Over the past few years I’ve seen a huge increase in people going Paleo in the UK, it’s a wonderful thing and at the most wonderful time of the year those folks who have loved the Paleo way of eating and drinking might need some help! For foodies, when Christmas approaches it always gives an opportunity for lots of home cooking and usually over indulging on mince pies, booze, chocolate, and many many more non Paleo friendly foods. However if you’re true to your Paleo ways you can have a great time and maintain your way of life without any hassle or hardship. Here’s what I do to plan a Paleo friendly Christmas.
If I know I’m going to a party and there’s a menu provided before hand, I’ll take a look at what’s available and sometimes I call ahead and speak with the kitchen staff to see what they can recommend for a non wheat, non dairy etc eater. They usually have a lot of offer. It’s really not hard to not eat Paleo in the UK anymore!
If I’m invited to a friend’s party I’ll ask them to make something within their array of dishes that’s Paleo friendly or if they mind if I bring some dishes along, like my Paleo nut roast or Paleo chocolate brownies, Friends generally don’t mind and welcome the extra food that their guests can all enjoy too.
Alcohol, aka ‘Being Festive’
Drinking alcohol is often expected during the Christmas period, it’s “part of the festivities”. If you’re worried about not wanting to drink or what to drink, keep it simple. Take it slow if you’re not a big drinker and don’t mix, ensure you drink plenty of water between drinks.
To keep it as Paleo friendly as possible stick to red wine (where possible select organic or wine that is low in sulphites), or distilled spirits, a decent gin and tonic with a wedge of lime.
Here’s a well balanced article about wine and sulphites.
Don’t go for beer, cider or anything that’s full of either wheat or sugar. Stay away from the baileys too!! You’ll thank yourself the next day and have a great time that evening!
If you’re really not keen on having any alcohol stick with something like a sparkling water and a wedge of lime, don’t choose orange juice as it’s often made from concentrated puree with a lot of sugar added. It goes without saying for Paleo dieters, do not drink coca cola. 🙂
Christmas Dinner, the big day itself!
As a fellow Paleo eater, you’ll be unsurprised to hear that a traditional Christmas dinner requires barely any modifications. Turkey – tick, plus a wide range of winter vegetables – tick. The few things to ensure you’re cautious of are gravy, stuffing and puddings. All easily achievable if you’re hosting or being hosted. My tips are like I said above, take a pudding, and offer to bring a side dish of Paleo friendly stuffing. Here’s a great Pork and Cranberry Paleo Stuffing recipe.
Quietly chat to the host and ask if the gravy could be made without using gravy granules, offer to help! If it is, no problem, don’t have any. You’ll still enjoy a lovely meal!
Lastly, I don’t overthink and spoil occasions for myself, I don’t panic that there’s a wall of huge tins of chocolates in every store I visit, I don’t worry that someone is going to buy me shortbread or pudding will be Christmas cake full of wheat and sugar.
Be happy to say no thank you with a smile and carry on enjoying the festive spirit!