Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Holiday Temptation & How I Beat It

December 23rd, 2015

Happy Christmas eve-eve one and all! Also Happy Festivus, if you celebrate that. It occurred to me as I was stalking the grocery store shelves last night that I have an odd, seemingly counter-productive way of dealing with all of the temptations the winter holidays present. It totally works, or I wouldn't bother, so here goes:

Smelling.

Prior to this year I can honestly say that I've never made it through a holiday season without cheating in some way. I never had any gluten, but lots of sugar and high-carb flours were employed in unsuccessful attempts to recreate my favorite cookie recipes. It never really worked out but I ate my mistakes. Not good! And most definitely not Paleo, let alone AIP.

It started quite by accident whilst attending a Christmas happy hour put on by the owners of the building I work in. These folks are all about Christmas (a sentiment I can appreciate!) and they put on the Ritz for the holiday; the entire public area is decorated tastefully with twinkling lights and garlands of golden fabric, toy trains, twinkling stars, and the ever present sound of carols playing over the sound system. I go to this happy hour to have a glass of wine, knowing full well that I can't eat any of the wonderful food they cater in for the event. 

This year folks from our company took up residence at a table adjacent to the milk and cookies table, which included a decorate-your-own-sugar cookie station (new!). I work with normal people who can eat food, and they hit the cookie table hard. 

Let me be very honest with you: I was close to tears when we pulled up next to that table. In my previous life, before I knew what was wrong with me, I was a Christmas cookie Queen. I made at least 6 kinds and gifted them to everyone, including myself. I made classics from my childhood and a few that I'd picked up along the way, plus a new one each year. It was crazy. I spent a fortune on butter, Crisco sticks, flour and sugar, not to mention delicious things like macadamia nuts, white chocolate, brandied cherries... I could go on. I won't. Suffice to say, I miss my damn cookies.

My friend and employee, also an artist, was the first person on the decoration line. She decked her cookie out and grabbed a couple of other selections from the table.  After she ate them I asked if I could have her napkin to blow my nose, and when I put the napkin up to my nose I inhaled.

Er. Mah. Gerd!

Eventually I blew my nose, but mostly I just took in the aroma. It was better than eating them, believe it or not. After a few good sniffs I no longer wanted a cookie, and my stomach actually started to hurt a little. Like, ouch, I know eating that would hurt me (thank you brain!) and I was done. Had enough. It was quite the breakthrough let me tell you!

A few nights ago my hubby made his mother's famous Swedish meatballs (something he can make gluten free) with a delicious sauce that is strictly verboten for me, there's nothing AIP about it. Well this year I encouraged him to make them the normal way and enjoy. He did. When I thought the aroma was about to kill me, I hoped the Crockpot and took a big whiff - and was done. 

Seriously - try this! 

But whatever you do, don't taste. Trust me, you don't need to. Just give yourself a chance to take in the scents of the season without putting them in your mouth. I promise it will make you feel at least a little bit better.

I'll have another update for you in a few days regarding my setback and improvement of same. Until then, have a very Merry Christmas!



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