Monday, December 13, 2010

Combating Holiday Temptations

It's that time of year - holiday decorations, Christmas songs, shopping, chilly weather and food! everywhere!  During the holiday season we're confronted with delectable looking food constantly - at parties, in the lunch room at work, brought right to our front door by lovely neighbors or the UPS man.  What to do?  Acknowledge you're human and then arm yourself with a few tools.
As you may have read in my Thanksgiving post, I think it's okay to cheat every once in a while.  It would take enormous strength to make it through the holiday season without straying from Gundry.  Unless you are a superman or superwoman, I think a solid goal for this holiday season would be to limit your indulging to about a quarter of what you might have done in years past.

A few tips for you:

Don't eat the whole plate.  If someone gives you a gift of food, don't feel compelled to eat it.  If it looks just too cute or yummy to pass up, then by all means, try it out, but avoid finishing the whole platter or basket. Instead, throw some away, bring it to work, take advantage of the opportunity to re-gift or give it to a needy individual.
Choose a caesar salad.  At your holiday dinners and lunches this year, choose a caesar salad for your meal.  They are on the menu at almost every establishment, even pubs, diners, sports bars and fast food joints.  A caesar salad is delicious and filling and isn't total diet food, so you may just avoid weird stares or comments from your fellow celebrators.  Caesar salads are also a good go-to for traveling, you can find one in many airport eateries.
I ordered this Caesar salad at a holiday lunch with girlfriends.  Don't forget to hold the croutons. 
Don't show up hungry.  If you've got a big holiday party coming up, don't show up starving, you'll end up eating and drinking everything out of necessity.  Instead, have a snack or meal ahead of time.  When you arrive, take a plate and choose a few items that you know you will really enjoy.  Savor them and try to stay away for the rest of the evening or stick to Gundry-friendly items like olives, cheese and veggies.
Keep chocolate at hand for emergencies.  Keep chocolate in your purse or in your desk at work.  If the lunch room cookie buffet calls, reach for some chocolate instead.  You can even carry chocolate with you to parties - if you're having trouble avoiding the yule log, gingerbread men and cheesecake, sneak a piece of chocolate from your purse or pocket.  My favorite emergency chocolates are the 70% cocoa wedges from Trader Joe's.  The 16-piece tins can easily be thrown in a bag without risk of getting chocolate everywhere.  The wedges are the perfect size to just pop in your mouth and the chocolate itself is one of the most delicious varieties of dark chocolate I have tried.
Choose your events.  Don't look at the entire holiday season as an excuse to eat poorly.  Look at your calendar of events and decide ahead of time when you are going to let yourself indulge.  Keep in mind that you don't have to go overboard.  Maybe "indulging" simply means that you will allow yourself to eat a bite of cheesecake.  Maybe indulging means that you will order the pasta.  You know your own limits.  Be realistic, but don't be too easy on yourself.

Don't beat yourself up.  If you happen to slip up and eat more than you intended or stray further than you had envisioned, don't beat yourself up.  Acknowledge it, move on and recommit. The principles of Gundry are always there to get you back on track.

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