Dieting over Christmas? Impossible. Right? Right? It’s a time of family, friends, celebrations and all of that revolves around food. There are the work functions, the Christmas parties, the catch ups with friends. If you’re like me, we have 4 Christmases with each of the sets of people closest to us, and each one of those involves pretty much a 3 course hot meal. Yep we do enjoy Christmas. And it makes sure the festive season is spread out. Add to that new years eve, and 3 birthdays. All of this in a 3 week period.
Luckily keto isn’t a diet. If I was on a diet there is no way I could stick to it over Christmas. Keto is a way of eating and a way of life. I live by this and I believe it completely. This helps me to no end. If you think about it, the majority of the foods you eat over this period are compliant. Here is a typical Christmas day’s food for me.
Breakfast, well who has room for breakfast when the rest of the day will be spent eating
Lunch starts with a prawn cocktail, including oysters. This is quite possibly my favourite part of the meal. And guess what, it’s all compliant, the lettuce, the prawns, the oysters, all compliant. The seafood cocktail sauce? Well if you buy it out of a jar then no. But If you spend minutes and make it yourself then yes, definitely. Two different recipes are linked below.
Main course for us is the typical English lunch. We have roast pork, with crackling (I’m drooling already), roast turkey, chicken, carrots, beans, cauliflower and broccoli with cheese sauce, and potato. Out of that list there, only potato is red list. And with all of that tasty food available, how hard is it to turn down the potato really? Maybe you can negotiate to have an extra serve of crackling (hmmmm I like that idea and may have to try it myself this year).
Dessert is typically a pavlova in our family. Maybe a trifle. Personally I’m not a fan of the trifle, but I am a sucker for a pav. Well guess what? Being keto doesn’t mean you have to miss out. Sure you may need to make a dessert yourself, but you can still enjoy it. As I’ve said previously, I’m extremely lucky to have the support of my family and friends, and my mum will be making me a keto pav. Poor rest of the family are getting something store bought. I know who is the real winner here. I even have a recipe you can try out. Last year we made a pav as well and it was delicious. I didn’t feel like I was missing out at all. If chocolate cake or cheesecake is more your style, there are options for those as well. If you don’t tell anyone they won’t even know the difference.
Our day is usually finished with a selection of cheese and fruit. This year my plan is to make cheese crackers. It’s as simple as putting little clumps of grated cheese on baking paper and cooking it in the oven for about 5 to 10 minutes. It’s simple and delicious. It also doesn’t bother me to just eat huge chunks of cheese without a biscuit. Seriously, it’s all about the cheese anyway, the biscuit really is there just to make you look polite right? Less biscuit leaves room for more cheese, so that’s a win.
And if everyone is having chocolate, do you have to miss out? Of course not. Chocolate is one of those inevitabilities in life. And hell, you may as well enjoy it. Make the best choice you can, try and keep it to a minimum, but if you’re going to have it, make it good chocolate. Over 70% is a good choice and with as few of the nasty and inflammatory ingredients as you can find. The best out there seems to be lindt, but being from Adelaide I can’t go past Haigh's.
Am I perfect with my eating? No. Will I eat too much over Christmas? Most likely. Will I eat more sweets than I would normally indulge in? Most definitely. It’s a hard time of year at the best of times. My approach is going to be to do the best I can, to make the best choices I can while enjoying myself. I will have no trouble saying no to potato, rice, pasta and flour. I will make sure there are options available for me so I don’t stray and don’t feel deprived. I will however let myself have orange list items that I wouldn’t normally have, such as some fruit and maybe an extra helping of pumpkin and carrot. Am I going to enjoy Christmas and my birthday celebrations? I sure am.
My take home message though, is to be kind to yourself. No one is perfect, no one is 100% compliant all of the time. What we are is adults, making informed choices. Choosing something non compliant isn’t the end. It doesn’t mean that the whole week is a write off, or that the whole day is now wasted and you may as well eat whatever you want. Even that whole meal doesn’t have to be a write off. You made your choice, own it, understand it and don’t let that choice rule you. The next choice you make is a completely new choice. Be proud of yourself every time you make the choice that makes you feel good. Be kind to yourself if you can’t always make the best choice for your health. You know what that food is and what it does to you, and you have made a choice. As long as you know that you have made that choice and you own it then that’s ok. You don’t need to justify it, just own it. Learn from it. And if you’re going to do it, enjoy it, and then get back to it.
It is still a battle for me, every day, to be kind to myself, and to forgive myself when I make a choice that isn’t the best choice for me. I am learning to own it, I am learning that sometimes I don’t have the strength to battle myself and to make the “right” choice. But I am learning to own the choice, and I will work on being kind to myself and not dwelling on the “wrong” choice. I will enjoy the festive season and make the best choices I can. I hope everyone out there can do the same. I wish you a wonderful holiday season and thank you for reading this.
Wishing you much love and happiness.