With the holiday season, everyone is facing a lot of unhealthy food. Being Jewish, my extended family follows the tradition of having a big Christmas Eve dinner where we order a ton of Chinese food. What are the least offensive options likely to be on a takeout menu? Chicken with broccoli? Egg foo yung, which is like an omelette as far as I can tell? Or is everything on the menu going to be hopelessly covered in sugar and soy sauce?
It depends on the place you go to, how comfortable you are making special requests, and what you're willing to sacrifice in terms of flavor (or what you're willing to do at home to make it better). You can ask them to just steam some shrimp/veggies, meat etc. and doctor it yourself at home with tamari, sesame oil etc.
I agree with W8liftinmom that it's only one meal out of the year... to me it sounds like a super fun tradition in your family and something that could be potentially less fun if you're picky about it (I mean picky in the most positive way possible- I'm the pickiest!)
If you're willing to forgo being paleo for an evening and there are no real consequences (you're not trying to lean down for a body building competition/don't have major health issues) then I say go for it. Drink lots of water to offset the sodium and make "better" choices i.e. no breaded foods like orange chicken, sweet and sour pork etc., and no rice.
I usually stick with steamed shrimp and broccoli. The only drawback that I've noticed when ordering the steamed goods is that it comes along in what appears to be a yellow-like broth that doesn't mesh well with my psychological response to eating purely steamed food. Then again, it comes with the territory of relying on someone else to prepare your food. Regardless of the situation, just try to remove yourself from anything that is deep fried, battered, or covered in sauce. Most importantly - just enjoy yourself and the joy of a fun family tradition! :)
We have the same chinese food "tradition". I always order the orange beef when the husband craves chinese. I don't know that all places make it the same - but by us they happily omit soy sauce (i ask) and make it with flank steak, sesame oil, fresh orange juice, orange zest, garic, and fish sauce. I ask for broccoli instead of rice. I am sure there is stuff in there that they don't tell me about (hah) but it's close enough for me once in a blue moon (and it's delish).
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