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Holiday parties or get togethers are a test of paleo will power. We are a strong community but when you are the lone crossfitter at a gathering with people trying to get you to drink beer and eat deserts what do you do? What would you say to a fellow CrossFitter if they asked for your advice on the matter? Let’s hear it in the comments- the scenario can be at a family gathering, office party, out to eat- talk us through it, and earn a point in the process.

37 Responses

  1. 1. Go prepared with something you
    CAN eat.
    2. Never go hungry.
    3. Steel yourself with the thought
    that when people are trying to
    get you to eat something you
    shouldn’t, it’s so they won’t
    feel so bad about eating it

  2. Definitely agree with Danielle on those three; Bushy’s idea about refilling the glass when you are halfway done with more soda water helps; and also having a full glass of soda water with lime so that people won’t get you a drink helps.It is so much nicer to wake up without the fear of a hangover.Also, make sure your one glass is big enough:)

  3. when we decided to do the challenge, i admit, the first thing that crossed my mind was “there’s no way i’ll be able to do this over the holidays.” well, i’m 50% so far. hope to improve to 66% after tomorrow’s office party – that will be doable because i can just pretend that i actually have work to do.

    the situations i’ve been in that will be, or have been, awkward (and for a guy like me who has, since i can remember, eaten and drank whatever i pleased – and all my friends know this – it IS awkward)i find it’s best to just put it out there early. i have said to friends/family, “traci and i are doing a nutrition challenge” and then i explain it right away. it’s key to gauge the level of sh_t you’re going to get up front though, and adjust the length of your rant accordingly.

    example 1 – an old drinking buddy who simply will not understand – go on and on like a schoolgirl about how excited you are, don’t leave out any details, to the point where you’re repeating yourself, and finally they will just ask you to shut up and drink the beer they had in their extended hand for you because they finished theirs while you were blabbering on.

    example 2 – a friend who also is in to fitness to some degree – build up what you’re doing and sell it as a cool thing that they missed out on. by the end of the evening they’ll be surfing the web for cool new ways to make their own tequila.

    example 3 – your mom or your mother in law places a “thank you” portion of mashed potatoes or apple pie on your plate. either run, or kill them.

    pretty simple actually.

  4. I find I like to eat something before hand, if I’m hungry my self-control goes out the window. Also, if you can, bring a dish to share that is paleo, as long as you have something on your plate, people are less likely to bug you to eat something non-paleo.

  5. When temptation deviously uses unknowing friends or family members to pressure me, i always try to ask myself “How many burpees could this person do?” “Can they do a pullup or a thruster?” Remembering the way i felt when i got my first pullup after a year of crossfitting is strong motivation, saying no to something which in the past you may have found delicious can often be more of a challenge that finishing a workout. I think we have to have a JUST SAY NO bonus WOD – saying no to previously enjoyed non-paleo foods AMRAP till Jan 2nd- i know i’ve already PR’d.

  6. It’s very difficult! Everyone around me has known how much I love all food. I’ve had people ask me, Erin, are you okay? Why aren’t you eating? Lol! The best advice for me has been to just remember how I feel the day after a party of food and drinks! Also take a moment and feel how your jeans feel:) that helps too!

  7. I agree with Danielle! Last night I made it through my first work function without deviating from strict Paleo and feel great about it. The feeling is similar to when I PR on a WOD or lift:) I think that I have 4 more big challenges coming my way this month and I’m just going to keep reminding myself how good it feels to make good choices and succeed.

    Fill the tank before you go. Bring some Paleo dishes to share. (I didn’t have a chance to prepare anything so I munched on the fruit and veggies that were available.) Refuse politely, even when you have the urge to say, “that food makes me feel like crap.”:) or, conveniently find the bathroom when the cake is being passed around, or tell the person you are in a contest, or tell them you have a Gluten intolerance! I also like to keep my hands full with a drink, or a baby (if available:)

    Look forward to hearing everyone’s tips!

  8. I usually just avoid the debate over it and tell them that I am happy with what I am eating and they can have my piece of cake if they want it. Since I don’t drink, I have always been in the habit of just keeping a bottle of water in my hands all the time to keep anyone from asking if I need a beer or drink.

  9. Anonymous

    I went to one gathering and couldn’t even eat the nuts they had. I knew there would be nothing I could eat. So I ate a healthy paleo meal before leaving my house. I ate more than I usually do, to be sure I was full and not be tempted. I haven’t seen some of these people in a while. I received a lot of comments on how healthy I looked. Then followed by a few sacastic remarks, wishing they had the time and will power. Then I was handed a plate and was practically forced to try to eat. I simply said I already ate and I was all set. Then I had to listen to have some of this or this its healthy!?! I tried to avoid explaining why it wasn’t healthy to eat, but to no avail they kept questioning. It was amusing to hear how they all had beliefs that certain foods were ok…not! Most of them said they are going to change AFTER the holidays (that was said last year) Since the party I have been called by 4 of them asking me to write down what I’m doing. So, listen to your inner Paleo and know that people do notice and its worth the sacrifice. I feel great and its only day 17, it can only get better. The Paleo treats are fulfilling the little cravings that I’ve been having.

    Everyone looks great and happy! Keep up the great work!!!

    Nicole S.

  10. Anonymous

    Nicole S. says….

    Be careful with the website http://www.paleocookies.com They are not ture paleo, peanuts and agave was in most of their products.

    I was looking for the cookies that Drew and Jane brought in last night. Can you guys post that site please?

  11. Last day of school – I’m surrounded by chocolate!!! Godiva no less! I haven’t caved though. For me, it’s all in my attitude. I’ve already decided that I’m going to stick with paleo – if I give myself any wiggle room, forget it, I’ll be scarfing down truffles in no time.

  12. Here is a Chicken wing recipe that I plan on bringing to some up coming Holiday parties… so while everyone is grazing aroung the appetizers I can join in!


    1 cup almond flour
    1 teaspoon onion powder
    1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/2 teaspoon thyme
    1/2 teaspoon paprika powder
    1/2 teaspoon sage
    1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

    2 teaspoons lemon pepper
    1 teaspoon white pepper
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper

    2kg chicken wings
    olive oil spray


    Preheat oven to 220°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Combine flour, onion powder, garlic powder ,paprika powder, peppers and herbs in a large plastic bag.

    Spray chicken wings with oil. Add one-third of wings to almond flour mixture. Shake until well coated. Place onto prepared baking trays. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

    Spray chicken with oil again. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until crisp and cooked through. Serve with a fresh green salad!

  13. So I am in Trader Joes today picking up some paleo goods, and I run into Sarah and Mark……I couldn’t believe it, Sarah was walking around with a open box of crackers and Mark was scooping peanut butter into his mouth using his BARE HANDS!*!*!*!


    But I did see them, and they gave me some great ideas for some paleo-friendly items that I was unaware existed there, as well as some cautionary tips.

    PS. Their cart was PALEO PERFECT!

    *Dates (find them in the prepared refrigerated fruits section

    *Chicken Lime Burgers (frozen section, awesome for mexican dishes)

    *Grass Fed Ground Beef(yes, they now carry some….its new)

    Tip: Much of their dried fruit is sweetened, so make sure you get the unsweetened kinds***

    Keep posting about the new/fave paleo foods/products that you wonderful folks are finding at the stores, it’s super helpful!

  14. Hint: DON’T have your one glass of wine for friday when you are out to lunch with a girlfriend; use it when the kids get home from school so that you can still feel love towards your husband friday evening 🙂

  15. Roasted Butternut squash with Rosemary and Balsamic

    2 large butternut squash peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
    1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
    1/2 cup honey
    2 Tbs fresh sage, chopped
    1 Tbs fresh rosemary, chopped

    Spread squash out in a single layer on a big sheet pan. (You may need two.) Drizzle olive oil over it and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. In a small saucepan, simmer balsamic vinegar, let it cook down for a few minutes. Add honey and herbs. Pour over squash and toss to evenly coat. Roast at 400 degrees for the better part of an hour. Turn squash with a spatula mid way through cooking time.
    Now you can do one of two things. Eat it as is. (I like it this way.) Or puree it in food processor while hot along with juices. (May take a couple of batches.) This makes a great alternative to mashed potatoes and is a great vehicle for your paleo gravy.

  16. Tips for surviving the holidays…
    1. Don’t sit at the table of food/desserts
    2. Use a small plate and load it with veggies
    3. Stay social – the more you talk to people, the more others feel bad interrupting…especially to offer you food.
    4. If someone does offer you something you DON’T want just say “no thank you”…if that doesn’t work say you’re feeling full.
    5. If someone pretty much hands you something or puts it right in front of your face just say “I think I’ll take this home for later”…then trash it or give it to someone non-paleo.
    6. One last tip is to put a piece of gum in your mouth…food and gum just doesn’t mix.

    Good Luck!

    Guacamole Deviled Eggs

    Ingredients (for 8 devils):
    4 hard boiled eggs
    1 avocado
    2 teaspoons hot sauce
    1 tsp lemon juice
    salt & pepper to taste (optional)

    Peel and half the eggs and spoon their yolks into a bowl. Mass the yolks with the avocado, hot sauce, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Refill egg whites with the yolk mixture.

  17. After today’s workout, I’m not having any trouble avoiding non-paleo foods, my arms hurt too much to lift anything to my mouth! 🙂

  18. Anonymous

    Nicole S. says…
    Katherine, thanks for the laughs. Next time your at Trader Joe’s look for the “freeze dried” fruits, usually in Mango, strawberry, blueberry, banana and pineapple. They are with the dried fruits near the bottom shelf. They are crunchy and a great “sweet” fix. Nothing added! (except the pineapple that has palm oil) Mango is my favorite!
    I can actually picture Mark eating peanut butter with his hands….

  19. Katherine, thanks for leaving out the part about me sitting in the cart while Sarah pushed and grabbing everything within arms reach until she spanked my hand and I cried all over my Thundercats bib:)

  20. If anyone is looking for a reasonable facsimile to a snack the “Chocolate Coconut Chew” lara bars are made with cocoa powder and unsweetened coconut and taste just like an almond joy. The best packaged Paleo item i have yet tasted, treat yourself (if you can find any, Jane and i have bought up the entire supply found on cape cod.)

  21. I went to a work holiday party last night and I stayed paleo. Yay me!!! I think it helped that I’ve told almost everyone I work with about this challenge – so nobody offered me anything. Or if they did, it was “Hey Jeannette, you should try the delicious choc…oops, sorry, you really don’t want any of this, it sucks” I just laughed and said thanks anyway 🙂

  22. Navel oranges are in season and they are sooo good right now. Here is a simple, delicious side dish.

    Orange and Fennel Salad

    First lets just talk about fennel for a quick second. It is highly underarted. It is great in soups, absolutely awesome roasted with onions and carrots under a chicken, and delicious sliced really thin in a salad such as this one. It has great crunch when eaten raw. Kind of a licoricey anise flavor. When people ask you to bring a side dish, give this a try. It is delicious and makes a beautiful presentation.
    So thinly slice some fennel bulb and scatter on a platter. Top that with some thinly sliced red onion.
    Sprinkle with a little kosher salt.
    Liberally shave a few oranges. (Use a sharp knife for this so you remove all of the pith.) Cut the oranges into sliced rounds. Arrange over veggies. Lightly drizzle with a good olive oil and arrange a few of the fronds on top.
    Do a few twists of fresh black pepper and you are good to go!

  23. Made some Kale Chips and Paleo Turkey Meatballs tonight. The Kale Chips were super easy to make and pretty tasty, but it is also easy to eat the whole cookie sheet of them in one sitting:) They are not particularly dense.

    I made three pounds of meatballs and froze some for later. I like to have meatballs on hand because I find them very versatile. You can eat them with or without sauce, cut them up and add to a stir fry, or have some for breakfast with some eggs and veggies.

    I’ll be cooking up some boneless skinless chicken breasts tomorrow so let me know if you have any simple chicken recipes. I have recently made them coated with almond meal/coconut, and almond meal/walnuts, both good recipes but looking for something new.

  24. Paleo Sloppy Joes

    2 tbs. olive oil
    1 medium onion, chopped
    1 medium green pepper, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 lb. ground beef, crumbled
    2 cups of your favorite tomato sauce
    1 Tbs. chili powder
    1/2 tsp. cumin powder

    Sauté onion, green pepper, and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat in a non stick skillet until tender.

    Add the ground beef
    Continue cooking and stirring until the beef starts to brown.

    Then stir in the tomato sauce, chili powder and cumin powder.

  25. Spent the day off cape, and ended up at Chili’s for lunch. I ordered the fajita combo, which was chicken, shrimp and steak. It came with the usual fixings, just didn’t eat the wraps, cheese or sour cream. It was absolutely delicious. The onions, peppers, guacamole, and chopped tomatoes complimented the meat very well.

  26. kateyb

    If you’re prepared for the parties, the temptation is all in your head. Go full and hydrated. Always have water with lime in your hand. And remember that your the only one without heartburn or a hangover after. Be the elite of elite fitness. It sounds cheesy, but make it positive:) Stop making it an uphill battle. It’s just what you do, because you’re such an athlete (be sure to read this with a saricasticly condescending voice, so I don’t sound like a snot:) We have such a running headstart on New Years Resolutions. Yay!

  27. Lindsey, Tim and I love the Guacamole Deviled Eggs! We sprinkle paprika over them to add a little color. They are a big hit at parties!

    Cooked and cooked today! Made a triple batch of Paleo Pancakes for the week, roasted brussels sprouts and broccoli, and baked some chicken.

    I prepared the chicken by dipping the chicken breasts in egg, then almond meal mixed with a packet of seasonings. The seasonings were meant for potatoes but tasted just fine on the chicken:) Parsley, chives, onion, garlic, thyme, and rosemary.

    Now I have some breakfast, lunch, and dinner to start out the week!

  28. Anonymous

    Nicole S says…

    Sautee Sun-dried Tomato Chicken

    1 1/2 lb of Chix tenders
    1/4 c finely chopped sun-dried tom.
    1 large lemon (juice)
    1/4 c Extra Vermouth wine
    1 tsp garlic powder
    Approx 1/4 c Olive Oil
    3/4 c Water
    Salt & Pepper to taste

    Sautee Chix in small amount of Olive Oil, be sure your pan and oil is hot before adding chix. Sautee on both sides. Add chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Continue to add oil as needed as it cooks, add remainder ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste. I prefer Kosher salt when I cook. If you want it saucy…just add a little of each liquid as you cook. Add lemon and Vermouth to your preferred taste, be sure to cook off wine before taste testing. Lower heat and let simmer for a few minutes.

    I top this off with some really toasted/roasted cauliflower. I cook it until it gets crunchy.

    For the non-cooks out there, sautee is cooking over medium-high heat. Enjoy!

  29. Anonymous

    Nicole S says…
    Congrats Nettie for staying Paleo through your first holiday party!

    Seems like everyone is doing a great job…love all the posts and what great support from everyone!!! I bet other gyms don’t have this kind of community!

  30. Almond Macaroons

    1-1/4 C. almonds, coarsely ground
    1/8 t. cinnamon
    2 T. grated lemon peel
    2 egg whites, beaten
    1/4 C. raw honey
    2 T. lemon juice

    Grind almonds coarsely.
    Mix cinnamon and lemon.

    Beat egg and add to mixture.
    Fold in honey and continue beating.

    Fold in lemon juice with almond mixture and blend thoroughly.

    Use a teaspoon to scoop onto ungreased parchment paper.

    Bake 30 minutes at 250 degrees.
    Remove from paper while still slightly warm.

    Makes 30 macaroons.