Podcast Episode #377: Keto + Ulcerative Colitis and Dealing with Judgement Over the Holidays

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Keto + Ulcerative Colitis and Dealing with Judgement Over the HolidaysTopics

  1. News and updates from Diane & Liz [2:08]
    1. Upcoming vacation
    2. Book tour
    3. Growth spurt in kiddo
  2. What we ate for dinner last night [8:44]
  3. Listener question: Keto and ulcerative colitis [14:18]
  4. Dealing with judgement at the holiday meals [24:08]

Diane's Instagram- Dealing with judgement during the holidays

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Keto + Ulcerative Colitis and Dealing with Judgement Over the Holidays Keto + Ulcerative Colitis and Dealing with Judgement Over the Holidays Keto + Ulcerative Colitis and Dealing with Judgement Over the Holidays

You’re listening to the Balanced Bites podcast episode 377.

Diane Sanfilippo: Welcome to the Balanced Bites podcast. I’m Diane; a certified nutrition consultant, and the New York Times bestselling author of Practical Paleo and the 21-Day Sugar Detox. My newest book, Keto Quick Start, will release on January 1, 2019. I live in San Francisco with my husband and fur kids.

Liz Wolfe: I’m Liz; a nutritional therapy practitioner, and author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller Eat the Yolks; The Purely Primal Skincare Guide; and the online program Baby Making and Beyond. I live on a lake in the mystical land of the Midwest, outside of Kansas City.

We’re the co-creators of the Balanced Bites Master Class, and we’ve been bringing you this award-winning podcast for more than 7 years. We’re here to share our take on modern healthy living, answer your questions, and chat with leading health and wellness experts. Enjoy this week’s episode, and submit your questions at http://balancedbites.com or watch the Balanced Bites podcast Instagram account for our weekly calls for questions. You can ask us anything in the comments.

Remember our disclaimer: The materials and content within this podcast are intended as general information only, and are not to be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Before we get started, let’s hear from one of our sponsors.

Liz Wolfe: Today’s podcast is sponsored by Vital Choice wild seafood and organics. America’s leading purveyor of premium, sustainable seafood and grass-fed meats, and a certified B corporation. Holiday season means parties and meals with family and friends, so now’s the time to stock up on deliciously healthy foods you’ll be proud to serve. Vital Choice offers a wide selection of wild seafood, grass-fed meats and poultry, and zesty organic soups. The perfect paleo-friendly fare for holiday feasting. And, they make hosting easy with luscious Nova Lox, Alaskan Crab, frozen at sea spot prawns, and much more. Be sure to save 15% on one regular order with the promo code BBPODCAST or get $15 off your first Vital Box with the promocode BBVITALBOX from now through the end of the year.

1. News and updates from Diane & Liz [2:08]

Liz Wolfe: Ok. Hi Diane; what’s going on over there?

Diane Sanfilippo: Well hello. Not too much. Just hanging out, waiting to chat with you.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: That’s so sweet.

Diane Sanfilippo: Just kind of actually right now, when this episode is airing, I will be in Hawaii.

Liz Wolfe: Sounds terrible.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m really excited for this vacation. So I’m pumped about it. It’s been a while since we’ve taken a vacation. Between book work, and then we moved into this house, and it was kind of like; ok, let’s just resettle ourselves for a little bit. So yeah, this is the first vacation we’re taking in a while. We love our life. But you know, a vacation, some time away from it. It will be pretty good. Pretty good. So real excited about that. And I’ll definitely talk about it; talk about my stay and all of that when I return.

Liz Wolfe: Are you staying at the hotel from Forgetting Sarah Marshall?

Diane Sanfilippo: OK. I have no idea.

Liz Wolfe: Probably not. Then I don’t want to hear anything about it. Just kidding.

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t know what hotel that is, but I will talk about the hotel that I stay at when I get back so you guys can get a review. But definitely stay tuned for notes on that. And then, of course, tour updates for those of you who missed last week’s episode; head over to www.balancedbites.com/tour. I am going to be touring with the new book. I would absolutely love to meet you. I’ll be all over the place. San Francisco, Orange County, Huntington Beach, Boca Raton, Florida. Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles. Seattle. Portland. Las Vegas. D.C., Charlotte, Nashville. Kansas City. Denver. Probably later into March. Chicago, Columbus, Rochester, New York, and Phoenix, Arizona.

So, it’s a big list. I just have a lot of trouble saying no to any of this, as much as I’m a Rebel, I don’t like saying no to more cities.

Liz Wolfe: Well, that’s like saying no to an opportunity.

Diane Sanfilippo: I guess so. And I just; there are few things that upset me more, in the internet world, than the crying face emoji when someone realizes I’m not coming to their city. I’m like; someone get me a private jet. I will go everywhere!

Liz Wolfe: Hmm. I know a pilot that might be able to fly that for you.

Diane Sanfilippo: I mean, I’m saying! {laughs} This is the one expense in life that is something that I’m like; you know, a lot of money would be really cool. Just for that. Just for a private jet. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that way. Like, a private jet is pretty much; I don’t really want anything else that that much money would buy.

Liz Wolfe: Well you need an island that you could take the private jet to.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok. But like a big house. I don’t need a big house; just more space. More stuff to fill it. Whatever. But a private jet would be pretty cool. Anyway. So if I’m coming to a city anywhere near you, I would love to meet you.

What’s going on over by the lake?

Liz Wolfe: I have a 3.5-year-old and it is terrible. Just kidding! {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Liz Wolfe: Just kidding! I love her. I think we are in a period of some kind of growth spurt, or rapid something or other.

Diane Sanfilippo: She’s like a teenager. I saw a picture. I’m like; she’s a giant person.

Liz Wolfe: Oh my gosh. She is enormous. And so smart in a bad way. Like, you know, people talk about don’t manipulate your kids. I’m pretty sure she knows how to manipulate me. Legitimately; not in the, oh, she’s just crying because she’s trying to get what she wants. Literally, intellectually, manipulate me. I’m pretty sure we had a conversation about Fredrick Neichze the other day, and she had me completely… I’m just kidding.

But she’s interesting. And it’s kind of funny, because we kind of go by the Saturn Institute-ish rules for eating in children. And I kind of go with, in general, as long as it’s within a framework of decency. Decent food. What she will eat is what she will eat, and that’s fine. But she has been asking multiple times a day for salmon. And luckily, I just got a huge order from Vital Choice of four different types of amazingly delicious salmon, and it’s so easy to cook. Like really, even if you're a bad cook like me, you can do an appreciable job of turning raw salmon into cooked salmon. And she’s been eating it twice a day.

And I’m like; her brain must be doing something and she wants all this DHA. Or something like that. So it’s been very interesting and frustrating and interesting over the last couple of weeks to see her food choices, as well as what’s going on with her mentally and physically. That’s pretty much consuming my life right now. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: It is not what I thought you were going to say about what she’s been trying to manipulate into feeding her. I thought there was going to be like; she had a cupcake once three months ago, and everyday it’s a cupcake that she wants.

Liz Wolfe: Oh, well that too. She had a snack one time, and now everything needs to be a snack. But, I don’t think she’s quite figured out that just because I call something a snack doesn’t mean it’s a snack. But she goes with it. So yeah, you could have a snack. Here’s a tuna poke bowl with avocado.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Just kidding. She doesn’t eat that. She wants snacks all day long. You know, we had Halloween a couple of weeks ago. And it was adorable, and fun, and it was really cute for her to knock on doors. And the magic of people coming to the door, and answering it, and just going crazy over her outfit. It was really fun. But then we had bags and bags of this disgusting crap that should be illegal to give to children. I mean, I don’t know if you’ve ever looked at the label on an Airhead, but it is absolutely atrocious and criminal what is in those things.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m sure I only ever looked at the front of the label hundreds of thousands of times when I ate them when I was young. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Oh, it’s an Airhead; I’m going to eat this.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, every type of candy.

Liz Wolfe: But it’s bad. It’s pretty bad. We let her have a piece, and we went and bought fake M&Ms at Sprouts. The “healthier” non-GMO M&Ms. We’ve kind of slipped those in a couple of times. But for the most part, she forgot about all the candy within a day or two. It’s just kind of funny what they remember and what they forget.

Diane Sanfilippo: That is interesting.

2. What we ate for dinner last night [8:44]

Liz Wolfe: Ok. Let’s talk about what we ate for dinner last night. Shall we?

Diane Sanfilippo: I guess we shall. And I’m over here; ok, now I remember. I mean, if it weren’t for Instagram I’m not sure I would remember.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} You go first because I’ve got to think. I didn’t put mine on Instagram, so I’m screwed.

Diane Sanfilippo: I mean, we’ve talked about this before. Because we kind of know we’re going to be asked this at least, I don’t know, a couple of times a month. It’s a fun segment that we like to do. And sometimes it’s tough to remember.

So last night I had; it’s the meat and greens recipe in my new book. And it’s something that I make pretty often. Ground meat cooked with onions and garlic and I throw in some prechopped kale. I actually like to use the cruciferous crunch mix from Trader Joe’s, which has kale, and cabbage, and some shredded brussels sprouts. I throw that in there, cook it all down with some Italian blend Balanced Bites spices, and then I dump in a jar of tomato sauce. And I ate that with zoodles last night. And a little bit of shaved sheep milk cheese, pecorino Romano. I seem to do well with that.

And I’m a big fan of a little squeeze of lemon over my tomato pasta dish. I think it really brightens it up. So was that enough time for you to recall what you had for dinner last night? {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Yes. I got it. I remember now. We actually carried out. We got Massaman Curry.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ooh, curry.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. From a really good Thai restaurant in Overland Park. If you're in Kansas City, it’s called Lemongrass Thai. And I think they do a good job.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, we’ve talked about this. Because my Thai place is called Lemongrass Thai, also.

Liz Wolfe: I know, I remember that now! That’s really funny. One of my big; maybe it’s different in California. Because I know you guys are more environmentally conscious over there than where we are. But one of my New Years’ resolutions is going to be minimizing carryout as much as possible. And if I go to eat somewhere, bringing my own carryout containers. Because man, not only are those plastic containers probably leeching horrible chemicals into my nice, hot curry. But it’s also like; ugh. It just seems so ridiculous to go pick up some food you're about to eat in a plastic container, take it home, take the food out, and throw the container away.

I’ve been thinking that we need a public service announcement. Somebody needs to make a public service announcement that just shows a human being walking down the street throwing pieces of plastic, and just all the crap that we throw away all day long just on the ground behind them. Just to display how much we throw away. Literally, how much we barely use.

I saw a kid take a drink of water in a plastic cup. An inch of water in this plastic cup. Grabs a plastic cup, drinks his inch of water, and throws away the cup. It was horrifying. And I really want to be more conscious about how much waste I’m generating. So that’s a little tangent.

Diane Sanfilippo: There are some good internet rabbit holes you can fall down on this. There are some documentaries. I definitely remember seeing; I don’t know if it was a news piece or what it was. I’m pretty sure it was a woman who would only fill; I don’t know. It was like a small cup with trash that year. Something to that effect. Everything else had to be either reusable, recyclable, or compostable. And it is kind of astounding. It’s definitely an area of life that I know we could be doing a lot better at.

And here in San Francisco, they actually recently; they didn’t change the garbage cans. But they put an insert in it to make it so that we could actually produce less garbage each week, or fill the can less. My husband would be better equipped to explain what’s happening with the garbage cans, because that’s definitely his list of; that’s the honey-do list of the week. Garbage.

But, for sure. There are so many more things. I don’t know what it’s like in every city, but we can recycle a lot of things here. So at the very least, putting things in the recycling. Making sure we’re composting anything that can compost. And finding ways to make less garbage. Absolutely.

I’m with you, though. On the takeout. It is really tough. Of the two places that we get delivery from, Souvla does use cardboard boxes, at least. They do also use some plastic containers, but the Thai place, same thing. And that’s a tough one, because you're totally right. It’s literally for carrying the food for a few minutes, and probably leeching chemicals. And sometimes we are so hard on ourselves that we’re like; we have to make this decision every now and then and not stress about it. And at the same time; I think we could do better. So I wonder what the solution really could be there.

Liz Wolfe: We’ve got to be aware.

Diane Sanfilippo: When you figure it out; please report back to all of us.

Liz Wolfe: Will do.

Diane Sanfilippo: Liz, you're going to be like the grandma piano teacher in the Wedding Singer.

Liz Wolfe: I love hand the meatballs over; hand to hand.

Diane Sanfilippo: Just give me the curry right here. Put the curry in my hands.

Liz Wolfe: I wish you could do that. I wish there were some kind of standardized takeout containers that you could bring to the restaurant and they could fill it up. I’m sure it violates a million health codes. But there are a million health codes being violated all day long at excellent restaurants. So whatever.

3. Listener question: Keto and ulcerative colitis [14:18]

Liz Wolfe: Alright, let’s dive into our question. This one is from Annette. “Hello ladies! I just want to start off by saying that I absolutely love your podcast. It makes cooking, the kitchen, and driving to work so much more pleasurable. Your take on diet and lifestyle hits the nail on the head every time, so I’m grateful to be part of the BB community.

My question is; could keto be causing my ulcerative colitis to flare up a bit? Background: I’m a 30-year-old nurse practitioner. I’ve been doing keto only for a few weeks, but I’m having lower abdominal cramping, and a few other number two issues that make me think that my immune system is getting a little angry, and causing UC to become mildly active. I know sometimes people get diarrhea or constipation when doing keto from either lack of fiber or adjusting to so much fat. But I know this isn’t the case for me.

TMI; feel free to omit this detail if you answer this question on air. But I’m having mucus in my stool, and my trips to the bathroom are becoming a bit urgent. The odd thing is that I’ve hardly changed my diet since starting keto; and mostly just had to quit the dark chocolate and coconut milk ice cream I’d eaten several times per week.

Of note, I’ve been eating paleo since 2012, starting just one day after I was diagnosed with UC. I’ve seen some wonderful FM (functional medicine) practitioners, and take supplements that include turmeric, restore for gut health, magnesium, Viacell 3; that’s a probiotic, and vitamin D. I’m also on LDN (that’s low-dose naltrexone) 4.5 mg nightly. I don’t eat any starches, nuts, or eggs, because they’re not digested well. I’ve had a full functional medicine workup since 2012 and have been treated for candida, mercury toxicity, adrenal fatigue, and leaky gut.

Prior to going keto, my digestion was the best it’s ever been, and I’m happy with my health, aside from my energy, which is horrible despite getting 8 hours of sleep per night and doing some easy weight training a few times per week. I love what I do, so my job isn’t a huge source of stress. Nor is home life with my pup and husband. I was hoping keto could help with my energy, and also decrease my risk of cancer. My most recent test by Nutrigenomic DNA genetic testing found that I’m more likely to get cancer than others, whatever that means. Because my genes show I turn on inflammation very easily and to prevent cancer, I need to be on a keto-adaptive diet. Any thoughts?

A typical day of eating looks like a large serving of sautéed bok choy and grass-fed burger, lettuce wrap with Primal Kitchen mayo. Large salad with Vital Choice salmon and extra virgin olive oil dressing. Roasted asparagus and grass-fed steak with some blueberries. Snack; grass-fed summer sausage with guac. Drinks; no caffeine, just water and herbal tea. Once every month or two, I’ll have a giant gluten-free macaroon from a French bakery; whoo! Living life on the edge. Love you guys.” {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Your thoughts Diane?

Diane Sanfilippo: So this is a tricky one. And I talk in my new book a bit about the difference between being in ketosis, and being fat adapted. Or, also the next level of sort of keto adapted. And I think a lot of people really confuse some of the benefits of eating low carb with being in ketosis.

First and foremost; you don’t need to be in ketosis to reap a lot of the benefits of eating a low-carb diet. And I definitely think when it comes to cancer prevention; I know there’s a ton of research and information around eating keto for that. I actually think that, for the types of cancer where it’s been shown that a ketogenic diet can be therapeutic, I think that’s a great idea.

However; if you're not diagnosed with cancer, I don’t think you need to be thinking about keto necessarily as a preventative if it’s not working for you. Which, in this case, I would say; it’s not really working for you. Because if you're not able to eliminate, then you're going to have some issues with detoxification. And I would say that being able to eliminate properly is paramount to almost everything.

Blood sugar regulation and eliminations are the two most important things just foundational to your health. So obviously it sounds like eating pretty low carb makes you feel good in a lot of ways. But when it comes to this flare for UC, sometimes it doesn’t seem like what we’re doing is that different. But a small shift in the way that you feed your microbiome could make a big difference for you.

So I think that I would actually try incrementally adding bits of carbohydrates. So if you are; now I have to read back again because I feel like we have talked about this a bunch with different folks. But depending on how active you are, and if you're exercising and able to do a little bit of carbohydrate right after that. Or just adding a bit in; try adding a bit in to just one meal per day.

So let’s just start with dinner. I would take some butternut squash; any other kind of winter squash. I would add in, let’s say about 20-25 grams worth of carbohydrates. That’s not much. You might even still be in ketosis at that point. But you might be feeding your gut bacteria a little bit better. You might be providing a little bit more of that soluble fiber to make it a bit more comfortable. So I would just keep that in mind.

I am not somebody who says keto harder. I’m not somebody who says you're not doing it right. Or who says keto is a great panacea; it will solve everything. I think that as you move through your everyday life, there is a certain point at which when people make this transition over to a keto type of diet, and you give it about a month. After that point, anything that wasn’t that comfortable with it. Because you're switching to not eating as many carbs. It can take that much time to feel more balanced.

But after you get past that point; if you're like, you know, I’m still feeling this. I’m having this horrible effect. I’m not eliminating normally. If those things aren’t working for you, then it’s not working for you. But that doesn’t mean you have to throw the baby out with the bathwater. You can take a moderate approach. Add some carbs back. See how you feel.

A lot of people get to this place where they’re so scared. They’re like; I went keto, and now I’m scared to add carbs. I’m like; listen. It’s not this mysterious magical thing that just eating keto meant you were going to suddenly burn up all the bits of body fat that you're sitting there with. It’s a combination of things that are working together. People are getting benefits from keto because they’re having mental clarity. They’re able to focus better throughout the day. Some people’s digestion improves greatly.

That’s not happening for you. So I don’t think it’s a matter of you didn’t do it right. I just think this strict keto approach; your body doesn’t love it. I wouldn’t fight it. I would just say; let’s add some carbs back.

So, I wouldn’t say start with adding gluten-free bread or rice. I would start with some moderate carb foods. And actually in my new book, I have a whole chart of keto foods list where it has stuff that’s super low carb, and it’s kind of identified with green coloring. Then a little bit more carb, and it’s a lighter green. And then it goes to yellow, orange, and red. And the red isn’t bad for you food, it’s just higher carb things, like beets and winter squash and all of that.

So that’s what I would do. I would add some of that back. Every day, about 20-25 grams of carbs with dinner. See how you feel. It should not really trigger crazy weight gain. It’s not a ton of carbohydrate. But you don’t want to go from 0 to 60 in one second. You really want to make sure that you're kind of pacing it out with your body. But see how you feel doing that.

And then from there you may find that you do well getting in some chia seeds, some flax seeds. I talk about this in the book, as well. I talk a little bit about seed cycling, and I can point you guys over to Dr. Jolene Brighten’s website. I know she’s got articles on it. But you might find that you do well with some ground up seeds so you're getting more fiber to help you eliminate better. Although, the ulcerative colitis is a tricky one. Because sometimes that can help; sometimes it can make you flare more. So it really just depends on what you think. I need you to tune into your intuition here and listen to what your body is telling you. Prior to going keto, your digestion was the best it’s ever been, so we need to really look at that and see; are there some things you could add back to the way that you're eating that would make you feel a lot more balanced, and don’t stress about whether or not it’s keto.

Liz Wolfe: I like it.

Liz Wolfe: The Balanced Bites podcast is sponsored in part by the Nutritional Therapy Association. The NTA trains and certifies nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants (including me; I’m an NTP), emphasizing bio-individuality and the range of dietary strategies that support wellness. The NTA emphasizes local, whole, properly prepared nutrient dense foods as the key to restoring balance and enhancing the body’s ability to heal.

The NTA’s nutritional therapy practitioner program and fully online nutritional therapy consultant program empower graduates with the education and skills needed to launch a successful, fulfilling career in holistic nutrition. Registration is now open for February class, and you can learn more and save your seat by going to http://www.NutritionalTherapy.com. Don’t forget to check out the NTA’s annual conference, Roots, happening March 1 through 3 in Portland, Oregon. It’s one of the most empowering and educational holistic nutritional events of the year, and all are welcome.

4. Dealing with judgement at the holiday meals [24:08]

Liz Wolfe: Alright. I want to talk about something. I want to talk about a topic that is near and dear. Well, maybe not to me. {laughs} I have a pretty small family, and we don’t have a whole lot going on this year for the holidays. But I know this is something you’ve been talking about for a while with regards to what we talked about in the last episode, a little bit about wine and drinking. About holiday expectations and holiday stress.

So, I thought it would be good if we devoted a segment to dealing with holiday stress and maybe family expectations, and probably a lot of what people are really dreading this holiday season. I know there’s a lot of magic, and a lot of positive expectations this time of year. But I know that also there are many folks that sit there really dreading the next family get together.

Diane Sanfilippo: Or even a holiday party, or the company part.

Liz Wolfe: The work party; yes. And you talked about it on Instagram a bit this morning. So I thought we’d just let you riff on that.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. So a couple of things that I like to remind people. Last year I did this healthy for the holidays group. And we had a lot of different conversations around strategic approaches and tactics to dealing with what people might say to you. And then some ways to be prepared for it, as well. Between what you're going to say, and also what you do.

So a couple of things here. One was the idea of; we mostly talk about what we’re eating and drinking because that’s a core tenant of this podcast, healthy food. If someone is going to look at your plate, see what you're eating, and start to comment on it; one of the ways that I think you can respond is just kind of saying, “You don’t need to pay attention to what I’ve got on my plate. I’m good.” And just really shut it down. And I think that can be hard for people.

I think if you're ready to say that and you just get kind of prepared; because there isn’t really a good conversation to be had in most cases. If someone is being judgmental, or they’re criticizing what you’re eating, it’s not the time to start talking about the keto diet, you know what I mean. When you're in the Thanksgiving buffet line, and it’s mashed potatoes topped with marshmallows, rolls, and the whole thing. It’s just not a good place to talk about it.

There’s always that time where you’ve got a family member who really is curious. And I think you can identify when that’s happening. But 9 times out of 10, I would say someone honestly is just being critical because they somehow notice that your plate looks healthy. If you happen to be taking turkey, and greens, and you're just kind of avoiding stuff that’s conventionally known as, whatever. Less healthy. Whatever it is. People really feel judged by that. Even though you're just trying to move about your day, and maybe not feel so tired after the meal. Or just do whatever is working for you.

Which, by the way, I do not care what anyone; if you want to eat the sweet potatoes with the marshmallows on top; zero judgement. Don’t care. Don’t care what anyone wants to eat whenever, and especially on the holidays. This is really just about; especially if you're going through a healing journey, the holidays can be really tough. Right? Because you're like; I’m not trying to get off the rails, because my body is finally feeling a little bit better. I know that if I overindulge, it’s just not going to feel good. And I’m trying to be super aware in the moment.

So I would just kind of brush them off. The other kind of; I don’t know. It’s a little bit of a cheeky thing; if you want to get into it with them in the line, at your aunt’s house, and just be like; “Actually, I find that if I eat that, I’m going to run to the bathroom really quickly.” I think that would be a; I’m going to call it a thread killer, but it’s like a conversation killer right away. Just depending on who the person is if you want to be kind of silly about it. But we were just joking a little bit.

People don’t really want to hear it. The reality is, they typically feel judged or they think maybe you're being too hard on yourself. It’s the holidays. People just have a different way of going about things. So I think it’s really important to just kind of stick to whatever it is that you want to do, not feel pressured by what other people are saying.

The flip side of that is, some people find they’re going to eat whatever their version of the “diet” or way of eating that they want to have most of the time, and then on the holidays, they actually want to choose something different. And have that roll, or have whatever it is. And sometimes, people are going to judge you for that. “Oh, I thought you didn’t eat bread!” Right?

It’s like; you just have to be ready for the fact that somebody is going to try and attack what you're doing. And just shut it down as quickly as possible. Be like, “Yeah. This is what I’m doing today.” Or, “This is what I feel like having today. It’s really not a big deal.” And move on.

I know you were talking about having a small family. We really just kind of hang, just us, for the holidays now. We used to get together with my family. But luckily we didn’t really have too much of that struggle. Many years ago I did have a family member who was super critical of everything that we were doing. And I would just kind of sit on the other end of the table. I really wouldn’t sit near her, because I was like; I just can’t with you and all your judgements. So I would just distance myself, physically from her.

What have you done? Have people criticized what you're eating, or I don’t know. Anything that you…

Liz Wolfe: This is an interesting question. I think I was very paleo for a long time, and then I kind of started to see; A, what I could handle. What I could enjoy with low consequences. And also, what the consequences were when I choose to enjoy things with great consequences. So there are times when I do make choices to eat something that maybe other people in our realm would not eat, where I feel like crap the next day and I knew that was going to happen, and I expected it, and I made the choice anyway. And there are also times when I know that eating this Hawaiian roll is not going to kill me, as long as I don’t eat 5 Hawaiian rolls a day for three weeks. So I kind of gauge that quite a bit now.

I am a lot; I think people know this by now, but hopefully nobody listening feels betrayed. I’m fairly loose during events and parties and weekends and mornings, evenings, and lunchtime. Just kidding. No, events and parties. I’ll be pretty loose with it. I will have some alcohol, and I’ll have usually something that’s at the table.

I went to a party Saturday night, and brought bacon-wrapped dates. That could have been the only thing I ate, but I chose to eat some of the soup that had pasta in it. And some treats that somebody else brought. I didn’t feel great the next morning, but I drank some Pedialyte and I was fine. {laughs} Which, by the way, is the hangover cure. Pedialyte. That’s another thing I compromise on.

So there’s that. I just make probably some choices that maybe I wouldn’t have made 5 year ago with regards to how strict or how careful I am. And that could change. I mean, I feel like as I’m 35 now, as I’ve gotten older, I can’t tolerate the same things I used to be able to tolerate. But at the same time, there are other things I refuse to stress about, because I’m older. So it’s really a balance for me.

What I did for a while when I had the time was I would host a lot of these things. So I would say; don’t bring anything or I would give particular assignments to people. I would make the stuffing. The turkey, to make sure it was pasture raised turkey. I would make the mashed potatoes to make sure they weren’t out of a box. Etc. And that’s one way to control your environment. But at the same time, then you have to host the party. So that’s a little bit tough.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, that’s what we’ve done a lot. Hosting it. Much to my mother’s pleasure, when we were living in New Jersey. She’s like; great! I also don’t find it to be that big of a deal to cook Thanksgiving dinner, unless it’s going to be for that many people. Because to me, it’s just like another meal. With a lot more components, and I might kind of plan ahead.

And the other thing I wanted to touch on quickly. And you guys can head over to Instagram. We’ll link to it in the show notes if you missed it. It was a selfie, and by now it will have been a couple of weeks ago that I posted this. About really dealing with what people are saying. We’ve had a lot of comments come in from you guys and tips on how to handle this.

But the topic of drinking or not; I think there’s a couple of choices you can make here. If somebody is watching you pass on the wine, or whatever it is. That can be a tricky, or sticking point for a lot of people. And I think you can take two approaches. Again, no judgement, whoever one works for you. I think you can either lie; and it’s like a white lie, and just shut the person up. Or you can be super honest.

So if you're going to lie to someone; you can say, “I had too much last night and I’m taking a break.” Or, “I’ve got a lot of parties going on.” Or, you can be the designated driver and that’s not really a lie. Or you can say it, and not be it. If you don’t really want to deal with that person, telling them the truth, then I think this is a perfect example for a small white lie. Especially if it’s somebody that you don’t see all the time. If it’s not somebody who is constantly after you about this.

If it’s your mom, and it’s a conversation that comes up all the time, and it’s like you need to have a conversation about it. Then at some point, I do think it’s healthy to have that conversation. But if it’s a relative you literally see once a year at the holidays, I think just a little quick brush off, whatever it’s going to be to shut them up and move on with your life, I’m fine with that.

And then I think another thing you could do; and again, this is my preference, to just be honest and say; “I feel better when I don’t drink.” Period. End of story. I think sometimes people are shocked by that, because they assume that everyone “feels better” when they drink. Because they’re thinking about the escape, or the coping mechanism, or the buzz in the moment. And not everybody is thinking about the whole next day effect. Or long-term of your healing journey, and what its’ like to be drinking in the middle of that. For a lot of people. It does not feel good.

I do think it’s a good thing to say to someone. “I feel better when I don’t drink.” Because what if you just sparked something in them, where they’re like; “I wonder if I would feel better if I didn’t drink.” That’s me. I always want to be a catalyst for change in other people, whether or not they thought that’s what they were coming to me for. And that’s just something that I find interesting and exciting. And I don’t care if that person doesn’t like me as a result. So that’s kind of my take.

And I do think it can depend on who the person is. Does that make sense? If it’s your aunt, whoever, who you literally never see. I’m not sure you need to get into it. So there’s that.

Diane Sanfilippo: Today’s podcast is sponsored by Perfect Keto. Dr. Anthony Gustin and his teams have created a line of supplements that are super clean and effective, no matter what your dietary needs. I’ve been blending their MCT oil powder into my matcha latte lately. Not only are MCTs; medium chain triglycerides; a premium source of your body’s preferred type of energy, and help to fuel your brain and body, but there’s also no added taste. It makes your coffee or matcha wonderfully creamy. Check them out at PerfectKeto.com and use the code BALANCED for 20% off at Perfect Keto; and their sister site, Equip Foods.

Liz Wolfe: Good stuff. Well that’s it for this week. You can find me, Liz, at http://realfoodliz.com/ and you can find Diane at http://dianesanfilippo.com. Please join our email lists for free goodies and updates that you don’t find anywhere else on our website or on the podcast. While you’re on the internet, leave us an iTunes review. See you next week.

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