Holiday Tips to Help You Get Through

The holidays are officially here! Bring on the pumpkin pie! This time is filled with delicious foods, fun gatherings and cozying up by the fire place. It’s also a time to spend with our family and friends.

While we love our family and friends, sometimes getting everyone together can bring out the best and worst in people. You may find tensions bubbling over like gravy on the stove. Don’t worry, here are a few tips to get you through so you don’t boil over:

  • Don’t expect other people to change, it sets you up for disappointment. People are creatures of habit. Eliminate from your thoughts, “hoping,” “maybe,” “hopefully..” Your 70 year old racist Uncle is 70, he’s not changing. Accept him for who he is.
  • You’re the one who has changed. Pat yourself on the back.
  • Laugh at the uncomfortable moments.
  • If you need a breather, excuse yourself to the restroom for a few minutes or get some fresh air. This really helps, especially when things get extra weird. You can go to your car and scream. That sounds liberating.
  • Go easy on the libations. Seriously. Inhibitions go out the window with a little too much vino.
  • Buy pre-made sides, put them in a casserole dish. Act natural. No one will know. Many markets set up holiday dinner packs that you can order ahead of time. You can order something nice for around $200. Costco even sells sides. Cooking, eating healthy and entertaining are my jam but it’s not in me this year. My Dad passed away, work has been crazy and of course with death there is a lot of “extra.” Making all the things just doesn’t sound fun. Honestly if you’re feeling pulled in every direction, it’s not a bad idea to cater your meal. Your kitchen won’t be a mess, you’ll be able to rest and you’ll be able to enjoy your day off. It’s called self preservation my friends. You can sleep in, go for a walk, or do some yoga.
  • Did someone say stretchy pants? Athletisure is really a game changer. Obviously there is a lot of enjoying that goes on with the holidays, why be uncomfortable? But DON’T get into the habit of wearing stretchy pants all winter…..you won’t notice if your skinny jeans become too small. Been there done that.

Hopefully you find the tips to be helpful and a little humorous. Most importantly take care of yourself. Make sure you rest on your days off. Your time is valuable.

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My Attempt at Whole30 #2

I’m attempting to do my second Whole30. During my first Whole30 in the beginning of 2017 I realized that I totally emotionally eat. I was in denial. I thought emotional eating was eating sweets, like cookies, candy, or junk food like chips or cheese it’s – but no. Emotional eating can come in all shapes and sizes. For me, it’s portion control and meals throughout the day.

On tough days at work, I would drive home from work and think about how nice it would be to have garlic bread, a glass of wine, and eggplant parmesan. I learned that the Whole30 is very similar to the mindful eating exercise that I’ve done in a couple meditation retreats. The Whole30 for me brought this incredible awareness of where my food comes from or what’s in it and how I look at food.

I’m excited to pay attention to the thoughts that come up during this next journey. I’ll welcome any cravings that come up as my old friend and embrace them.

What’s helpful for me is to meal prep and recipe prep – there are days that I will come home from work hungry and if dinner isn’t planned, that is when food choices go out the window.

Meal prepping and planning is your best friend on a Whole30 — actually in general if you want to have healthy eating habits. I will meal prep for the next day after dinner and in the morning before work. I make enough dinner to have leftovers the next day for lunch and that seems to help. Here is a pic of the recipe prep I’ve done (ignore the spelling and hand writing) – I’ll refer to it every couple of days and go shopping once or twice a week.

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Pulled Pork Bulgogi

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I really hate leftovers but I also really like saving money and having food on hand after a busy day. I also like meal prepping. I made some pulled pork earlier in the week and had enough for another dinner but wanted to make something new and was feeling a bowl / Asian inspired meal. To turn a standard pulled pork into something else, I added another seasoning and made a sauce to go with it (this is a good trick if you’re cooking for yourself and maybe one other person). I have a lot of ladies who cook for themselves and often express the dilemma of cooking so much food for one person.

Pulled Pork Bulgogi

Chinese 5 Spice Pulled Pork

I’m refraining from measurements here, you can add the flavors to taste and it depends on how much pork you have left. We had ¾ of a pound left.

  • Pulled pork (leftovers)
  • Chinese 5 spice to taste
  • A dash Sesame Oil –only for flavor, use it sparingly.

Sweet and Sticky Sauce (adapted from Primal Palate) – Serves 4

  • ¾ Cup Coconut Aminos
  • 1/8 TSP Fish Sauce
  • 2 Cloves of Minced Garlic
  • 1/3 TSP Ground Ginger

Coconut Lime Cauli-Rice

  • Riced Cauliflower about 4 cups (I’m lazy and buy it already riced)
  • 1 tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • 1 Lime
  • Handful Shredded Coconut
  • Himalayan Salt to taste

Toppings

  • 1 or 2 Chopped Green Onions
  • Sesame Seeds for topping
  • Kimchee
  • Chili Garlic Sauce for spice

Cooking time – 30 minutes

Start the sauce first, in a sauté pan, on medium – medium high heat, add ¾ cup of coconut aminos, the fish sauce, ginger, and garlic, let bubble, reduce the heat and stir so it doesn’t stick to the pan and let it reduce about 10-15 minutes. I was hungry and mine ended up reducing to ½ cup. I’m sure I could have left it on the burner longer. When done, pour the sauce into a container so you can pour or spoon it easily on your pork.

Using the left over pulled pork, I added a little bit of sesame oil and about ½ a teaspoon – 1 teaspoon of Chinese 5 Spice to some left over pulled pork. The pork roast I bought was about 2 lbs and I had about ¾ lbs left. Add the pork to the sauté pan used to cook the sauce and let it cook. The temperature should be medium-medium high. While it’s heating up, cook the cauliflower rice. Heat the pan to medium, add a tablespoon of coconut oil to the sauce pan, add some unsweetened shredded coconut – watch it so it doesn’t burn, add the riced cauliflower, salt and stir, then add the juice of one lime. Cook the rice through.

Remove everything from the heat and plate, topping with the sauce followed by chopped green onions, red chili garlic sauce, sesame seeds and kimchee.

Enjoy!!