Keto Life Support
Holidays On The Horizon
[00:00:04] Welcome to Keto Life Support where we make your keto life sustainable, fun, and low stress. I'm Kim Howerton and I'll be coming to you weekly with some of my keto besties to bring you the practical, real-world keto advice that you need.
[00:00:19] Quick disclaimer - I am not a doctor, and even if we do have a doctor in the house from time to time, he or she is not your doctor. Nothing we say on this show should be taken as medical advice. Always check in with a trusted medical professional about your own personal medical concerns.
[00:00:36] Hello and welcome to Keto Life Support. This is Kim Howerton with episode number 179, and we're going to talk about the ramp-up to the holidays.
[00:00:55] I know, it's crazy, but I am recording this the last week of summer. We're hitting the fall. We're headed into the holiday season. Some of you will be listening to this the last days of September. Some of you, it might already be October. Some of you who knows? But yeah, pretty much, October, I count as like the transition into, well, what I would call like the 'winter holiday' season. I know the first technical holiday is going to be Halloween, which I know is not a big holiday for some people, but for other people it is a huge holiday. You know who you are! But basically, October is, in my mind, the start of the pumpkin season. The pumpkin season. It is a season, right? Some of you try to start early in September. I guess Starbucks allows some September pumpkin things. But in my mind, it's really about October. O! Like a big O, like a-- just like a round pumpkin. October is orange, right? It is an orange-colored month. It's all about the pumpkin-spice latte. It's all about bringing pumpkin into our cooking. It's about those fall flavors coming in. And so then we've got basically pumpkin month. We hit November. November is sort of like kind of about Thanksgiving foods for a lot of people. Although Canadians, I think you have your Thanksgiving in October, but same kind of seasonal issues. Then we get into December, which is like, I don't know, chocolate and peppermint, right? It's the Christmas season. And so we've got basically, starting now, three months of-- like, months that are really wrapped up in food memories for a lot of us, and a lot of people talking about food, maybe talking about food more than they usually do, or talking about the types of foods that might put you in a different mindset than just talking about going to a barbecue for 4th of July. So I thought, "Let's do a little episode and talk about - what is your plan? What is your mindset? What are you planning? What is your desire going into this holiday season? I think I've done similar episodes in the past, but let's just start fresh for this year.
[00:03:21] You know right now, as you're listening to this podcast, whether or not you are planning-- and I don't mean just hoping, but actually feeling like you have it within you to put some effort into your plans now through New Year's to see yourself either at the same weight, at a lighter weight, or you're willing to accept a slightly heavier weight, right? Like, where do you stand on body-composition goals over the win-- over this-- it's not technically winter yet, seasonally, but this October through January holiday season? Where do you see your body goals, your food goals? So that's like sort of one vector, right? And then we're lining them up - what are your food plans? What are your food desires? Right?
[00:04:15] So there are a bunch of ways to approach this. Some of you might say, "You know, the food choices I make, I've done this before. I'll stick to my normal food choices. I allow X, Y, or Z. They work for me." You know, like keto, baked goods or what have you. "And it works for me and I know my plan. I'm just going to do the same thing I do every year and it works great and I'm super." There are others of you that might be like, "Well, it never quite works. I'm always falling off the wagon. It's a little messy." You're probably the people that need to listen to this podcast the most, right?
[00:04:49] And so we've got to think, like, if you've managed to align your goals, desires, and choices, then you're winning. It is not up to me what your goals, desires, and choices are. I'm just here to help you figure out how to make the math work, right? How to line those-- how to weave it together. You get to decide. It's your body, it's your life, it's your choices. You get to decide what those choices are. But if you're saying, "I don't know why, but I have these ideas, these plans, these thoughts, and they're not lining up," well, then we have to evaluate that.
[00:05:23] So the first thing I would say is you need to be honest with yourself about your environment, your desires, right? Like, if you're like, "This food is the best thing ever. I always binge on it and I can't keep my diet straight." It's like, okay, well, we need to evaluate that and take that into account. For some people, that means is it allowing some of it? Is it-- for others, is it allowing none of it? For others, is it figuring out what you love about it and can we mold it into something else?
[00:05:54] And so the first thing I would say is, in terms of your peoples goals, unless, you know you are a very, very special snowflake, a very different kind of person, somebody who, like, becomes stronger in the face of adversity, I don't know that I would think that this time of year, this season, is when to be super duper strict in terms of highly restricted in your food intake, food type, whatever, while simultaneously never having been successful at that, right? If you're like, "No, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. I'm good at that." Okay, well, good for you. But if you're like, "Ah, I'm going to make really hardcore goals, and every time I set really hardcore goals, I totally derail myself and go on a super binge. But I'm going to do it again." Let's not do that again. We're going to make plans. So yeah, the first thing is just getting really clear on your goals and what you hope to accomplish over the next three months.
[00:06:53] I have an alternative suggestion for some of you where you're like, "I want to improve my body composition over the next several months and, at the same time, I know I don't want to be super strict on food." I know, it's a lovely idea. Wouldn't we all like that, right? But there is something you can do. If you want to hit it really hardcore in the gym and put some of those calories to really good use, there's a chance you could take this next three months and focus a lot on building muscle, while maybe not gaining a bunch of fat, but building some muscle over the next three months. It could be done. You know, you're not going to like build tons of muscle in three months, but you can move in that direction, for sure, and put some solid, quality work in there. And that's sort of saying like, "Oh, I'm going to put this season to good use," because eating more things, you have more energy, you feel more able to lift heavy things, right? You could be like, "I'm going to use this energy for good." And so that's one option you may or may not have thought of. If you want to do good things while at the same time not be too restrictive, being more active, getting more steps in, making sure you hit your step goal every day, and putting in harder sessions in the gym - that is a totally legitimate way to advance your body-composition goals over the season that don't involve a lot of food restriction. So there's one, but then there are other choices.
[00:08:14] So as I mentioned, or I kind of alluded to earlier, you're like, "I love-- maybe, let's pick a flavor, right? "I love pumpkin everything and I really-- this is not actually-- I don't love a pumpkin spice latte. It mostly is good because you have a lot of sugar in it. But I really love-- I like pumpkin things. So I'm like, "Oh, if I really love pumpkin, how can I incorporate pumpkin in my dishes and make desserts that involve pumpkin but are also in alignment with my macro goals? Can I do that?" And that's how I like to approach things. And so I like to think, "What do I like about this food?" Right? So if I really want, "Oh, I want something really chocolaty and minty," you know, maybe I can make a mint-chocolate Creami or maybe I can make some mint-chocolate pannacotta, which are both very low impact in terms of a huge caloric bonanza.
[00:09:03] And so we can make some strategic choices. So that's-- I mean, that's part of the reason I write cookbooks, right, and put recipes out because I want to be like, "Look, there are different ways to approach this and different strategic choices that can work." So I want to put this episode out here to say, like, now is the time to think about this. Now is the time to make your plan. I totally was in denial that the winter holidays were coming, and in August I was suddenly like, "Oh crap, my holiday cookbooks. I gotta fix 'em up and get 'em out there." So they're on their way and they should be on Amazon by the time you listen to this, if not soon after. So, you know, ways that you can make some better choices, ways you can move from a carbier food you love to a lower-carb food you love, or a higher caloric one to a lower calo-- like, these are all different ways. Like, some of you do great on high-fat keto. Some of you do better on more high-protein or calorically-restricted. It kind of depends where you are metabolically, but there's a better choice for every need. And sometimes that choice might be like, "No, I want one single bite of this food that is so intensely delicious to me. And I have one bite a year and it works for me." Great. I don't care what your plan is, but you need to make a plan!
[00:10:18] One of the key elements that they found in people that successfully lose weight and keep it off is that they go into situations having a plan. They looked at like what they might do a holiday party or what they might do in a food-challenging situation, like you're going to Christmas with the family, and it didn't matter, really, if they were like, "Hey, it's one day a year and I have this big plate of food and it's-- you know, "it's a bit of a different thing for me, but this is what I'm going to plan to eat. I'm going to know going in what I eat and have a plan for the next few days and a few days before so it doesn't turn into a big binge." Or they said, "Hey, I'm going to plan my own meal and it's going to be different foods. I'm not going to eat those kind of things. I'm going to restrict," right? There are different ways to approach a party or a holiday meal. And they found it mattered less what the plan was. It mattered whether they had a plan or not, that they weighed the different options and they went into it knowing what they would have, what their choices would be, what their boundaries would be, and moving forward and acting on that, right, having a plan and following it through. Consistency. That matters more necessarily than exactly what the plan is for a lot of people.
[00:11:35] So let's talk right now about you spending a few minutes sitting, thinking, maybe sipping a hot beverage or, if you're in Texas, maybe still a cold beverage, right? Iced coffee works year round. And thinking about, "How do I want to feel about my holiday season with regards to food?" "How do I want to be able to express myself?" "What's going to make me feel like the happiest, best version of myself this season?" "And how am I going to make that happen?" "What are the flavors I want to involve, if it's a flavor thing? What are the specific foods?" if there's just things that appeal to you, right?
[00:12:14] Like, my family has a history of making this very specific quiche at Christmas, and it's actually, with the exception of the crust, very super high-fat keto. It's basically a bunch of egg yolks, just a few-- full egg whites, but mostly egg yolks, heavy whipping cream, bacon and onion, and gruyere cheese. That is the quiche. It's delicious. It's amazing. It's like-- it is the best thing ever. Well, the crust adds just very little enjoyment to that, really. Like, the bacon flavor, the onion flavor. You cook the onions in the bacon grease. I mean, come on! Anyone who tells me that this quiche is about the crust is lying. So for me, I'm like, "Look, that was, for my keto journey, one of the dishes-- I was like, "That's a super easy conversion. I don't miss that crust at all. I'm just enjoying this wondrous, savory wonderland of food," right?
[00:13:07] And now, like as I eat a higher-protein, lower-carb, lower-ish-fat approach, I might say, "You know, I have been really digging, making pumpkin Creamis," where I put in like all those sort of pumpkin pie flavors in a Creami. When I was in college, I used to get pumpkin ice cream and I really loved it, from like a local ice cream shop. And now I'm like, "Wow. It's like, just like that. It's very-- but now that fits my macro goals, whereas-- and I will still eat that quiche, right? I'm not like, "I never eat anything with butter." That's not the way it goes. But we get to pick and choose what works for us and we don't have to just fall prey to memories. We can say, "That's a nice memory. Is there anything I can learn from that memory or take from that food memory and bring into the way that I choose to eat now?"
[00:13:57] So if you don't plan ahead, it probably won't happen. So October is your month to think about this, think about these things, and follow through on making a plan, sticking to it, and making sure that you end up in January feeling really good about the way you spent your holiday season, and you aren't distracted by thoughts of guilt or shame. You get to really enjoy who you're with, enjoy the season, enjoy your friends and family, and enjoy who you are.
[00:14:28] So this is just your head's up that the holidays are on their way and it would behoove you to zink through-- I don't know where that voice came from. I don't know what that is. It was just like a combination of weird accents. I think there was a little Dracula in there. Anyway, it would make sense to take the time to plan ahead.
[00:14:48] All right, guys, I will talk to you next week.
[00:14:54] Thank you so much for joining us for this episode of Keto Life Support. Want more information? Want show notes? Want to suggest a topic? Just head over to ketolifesupport.com - that's where all that kind of thing can go on.
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[00:15:31] All right. So thanks so much for joining us. I'm thrilled that you're part of the keto fam. Talk to you soon. Bye bye.