- Healthy fats: lard, butter, cream, chicken fat, bacon fat, coconut oil, and some olive oil.
- Full fat dairy.
- Cultured foods.
- Pastured meats and eggs.
- Organic vegetables (always served with the aforementioned fat)
- Properly prepared whole grains, nuts, and legumes.
- Small amounts of natural sugars: maple syrup and honey mostly, with some organic evaporated cane juice.
Many people face the holiday eating season, from Thanksgiving to the New Year, with a mix of love and dread. Not I: I praise God that Halloween is over (I love dressing up, I hate the onslaught of candy) and plan the delicious dishes I am going to prepare for each get together. Because I am not worried about fat, calories, and am only slightly anxious about sugar.
Then again, I am fortunate to not be dealing with any food allergies or sensitivities in my family at the moment. That adds anxiety no matter what your nutritional philosophy.
But back to my point: the way I eat is so easy and so healthful that I don't have to worry at the holidays. I cook the special foods of the season the same way I cook the rest of the year. I don't gain weight (not the last two holidays, since I've been doing this), I don't get run down or frazzled, I don't get down or depressed (I actually did a little this year... immediately after I ate a bunch of caramel bars I made... more on cookies in a minute). And I most especially don't stress about what I'm eating. Because even when I'm not at my own home I find myself attracted to simple, wholesome foods with just a few ingredients, and it's usually easy to pass up processed food-like substances that I know will make me feel poopy later.
Yes, I just said poopy. But I digress.
As an illustration, here were/are our holiday meals this season.
|Thanskgiving prep: Cranberry compote, twice baked sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, and sourdough hearth bread.|
The main attraction- Turkey roasted with lemon herb butter under the skin and a butter soaked cheesecloth draped over the top. It tasted even better than it looked, and as soon as the beef stock was done my stock pot was making turkey stock.
I mentioned cookies, didn't I? No? I make a HUGE concession for Christmas cookies, and this year was no exception. I made cookies the first weekend in December- in total I think I made 7 kinds of cookies over several days. We gave most away, but we (I) still ate WAY too many of them, and I coincidentally felt like crap and lost all motivation for about a week. One of these years maybe I'll learn to stop making this concession... but they're so. darn. good. I still use real ingredients, but I also use more sugar and white flour than I'm happy to admit. And, since I almost always burn out on cookies early in the month, I have no desire to have sweets by the time the actual holiday roles around. So tomorrow the only sweet thing we're having is a bag of chocolate dipped popcorn a neighbor dropped off a few days ago.
And obviously there are other concessions- the crackers and pita chips are obvious ones. Oh, and the cinnamon rolls (whole wheat and soaked, but there is some sugar in them). But life's made more exciting when one allows occasional concessions to normally hard and fast rules. And like the cookies, I'll likely regret it. What can I say- either join me in the occasional transgression, or learn from my mistakes. It's your choice.