Well this weekend brings Halloween, which means that the very next day we are going to be hearing holiday music 24/7 with a very quick slide towards Thanksgiving and many other holiday events. And as uplifting as holidays can be, they are also incredibly stressful and emotional.
Holiday stress isn’t just stress over picking out the perfect gift, or traveling in the midst of a (hopefully resolving) pandemic, or balancing social commitments. Most people report that being surrounded by rich holiday foods, alcohol, impulse eating, and weight gain during the holiday season adds a significant amount of stress as well.
So well before the holiday season gets underway — a season that generally starts with Halloween candy binges and doesn’t end until after we ring in 2022 — I wanted to give you a few tips on how to navigate this tricky but wonderful time of comfort food, decadent desserts, and celebratory toasts.
If there was ever a time that people worry about their weight, it’s during the holidays.
So if you want to stick with foods that are healthy for your body… or, at the very least, you don’t want to undo all of the benefit you’ve gotten from the grounding, the fresh air, the decent sleep and good supplements you take, here are the party foods to look for.
You are almost guaranteed to find at least one of these four treats at any holiday party.
My 5 Favorite Party Foods:
Shown to support heart and brain health, women who consume chocolate on a regular basis actually have a lower body mass index then those who don’t!
2) Caffeinated coffee or tea
Warding off dementia, Alzheimers and depression, even decreasing your risk for developing diabetes… a warm cup of coffee or tea is the perfect way to indulge at a party, guilt free, especially if you can skip the sugar and whipped cream.
Super-powered antioxidants that decrease inflammation throughout your body, enjoy the fresh fruit party platter! Best dessert yet?
Snag that chocolate covered strawberry and enjoy every single luscious bite… combining #1 with #3 on this list!
Medically proven to lower heart disease risk and boosting energy without causing any weight gain, find the nut bowl and dig in!
5) Deviled Eggs
I saved the best for last. My favorite party food of all time is deviled eggs. I truly believe in eating eggs regularly… the protein and healthy fats are second-to-none.
Although traditional recipes for deviled eggs double their calorie content, it’s still so much less calorie dense (at about 160 calories per deviled egg) than almost anything else that you can find at a holiday dinner. And the protein is sure to keep you much more full and decrease your desire to fill your stomach with empty carbs and inflammation-inducing sugar.
If you are truly concerned about keeping calorie counts low, you can always offer to be the one to bring deviled eggs to the party!
Using this recipe for a skinny deviled egg (which uses only some of the yolks and substitutes in greek yogurt instead of mayo) each deviled egg is only 37 calories and has 3.8 grams of satisfying, delicious protein!
But what if is the holiday drinks that are stressing you out?
It is possible to buffer your liver — at least a little — during your next holiday toast.
Drinking wine occasionally has enjoyed mixed health reviews — with some studies reporting cognitive benefits from wine (although for those you can simply take resveratrol supplements, which I highly recommend) but many more concerning studies reporting that alcohol increases cancer risk and decreases life span, well outweighing the benefits in my opinion.
And because holiday parties typically mean a lot of driving out and about to attend these parties, my first recommendation is just not to drink at all!
But if you are going to toast the holidays with a drink or two… and you have a safe ride with a designated driver lined up… there are supplements that may help that drink be less toxic to your dear old liver.
Plus, we can’t ignore that even if the recommendation is not to drink at all, there are 140 millions folks (in America alone!) that regularly drink and about 16 million of them have an alcohol abuse disorder.
So instead of ignoring a huge population of folks that need health support, I share this information in an effort to help their body stay as healthy as possible while they seek the help and support they need to stop drinking.
Not providing support for folks who drink is like not providing birth control for those who are sexually active. It’s irresponsible to insist the only option available is total abstinence.
So let’s start with the basics:
Alcohol is metabolized into acetaldehyde by your liver.
If acetaldehyde sounds familiar, you might be be thinking of it’s cousin, the more well known autopsy chemical:
Yep, they are related, and just like formaldehyde is well known to pickle human tissue, acetaldehyde isn’t very gentle on your liver or body either.
Both are harsh chemicals known to cause cancer.
If you are drinking one drink an hour or more, you can expect to feel cumulative effects of acetaldehyde build up as your body can’t metabolize the acetaldehyde quickly enough: heart racing, pounding, nausea, dehydration, dizziness.
You might call that feeling buzzed or tipsy, but what that really is is the beginning of acetaldehyde poisoning.
How can we protect ourselves from this dangerous metabolite?
Our body can use n-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC) + thiamine (B1) to protect against the acetaldehyde effects until our liver can further break the acetaldehyde down into carbon dioxide and water.
You can also add on Vitamin C to help keep the l-cysteine activated and working more efficiently as well.
A combination of l-cycsteine, thiamine and vit C (NAC + B1 + Vit C) taken before you start drinking, may help block the toxic effects of the acetaldehyde can help your body recover more easily from those holiday gatherings.
There was a very encouraging animal study that showed l-cysteine and thiamine was protective and prolonged the life of rodents who were fed toxic doses of acetaldehyde.
Only 10% of animals initially survived a large dose acetaldehyde challenge without supplementation, but 100% initially survived with L-cysteine + thiamine on board! A 100% survival rate in the face of toxic aldehyde poisoning is quite incredible.
Of course, no pharmaceutical company out there has poured money into researching how to reduce harm in humans from alcohol… so there are no large human medical studies to back this up. Because these supplements are safe, cheap, and readily available, pharmaceutical companies know they are unlikely to make a huge profit from pour large amounts of funding into examining how these vitamins might help us preserve and protect our health.
But on the upside, exactly because they are safe and inexpensive and readily available, this means you have easy access to these supportive healing supplements too. Woot! But be sure to stick with very high quality supplements made in fantastic, reputable pharmacy grade nutraceutical facilities.
To help, I have a Party Detox Protocol waiting for you right here in my trusty online dispensary (along with other protocols like Gut Healing Protocol and Immune Boosting Protocol) so that you can be sure you have pharmacy grade, super pure quality supplements on hand to support your body if you do decide to drink this holiday season.
All in all, taking L-cysteine (NAC), thiamine (B1) and Vitamin C before drinking might help spare your body from some portion of the the ill effects of the toxic acetaldehyde.
These supplements are not a recommendation to make drinking safe… rather to make drinking less toxic.
Remember, no supplement can make drinking safe. And no supplement can make drinking and driving the slightest bit safe… or morally correct… or legal.
If you are going to drink… don’t drive. Ever.