Wednesday, December 11, 2013


^ ...that wasn't a typo.  ;-)

The last week or so, I too have wandered into the "desire for fattening foods" slough.  :-)  This slough is a demonic association between Nature and Culture!  Due to the seasonal biological drive to put on fat before winter, our bodies have a head-start on making us vulnerable -- but it's the "holiday season" which springs the fatal trap.

It starts with the first cold stormy weather!  We start fantasizing about our favorite autumnal foods like thick rich stews and chowders.  Halloween is the first approach of the Chocolate Demon -- hey, very dark chocolate with its small quantities of sugar is virtually beneficial!  It has those lovely antioxidants, and it's luxuriously delicious, and for some people the sugar-free version that's sweetened with sugar-alcohols make it "completely innocent" ...  bwahahahaha!

Weeks into November, we're still finishing up our chocolate stash when along comes Thanksgiving!  We find all kinds of ways of lowcarbifying traditional favorite dishes, but we often manage to eat a higher-carb diet than USUAL -- just one meal, right?  I know from personal experience that all I have to do after a particularly decadent meal is to fast for 24 hours and I won't have any negative repercussions ... except something like additional knee pain if I've eaten some proscribed ingredients like wheat or oats ... or too much cheese ... or histamine trigger foods or ... uh-oh....

Then come old family Christmas favorites.  The slough is around my ankles, trying to suck me down before I even know it.

The autumn/winter holidays are centered around food for biological and cultural reasons.  In "the old days" it was HEALTHY to gain weight for winter for a number of different purposes.  Back when things like sugar and dried fruits were rare and special, one used them for the most important cultural celebrations.  The best brandy was used in the Christmas pudding.  Hours could be spent cracking and picking nuts, and stoning raisins.  "Important" households in the Old World hired extra servants for the extra work -- after all, when people went to visit their friends and relatives before the age of railroads, they didn't stay a weekend but months, frequently.  Celebrating Christmas was "big business" even before universal-present-buying became the norm.

For those of us who put on weight easily (or are otherwise easily damaged by the wrong foods), this season is a challenge.  It's best, of course, to do any solstice-season celebrating in a manner that does NOT center around foods.  Those with "conventional family" to deal with may find this horribly difficult, though.  These people most benefit with the low-carb work-arounds that are so generously found online in LC and LC-paleo circles.

The trick I find most helpful is to use the treats as replacements rather than add-ons.  If you ARE going to have the reduced-carb party mix, skip the carrots.  If the LC eggnog is going to be your dessert, have a lower-fat main dish.  Control like this is most easily acquired if you can manage to be the host, or have a host who is amenable to your schemes!  Despite the "a calorie is not a calorie" theory, it's STILL possible to "eat too much" of almost anything on the holiday menu!

The other day, I cooked a lovely roasted, pastured chicken with a sort of walnut pesto, and had a little mashed purple sweet-potato with it.  Fat content too low!  Around midnight I found myself "too hungry to sleep" so I went downstairs and made an eggnog for my third meal, and it did the job;  eggnog is, after all, liquid food.  This is how I like mine:


1 pasteurized egg, cracked into a pint measuring cup and well-beaten with immersion blender
1/2 c. cream or rich coconut milk
tiny pinch salt
tiny dollop vanilla extract
4 drops liquid sucralose, or stevia to taste
jigger brandy or rum, or combination
sprinkle of nutmeg on the top of the foam in a pretty cup -- AHHHH!


  1. Mind, who'd have thought that egg nog would actually contain... EGGS! Blows my mind. ;) I have to confess when I first learned of egg nog it was from the conventional "holiday drinks" section at the grocery store - and the HFCS/sugar-laden drink doesn't do this beverage any justice. When I first drank egg nog all I could taste was sugar. But real cream/egg/stevia! - now that's something I would try at home.

    1. :-) eggnog is an old drink.... I've always enjoyed it, but the commercial version tastes so artificial, I wasn't drinking it even before I went paleo!

  2. Tess - your article bought back many memories of Christmas spent with family over the years. Aunts in particular whose favourite drink was A Snowball made as follows:

    * 1 1/2 oz Advocaat
    * 8-10 oz cold Lemonade
    * 1 slice Lemon
    * Ice cubes

    Mixing instructions:

    Place one ice cube in the glass and add 1 1/2 oz of Advocaat. Fill up the glass with lemonade and decorate with a slice of lemon. Serve at once.

    My sister and I used to enjoy our Christmas Snowballs, I can remember ours always had extra lemonade to the 'grown-ups' version!

    Have to say your EggSnog sounds very good.

    But Memories of Christmas........ priceless

    All the best Jan

  3. i'm going to have to pick up a bottle of Advocaat when we go to the store tomorrow, and try your recipe (reduced-carb, of course)! ;-) have you and Eddie tried the Hot Tom & Jerry? kinda like a warm eggnog without the cream....

    1. Hi Tess - no we haven't tried that, although it sounds great. I looked up the recipe because I wasn't sure of the mix. Here's what I found. "A Tom and Jerry is a classic winter cocktail and a must try for every explorer of the drink world. It's a sweet, frothy warm drink that is flavored by dark rum and, usually, Cognac (other brandy can be used as well). It's best with hot milk, which makes the drink thicker than if hot water were used."

      What do you think of this recipe?

      All the best Jan

    2. sounds tasty, but i'll probably stick with water or coffee, being lower in carbs that way! :-)

  4. It used to be the "get well drink" for the people who could use an extra nutrition.

    1. eggs and milk or cream -- it doesn't get much better than that, nutritionally! :-) and brandy has long been considered medicinal, too.