How do you prepare for the holidays? Do you just treat them as any other day and don't indulge at all?
Or will you allow yourself a total blitz cheat day with family and friends?
Or do you allow yourself one or two small and very intentional cheats?
(I know I will have egg nog around, because I tolerate dairy and sugar but NOT gluten. And we'll probably have some paleo baked goods I normally don't make too often and I will likely make some gluten free pumpkin pancakes Christmas morning, because it's tradition.)
Total Blitz Cheat. I'll be doing all of them. Pumpkin pie (home made), strawberry shortcake (home made), stuffing (my mom's, to die for), cranberry sauce (also mom's home made) -- gluten and sugar til I'm comatose. It'll lay me out for days. Don't care. For Turkey Day and Xmas with my family, it's totally worth it. Besides, they all know what I normally eat now, so they'll get a good laugh out of watching me swell up and keel over. :)
A flourless chocolate cake from my favorite french bakery! It has dairy in the ganache, sugar of course, but it is so satiating that most of it gets frozen and saved for little bites here and there. That and French Macaron - sugar, but also a small one is very satisfying. Probably just for Xmas and Thanksgiving. Other than that, I think I can stick to my status quo.
other than that, the things i might eat that i normally wouldn't would be dishes that require a lot of prep. so maybe a quiche with a bacon crust and bearnaise sauce. or some coconut flour pancakes. or a squash pie with an almond crust.
there will be no ingredients that make me say ouch; that is my christmas gift to me.
I'm actually pretty lucky because my parents are locavores, so other than gluten and a couple of sugary desserts there isn't much I would need to avoid and plenty for me to eat. There's never much processed food around; almost everything is homemade from home grown or locally grown products. The meals themselves will likely be pretty paleo except for the rolls and stuffing (Thanksgiving only). My mother would sooner die than put marshmallows on her sweet potatoes or make one of those fried onion topped green bean casseroles. But, I'll probably give in on my mom's stuffing (I don't have any serious gluten sensitivities). It's what Thanksgiving tastes like to me. I can skip the rolls no problem.
As far as desserts go, I'll probably indulge in one for each holiday. I should be able to stay gluten-free on those. I can have pumpkin custard (no crust) with freshly whipped cream on Thanksgiving and at Christmas there is always homemade fudge and dark chocolate truffles among all the cookies.
Fortunately, if I do decide to be stricter with myself no one will say anything. There are a lot of different diets represented around the table and we don't really have any food pushers in the family. You can easily skip dessert with a claim of "I'm full". No one would ever doubt it, lol.
I'm going to relax my regular food rules but not go too nuts (kinda like intermittent moderation ;). Those considering the "total blitz cheat" approach might find Martin Berkhan's Cheat Day Strategies For A Hedonist useful.
I'll probably have a little more sugar than normal, in the form of eggnog that I make. And maybe a little more wine or whatever at my grandparents' place. But other than that I'm not "cheating" much. Gluten and I are not friends, so that takes a lot of the guesswork out of what to cheat on at Thanksgiving and Christmas. (I'm also in charge of turkey #2 at Thanksgiving--the one that isn't stuffed with bread stuffing--so I can buy local, pastured and prep it however I please.) Besides, my aunts (who will cook Christmas dinner) are pretty real-food-centric, so I doubt we'll have problems for that meal.