Navigating A Holiday Party Without Sabotaging Your Health

I have to be honest, during the holidays it can be hard for me not to give into nostalgic cravings and indulge on foods I typically try to steer clear of throughout the rest of the year. It’s the holidays for goodness sakes and I want to celebrate like everyone else!

Unfortunately, many holiday parties in the past consistently resulted in post holiday bulge. Every January, I used to find my “skinny jeans” tighter and my waist line generally uncomfortable when I sat down. Do you know the feeling? And let’s not even talk about how I felt mentally – tired all the time and not self-confident at all. I hate those feelings!

Navigating Holiday Party

After I started learning about what was really in my food, I made a conscious decision not to eat toxic chemicals in processed food regardless the time of year because I knew they were responsible for making me gain weight and making me want to eat more. If there was something I really wanted to eat that I knew was filled with additives, artificial ingredients or other questionable substances, I vowed to myself to make it at home with my own organic ingredients so I could indulge. And oh boy, do I indulge with my own homemade treats without the weight gain!  :) 

I have received so many letters from you lately about navigating holiday parties and how to handle them – this letter from Barbara really hit a nerve and inspired this post. Barbara writes: 

Vani,

With the holidays approaching, as a non-GMO organic food eater I (and I’m sure many of your readers) could use some food etiquette advice. I’ve been invited to Thanksgiving dinner at a friends and I’m sure they will not be serving one single food item that I feel comfortable eating. At this point I feel my only option is to “call in sick” which is rude but no more rude than showing up with my own food or not eating the food so graciously being offered. Any helpful advice on how to handle these dilemmas over the holidays? I would humbly appreciate your advice.

- Barbara R.

Because we live in an overly processed food world, it’s so important to prepare yourself for navigating holiday parties, whether it be during a conventional family meal you may share with loved ones or the annual cocktail party your neighbor generously hosts. Whatever the occasion, here’s what to do: (Barbara I hope this helps!)

Eat before you arrive

Before you arrive to a party or get together, have a healthy meal at home. Fill up on a green smoothie or a green salad with a good source of organic healthy protein and fat (think avocado, raw nuts or wild fish) so that you don’t arrive to the party feeling ravenous. This tip saves me every single time I am put in a situation where I wouldn’t touch the food being served with a ten foot pole. 

Don’t sample everything

Just because it’s there or free, doesn’t mean you have to eat it. When choosing what to put on your plate, stick to foods you typically enjoy while avoiding the foods you wouldn’t choose to eat outside of a holiday party. I love loading up my plate with whatever plant based foods I can find and choosing one or two other items, keeping it simple. 

Sampling the entire buffet is guaranteed to cause you to overeat. According to Susan Roberts, a Professor of Nutrition at Tufts University, studies have shown “The higher the variety of items you are confronted with, the more people consume without even realizing it.” 

Sometimes the appetizers are the best part of the meal

If you see lots of vegetables and fruits on a tray being served as an appetizer, go for it! Load up and eat the most real food options first, even if that leaves little room for the main course. You’ll always have an excuse not to eat dinner if there are less than stellar options being served later in the meal. One particular appetizer to be aware of is nuts. Literally. I used to think choosing the nuts was a good idea, until I learned most party nut mixes are doused with GMO oils, MSG, and other nasty additives. See below. No thanks!

Planters Peanuts

Bring your own dish

They say you should never show up to a party empty-handed. Use this rule to your advantage and bring along your favorite, healthy holiday dish. This will give you the option of eating at least one healthy item while you’re at a party. It will also let you share a real food holiday dish with friends and family and teach them healthy food can be delicious! Remember to be generous on the portion sizes you bring, so it doesn’t look like you are taking back everything you brought! 

Socialize more and snack less

To keep your mind off of all of the dangerous goodies and temptations, move away from the buffet table and socialize elsewhere. Keeping your mind focused on something other than food will help you to avoid overindulging. I love spending parties socializing rather than eating. If I’m still hungry after, I know I can always get a clean meal out at my standard go-to restaurant or at home later. Besides, sometimes it’s fun to grab a group of people for a late night meal or after party. 

Keep count of your drinks

Your liver is your main fat-burning organ. If you are trying to lose weight or even maintain your ideal weight, drinking alcohol is one of your worst enemies – so slow down and keep your alcohol intake on the low-end, especially if you have multiple gatherings per week. Just remember, a sparkling water with lime looks like a vodka tonic. There’s no need to bring a lot of attention to yourself if you choose not to drink alcohol. Personally, I love to bring wine to a party, so I know I have organic red wine available to drink and share. I also don’t mind the occasional tequila on the rocks with a lime (it’s one of the cleanest liquors!). And don’t forget to check out this beer investigation, reading this might help you stay away from the Bud Light & Miller Lite (for good!). 

When all else fails, eat when you get home 

I promise you are not going to starve to death waiting a couple of hours to eat! And if you have special needs (diabetic or hypoglycemic), you already know what you need to do to make sure you stay steady. Just not eating has been my saving grace in many situations – not just at parties, but in airports and other tricky places. Later on I always thank myself for putting health first over my desires. 

Lead by example 

Most importantly, while attending a holiday party it’s important to go in with the understanding that not all of the other attendees will share your sentiments regarding your real food lifestyle. Friends and family members who follow a conventional diet may not understand why you make the eating decisions you do. If you’re the person who is typically questioned about your diet, simply try to give your friends and family an honest and informative reason for your choices, without berating them about their own decisions (maybe share this post with them too!).

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.”

“Be the change you wish to see in the world” 

~Mahatma Gandhi

Leading by example is very powerful and it’s what ultimately got my friends, family and co-workers to slowly convert over. You never know who you might inspire with your own actions.


Now I’m curious, how many more of you out there are going to a holiday party where you are worried about what you might be served or eat? I’d love to hear your stories and strategies in the comments. Let’s help each other navigate this over-processed food world together! 

Cheers, 

Food Babe 

 

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149 Responses to “Navigating A Holiday Party Without Sabotaging Your Health”

  1. Leslie

    I absolutely love this fb page. I changed a lot of my eating habits because of all the amazing info I have read about. Feel better knowing my hubby and kids are eaton smarter as well! ( I have a

    Reply
    • Nyfarmer (to Leslie)

      Food babe blocks anyone who disagrees with her so you are not getting full information

      Reply
  2. Monica

    Hi Vani!
    I’m pretty outspoken about my eating choices, but one way I avoid those situations is to have my own get together in my home serving healthy dishes I make. I introduce my friends to yummy foods and they ask me how I stay healthy while they make excuses for their trips to fast food restaurants :) I also do not celebrate holidays – makes it really easy to avoid fried turkey and marshmallow covered sweet potatoes!

    Reply
    • Crystal (to Monica)

      Monica, pretty sad you don’t celebrate holidays! WOW

      Reply
      • Monica (to Crystal)

        Well, not so sad :) I’m not a christian so christmas is out. And, I’m not that into the idea behind thanksgiving aside from the being thankful for what you have, which we teach our kids to do every day of the year. So yeah, no need for these commercialized holidays for us! :) we’re still very happy and thankful without holidays :)

    • Gary (to Monica)

      So, the message here is that religious people, especially Christians, are less healthy than non-Christians because they make unhealthy food choices during holiday celebrations. Right.

      Reply
      • Ariel (to Gary)

        No thank you Gary. No idea where your unfounded implications are coming from, and from what I can imagine there are plenty of other blogs where this type of rhetoric might be accepted. This one is about food!

        Peace be with you <3

      • Gary (to Gary)

        Ariel, I have no idea who you are since you haven’t identified yourself. But my comment was to Monica’s first post, not you. I’m not imagining her connection that celebrating holidays leads to poor health due to poor food choices. Peace be with, too, and may your life be rhetoric free. :)

  3. Martie

    It is interesting that now, people think I am “anxious” because I “worry” about my food too much and don’t have fun! They don’t ask me to lunch cause there is nowhere they would go that I will eat the food. They think I am a total food snob – as though because I don’t eat like they do (and most of them ARE overweight even though they exercise!) I am really weird or something. And they just don’t want to hear anything about food and what’s in it.
    One of my Godson’s friends was recently diagnosed with Leukemia….when I looked up causes – it talke about “chemical” exposure; well, no one in their family works with chemicals and they don’t live near a plant or anything. Hmmm…..could it be the stuff in the food these kids eat today? I wonder…..
    We are not going out for Thanksgiving….I have ordered an organic meal from Whole Foods – I did indulge in a GF pumpkin pie – but I checked the “whipped topping” at the store today – none of that – carraneenan in it…..going with frozen coconut milk ice cream……

    Reply
    • Assistant to Food Babe (Madeline) (to Martie)

      Don’t worry about what other people think Martie! As long as you are doing what’s best for you that is all that matters :)

      Reply
      • Madeline (to Assistant to Food Babe (Madeline))

        Martie,

        I want to make my son some Christmas cookies but don’t know which one I can make that would be organic. Do you have any suggestion on some healthy organic cookies I can bake for him. Looking forward in your suggestions or ideas.

        Madeline

  4. Danika

    Perfect advice for all the Christmas parties & occasions I have coming up. Thank you. xx

    Reply
  5. Lauren B

    Food Babe,
    You mentioned in this post that you have a go-to restaurant. I only have two restaurants that I know of that serve something organic/gluten-free. Fieldings and Frank and Toppings. I’m interested in knowing what yours are.

    Reply
    • Robin C (to Lauren B)

      Lauren,

      Thanks for the Franks and Toppings recommendation — I’ve never heard of them! I love Fieldings. Have you tried Black Sheep Bistro? I don’t know how clean their food is, but they do local and seasonal. And there is Sorrell Urban Bistro downtown. I have yet to try them partially b/c my family does not share my way of eating and they think large chain restaurants are perfectly fine.

      Reply
    • Assistant to Food Babe (Madeline) (to Lauren B)

      Lauren- I’m not sure where you are from but these are some of Vani’s favorite restaurants in Charlotte:
      http://foodbabe.com/charlotterestaurants/

      Luna’s Living Kitchen is one of her favorites!
      http://www.lunaslivingkitchen.com check out the menu!

      Reply
  6. Sharon Preiss

    I’m actually doing the cooking this year and I convinced my Mom to try out the holiday eating guide from this site. Most of what we’re making is coming from here! The staples that my Dad can’t live without will still be there like the mashed potatoes and traditional stuffing, but I can avoid those easily with all those other options available!

    Reply
    • Cathy (to Sharon Preiss)

      I also love mashed potatoes! I boil them and mash them with coconut oil and add diced onions. I then put them in a baking pan lined with coconut oil and broil them in the oven to get a crunchy topping. Everyone I have served these potatoes to, loves them.

      Reply
  7. Alyssa

    Hey babe! Thanks so much for this one. It’s really reassuring to realize you’re not the only one in these types of predicaments this time of year even though I feel that way amongst friends! When you remember why you make the choices you do it doesnt feel like youre “missing out” even though others act like you are! Your advice is helpful and appreciated

    Reply
  8. Sara

    I’m new to your site but love the info so much! This post hit home immensely as I will be contributing to my family Thanksgiving meal with the side dishes and working your advice in as much as I can…since I’m such a noob. :)

    Reply
  9. Melina

    My holiday cunnundrum is that I will be staying at my boyfriend’s sisters house. I can probably manage the daily food before and after Thanksgiving but for the actual holiday meal I don’t believe I have much choice. I will be happy to be there and it will be my first time meeting his sister and I will even add a dish or two of my own but in the end I’m eating whatever she serves.
    Any suggestions??

    Reply
  10. Rachel

    Hi Food Babe – I have really enjoyed your site and suggestions. I have shared your blog with many others, including my mom. Unfortunately, she seems to have experienced a breech in trust, as she says that the label on her exact jar of peanuts does not match up with what you are stating above. Can you please clarify why this discrepancy might be arising please? :)

    Reply
    • Nikki (to Rachel)

      Hi! The reason the peanuts are different is that the small jar of Planters peanuts has different ingredients than the big bohemoth jar for parties. The small jar still has GMO corn products, but I don’t think it says MSG.

      Reply
      • Rachel (to Nikki)

        Thank you for your response Nikki – do you work with Vani? I’ll pass on your response to my Mom (the original “questioner”) :)

    • Nikki (to Rachel)

      Hi Rachel,
      I would Love to say I worked for Vani, but no, I just happened to know the answer so I hit reply. I noticed the difference in all the labels while out shopping about a month ago. I think the unsalted dry roasted have the fewest ingredients. Good luck!

      Reply
      • Karen Scribner (to Nikki)

        The cleanest roasted nuts are the big jars/cans at Costco. (I haven’t been to Sam’s lately so I don’t know about them.) For example, Kirkland cashews are just cashews, peanut oil, sea salt. Try the whole peanuts, but I find that the ones sold in the US have no taste. Whole peanuts with salt come from Asia (Indonesia) are tiny but have big taste.
        The increased peanut allergies are due to vaccines having peanut oil in them. See Thedoctorwithin.com, Dr Tim O’Shea

  11. Lea

    I am worried about Thanksgiving dinner. My in-laws are cooking and they don’t want to hear that anything is wrong with the food they’ve been eating for 70-something years. They think the processed food they eat is just fine. They’ve always eaten that way and they won’t change. They don’t want to hear that food itself has actually changed over the years. On the menu is a plethora of “food” from Aldi…turkey, stuffing, corn casserole, green bean casserole, rolls, boxed cake with canned frosting on top. My husband is insisting that I eat a bit of everything so I don’t insult his family. And he wants our son to eat it all, too. The thought of it makes me sick. Hubby is usually very supportive and has greatly changed his eating habits as we work towards eating more non-GMO, organic, made-from-scratch, whole foods….and I’m grateful that he’s so open to changing. But, he respects and loves his family so much that he doesn’t want to cause any tension at Thanksgiving. We’re bringing an organic fruit platter, but he doesn’t want to insult them by bringing anything else. What to do, what to do? ::sigh::

    Reply
    • Crystal (to Lea)

      Lea, you cannot change your family, I have experienced the same things you talked about. It too makes me sick thinking I have to eat their food. So, my husband and I eat small portions of most everything, not to hurt our families. Then we go home and have real food, all is good..
      Really it’s only one meal…
      Happy Holidays.

      Reply
    • Leona (to Lea)

      One meal is not going to kill you. Eat small portions , enjoy time with family and stop stressing.

      Reply
    • Patty (to Lea)

      I agree with Crystal and Leona…it’s only one meal and eat small portions. Eat “real” food before and the day after and drink lots of good water…bring your own water if you have to. (See my post on meal replacements down below). I prefer to not draw attention to myself and my “special dietary needs” because then it opens up the door to a million questions. People are too interested in stuffing themselves on that day to notice what you’re eating (or not eating) anyway.

      Reply
    • Lea (to Lea)

      Thank you all for the replies. I guess I am just frustrated because it’s not just one meal. We had lunch with them on Sunday. We’ll have lunch with them next Sunday. It’s a weekly thing, sometimes more than that. They either cook Aldi food or want to go to places like Boston Market, Cracker Barrel, Ale House, and other places where it’s hard to find healthy stuff. And they push the cookies, cakes, brownies, candy, etc. all the time. I guess I will just eat healthy at home and do the best I can for my son and husband. It’s only about 65-75 meals a year.

      Reply
  12. Lizzie

    As I have had multiple and ongoing GI problems for many years, I will admit that there are times when I use this chronic issue to be very selective when I am eating somewhere other than home. It has been a number of years now since I ate many processed foods, GMOs, etc. So I can tell you that when I do, I become ill. And exactly how ill I become is directly proportionate to how much processed food I eat. Since my friends and family are aware of these problems, they are all OK if I make food choices that seem “odd” to them. So, if you do not need to eat processed foods, you might want to consider advising people that you have (some vague) GI issues and have to be very careful about how much what items you eat. This is just a suggestion though. However, you do need to be aware that once you eliminate most processed foods, GMOs, etc. from your standard diet that, when and if you do eat them, you WILL get sick.

    Reply
  13. Diane

    Wow…another food drops from my ever growing list. Aside from the fact that these peanuts have all those not-so-nice ingredients in them, the fact that Kraft owns Planters shot it down for me.

    Reply
  14. Marilynrn

    As a celiac who is REALLY sensitive to cross contamination, I usually manage family get togethers by bringing a dessert and an appetizer. I don’t eat GMO’s or processed foods. By knowing I have something at the beginning and end of the meal, I know I can still sit down with everyone and look like I am relaxing and taking part. Alternatively I bring an option to the main course that I can eat and avoid the appetizers and dessert by first saving my appetite for the delicious dinner that is coming…. and being too stuffed for dessert…lol I have almost given up trying to explain my diet restrictions!

    Reply
  15. Darlene

    Our family get together, everyone brings 2 items. I always bring gluten free items, which always gets gobbled up. All the family knows I have 2 colon diseases, diabetes, fibromyalgia, and a few other ills that are controlled with a strict diet. All have seen me go from always ill, in bed, not functioning, to a very busy 75 yr. old that has fun, eating is just part of the being selective to stay well and out of the hospital. Enjoy time with those special people and do not focus a whole lot on food.

    Reply
  16. Julie

    I will be going to mom’s house for injected with hormones and who knows what else, tortured and murdered, cooked and seasoned turkey. I am a vegan and detest this practice. I also HATE the smell of dead animals cooking. It makes me crazy. On top of that, all the other options that are vegetarian (none vegan, to be sure) are gmo’d to the max.
    I have already shared with my family my food changes so they know what I can and cannot eat. My mom has been kind enough to ask what I would eat. My mom is very ill and I don’t want to burden her with my dietary needs. (She has been dealing with brain cancer, and is weak and won’t be doing much cooking.)
    I would like some recipes for vegan organic non gmo that would work (enough for a group of about 10) and since I am fairly new to this lifestyle, I don’t have a lot of recipes yet.
    Any advice?

    Reply
    • Dana Kowalewski (to Julie)

      Hi Julie,

      Sorry to hear about your mom, it’s great you are taking the initiative to pitch in. I would suggest making a batch of quinoa for protein (use vegetable broth instead of water for better taste). Sautee a bunch of vegetables like zucchini, onions, squash, etc. and combine or eat separately. Google is your friend. There are MILLIONS of recipes online so work the system, girlfriend :) FYI, I Googled “fall vegan recipes” with 21,000,o00 results.

      I have made recipes from this site…check it out! http://ohsheglows.com/categories/recipes-2/seasonal/seasonal-fall/

      Reply
    • Dana Kowalewski (to Julie)

      Hi Julie,

      Sorry to hear about your mom, it’s great you are taking the initiative to pitch in. I would suggest making a batch of quinoa for protein (use vegetable broth instead of water for better taste). Sautee a bunch of vegetables like zucchini, onions, squash, etc. and combine or eat separately. Google is your friend. There are MILLIONS of recipes online so work the system, girlfriend :) FYI, I Googled “fall vegan recipes” with 21,000,o00 results. Happy Thanksgiving!

      I have made recipes from this site…check it out! http://ohsheglows.com/categories/recipes-2/seasonal/seasonal-fall/

      Reply
  17. julissa

    Well It’s a big relief to hear I’m not the only one that has a family that thinks I’m crazy!! They look at me like I’m insane because I read all the labels and only look for Organic fruits and vegetables! I try growing as much of my own vegetables as I can during the growing season and then can, freeze and dehydrate for the winter, I hardly ever go out to restaurants, and when I visit them I try taking what I can eat and take enough for everyone else, and for this they consider me extreme! I have a 14 month old grandaughter and I just feel smoke coming out of my ears when I see my daughter and son in-law feeding her french fries or chicken nuggets from Mc Donalds..I have tried every posible way to tell my daughter how bad they are and the damage she is causing her by feeding her garbage!! I wish there was a way to make her understand for the sake of my grandaughter who doesnt know any better.

    Reply
  18. Brittany @ proteinandpumps

    Eating beforehand is the best tactic for me. What sucks more than turning down the food though are people’s comments like “oh you’re not eating?” And “are you on a diet?” As if I’m the one doing something wrong. SO frustrating.

    Reply
  19. laramealor.com

    I like to bring a healthy dish to holiday gatherings, love you your advice.

    Reply
  20. BethG

    I used to take this exact approach for years – especially as I was working so hard to establish good habits and frankly because I would nosedive so fast after eating GMOs (immediate fatigue) or spring an immediate headache after MSG.

    Years later, I have softened a bit in my approach to family gatherings that mix just 2 real food adults with 8 chemical-laden food cookers & eaters.

    Here’s what I do – first – I own the turkey purchase and I make a major side dish and at least one dessert – my fav contribution is sweet potato casserole made with clean ingredients that I control. I sign up for that every year. That way I know I can cover a good bit of my plate with healthy food.

    But now I do something different than I did earlier on my real food journey.

    Now I will actually eat a small spoonful of the things others prepared as a show of respect and gratitude. When people take the time to cook their broccoli and msg-laden cream of xyz soup topped with artery clogging Ritz cracker crumbles, they are proud of it. They think it’s amazing and they want others to enjoy it.

    I used to shun everybody else’s food like the plague. But now I will have a tiny bit. I try to sample every dish that required time and effort on the part of the cook. Boxed cake mixes forget it. Cool whip topped jello – no way – but if there’s some real food in there, I will try it…..and hope to goodness I don’t get a headache.

    This works for me for now and is how I make sure to show gratitude for all the cooks at family gatherings.

    Reply
    • Dana (to BethG)

      Beth, I really appreciate what you are saying. I certainly don’t think that we win people over by judging or disrespecting them. I honestly cringe when I am reading these comments. I feel so hurt for their family members and loved ones.

      Reply
  21. connie curtis

    I dont worry about it.. This is where having food allergies helps. I say no thanks and if someone does ask. I say it doesnt work for me for food allergies or health. I will do nothing to the work of getting healthy because its alot of work with food allergies and some foods arent worth it . I know if I really want it we can make it and then share with people how good real food is. Education really is the key and once they see how good you feel now. They start to ask more questions. Food Babe the biggest barrier I hear is money and I dont see that changing soon. What do you think?

    Reply
    • Dana Kowalewski (to connie curtis)

      Hi Connie, you are so right about showing people how much better you feel, and therefore they can feel, to motivate them to make changes.

      I’m a health coach and I hear that reason often when I talk to people about eating healthier (not my clients though, they know how important it is). In a loving manner, I ask them how much they spend on prescriptions and doctor visits; what is their grocery bill; and what do they spend their “disposable” income on? I’m not judging them just using those questions get them thinking about how they spend their money. SOME people just don’t want to change and use having “no money” as an excuse, when “no money” is subjective, what I think is no money could be lots of money to someone else. It’s all about balance, and getting healthier is a process, not an overnight change.

      One of my clients was spending $500 each month on insulin, after some diet and lifestyle modifications, he’ll save $3,000 per year because he was able to drastically reduce his insulin–that’s $30,000 in the next 10 years! I don’t think most people would call that a drop in the bucket.

      I believe many people don’t know where to begin to make changes, or they’re afraid of vegetables–jk (actually, I did hear that once, ha!) That’s where Vani’s site, and my work comes in to help people make those changes. I love Vani’s site and I often share her articles with my clients.

      Back to the money though, it is possible to eat healthy on a budget. I say go back to basics. Eat beans and rice, eat raw veggies, make hearty soups, eat less meat, stop buying boxed meals/manufactured food….oh, and drink more water (chronic dehydration is often mistaken for hunger). Plus once someone switches to whole food eating with good fats, most likely they’ll eat less at each meal, reducing the amount they need to buy.

      Reply
  22. Tim

    Thank you for pointing out the MSG and corn syrup in the peanuts. we make our own peanut butter and thought we were doing the healthy thing. We switched from a store brand which has no additives to planters thinking it was a safer name brand. It wasn’t a mix or anything but it did in fact have all the bad crap in it. Just goes to show you you ALWAYS have to read the labels. Back to the store brand for us :).

    Reply
  23. Marylei Drake

    Aloha one and all. Mahalo for this opportunity to connect with real and wonderful people. I live on the Big Island of Hawaii and we are fighting for our very lives. My other favorite Babe is Babes Against Biotech. Check out our site to learn more about the threat to the Hawaiian Islands from Monsanto etc. If you have been to Hawaii or dream of coming to this island, please get involved. We need all the help we can get.

    Reply
  24. Stahsha

    Hey everyone! I say relax and enjoy the Holidays and precious time spent with family. Take the great tips Vani gave us and just do the best you can, it’s just one meal after all, try not to stress:)

    Reply
  25. Pernell

    What is a great healthy dish to take to a potluck?

    Reply
    • Patty (to Pernell)

      Any traditional side dish can be healthy, especially if you double the vegetables (or sweet potatoes, or whatever) and use all organic ingredients.

      Reply
  26. Patty

    One thing that has saved me during the busy-ness of the holidays or just work days in general, is to have on hand a large canister of an organic raw meal replacement. I have a brand I prefer, but I believe there are a few out there. I found that when I started working fulltime earlier this year, I didn’t take the time to make green smoothies in the morning, and I didn’t own a juicer. The powder can be mixed in a shaker cup with filtered water or whatever. I feel so great now that I give my body what it needs when I start the day, and I don’t have blood sugar swings anymore either. I plan to make this my meal before holiday gatherings and may even keep another shaker-full in the car if we end up staying late into the evening. This is great for traveling also when it’s hard to find healthy food on the road, airports, in hotels, or even when you’re a guest at someone’s house.

    Reply
  27. Dana

    Your email came in with the subject: The one thing I won’t eat at holiday parties. I didn’t seem to find one thing you wouldn’t eat at holiday parties in your article. I find that a bit misleading. Can you please clarify? Thanks, Dana

    Reply
    • Patty (to Dana)

      I’m quite sure she was talking about nuts since she described some of the things to watch out for, etc.

      Reply
  28. Kate

    Thank you for your valuable information, and advice!
    You are a blessing from god to all of us!
    By the way, are you Indian? My Fiancee is from India. I want to make healthy Indian dishes . Thanks again,
    your Fan,
    Kate

    Reply
  29. Shena

    Thanks for your time and energy spent researching these issue involving GMOs and eating healthy. I have already learned so much from you and am on my way to transforming my eating habits. Thank you thank you thank you!

    Reply
  30. Laura

    I was worried about what to do in the next holidays!! I talked to my friends in order to include some healthy meals at our “posadas” but no one agreed so now I’ll eat something at home before leaving to the party and will be carrying a big salad or healthy dish to share… that’s what the holidays are all about right?

    Reply
  31. Carole Westgaard

    And just what, pray tell, do you do when you’re invited to a sit-down dinner and you KNOW only processed food will be served? Pull out your own dinner from the basket you sneak in? Or just keep refusing the invitations?????

    Reply
  32. Shiva

    Love your page!
    My side of the family has been vegan, whole organic foodies for a while (my grandmother the longest at 35 years) so we have a family dinner at my house that is unbelievable. We actually tried your canberry sauce this year, awesome! Now my mother in laws house is different so I pick what I know I can eat. Which for me means definitely nothing with wheat or gluten since I am severely sensitive! That takes out most of the menu. But most people don’t understand the reasons why we have made this life style change. However it sure makes me happy when a friend or family member says hey I think I may try that. I think some of us, especially the folks who are following this page know the consequences of making poor food choices which makes it very hard to stand back and watch family and friends make some pretty devastating choices that could effect their health and ultimately their life. But I keep on and hope for more change…

    Reply
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  34. Laura

    With the Holidays approaching, I’m wondering if you have any recommendations on mixers for some of the “cleaner” liquors out there. I no longer really drink beer and occasionally like to venture past red wine with a little gin or tequila. My hubby and I found an amazing organic gin that we love that’s sold at most bars/restaurants nearby. But the problem is mixers. I’ve tried ordering gin and sparkling water but they always use tonic- chocked full of who-knows-what. Or gin and lime juice, only to see them pull out a big bottle of “real lime”… Which I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, is NOT just lime juice. Help! I know you will probably say to bypass the liquor and stick to organic wine- which i do most of the time…. But for those occasions when we’re out at a restaurant for a party or whatever, and we’ve already passed on the dinner menu, I would love some ideas on what to order with gin or tequila. Anyone have good ideas? When at home, we mix organic gin with sparkling water and fresh lemon and lime juice. Unfortunately, in a restaurant, there aren’t any guarantees on what you’re actually getting. Ideas, please!

    Reply
  35. Maxine

    My journey to changing my food choices stared with my many health issues and not willing to be put on one medication after another. Because I talked to my family about my health and they saw how changing my food choices changed my life, they respected my choice to eat or not eat certain foods. Over the years of speaking out and them seeing the changes in me, they now eat the same. Being upfront and honest took time, but made a difference. I now have no problem telling people, respecttfully, because my health means that much to me.

    Reply
  36. Mary

    It didn’t mention a sit down dinner that a plate will be placed for you. How do you manage not eating when they can clearly see you haven’t. I wouldn’t want offend the cook.
    I wish I was at more “parties” where it is make your own ate but that is not the case

    Reply
  37. Olivia

    I worry about the holidays and my two year old. With everyone dangling cookies and treats in front of them is so hard to steer them towards the veggies. I always cut the portions more than in half but just sad when my only family can’t respect our life style….

    Reply

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