy mocktail. Mocktails are all the rage right now anyway. You can also do a seltzer and lime which are staple items at any function. No one will know the difference and your body will thank you.
Stay healthy and fabulous this holiday season.