Holiday Food Buffets: 3 Steps to Avoiding Morning After Regrets!

holiday food

Let’s face it . . . holiday buffets are one of the absolute joys of the Christmas season. And if you celebrate Hanukkah or Kwanza, tables groaning with a variety of tasty holiday food figure fairly prominently and delightfully in those traditions as well.

The question is how to celebrate the food flavours of the season while still maintaining energy, mental clarity, balanced moods and a healthy-for-you weight range! The 3-step answer? Read on!

1) Set a Real Food Stage

Every body type, Protein, Carbohydrate and Mixed, does best when they eat real food, as close as possible to its original form (Don’t know your body type? Check out our simple online “What Veggie Are You” quiz). If the party’s at your house,  prepare lots of veggies (check EWG’s Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen lists for the ones to get organic), non-medicated meats, organic dairy and desserts based on fruit, low-glycemic sugars (coconut palm sugar), quality chocolate and non-gluten flours (almond, coconut).

When someone else is hosting ensure your contribution fits the real food bill, bring along plenty for yourself and to share, and then round out your plate with fibre-filled vegetables, as healthy-as-possible nutrient dense proteins, and if you’re a carb type, a serving or two of starchier vegetables or whole grains.

2) Be Picky About Your Sometimes Food (SF)

Most of us admit to enjoying the odd holiday “treat” or two. Whether savoury snacks are your go-to celebratory food (Protein types) or the Christmas baking is calling your name (Carb types or sugar-addicts of any body type!) if you want to not just survive the season but actually come out the other end feeling comfortable in your own skin, then choose to be a Sometimes Food snob.

That means asking someone if that pecan pie is “to die for” before slapping a slice on your plate. Or checking to see if the potato chips ingredient list is grade five reading level pronounceable. Or seeing if the dip only includes items that would have been found in your great grandma’s pantry. You’ll find you are paying more for the SFs you contribute to a shared meal or have to be a bit of a detective or label reading super sleuth when grazing the buffet line but, at the end of the party, instead of groaning with bloat, irritability and brain fog, your body, mind and spirit will be overflowing with gratitude.

3) Personalize, Personalize, Personalize

In other words, though the holiday seasons are about giving and sharing, when it comes to the buffet line-up, let it be about you!

The North American low-fat diet phase and artificial sweetener craze rank right up there as some of the worst health ideas ever. It is likely, however, the “one-size-fits-all” nutritional intake myth that has caused the most amount of overall health harm. Having body types that do better on a higher intake of animal protein and healthy fats forced to bow to politically correct nutrition (with thanks to Sally Fallon for the excellent coining of that phase) has contributed significantly to increases in a number of health challenges, in particular, diabetes and obesity.

So this holiday season let the Protein Body Types fill their plates with wings and healthy cold cuts and dark meat turkey and ham . . . and round out their meal with veggies, veggies and more veggies. Let their dessert be a dense and protein filled cheesecake. Have the Carb Body Types dig in to lots of veggies as well, but also quinoa salads and brown rice and sweet potatoes with some lighter protein chicken breast, nuts or hummus on the side. Let their dessert of choice be fruit salad and mandarin oranges and a few nutty cookies or squares (with chocolate of course!).

And let the Mixed Body Types, choose a little of each healthy choice, evaluate how they feel and then go back for seconds of what their body is asking for: protein and fat to help combat a day of too much sugar or a few more safer starches for energy.

A holiday buffet can be a joyous part of the season. Just make it real, make it a choice and make it work for you!

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