Podcast Episode #64: Surviving the Holidays – Indulging, Family & Cocktails!
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Opening chat: Overall mindset when it comes to eating around the holidays
1. How do I stay on the wagon? [12:24]
2. Best time to eat sweets? [25:37]
3. & 4. Recovery after indulgences [29:39 & 33:20]
5. How to handle judgment from family [39:19]
6. Paleo-friendly holiday cocktails [44:45]
7. Keeping up with fitness routine during the holidays [48:45]
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LIZ WOLFE: Hey everyone, I’m Liz Wolfe, nutritional therapy practitioner, here with Diane Sanfilippo, who’s a certified holistic nutrition consultant and the woman behind Balanced Bites and the new book Practical Paleo. Remember our disclaimer: the materials and content within this podcast are intended as general information only and not to be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Yo.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Hey.
LIZ WOLFE: [laughs] Hey. Welcome to episode 64 of the Balanced Bites podcast!
DIANE SANFILIPPO: How are you doing?
LIZ WOLFE: I am doing awesome, man. I’m broadcasting…you are looking live at Brent Musburger! I’m broadcasting from Knob Nobster, Missouri this week, so…and yes, I know I just pronounced it Missouri. That was intentional. I am really liking the small town vibe. I’ve been all over the place the last few months, and it does feel really good to be back at a place that’s really my speed. Where are you? Where are you today?
DIANE SANFILIPPO: [laughs] Your speed is like 15 miles per hour.
LIZ WOLFE: I am, and I’m proud of it! I got to tell you, when I graduated from college, I was like, I’m moving to the big city. Big city being like Westport in Kansas City, but…down to the plaza, and I always thought, I’m a big…I’m a big city girl, you know. I lived in Washington D.C. for awhile and worked in politics, and all that good stuff, and like, one of my favorite places on the planet is Ulysses, Kansas. And you haven’t heard of it because a lot of people haven’t heard of it, and I’m embracing my small town now, and I’m good with it.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah, well, I never thought I would move back to New Jersey, especially not to the town I grew up in, so it’s all good.
LIZ WOLFE: Yup.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: I was just laughing because you’re like, that’s my speed. I’m like, I’ve driven with you many times, but I actually make you drive, so it’s my fault.
LIZ WOLFE: [laughs] We need a navigator. Yeah, that’s pretty much, yeah. That’s pretty much the truth. I’ll give that to you. So what are you up to?
DIANE SANFILIPPO: So I’m home right now, but not for long. Shocking. I’m actually heading tomorrow back down to Pittsburgh. I feel like I must have said that now in at least 10 different podcasts…
LIZ WOLFE: Yeah.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: But yeah, just heading down there to hang out and see our buds, the Food Lovers, Bill and Hayley, and yeah, that’s pretty much it. What else is going on? I don’t know. The book is 7 week New York Times Bestseller.
LIZ WOLFE: Woo hoo!
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Woo hoo!
LIZ WOLFE: Your hair looks really pretty today, by the way.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Thanks.
LIZ WOLFE: [laughs]
DIANE SANFILIPPO: So I might go to this book signing today. Tyler Florence’s new book comes out today. I think it’s called “Fresh “and I got an email from Williams-Sonoma because I’m on their emailing list, of course, about the book signing, and I was, oh, maybe I’ll go and bring him my book and sign it and give it to him.
LIZ WOLFE: Oh my God.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: The only thing is I’m going to have to buy…I’m going to have to buy a full price copy of his book…
LIZ WOLFE: No.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Which…that’s what you have to do.
LIZ WOLFE: 7 times New York Times Bestselling authors do not buy books. Don’t you know who I am?
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Oh, but I know him. He will come to a bookstore, a signing, and buy a book, and he will have to pay full price, too. You can’t always buy it on Amazon, so anywho. Yeah, I think I might do that, which is why I’m so coifed today.
LIZ WOLFE: You’re very well coifed.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah, I can’t show up at Tyler Florence’s book signing in my ponytail and a hat.
LIZ WOLFE: I don’t even know who that is. When you said Williams-Sonoma, I was like, who’s that? Is that your cousin? Like I don’t know any of this stuff.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Liz, the kitchen whiz. Whoa, that’s so corny. If we edited anything, I would make you edit that out. [laughs]
LIZ WOLFE: Not going to happen. That’s staying right where it is.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: All right, well maybe we can just [laughs] Maybe we can just get going.
LIZ WOLFE: Okay, let’s do it. This week’s episode is a “surviving the holidays” episode. We’re doing this because we know that this is a time of year where a lot of people indulge and they go to holiday parties. They fall face first into a tray full of gingerbread cupcakes with homemade vanilla bean frosting. I don’t know…that might have happened to somebody recently that we know. So we wanted to talk about optimizing choices, keeping your head on straight, dealing with family, all that good stuff. However, before we delve into questions, let’s talk about our overall mindset and about how this stuff works. I want…we want no one freaking out and causing, you know, a chronic cortisol spike. We don’t want people freaking out about one indulgence or the one glass of wine that, you know, turned into 18 glasses during a party, you know, where old friends haven’t seen other in 10 years and you’re celebrating the season. This is a warm, cozy, community type, family oriented time of year, and stressing out about choices is going to ruin it. That’s my take, anyway, so keep your head on straight. If you indulge, move on from it. If you get shmammered on schnapps at your ugly Christmas sweater party, which may also have happened to someone at some point during the last, you know, 12 months, enjoy that memory and make good choices going forward.
You know, obviously if you know going into the season that you feel medically like absolute arse when you do these things, you have the power to refrain. Own that power. It’s your choice, your health, and you do have the capability to make those good choices and not lose any of the fun or the cheer of the season. That’s 100% possible, but overall, just remember. Keep calm, enjoy your family, own your choices, and move on from them. I don’t know. Is that cool?
DIANE SANFILIPPO: That sounds good to me.
LIZ WOLFE: Cool. So let’s talk about…what’s your favorite holiday food, Diane? I want people to get some ideas from all of your culinary genius.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: My favorite holiday food.
LIZ WOLFE: Any indulgences? You’re like, oh, yeah, definitely. I love kombucha and milk steak. Lamb steak. I don’t know. Anybody that watches Always Sunny will know milk steak. Sorry about that one.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: I don’t even know what that means.
LIZ WOLFE: [laughs] You don’t know…
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Holiday indulgences…well, actually, I don’t know because it hasn’t really come up yet. Like I guess over Thanksgiving, I made some dark chocolate gingerbread brownies, and my indulgences always tend to be sweets. I’m not a huge drinker. I just…I’m not a good drinker. Like I can’t tolerate very much alcohol.
LIZ WOLFE: [laughs]
DIANE SANFILIPPO: It’s just not a pretty scene and I get all congested, so a couple of drinks is all I can ever handle. So I just…I always kind of like label myself as a bad drinker for that reason. So I think…I think I usually tend to go toward the sweets and I remember a couple of years ago, I was doing a ketogenic diet over the time as the holidays were coming, and I basically ended up just taking like the one day of the holiday, the, you know, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, as my time to kind of like let my hair down and eat whatever. And for me, that always really means the sweets. Like I think I made my grain-free magic cookie bars. Those have always, always been a favorite of mine, with the graham cracker crust and all that. But obviously made with a nut crust instead of graham crackers, and I just don’t…I don’t really have any desire to eat grains, so like, it’s not something that I feel like I want to indulge in, but something that’s made kind of, I don’t know, the Paleo-fied treats. Those are really my kind of…my kind of deal. What about you? Are you an eggnog girl or…?
LIZ WOLFE: [laughs] I’ve never…
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Or 40 glasses of mimosa or…?
LIZ WOLFE: 40 glasses of just about anything. Well, I don’t know. You know, my family really doesn’t drink much, but I guess at holiday party, I’ll pretty much steer clear of beer, which kind of stinks because, you know, I love…or I used to love the bulgured wheats and the real dark, good IPA, that type of stuff. I liked beer the way a lot of people like wine. I just…it’s fine.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: I don’t like either…
LIZ WOLFE: Oh man.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: So all the things you’re saying are kind of like Greek to me, and also nothing of what you’re saying sounds good at all.
LIZ WOLFE: What about ouzo? I’ll do some ouzo. I sound like a crazy alkie…
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah, you do. [laughs]
LIZ WOLFE: But I’ve always kind of enjoyed that stuff. [laughs] But what’s funny is I’ve never cooked with wine. I’ve never bothered to cook with it, which apparently is, you know, not…makes me even less of a chef than I already was, but I’m with you. I do a lot…well, not a lot, but I would gravitate towards like the Paleo-fied type of treats, and generally, I think where people run into problems is when they’re going over to somebody else’s house and having to eat somebody else’s food. If it’s at all appropriate, I will always make one or two things and bring them, you know. A cheese tray from, you know, some kind of I don’t know, local farm with crackers…I’ll get rice crackers, or I’ll get gluten free crackers instead, and then, you know, I could snack on that if I needed to. I’ll also do the Garden of Eatin’ corn chips, which are pretty, you know, socially acceptable. It’s non-GMO corn, and organic, and all that good stuff, so you do what you can where you can. But I’ve also brought to people’s houses..I’ve brought homemade like cauliflower hummus, so instead of chickpeas, these use cauliflower, and it’s really good. I think I got that from Melissa Joulwan’s book, but I’m not sure.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: I have a recipe for that.
LIZ WOLFE: I think…oh yeah, you’ve got one, too.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: In my book.
LIZ WOLFE: In your book. And I’ve even done, you know, I’ve gotten some real thick cut bacon, and baked it, and made it into basically bacon chips. People love that stuff during the holidays. I’ll do bacon wrapped dates.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Oh yeah. Bacon wrapped dates…
LIZ WOLFE: Yeah.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Bacon wrapped dates are definitely a hit, you know, pretty much across everyone.
LIZ WOLFE: Definitely. A lot of the stuff that we cook when we host at our house…we’ll do…I just haven’t found it that hard to have a gluten free Thanksgiving. I mean, we don’t really miss the bread at all, but we’ll do, you know, the heritage turkey. We’ll get some sweet potato casserole with roasted sweet potato and coconut cream, and we’ll top that with some cinnamon PaleoKrunch. Julie from PaleOMG has an amazing stuffing recipe. Sausage stuffing. It’s ridiculous. I added some chopped chestnuts to that, some apple pie PaleoKrunch.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: So you basically made my recipe after you added chestnuts to her recipe. I’m just snarky…I’m like, why are you not using my recipes? You’re my friend!
LIZ WOLFE: I have no idea. No, because here’s why. I’m at my parents’ house, and I totally forgot to bring your book, and they don’t have it here at the house.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: I’m messing with you. The stuffing recipe is on my website anyway, but I’m just telling some other people so they can find it.
LIZ WOLFE: Ugh! Ugh! Breaking my…breaking my coconut, coconut date balls.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah, I am.
LIZ WOLFE: [laughs] I’m sorry, I deserve it. What else? So yeah, you have pretty much everything in your book. Your Thanksgiving meatballs.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Those are really good.
LIZ WOLFE: Those are amazing.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Well, like the other stuff that we basically made…so I made all of Thanksgiving dinner this year, and yeah, I don’t think it’s that hard. I think when we get to some of the questions that people are asking, it’s more about like if somebody else’s is making the food, and I think that’s kind of the big thing is, if it’s at your house, there’s really no issue at all where you can just make dishes that are, you know, gluten free, grain free, whatever, Paleo-friendly, and it’s not an issue. And I think the bigger issue is once people leave the house, either being prepared or knowing what to tell people or just kind of figuring out how to pick and choose or then how to kind of bounce back if they choose wrong. So maybe we’ll get into some questions…
LIZ WOLFE: Yeah…
DIANE SANFILIPPO: We threw out some questions on Facebook, just to see what was on people’s minds and what’s kind of stressing them out about the holiday season, so who do we have here first?
LIZ WOLFE: I think it’s Juni.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah.
LIZ WOLFE: So this is from Juni: “First off—Love the podcast AND Diane’s snazzy new hairdo on the website! Hello!?” I know why you picked this question. [laughs]
DIANE SANFILIPPO: I didn’t do it. It was Charissa picking these for us.
LIZ WOLFE: Oh, love her. “I walk on my lunch break and listen to this podcast. It is the best part of my work day. Thank you!
I have been on and off a Paleo way of eating since January of 2012. I feel like I fall off the wagon when I get caught in a bad way of thinking that goes something like this: ‘why can’t I eat like normal people and really, how bad can it be for me if everyone still eats all this stuff on a regular basis?’ ‘Why was I able to reach weight goals easier while eating a ‘clean’-in quotes- non-Paleo diet’ ‘I’m sick of having to tell people that I CAN’T eat this or that.’ I also think I suffer from selective amnesia (I say jokingly) as there are tons of little symptoms that go away when I eat Paleo that I seem to forget about when I am feeling sorry for myself.” Word to your mother, Juni. I totally know how you feel. All right. “To make a long story short, I know unequivocally, through these recent ‘Return to SAD’ experiments-that’s Standard American Diet -that I feel MUCH better when I eat a Paleo diet. I know that in having an Autoimmune disorder (Hashimoto’s) that very real symptoms of me being intolerant of non-Paleo foods are present. I know that my previous weight goals were more motivated by vanity and may not be as healthy as I thought they were. I know that no matter how simply the Paleo diet is laid out that a great deal of personal tweaks must be made to find the right formula for an individual. I know, I know….but why do I still fight this?
Diane has mentioned a few times that when trying to get off gluten that it took her about a year to really do it. I’d love to hear her elaborate on this story and what it was that finally made her give it up for real. I’ve read the Introduction to Practical Paleo (and love the book) so I know her story in general but would like to hear more about the ways she’d fall off the wagon, get back on again and ultimately found the strength to say “I’m at peace with living in a way that is best for me”. Maybe you both could share some anecdotes about how your clients have made the transition from partial to fully committed. Or maybe you’ll tell me that I need to chill and just take things as they come? Either way, can you address the emotional/psychological aspects of major dietary changes like this?”
Yes, we can.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah, well [laughs]. Let’s see. So I’d love to hear her elaborate on the story, what was it that finally made her give it up for real? Well, what it was that made me give it up for real was Robb Wolf’s seminar. Like that’s really the point blank moment in time that I stopped for a whole day and, you know, I had read Dangerous Grains, I had learned about the problems with gluten, but I never connected the dots between how this food affected people in general and how it affected me because either I wasn’t recognizing the digestive distress that I was experiencing. I wasn’t recognizing that impaired immunity caused by foods I was eating meant I was getting sinus infections all the time. Like I never connected those dots, and I also never connected the dots that getting sinus infections regularly meant my immune system was compromised, which meant if something like cancer, diabetes, heart disease was going to develop in me, my chances of having it develop would be higher. So all of these things that take years to sort of really get and understand, and you know, the reasons why I teach this stuff today. Like I get it now that not having those little whatever these little things are that she mentioned, like little symptoms. Those little symptoms throughout the years, throughout your life mean your immune system is compromised. So if you have a compromised immunity for years and years, that’s when, you know, chronic disease has a chance to develop vs. if you have a strong immune system your whole life, your chances of developing chronic disease are that much lower.
And so what also helped me make the switch was, like, paying more attention to when I ate a certain food. And so like tying this back into the holidays and kind of staying on track for the holidays, you know, if you go to your first holiday party of the season and you kind of go off the rails, and you’re eating things you don’t normally eat, pay attention to what’s happening to your mood, to how you feel the next day, what’s happening in the bathroom. You know? If you’re running to the bathroom or if the next day what’s coming out of you is not what it usually looks like? You know, those are all signs that you didn’t tolerate something. And they’re also signs that you’ve compromised your immune system. And so, you know, it’s really up to you to decide at what point enough is enough. And for me, there was also a moment when…it was probably one of the last times I ate gluten knowingly as, you know, a conscious decision. I was at La Boulange, which is obviously a bakery, around the corner from where I lived in San Francisco, and you know, they have great scrambles and salads and things like that you can get that don’t involve grains at all, but I would always ask for them to leave the bread off the plate, you know, if they say no bread. And sometimes they would forget and put it on there. And so, I think the last time I probably knowingly ate gluten was the piece of bread was on my plate. And La Boulange has free Nutella. So I don’t know that I really need to explain too much about what happened next, but long story short, I ate the bread with the Nutella, and shortly thereafter I had to run home, a block, two blocks away, and go to the bathroom very, very urgently. And you know, it’s not a pretty picture to talk about it, but the reality is, it kind of snapped in my head that that’s what was happening as a result of the food I was eating, and it’s not always that severe or immediate for other people, or they’re just not tuned into it, and so I think, you know, ultimately, how do we give up the fight and just say, you know what? I don’t eat those things. I don’t know. I think it’s different for every person, and I think for me, it was realizing all of the autoimmunity on both sides of my family and realizing that, for me, to prevent that as much as possible, those foods aren’t a part of my diet. And then after however much time of choosing that, I think it was probably…you know, it was like maybe March or April of that year, so by the time I got to the holiday season, I don’t think I felt that same, you know, sense of loss or that same feeling of mourning over the grains. And I also definitely believe in making Paleo-fied foods over the holidays if that’s what you want to do and you want to feel like you’re included or you’re having something that you missed. That’s the time, to me, to bake those, you know, nut flour breads or whatever it is and kind of enjoy the season in that way without the digestive distress, without compromising your immunity and especially with Hashimoto’s, we know that gluten is super important to avoid. It’s just one of those things where you’re just going to have to decide at what point you’re worth it, and what point, you know, your health is more important long term than a moment of despite tastes really good.
And I think it’s the same mindset for people who are looking to lose weight vs. just stay healthy with something like an autoimmune condition. When we have to eat every single day, but the choice between like do I want this thing that’s going to somehow soothe me and make me feel good right now because I just want that pleasure that it induces, this treat or whatever it is vs. you know, I’m trying to reach a goal and maybe that goal is shorter term. Maybe it’s a weight loss goal, or maybe it’s a long term goal of just keeping my thyroid healthy. I don’t know what it is that flips the switch for each person because I think it’s really different, but at some point, you just have to know and understand that it’s real and I think that…I think that some people don’t either fully believe it or haven’t learned the one little fact that just flips their brain. You know, there’s something that for each person, you know, people come to our workshop for a whole day, right? And you know, at the beginning of the day, they’re not…something new isn’t hitting them, and at some point during the day, it just turns for them. They’re like, wow, I’ve never heard somebody explain it that way before. And so maybe it’s just time. But I don’t know, Liz. Do you have any other…any other ideas or what kind of helped you make that switch?
LIZ WOLFE: What helped me make that switch? I don’t know. I think it was just time. I think I just leaned into it, and thought about things, and continued learning, and just took away kind of that overwrought, handwringing feeling of like “oh god, I have to be all or nothing. I have to be on the wagon or off the wagon, and I messed up, and now, you know, my world is crashing down around me.” I just kind of calmed down, and I said to myself, that if something happens, get over it, but just do my best to make good choices moment by moment. And when you kind of take that baggage away from the whole deal, I mean, I knew what was right for me, but I just wasn’t necessarily doing it, and I think it was mostly because of the emotional environment that I was creating around my food.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah, I think that…like I’m kind of re-reading some of what she said, too, and she’s got this…this sort of attitude of I’m sick of telling…having to tell people I can’t eat this or that, and I think that that’s…I was really used to having different dietary “restrictions.” I mean, to me, they weren’t restrictions, but different things I was doing, and so my friends got really used to it, and you know, you don’t have to tell people you can’t eat something. You know, you can just tell them what you do eat or what you want to eat, and not make a big deal of it. So I think sometimes it’s the way that we frame it ourselves that makes it seem like a bigger deal to somebody else.
LIZ WOLFE: Right.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: So I think that’s part of it. And, you know, since January, so she’s been almost a year doing this and you know, I lost weight and was the leanest I ever was eating high carb low fat, training really hard, driving myself into adrenal fatigue, you know. Had a six pack and my thighs didn’t touch for the first time in my life, and I absolutely can’t say that now. But I know, for sure, that I’m way healthier now than I ever was. So I think…I think there’s just a lot of like mental shift that needs to happen, and so, you know, when you’re dealing with other people and you’re trying to kind of figure out your own resolve about your choices, you really do have to kind of like calm down and settle into them and just really choose it. And if you’re not really choosing it, maybe try and figure out why. Like what’s that barrier for you to feel like, this is going to be okay and you’re not missing out anymore. And I think it’s different for people who have an autoimmune condition, for example. You just have to get to that point where you no longer see that thing as food. And I know that that’s happened for two of my really, really good friends have Hashimoto’s, and both of them just absolutely don’t view any gluten containing item as food. It’s just not an option. They’re not interested. And I don’t know. Maybe it just happens over a lot more time.
LIZ WOLFE: Yeah. All right. Very good. Oh, you know what I did want to say also, speaking of what’s happening in the bathroom. This also goes for people who are staying Paleo-ish, but with those Paleo-fied treats and lots of nut flour pie crusts and stuff like that. Baked goods with almond flour and everything like that. If you do notice something every different in the bathroom, don’t ignore that. Take it as information, you know, in your quest to get to know yourself better and what does and doesn’t work for you. So in the same way that it’s not…it’s not to say that, you know, an almond flour cupcake is bad for you, but some people just can’t tolerate these kind of concentrated sources of, you know, of just a big whack of nuts. So just take note of that. Know…I know, you always laugh at me when I say “whack a nut.” I think it’s funny.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: I think..anything that like is silly around the word nuts and I just start laughing. [laughs]
LIZ WOLFE: [laughs] Fair enough. So anyway, just take note of that stuff. Continue to get to know yourself better, and this is entirely off topic, but I think it’s really fun to own how your own body works, and I’ve gotten really into that since I started the whole Taking Charge of Your Fertility thing. We’re not having any Cave Babies any time soon. People like freaked out about that the last time I said it. Don’t look at me like that, D-Sizzle. But it’s really cool. Like you take your temperature every day, and you start to notice your own, you know, when things are happening to you and why. When your temperature hoes up and why and when it goes down and why. And it is really freaking awesome. So you can look at that as kind of a, you know, microcosm or like a small example of the many different ways we can get to know ourselves in ways that we completely never thought about before. So you know, we talk about what goes on in the bathroom as, I mean, that’s no exception. These are all different ways that you can take ownership of your own body and know yourself really well, which is our right, but we grow up. Most of us spend decades not having a clue or not being able to connect any of the dots, and it’s really amazing to finally stand up and do that.
So all right. Moving on. Next question. “The best time to eat sweets.” This is from Stacey.
“I’ve heard eating sugar after a meal is the best way to minimize blood sugar spikes if you choose to indulge. Is that true? Is there a better time to eat sweets?”
And I, Diane, I’ll be interested to hear your take on this. I actually do prefer to have a full meal of some kind, like a full gluten free type meal. Something that’s rich in the good stuff, you know. Meat, butter, veggies, stuff like that before I get to the indulgences. I think that planning an indulgence and starving yourself all day to what, I don’t know, offset the calories or something is…that’s not just punishment, but it probably does set you up to overindulge in a way you wouldn’t, if you were really satiated with some good stuff first. What are your thoughts on that?
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah, I mean, I think it’s pretty obvious that if you throw in a bunch of sweets on an empty stomach, you really are just setting yourself up for a huge blood sugar spike without much other nutrition around that, and so, yeah, I definitely think that and eating real food that’s not sweet, not the treats and whatnot beforehand, is kind of the best approach, and I think, too, it does keep you from overindulging. I think making sure you get in enough protein is really important and I think around the holidays, protein is definitely one of the tough ones in some ways to make sure it’s available at a party. I mean, I think there’s usually like a bowl of, you know, mixed nuts or like, Cheez-its.
LIZ WOLFE: Not a bowl of mixed beef?
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Hmm?
LIZ WOLFE: A bowl of mixed beef cubes? No. That doesn’t happen.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: At my party. [laughs] Now everybody wants to come to my party.
LIZ WOLFE: [laughs] For mixed beef cubes.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: That’s okay. I think what happens is, you know, yeah, it just kind of puts the breaks on a little bit for people to get in some real food ahead of time, and I don’t know, maybe part of it, too, is making the treat and bringing it somewhere and just kind of knowing what it’s made of and knowing that it’s not…well, this is all around like more mindset stuff than just how it hits your blood sugar. But just knowing that like you can have that treat any time. You don’t need to overindulge. But I do think the best time would still be, you know, after having some protein…protein and fat otherwise. I mean, at least protein because chances are the sweets that we’re eating, most of them tend to have a good amount of fat in them that we’re making. Baked goods, you know, with butter or coconut oil, that kind of thing. So I would…I would throw it in after the meal. Yeah. And probably not, like early in the morning. And probably not right before bed either. Even eating some fruit before bed lately, I’ve been kind of waking up really warm and I think it’s just too much sugar for me. Just some fruit. So we’ve all got different things that we tolerate, so yeah. That’s what I would do.
LIZ WOLFE: We’ve talked a little bit about something related to this topic at our workshops, where we’re working with people to talk to family and maybe, you know, when you’re starting really from square one with somebody that’s used to like a breakfast of 3 pieces of toast, and whatever it is. We’ve said, if you were to tell your family member, hey just a little experiment, start with, you know, your eggs and your veggies first. Wait for the bread until the end, and it’s possible at that point you won’t even be as interested anymore, which I think is a little bit telling, so…somewhat related.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah, I think it, you know, it works both ways as it works on like our appetite signaling to kind of help calm us down a bit and make a more rational choice. But it also, you know, absolutely works just filling up the stomach, you know?
LIZ WOLFE: Mm-hmm. All right, this next question is on “recovery after indulgences.” We may have one or two of these questions.
Okay, Hope says: “OK, I did a BIG no-no and ate stuffing and pie over Thanksgiving and now of course I feel like poo. I’ve stopped eating yucko stuff which is helping, but anything I can do to speed along my feeling better?”
My strategy is pretty simple. I’ll push the dose of the cod liver oil/butter oil blend. I’ll kind of double up on that for a couple of days. I’ll take a week of actual probiotic supplements. I really like BioKult. That can kind of help. Lots of broth to hydrate with a good complement of minerals. I’m not a huge fan of just chugging a ton of water all the time to feel better. I think sometimes that can be a little counterproductive. That’s my take. What’s yours, Diane?
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Hmm. I don’t really know about like actual physical things to do because I haven’t really dealt with that in a long time. I think any part…
LIZ WOLFE: Oh, you’re so superior. [laughs]
DIANE SANFILIPPO: What? What?
LIZ WOLFE: You’re so compliant.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: No, I just like, I don’t…I don’t eat things that leave me feeling bad for days. I mean, I just…I don’t know. I just don’t. Like the things that make me not feel great are weird things like too much tomato sauce and that pretty much evacuates itself very quickly, so it takes care of itself.
LIZ WOLFE: [laughs] Oh man. I love you. [laughs]
DIANE SANFILIPPO: I just…I don’t know. But yeah, I mean, I do the same thing with the probiotics if my gut isn’t feeling like spot on. Definitely making sure I’m getting some probiotics in. I tend to just keep doing it with the food. I don’t really have any probiotic supplements on hand. But otherwise, I think…I think what I used to do [laughs]. I used to do this with a hangover back when I had a juicer hooked up was make some green juice, but also make sure I was eating protein. But I would take like kale and celery and cucumber, and it wasn’t like a meal replacement. It was just, I don’t know. I felt like I needed vitamins and minerals to get into my bloodstream really quickly.
LIZ WOLFE: [laughs]
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Mentally, it felt really good. I’m not sure how well it helped me to recover, but I might try it if my juicer was hooked up. I think I would probably do it again.
LIZ WOLFE: Why not?
DIANE SANFILIPPO: That juicer is in a storage room somewhere, but…
LIZ WOLFE: I want…you can’t juice chicken, can you? You can’t juice beef…beef cubes.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: You can blend it into a…can you blend it? You can blend it into a smoothie.
LIZ WOLFE: [laughs]
DIANE SANFILIPPO: I saw this video of a bodybuilder who took like basically chicken and water and made a shake out of it. I was like…
LIZ WOLFE: I’m going to punch that man in the nuts.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: There’s one way to do it.
LIZ WOLFE: [laughs]
DIANE SANFILIPPO: I was like, forget protein powder. Just put the chicken breast in the blender.
LIZ WOLFE: Yeah, you know what? Good on that guy. Good on that guy.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah.
LIZ WOLFE: Seriously.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: We can learn a lot from bodybuilders. I’m just saying.
LIZ WOLFE: The forums from bodybuilder websites are full of some of the most scientifically accurate information I have ever seen.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah.
LIZ WOLFE: These are dudes that want to optimize every last, you know, cell in their bodies.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah. It’s interesting stuff.
LIZ WOLFE: Yeah.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: SuperHuman Radio’s a really good one for that. You just have to be able to listen through all the advertisements for aromatase inhibitors.
LIZ WOLFE: [radio ad voice] Oh, this aromatase inhibitor will make you jacked! [laughs]
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Exactly. [laughs]
LIZ WOLFE: All right. We’re just in rare form today. Okay, next question. This is from Dave.
“I’ve been recently diagnosed with celiac and a leaky gut. I just finished the elimination diet and I’m starting to reintroduce foods on a weekly basis. On occasion, the rigors of modern life force me to eat out. About half the time I come away feeling some pain and/or discomfort which I chalk up to some gluten getting into my food either through cross contamination, something in the food (like a sausage). I am loathe to go back on the elimination diet, so I’m worried that these instances might again lead to a leaky gut. How much exposure does it take and over what time period? What kind of symptoms should I be on the watch for should I suspect something?
My wife and I love your book. We bought 4. one for us, one for each of our exes, and another for my mother-in-law. All so, our kids can eat as healthy with them as they do when they’re with us. Keep up the great work!”
That is a functional extended family there. One for each of our exes. Pretty cool.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Seriously.
LIZ WOLFE: Yeah. What are your thoughts on this?
DIANE SANFILIPPO: [laughs] I don’t know. This is like…I think, you know, it usually ends up…it’s so varied for every person, and it’s really hard to say. It’s really hard to say how much exposure and, you know, what time period. We know that it takes about two weeks for your gut to fully heal if it’s been damaged. And obviously it can feel like it’s taking a lot longer for some people. I don’t know what symptoms you should be looking for specifically because your symptoms may manifest very differently than other people’s. There’s a whole list of signs and symptoms of leaky gut in my book on the Guide to Leaky Gut. And I think the reality is, you know, really trying to be more diligent about, you know, asking questions and avoiding things that you continue to learn might be contaminated. Foods like sausage, as he mentioned. You know, just being a little bit more diligent about that stuff should be pretty helpful, and I think, you know, you’ll feel it and you’ll start to learn where you can…where you can have a little more leeway or not. So it’s pretty much…if you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease, you will probably always have a leaky gut to some degree. And so that’s not to make you feel like stressed out or kind of worried about it all the time, but just know that like it’s not something that will become perfect and perfectly healed and so many insult is like you just kind of screwing everything up. And you know, this is the same, so some of these weren’t questions that were like specific to the holidays, but I guess, you know, in kind of tying it back to that, you know, how do you…how do you just kind of like keep the exposure to a minimum, and really pay attention as we’ve talked about in a previous question. But I think it’s just doing your due diligence, you know. Asking people what they’re making, bringing something if it’s questionable, and you know, maybe even eating before a party, so that you don’t have to go there and eat. You just socialize, maybe you have a drink if you feel like you can do that, knowing that alcohol also contributes to leaky gut.
Also knowing that there are a lot of other things that contribute to leaky gut besides just food. Food is really just one aspect and stress is a huge part of what contributes to leaky gut, and that can be mental, emotional stress or it can be environmental stressors. So if you’re just constantly worried about it, that’s going to actually make it worse. So, you know, I think it’s a pretty ongoing process. You know, when someone says they’ve finished an elimination diet, starting to reintroduce, that’s cool, but there is no, like hard beginning and end to this whole thing. Well, I guess there’s a beginning, but there’s usually not a very [xxx] end to an elimination introduction type of protocol because people kind of go back and forth all the time. You know, you may find that you reintroduce eggs and you feel fine, but then later you may start to not feel great, and you may try it again and see if maybe at that point in time, it’s not working for you again. So it can take anywhere from one bite to have an exposure to a lot more. For some people, it can take…I know that, you know, I think this happens to me. I don’t actually notice if there’s a dusting of white flour on something. I had some sweet potato French fries several weeks ago, and I was pretty sure they were dusted with flour, but I ate them as an experiment. I was like, I want to see if I notice something. And I didn’t notice any digestive distress, everything felt fine for the next few days. And you know, I don’t think that that affected me so much, but what used to affect me really hard core would be whole grains because that insoluble fiber and whatever other portion of the protein are actually on that bran and the endosperm that were irritating to me are gone when they’re polished off, and that doesn’t mean that I then indulge in white flour products all the time because I know why they’re not healthy to eat, and I’m not interested, but at the same time, you know, learning your exposure level, learning where you feel the irritation, what that manifests as in your body can really make the difference. I know, one of our other friends who’s celiac. Like she gets actually nauseous if she eats gluten, which is another sign. It’s not the same digestive distress, but nausea, I mean, that’s huge and if you’re feeling anything like that, I mean that’s definitely a sign that, you know, you’ve gotten exposure, so…remember it can take two weeks to completely heal up. If you’re completely heal, and we’ve talked about gut healing a million times on the podcast. You can go back and read up about that. But yeah, I mean, that’s pretty much…pretty much what I’ve got and thanks for buying the book and buying it for your exes. Awesome.
LIZ WOLFE: Very nice. Okay. Next question from Leslie: “My question is as to the feelings of judgment on behalf of family members. First, as someone with Celiac, I struggle during the holiday season at family gatherings. Second, as someone who has embraced a Paleo lifestyle (which has been extremely life changing for my PCOS and food allergies), it is alienating to be surrounded by the average American eaters. Advice?”
Let me just say here, Leslie, you have Celiac, you are doing the absolute right thing for your condition and what you’re dealing, and if you’re not feeling the love from your family on that, just breathe. I find that shocking and just breathe because I guarantee you that if you’re dealing with this, there is someone in your family who has the same symptoms, who is going to observe your behavior and your choices and you could be changing their perspective without even knowing it. So don’t feel alienated, just press on. Man, that just makes upset that it could be…
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah.
LIZ WOLFE: That she could be alienated for making those choices.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah, I don’t…I don’t know, man. I think…it’s just…it’s a really tough one. I think…I think people really start…need to start to understand that you’re not just being picky and that you’re not just being. I don’t know, that you’re not doing this as really a choice, for whatever reason. People are imposing their thoughts and foods on you, and the reality is, all of that stuff is not about you. It’s always about them. If somebody else is trying to force you to eat something that you don’t want to eat, it’s about them. It’s not about you. And you know, I can see this happening when I bring chocolate to somebody’s house, and I’m like, it’s because I want to eat the chocolate. So I bring it there, and I’m asking them to eat it, too, and it has nothing to do with them. Obviously, I want them to enjoy it if they want some, but the fact that I’m bringing it there, you know, it’s a nice…it’s a gift and it’s a thing that you want to share in, but the reality is, if they’re not aware that your desire to not eat those foods is more important to you, then you know, they’re going to get their feelings hurt. And to some degree, you can’t control that. You know, you can be gracious and say no, thank you, and you can do your best to sort of, you know, I always say this, but I feel like it’s the easiest way around it. Bring the foods that you can eat. Just bring them. If you know somebody wants you to be eating apple pie, you know, that they make every year, you know, for the last 30 years, you’ve been eating it, and all of a sudden you’re not, you just have to explain to them, you know what? I feel really sick when I eat gluten or when I eat wheat or when I eat XYZ, whatever it is. I feel really sick, and so this is what I have to eat now, or this is what I’m choosing, if that’s how you want to frame it. However it is, and you know, it really depends on the family, too. If, you know, if they’re really into following doctor’s orders, then you say, “my doctor told me I can’t eat this or that.” Like whatever it is that you need to tell them to sort of just keep them at arm’s distance with the criticisms and the you know, feelings of judgment. Do what you need to do, and, you know, that’s all I say. I don’t really think…I don’t really think there’s any other great way around it, but hold your ground because I think when people fluctuate on what they say they are going to do, and then they don’t do it, that’s when people see it as a well, it’s just a choice that she’s willing to bend on sometimes, so if I keep at her, maybe she’ll just eat this, you know, or maybe she’ll change her mind or what have you. So I think that’s a little bit…that’s a little bit of another way to do it besides obviously, like I said, making the food that you can eat. And then surrounding yourself when you’re not with your family, you know, obviously there are those set hours and meals that we are with our family, but otherwise, you know, don’t go to holiday parties where you’re going to be surrounded by people who are going to be judging you and ridiculing you. Just don’t surround yourself with those people. That’s really the best way to avoid controversy and conflict is to not put yourself in that situation in the first place, and that’s obviously…that’s, you know, that’s obviously a different situation if it’s a more of a social gathering than a just family.
LIZ WOLFE: To your point about bringing your own food, I…my grandma brought her pumpkin pie to Thanksgiving, and I made Bill and Hayley’s chiffon pumpkin pie from the Food Lovers Primal Palate, one of their old school recipes, and it looked a lot like the pumpkin pie. It was the pumpkin pie that I was eating, and people were curious, and they tried mine and they tried my grandma’s, and they said, they loved mine. They were like, wow, this is so good! So now I have to bring it at Christmas, you know? You never know. You might surprise people, and they might want to try your stuff and that might be the turning point. So get to cooking.
All right, next question. “Least damaging holiday cocktails.”
Andrada says: “What are the best and most Paleo friendly cocktails & wines. I read that some wines can have gluten because a wheat paste is sometimes used to seal the barrels. Which is better gin, vodka, tequila, etc in terms of doing the least amount of damage to the gut? Thanks!”
Well, I think this one is for me, Diane. [laughs]
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Please.
LIZ WOLFE: Yeah. I had no idea that some wines were using wheat paste to seal the barrels. That’s really interesting to me. I do know that there are some wines that are made in stainless steel barrels, which, p.s. Diane, I was in Napa fairly recently with one of my friends, my friend Dionne, and she took me to Wine Country and we drove past a winery that was my name and my husband’s name. It was called Elizabeth and Spencer Winery, and I was like, boom! Gotta get some wine from Elizabeth and Spencer Winery! So we have a couple from there, and they were telling me all about the difference and using the stainless steel barrels and all that stuff. So if you are close enough to your winemaker to know what kind of type that it was made in, that’s something to look for I’ll do some tequila and lime juice, tequila, soda and lime. I don’t know, gin? I remember in high school learning that gin kills your brain cells, which was probably any kind of alcohol, but ever since then, I’ve just been too afraid to drink gin. But I sound like a total lush, but I really do…I rarely drink, but I think probably the most friendly cocktails and such are something like tequila and soda with lime, or some certified gluten free cider. You’ll see gluten free beer, which technically can still contain some gluten parts per million. Cider is a lot safer. That’s pretty much my take on that. Just do shots. Shot shot shot shot!
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah, when I drink, it’s usually hard cider or like champagne and people ask what I’m celebrating, I’m like, I don’t know, Saturday? [laughs] Like, Right? Any day? Wednesday afternoon? I don’t know.
LIZ WOLFE: Yeah!
DIANE SANFILIPPO: What? Do I need to be celebrating to have champagne? And for me, alcohol almost…if it’s not cider or champagne, I consider it dessert.
LIZ WOLFE: Mm-hmm.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: So I get, I’m like, what’s your girliest drink because that’s what I’m going to have, so it’s not really, you know…[laughs] I don’t think that much about it.
LIZ WOLFE: All right. I do think it’s kind of fun to recognize how long of a history alcohol has, just in the human diet. Like as a fermented beverage, it’s actually kind of cool, not from a health perspective, but just from a historical perspective, it’s kind of fun.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Oh, yeah! It looks like I’m growing…I’m brewing moonshine in my kitchen all the time with kombucha.
LIZ WOLFE: All the time.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: People are like, what’s…what do you have there, Diane?
LIZ WOLFE: Oh yeah, speaking of that actually, there’s some really cool kombucha cocktail ideas out there. So Google that.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: I saw that. What do you think about that?
LIZ WOLFE: I think…
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Is that kind of like a damage and then the remedy? Like all in one?
LIZ WOLFE: Who knows, man? That’s why I started drinking like soda or water with my cocktails, like vodka water with lemon, that type of thing, back in the day. Because I was like, well, if I’m drinking some vodka, I should probably drink some water with it, just maximum efficiency, maximum return, you know. [laughs] So I say, give them a try. I think that sounds pretty cool. I haven’t yet just because I haven’t really drank yet this season, but maybe I will. Maybe that’s next. I’ll use your kombucha recipe that you put up on the blog today and make some kombucha that will be ready by New Year’s and go for it.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Sounds good to me.
LIZ WOLFE: Cool. All right, last question from Lauren. “Keeping up with fitness during the holidays.’
“What and how to maintain fitness levels when the weather, holiday schedules, and life get in the way of exercise? Thanks!” You have any thoughts on this one?
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Well, it depends on what kind of…what kind of workouts you’re doing. I think the weather’s probably one of the biggest ones. It just kind of like keeps people in the house and you know, makes the schedule get crazy. I think just making sure that you find a way to carve out time for it. Like I said, I’m heading out of town, and I kind of..I told Hayley, like I have to work out. You know, so I’m sort of holding myself accountable, that I’m like telling my friend and maybe if Hayley or Bill will work out with me down at Pork Belly Fitness, and you know, kind of roping someone else in, I think, can really help. I think if you…if you know that you won’t feel well if you don’t keep on track with your fitness routine, then you know, find a way to keep something at home that will work for you if you just aren’t going to get out of the house or, you know, whatever. And then I think it’s also important not to stress too much about it. You know, if you end up taking a week or two weeks off from your regularly scheduled programming, I think, you know, it’s almost like a forced rest, and that’s fine because otherwise we don’t really have seasons. When we work out in a gym 365 days a year, if you don’t force yourself to take the week or two off here or there, you know, you really run more of a risk for injury. So I think that’s probably…if you’re having trouble and it’s stressing you out, and you’re just trying to get everything done, you know, then forego the workout and don’t stress about it. Let it [xxxx] your work out being that day, you know. Maybe you’re at the grocery store, you’re picking up your bags and then you’re moving around the kitchen all day, and you’re being active, and I think that’s fine, you know? I just wouldn’t stress too much about it, but I don’t know, what do you think, Liz? You’ve been on the road for a little while now still.
LIZ WOLFE: Oh, yeah. Workout? What workout? No, I like mostly especially with travel just doing some sun salutations or, I don’t know what the technical term is, but when you just kind of go through that yoga situation. You remember me doing that? In…I can’t remember where we were? Maybe it was…?
DIANE SANFILIPPO: I’m sure I had an eye mask on, so no.
LIZ WOLFE: Yeah, you had your eye thingies on, but just doing a quick run through of that. There’s probably a name for it that I don’t know what it is, but it really just helps just center me mentally. And for something quick and intense, air squats and pushups. I mean, you could…you could get pretty sore just with some air squats and some pushups, so maybe squat jumps. Something like that.
DIANE SANFILIPPO: Yeah.
LIZ WOLFE: Cool. All right, so we are rounding out an hour. We will be back next week with more questions as usual. And until then, you can find Diane at www.balancedbites.com and you can find me, Liz, at www.cavegirleats.com. You can also order my book, Modern Cave Girl, via www.cavegirleats.com or Amazon. Thanks for listening everybody. We’ll be back next week.
Cheers! Diane & Liz