Happy Holidays!

The holidays can be a trying time for those of us with celiac disease, or food allergies and intolerances.  Avoiding gluten this time of year is tricky, to say the least! I have spent the last week and a half or so watching everybody at work munching on some of my old favourites of the season; gingerbread, shortbread, pannetone, sugar cookies, squares of all sorts, and cakes of all kinds. It’s been non-stop junk food in the office, and not a single bite of it can I eat. Yes, it’s tricky. But I know if I indulge in any of it, I’ll be sick for weeks. In pain, constipated, bloated, foggy brained, migraines, and etc… So what do I do? How do I avoid all the crap that I can’t eat? Well it’s simple really. I just don’t eat it. It’s not willpower. It’s life.

Do I feel left out, or deprived? No…not really. Because I know how crappy I’ll feel if I get even a crumb of it in me. I went nearly 2 weeks watching all of this stuff come into the office, and only last night did I break down and make myself some cookies. A supremely awesome snickerdoodles recipe dropped into my inbox from Paleo Hacks and I just had to try it. BUT along with my gluten restrictions, I am also currently sticking strictly to AIP to try and once again get psoriasis into remission. It flared up a couple of months ago, around Thanksgiving, and has been particularly frustrating, so I’m determined to get it to go away again. I’ve done it once, I can do it again. (you can too by the way…it can be done! I can coach you through it if you would also like to get autoimmune diseases into remission.)

Anyhoo…so I made the snickerdoodles, but made some AIP replacements. Instead of an egg I used gelatin. Instead of sun flower butter, I used creamed coconut. Instead of allspice, I used mace. I omitted the almond extract altogether. And do you know what happened? I ate some cookies J And I shared them at the office today. They were well liked. I probably ate too many. So what? :p

I just want to let you know that yes, I understand that this time of year is very difficult trying to stick to “a diet”, or keeping away from gluten if you have to, or avoiding nuts, or soy, or eggs, or whatever it is that you need to avoid to stay healthy. I share your struggle. But I don’t let it get in the way of me enjoying the time, nor get in the way of my own health, and I don’t sit around feeling sorry for myself, because what’s the point in that? Just because there are boxes and boxes full of sugar coated cookies, and chocolate covered everythings sitting in the lunch room, doesn’t mean you have to eat them! You don’t. Just do not pick them up, and do not put them in your mouth. Your continued health is more important than a single short moment of dancing with the sugar plum fairies. Half a minute of bliss, over a lifetime of illness? Umm….

By the same token, you do not have to deprive yourself of treats. There are ample gluten free manufactured treats, AND free from gluten recipes all over the interwebz! So many that are even far better than the intestinal damaging “normal” foods that everyone else is eating.  

Completely off topic…my dog is currently trying to kill me with a gas attack…ugh…my eyes are watering! I need a mask! GASP

I do share your struggles, and I empathise with you. There are so many foods that I remember eating this time of year, that I no longer can since my celiac diagnosis. Some of them I miss, some…not so much. Still others that I have found alternatives that are even better. My taste buds have changed a lot since I “went paleo”. I can no longer tolerate most manufactured overly sweetened treats. I can no longer eat milk chocolate at all, nor does my body tolerate even the smallest amount of soy, so all of the mass produced chocolate candies that have soya lecithin in them, I can’t eat. I can only have the good stuff, and I do not feel the least bit guilty in indulging in any fair trade, organic, rainforest alliance certified 75% or higher soya fee raw cacao :D Except now since I am strictly AIP and avoiding chocolate alas! I can do it! I can stick to my guns, and get rid of this itchy flaking skin and get back to normal. It took about 4 months last time, and this flare seems to be rather more stubborn. I think it was stress that triggered it. Stress is s a big trigger for psoriasis! One of the causes of the stress isn’t going away any time soon, but I know for a fact that if I wasn’t currently strictly AIP, that I would have fallen apart and fallen sick a long time ago! Working pretty much every single day since the last week of November, and most of those days close to 12 hours of data entry work. That’s hard on a body. No break, little rest, sitting all the time.

What keeps me sane is my diet. The only “junk” I’ve had are the snickerdoodles I made, and I love munching on pork rinds occasionally. That’s my kinda junk food.

I have a lot of nutrient dense foods, all day long, every day. Breakfast tends to be a superfood smoothie, with kale, spinach, berries, collagen powder, ginger, turmeric and cinnamon, with some type of solid protein, like bacon, or left over chicken, or whatever was for dinner last night. Lunch is usually a big ass salad, sometimes with tuna or leftover meat, or some smoked salmon, whenever it’s been on sale. Dinner is always meat and lots and lots of veggies. Fresh or frozen, always lots of ‘em. I even have dessert “to fill in the corners”, as we hobbits say J Frozen berries with some coconut milk and cinnamon, or some carob and avocado pudding. And I make sure to take vitamin D and omega 3 supplements, and sometimes have some magnesium before bedtime if I feel that my brain is too restless and may want to keep me awake all night.

I know that if I wasn’t getting enough nutrients, that I would be draggin’ my ass everywhere. I’d be making mistakes constantly at work. Walking around in a fog. I am tired, don’t get me wrong! But nowhere near the expected exhaustion someone would normally feel after working so many days in a row with hardly a break to speak of. I attribute it all to my diet. And I do not ever feel deprived, or hungry, or bored with food, or jealous of other peoples’ ability to indulge in gluteny goodies.

The holidays don’t have to be a diet nightmare. You can have a happy holiday and still eat lots of treats and good foods. It’s not willpower, it’s your life. You choose how you want to live it. Choose wisely.

Remember my Post Holiday 5-Day Diet Detox coming up next month! I can help you get started with your new healthier you! Ensure your spot here only $47, you will receive recipes, meal plans, shopping guide, 2 group coaching calls, and a private Facebook group for questions and community! If you’re not sure about the detox, send me an email to rebecca@rebaweber.ca , I’ll answer any questions you may have.

Enjoy the holidays, whatever you’re celebrating.

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