187 Holiday Eating Strategies


The holidays are upon us. Most of you who read this will have already enjoyed a Thanksgiving meal. However, Christmas is still on the horizon! You may only have one special meal awaiting you or perhaps you have a half dozen or more from various parties. And there are always those temptations at the office!

No worries my friends. To be eligible for the Halloween epic Primal giveaway you had to leave a comment with your answer to one of two questions:

  1. Based on your personal experience, what is your strategy for eating during the holidays?
  2. If you are a newbie to Paleo eating, how do you plan to eat during the holidays?

That blog post has 186 comments. It’s now organized into a google document and PDF file. If you want full access to the PDF then join the Toadally Primal Tribe.

What follows is my holiday eating strategy and then the first 21 strategies that are laid out in the full PDF. Remember, there are a total of 187 in the PDF. Many of them may be very similar but they are written from 187 unique human beings. Click here to join the Toadally Primal Tribe so you can download the full PDF today!

My Holiday Eating Strategy

I will be living in the moment. I’ve been eating this way since April 2010 and at this point my natural instinct is to go for what makes me feel good. What will enable me to play football outside if my family wants to have some fun? I’m guessing I will enjoy at least 2 bites of nearly everything but fill my plate mostly with turkey (mostly dark of course), potatoes and other veggies that don’t seem to have a lot of extra junk.

I also plan to make my own dish! Probably a dessert since I know just about all the desserts won’t make me feel good. Something from Paleo Indulgences, Practical Paleo or my own recipe which I would of course share with you all.

Don’t feel guilty about eating anything on Thanksgiving. Give thanks. Show gratitude. Offer a helping hand. Respect others choices and if you are asked questions about the way you choose to eat then don’t be afraid to tell them why!

I am lucky to say that I will be enjoying Thanksgiving with nearly my entire family in Grand Rapids, MI, at my Aunt and Uncles house. It will be the most memorable because of my new condition: Cold Urticaria.

21 Other Holiday Eating Strategies

1. This will be my first holidays eating primal (started Feb 2012). My plan is to help plan for Christmas (since my mom has a celebration) and get primal dishes on the menu. For Thanksgiving, we do a potluck, so I’ll bring a primal side and have turkey and veggies from the host. For the new year, I’ll have a champagne toast with friends, I think sometimes you can make small exceptions and that bit of alcohol is okay with me.

2. I always try to bring a Primal friendly dish. Also, I allow myself to eat one meal on the actual Holy Day where I’m not worrying about it. Other than those meals, I make sure I’m eating as close to 100% clean as possible.

3. I too will bring my own dish to dinner. I’m pretty good with not indulging in treats but if I really thought it was needed, I’d eat what it was then forget about it.

4. I always eat the most paleo dish off the menu, and usually the holiday meals are laden with meat (most of them anyways) so I think it’ll be easy to tackle. And the fruits in Spain are very typical to the dried fruits during the holidays.

5. In order to eat paleo for the holidays I have been trying some new recipes ahead of time so that I don’t have to pick random recipes and hope for the best on the day. Also, the best way to eat the way you want during the Holidays is to be the Host(ess)! Then you can make sure to have all your fave Paleo dishes and leave the non-Paleo treats to the Trick or Treaters! Also, you can make a great Paleo Margarita…delicious!

6. I eat before I go anywhere, and make sure I bring some healthy snacks. I always bring a dish to share that I CAN eat.

7. My strategy is 80/20 – balance, not exclusion. I can try things, I can taste and sample and savor, but I will avoid any large helpings or full servings of anything in the 20 part. I will work to spread out my indulgences to give my body a chance to recover. I will take walks after meals and up the exercise to burn that sugar quickly rather than let my body run on it instead of the healthy fats I provide it in my normal diet.

8. My husband and I are new to Paleo/Primal and we are planning a big trip to see the family over Thanksgiving. Our plan so far is to head straight for meats, salads, and plain veggies at family gatherings. Beyond that, we’ll try to avoid baked/sugar/preservative laden offerings gracefully. If there are no options that we’d prepare ourselves, we’ll accept what we can with a thankful heart – these are people we only see once every few years!

9. I keep it quality! That means enjoying some treats, but only the super-special, really fancy stuff. Lucky for me, many of my family members are foodies too, so there are at least some high-quality eats to be had.

Also, I’ve learned to make a lot of my favorite treats better. It’s sneaky too because I’ve tricked some of my SAD family members into liking the better-for-you stuff (like homemade dark chocolate dipped mint marshmallows- totally made from scratch!)

10. Being new to paleo I honestly can’t wait for the holiday eats! I am planning on making brussell sprouts, baked sweet potato, and mashed cauliflower in addition to the usual suspects like turkey!

11. I’ve been moderately to seriously Primal for about two years now. I plan to stick to it as well as possible over the holidays. I’ll likely eat some non-optimal foods, but I always focus on veggies and meat first. I’ll probably be involved in a lot of the cooking, so I can steer the preparations towards better fats and less sugar as well. I’ll be getting plenty of low-level activity and will probably take the time to de-stress, so I would think that any poor food choices would be offset by those positive influences.

12. Last year, my strategy was to indulge sensibly. Since health issues are prohibiting me from indulging beyond an occasional treat (we’re talking no more than one wheat exposure per week, or one night of excess sugar per week), I’m pretty well reigned in. I’m really looking forward to more of the savory foods, like grain-free stuffing made with tubers.

13. I am a Newbie to Paleo but I plan to keep my pantry paleo friendly for the holidays and bring foods I can eat where I go!

14. We are new to going seriously Primal (almost a year in) and we started it for the health of our kids and the health of my current pregnancy (baby 5). We followed GAPS previously but still didn’t really reap all the benefits we were hoping for. Over the holidays we plan on ‘sticking to it’ by making our own holiday feasts and inviting family to our place. This way, we are in control of what we eat and get to spread the good word!

15. I’ve been paleo for about a month now. I’ve made the adjustment while at college, which has greatly benefited me. For the holidays I plan to of course load up on the vegetables and meat. Most of my family isn’t aware of my new lifestyle so I plan on educating them on why I’m eating like this. I also plan to ask them what ingredients they used in their food and hopefully explain the pros and cons of each ingredient. Most adults I’ve spoken with are not even aware of GMOs, bad oils, and the negative health effects of bread. I plan to go through all of this with my family and of course will bring at least one primal food offering to the gathering!

16. I am looking forward to making some great paleo treats for halloween, and having my first paleo thanksgiving! There are lots of great recipes out there and I can’t wait to try them all!

17. We are recently Primal (June 2012) so have yet to try to maneuver holiday party platters. My plan is to host a gathering and provide only paleo food options and maybe be able to introduce some skeptical friends to the lifestyle, but also to try a bunch of new recipes! I love holiday desserts, so this is going to have to be the year to experiment with some Primal desserts without all the refined sugars and processed junk. Looking forward to it!

18. I plan ahead by letting go of the guilt and telling myself that it’s okay to cheat to prevent unnecessary stress. However, I also eat really healthy in the days preceding (including the earlier meals on the day of the cheating) and I make myself guidelines according to how many servings, etc. I will allow myself. After fully enjoying the food, I throw myself wholeheartedly back on the path of a healthy life!

19. My strategy for the holidays that has worked very well since going primal: I eat whatever paleo items there are (the meat, veggies, and fruit), but I make sure to bring my own treat, be it dark chocolate or nut-crust pumpkin pie.

20. My attack plan for the holidays is to plan, plan, plan ahead. My gift to myself this holiday season will be healthy paleo/primal eating. I am already talking to the family members who are cooking the big meals and seeing what they are planning so I know if I need to volunteer to bring anything to share, that will allow me to stay on track. Also, to me the holidays are about pumpkin so I am looking for a tasty, paleo/primal pumpkin dessert!

21. Since I became paleo 2 and a half years ago, I eat during the Holidays very similar to how I do during the year. I eat a variety of healthy, good, real food (meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, root vegetables, nuts, fruit). I also eat a good amount of carbs since I am a competitive runner. During the holidays, I try to eat as much real food as possible, and enjoy some sweets or grains if they look really good! I feel spending time and eating with my family is more important than restricting myself at those times. I feel as long as I eat healthy most of the time I could enjoy some other foods at others.

What is YOUR Thanksgiving eating strategy? Or, if Thanksgiving has passed, what did you do? What is your strategy for the various parties you may attend for Christmas?

Don’t forget to join the Toadally Primal tribe today so you can download the Holiday Eating Strategies PDF immediately!

From Chicago, Illinois and then Grand Rapids, Michigan,

Happy Thanksgiving!

photo credit

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