During the holiday season, it can seem impossible to escape from all the unhealthy holiday party food, alcohol, and sugary desserts. With the holidays come many social obligations, which naturally involve eating and often significant amounts of alcohol. Whether you’re just beginning your menopause and Primal journey or are a seasoned pro, eating Primal during the holiday season is doable. 

Wondering how you’ll survive family and work parties this holiday season? I’ve got you covered. When it comes to surviving the holiday season eating Primal, advance preparation is key. Keep reading to learn my tips to help you keep on track with your Primal diet this holiday season. Let’s get started!

Bring a Dish or Two for your Holiday Party Food

Don’t skip a holiday gathering just because you’re not sure if there will be the right food for you to eat.  Bring your own contribution.  Often holiday parties are potluck style.   Bring one or two Primal-friendly dishes you know you can eat. Not only will this be a great contribution, but you’ll ease your own anxiety knowing you’ll have a safe meal choice. I recommend bringing a protein dish and a bowl of mixed berries with the addition of heavy whipping cream on the side.  Then you can avoid the extremely sugary items and enjoy dessert while not feeling like you are missing out. I bet you will find there are other appreciative friends that will thank you for bringing healthier options.

If the party is catered, if you feel comfortable call ahead and ask about the menu.  You can let your host know ahead of time that you have some dietary restrictions. Assure them they are not to worry and you are happy to bring a small container of food. It’s pretty easy to just slip it onto the same plates everyone else is using.  No one will likely notice. Should anyone ask, you can always explain to them that you’re trying a primal diet to work on some health issues.

 If you feel uncomfortable saying this, you can just say a general line, such as “I have dietary restrictions”. Remember that the point of holiday gatherings is to socialize. What you eat ultimately will not matter to other guests. And, most of all, try not to announce your food preferences. There is no need to make anyone uncomfortable or draw attention to your choices. Get skilled in the art of subtleness when it comes to meals in public situations.

Survey Food Offerings

In addition to bringing your own food, you can also survey what other food offerings are available. You might find that there are some Primal-friendly choices you didn’t think would be there. For example, a meat and cheese platter is a common party appetizer you can count on. You might also find crudites (vegetable platters) with some other great options. Those few items give you plenty to fill your plate with for the evening. 

When dining at holiday parties, just do your best to select the right holiday party foods! It might not be 100% perfect and that’s okay. Given the choices you have, make the most educated decision possible. After all, it’s only one meal.

Avoid Grazing

No matter what you eat, the act of eating itself will raise your insulin to some extent. When you’re at a holiday party, it can seem like you’re grazing on snacks over the course of many hours. If you’d like to enjoy holiday hors d’oeuvres and appetizers, set a timer for 60 minutes and enjoy what you want within this time period. This will help control your insulin, allowing you to get back to fat burning.

Pass on the Alcohol 

Some women can tolerate small amounts of alcohol on the Primal diet during menopause. However, many women do their best to avoid alcohol altogether (Read my blog about how alcohol affects menopausal women). When attending holiday parties for work or family, simply respectfully decline a drink and stick with water or sparkling water with a slice of lemon or lime. 

If you wish to have a beverage to indulge in, bring your own! I highly recommend kombucha drinks. GT’s brand of kombucha has many and they are quite low in sugar and still give you that festive sparkly goodness. There are also many alcohol-free champagne drinks that mimic the flavors of alcoholic drinks without the alcohol. (Check out Joyous Non-Alcohol Wines, made in Seattle)

While it might feel uncomfortable at first, you’ll soon learn how to navigate the holidays on a Primal diet with ease and choose the best holiday party food. Soon, people in your social circle will learn that you stick to a Primal eating plan and embrace it. Many women pass on attending social gatherings in fear of what others will think. However, you should feel proud to tell others about your Primal eating. Taking control of your health and improving your quality of life is never something to be ashamed of.  You will likely be an inspiration and may find yourself helping others on their journey to better health!

Learn More Primal Diet Navigation Tips

It’s natural to worry about sticking to your Primal eating plan during the holiday season. With a few advanced preparation tricks, you can easily attend holiday gatherings without going off track on your diet. After one holiday season using these tricks, you’ll be 100% prepared for the next holiday season!

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