Holiday Dilemma # 2 – Addressing a Sweet Tooth at Holiday Parties

“Help! I admittedly have a massive sweet tooth. Many times when I go to holiday parties, they may have one or two paleo-friendly options for a while, but they often disappear or get taken away in favor of sugar-laden, yet somehow still very tempting desserts. What are some good ways to handle these parties? I always seem to cave in when I linger and get hungry, but I don’t want to leave my friends just because I can’t sustain myself on what they’re serving!”

Another oh-so-common inquiry, and this one is certainly not particular to the holidays.

When a client tells me they ‘have a sweet tooth’ or use the word ‘craving’, I immediately want to know what they’ve eaten last, and when and whether or not it was in correct macro nutrient balance.  Even if foods are Paleo, if they’re not eaten in keeping with the suggested 40/30/30 macro nutrient ratio, they can still promote less than an ideal blood sugar level.  For example, think about how you’d feel if you ate three bananas, a dab of honey and some raisins with no protein or fat, as a mid day snack at work.  Not too energized after the quick surge of sugar!

So, here we go:

  • Unless you know for sure that you’re going to get a completely Paleo, balanced meal at the party, have a balanced meal before you go.  Not being starving is the most simple way to not set yourself up for a blood sugar crash and the subsequent message that it’s a good idea to eat cake, candies, cookies and sip sugary holiday cocktails.
  • There’s no need to be anti social.  Even if you ate a meal before going to the party and you find there is a fresh veggie platter amongst all the other naughtier options, you can still easily eat some veg as you’re mingling around.  Doubtful that anyone’s going to survey your plate and ask why you’re eating veggies while they’ve opted for the pastry-wrapped sausage rolls!
  • As far as drinking, there is room on Paleo for some red wine.  I’ve written quite a bit about my love of vino, and certainly not just because it’s high in resveratrol!  If you’re not a wine aficionado, you can still have clear spirits now and then.   Non-wheat based vodkas, neat, such as Chopin, Karlssen or Ciroq, are also an option so that you don’t feel like the odd-person out when everyone else is sipping the Christmas Cosmos.

By far, the most important thing is to keep your healthy eating as part and parcel all day long leading up to the party.  I cannot stress enough the significance of how much going to an event overly hungry will set you up for making very poor choices…and a lot of them!