As part of the season of sharing and giving, I teamed up with Amelia Benton of a great Bariatric Recipe resource Blog "A Matter of Loaf and Death" to collaborate. Check it out when you can, and make sure you subscribe :)
Celebrate Success, Be Thankful and Go Gift yourself – How to Survive the Holiday Spread.
With the holidays comes the season of eating, a time that's difficult for us whether we're preparing for weight loss surgery or recovering from it.
But let’s face it, we have to look deeper than just the food on the table.
There's a huge psychological element to the changes we're going through.
In the past, most of us have looked to food as a comfort or a security blanket. Eating was a wonderful way to bond with people. How many of you remember your best memories as sitting at a table with food and drink? I'm assuming the answer is most of you.
Therein lies the problem, when we do not consume, we feel estranged and withdrawn.There is a fundamental need to connect, and well , we seem to do it best with food.
How can we overcome this issue and reduce the anxiety, the withdraw, the depression?
The holiday period is about getting together with your family and loved ones. It is about giving thanks for what you have, being grateful for what you receive and, it is about giving; and this mean giving to yourself too.
We are used to preparing dishes with love, appreciation, comfort and carbohydrates. It is easy to forget ourselves during the holiday season, surrounded by the noise and laughter of tradition. Often, that tradition peaks and is memorialised by how stuffed we were, more so than the gravy loving turkey. The resultant immobility, food coma, need of w wheelbarrow to get to the car, the hallmark of a successful holiday event.
The leftovers take up residence in our refrigerators and make their way into our daily routines for the week to follow. We feel that it is only right to do it; we don’t want to waste all this food.
All of this happiness and satisfaction only leads to remorse when you realise that it has been a month. A month that has turned into two months and then has somehow become three months.
All of a sudden it is Easter and you are faced with guilt of weight gain and now chocolate and you have now to face another 6 gruelling months trying to get yourself together and lose the weight.
JUST TO DO IT ALL AGAIN NEXT SEASON!
This is how it has always been, after all it is tradition.
Leading into the Resolution season, where we work our proverbial butts off trying to re-establish emotional food boundaries to regain some of the mental and physical composure of the pre-season period.
We don’t need to do this….
It IS POSSIBLE to have your successes and celebrate them too, without steering too far away from tradition.
Here are the simple tips to help you survive the holidays:
(from Balanced Macros – Bariatric Nutrition Program)
1.Plan ahead for the holidays: have an idea of who will be attending and create a menu that caters for the number of heads at your table with minimal leftovers. You can doggy bag the leftovers for your guests! Write your menu and try and incorporate alternatives that ‘cover all the bases’ so you don’t feel like you are missing out.
2. Modify Tradition(a little): Transform your traditional family recipes into a tasty low-carb/wholefood alternative. Make low-carb trifle your new tradition.
3. Portion Control: Remember your portions! It is easy to over indulge when you are surrounded by others that over indulge. There is no harm in having a little of everything, if indeed it is just a little.
4. Make the Holiday a ONE-DAY event: Make your holiday celebration day a one-day event, where you can enjoy a little of the things you like. Observing portion sizes and not overdoing it is important, but it means you can enjoy the holiday tradition and connect.
5. Be thankful for your losses: You and your body have already come so far. You are not the same as you once were, and you wouldn't be so successful without being mindful of what you eat and how you eat it.
Be thankful for your tool, it has helped you reach your current level of success. Remember and be thankful for every struggle you have overcome so far and know that you can overcome the next.
6. Make Health a ‘gift for you’: Modifying your meals to fit within your macros can be both delicious and rewarding. Treat yourself with something that looks and tastes sinful but is a better version. Or know that you will be having something a little extra at dinner, so make sure your breakfast and lunch are A1 !
All you need is a little imagination and direction, and you can easily celebrate the holidays in style. Think about how to substitute a ‘hell no’ food, with a ‘way to go!’ food.
And in the Spirit of Good food and Way to go, here's my recipe from
The Deliciously low Carb Cookbook –
Baked Kefir Whey Ricotta Cheesecake
With Carrie’s Low-Carb Short Crust Pastry.
Each Complete Tart has:
Calories : 102
Carbs: 4.2g (total)
Fat : 7.1g
¨ 300g (12 oz.) Kefir Whey Ricotta (or any ricotta)
¨ 3/4 cup heavy cream
¨ Stevia (to taste)
¨ 4 whole large eggs
¨ 2 tbsp. raisins
¨ Zest of one orange
¨ 3 tbsp. Orange juice
¨ 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
¨ 13 precooked short crust tart shells
In a bowl combine all ingredients (except tart shells) and mix well.
Spoon mix into each shell, stopping just before edge of shell.
Place on baking sheet and bake in the oven at 170°C/335°F for 20-25 minutes until
golden on top and domed in the center. Take out of oven and set aside to cool.
Carrie’s Short Crust Pastry
Makes 13 Tart Shells (or 1 large)
Each Single Serve has:
Calories : 67
Carbs: 0.9g (total)
Fat : 5.2g
¨ 1/2 cup Golden Flax Flour
¨ 1/2 cup Almond Meal
¨ 1 Cup Tapioca Starch/Flour (aka. Arrowroot)
¨ 1/4 Cup Sweet Almond Oil (can sub for Coconut oil, Walnut Oil or Avocado Oil)
¨ 2 large eggs
¨ Extra Tapioca flour for dusting and rolling
For a Sweet Crust
¨ Add Stevia/ Monk Fruit or Erythritol
¨ Add pumpkin pie spice (optional)
For a Savory Crust (Yes, for mini quiches etc!)
¨ Add 1 tsp salt
¨ Sub 1/2 qty. of oil for melted salted butter.
¨ Add 2 tbsp powdered parmesan/ or herbs (optional)
Golden Flax flour: Flax is also known as linseed. If you cannot find golden flax/linseed meal (flour) you can substitute for brown linseed/flax or grind your own from flax seeds.
Almond Meal vs Almond Flour: Flour and meal in this instance mean the same thing. When it relates to almonds, the names are interchangeable.
TIP: Dough can dry out quite quickly so keep any unused dough covered with plastic wrap or in a moist tea towel while you work.
Combine dry ingredients together in a bowl.
Make a small well in the center and add eggs and oil.
Mix thoroughly until mixture forms a soft dough.
Knead with the palm of your hand until all ingredients combined well.
If too dry add a little more oil or water, if too wet add a little more Tapioca starch.
On a clean surface dusted with tapioca flour roll out dough to 1/8-inch (3-5mm) thickness.
Using a cookie or egg ring cut your rounds to line your tart tins. Or lift gently into your pie pan using a floured rolling pin or transfer via baking paper.
Precook shells on 180°C/350°F for 10-15 minutes until golden and crunchy.
Check often as your oven temperature regulation may vary.
Allow to cool and fill with preferred fillings.
Mental nutrition is BioME Integrative Nutrition's
Own Health and
Wellness Blog. Covering all things from what goes in to what comes out after Bariatric Surgery and beyond.
Carrie Ross: Clinical Nutritionist | BSc Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine | Nutritional/ food Behaviour Counselor |Bariatric Health Coach | Social Trainer |Author