A (Nearly) Carnivorous Christmas

I intended on releasing this post just after Christmas, but it’s been a busy last few weeks and I took an unintentional break. Luckily I have some things to write about.  

Christmas Day has come and gone and some things are done differently down under. First, it’s a summer celebration! So it didn’t feel a lot like Christmas to me. It was fun, nonetheless.  

Lots of people enjoy a good backyard barbeque for the holiday, including my partner’s family. My family’s tradition has always been turkey and/or ham with all the traditional sides, much like Thanksgiving. Since I’ve never been too keen on turkey in general and most of the sides are a no-go for my low-carb way of eating, grilled meat was a welcome change.  

This year there was plenty of meat on the charcoal grill: lamb and chicken gyros, sausages, octopus, and prawns. I definitely ate my fill. 

My partner and I planned to eat mainly within our normal diet, but we didn’t want to stress if we strayed a bit and nibbled on a few forbidden things. I ate about 85-90% meat, but also indulged in some berries with stevia sweetened whipped cream and had a bite or two of some high carb things I don’t normally eat. Some alcohol was consumed and I brought some keto gingersnaps just in case. Because sometimes one needs to bring a keto alternative to keep sugar out of one’s mouth. 

Holidays are always a struggle when we’re eating a restrictive diet. Between family members trying to feed us things we shouldn’t eat (and don’t want to) and nostalgic temptations, it’s tricky to navigate and keep our resolve. Since this year’s fare was so far removed from my normal Christmas dinner, I think it was easier for me to not feel obligated to eat certain things. Also, the abundance of meat was a big bonus.  

Two years ago I made keto desserts that didn’t really hold up to the real deal. In the end I just ate some of what I made and held strong against temptation. I ate plenty of turkey, gravy, ham, and veggies. All in all, it was somewhat dissatisfying, but I was able to make it through the holidays relatively unscathed and still on track.  

Last year I knew I wouldn’t be back for Christmas in the States for a while so I ate all those things I felt like eating. Even bread rolls, which I don’t normally bother breaking keto for. Although I didn’t feel any ill effects from my dietary infidelity, I wasn’t able to go straight back into keto like I planned.  

Those are essentially the two schools of thought on getting through the holidays. Some people advocate sticking to your guns with alternatives and others make it a planned cheat day. Personally, I know when I eat more carbs, I want more carbs.

For me, this internal desire for more carbohydrates can last for a few days, which can make life very difficult. Hence, I now err on the side of sticking to very low carb high fat foods even during celebratory occasions. 

Does that mean I rebuff every high carb/sugar thing I may want to try? No. But I try to just have a few bites and not eat that much of it. 

Also, when in doubt, I eat more meat. When I’m full, I don’t find other things all that tempting.  

How do you handle your diet around the holidays/occasions when there are lots of foods you don’t normally eat?

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