Balanced Bites Podcast Episode #115 [encore]: Surviving the Holidays – Indulging, Family & Cocktails!

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Episode #115 [encore]: Surviving the holidays – indulging, family & cocktails!

115tallOpening chat: Overall mindset when it comes to eating around the holidays


1. How do I stay on the wagon? [12:24] 2. Best time to eat sweets? [25:37] 3. & 4.  Recovery after indulgences [29:39 & 33:20] 5. How to handle judgment from family [39:19] 6. Paleo-friendly holiday cocktails [44:45] 7. Keeping up with fitness routine during the holidays [48:45] [smart_track_player url=”″ title=”#115, Encore: Surviving the Holidays – Indulging, Family & Cocktails!” artist=”Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe ” color=”00aeef” social=”true” social_twitter=”true” social_facebook=”true” social_gplus=”true” ]


Don't miss out! > Diane's Healthy Holiday Recipes eBook!
Grain-Free Sausage & Apple Holiday Dressing
Grain-Free Magic Cookie Bars

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Liz Wolfe: Hey everyone! I’m Liz Wolfe, nutritional therapy practitioner, here with Diane Sanfilippo, who is a certified holistic nutrition consultant and the woman behind Balanced Bites, and the new book, Practical Paleo. Remember our disclaimer: The materials and content within this podcast are intended as general information only, and are not to be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Yo.

Diane Sanfilippo: Hey.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} Hey. Welcome to episode 64 of the Balanced Bits podcast.

Diane Sanfilippo: How you doing?

Liz Wolfe: I am doing awesome man. I am broadcasting…”You are looking life at Brent Musburger!” I’m broadcasting from Knob Noster, Missouri, this week. So… and yes, I know I just pronounced it “Missoura” that was intentional. I am really liking the small town vibe. I have been all over the place the last few months, and it does feel really good to be back at a place that’s really my speed. Where are you? Where are you today?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Your speed is like, 15 miles per hour!!

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, and I’m proud of it! I’ve got to tell you, when I graduated from college, I was like, “I’m moving to the big city!” big city being, like, Westport in Kansas City, down to the plaza, and I always thought “I’m a big city girl” you know, I lived in Washington DC for a while and worked in politics and all that good stuff, and one of my favorite places on the planet is Ulysses, Kansas. And you haven’t heard of it, because a lot of people haven’t heard of it. And I’m embracing my small town, now. I’m good with it.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, well, I never thought I would move back to New Jersey. Especially not to the town I grew up in, so. It’s all good.

Liz Wolfe: Yep.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I was just laughing because you… that’s my speed. I’m like, I’ve driven with you many times.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: But I actually make you drive, so it’s my fault.

Liz Wolfe: We need a navigator! Uh, yeah. That’s pretty much, yeah. That’s pretty much the truth. I’ll give that to you. So what are you up to?

Diane Sanfilippo: So, I’m home right now. But, not for long. Shocking. I’m actually heading tomorrow back down to Pittsburg. I feel like I must have said that now in at least 10 different podcasts.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: But, yeah. Just heading down there to hang out and see our buds, the Food Lover’s, Bill and Haley, and yeah. That’s pretty much it. What else is going on? I don’t know. Book is the 7-week New York Times’ best seller. Wohoo!

Liz Wolfe: Wohoo! Your hair looks really pretty today by the way.

Diane Sanfilippo: Thanks.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, so I might go to this book signing today. Tyler Florence’s new book comes out today, I think it’s called Fresh. I got an E-mail from William Sonoma because I’m on their E-mailing list, of course, about the book signing, and I was like, oh. Maybe I’ll go and bring him my book, and sign it and give it to him!

Liz Wolfe: Oh my god.

Diane Sanfilippo: The only thing is I’m going to have to buy {laughs} I’m going to have to buy a full priced copy of his book.

Liz Wolfe: No.

Diane Sanfilippo: Which, that’s what you have to do.

Liz Wolfe: Seven-time New York Times’ bestselling authors do not buy books. Don’t you know who I am?

Diane Sanfilippo: Uh! But I know, when people come to a book store signing and buy a book, they have to pay full price too, you can’t always buy it on Amazon, so. Any who. Yeah, I think I might do that, which I why I’m so coiffed today.

Liz Wolfe: You are very well coiffed.

Diane Sanfilippo: I can’t show up at Tyler Florence’s book signing in my ponytail and hat.

Liz Wolfe: I don’t even know who that is. I, when you said William Sonoma, I was like, who is that? Is that your cousin? Like, I don’t know any of this stuff.

Diane Sanfilippo: Liz, the kitchen wiz!!

Liz Wolfe: That’s so corny. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: If we edited anything, I would make you edit that out.

Liz Wolfe: Uh, not going to happen. That’s staying right where it is.

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, well maybe we can just {laughs} maybe we can just get going.

Liz Wolfe: Ok, let’s do it. This weeks’ episode is a surviving the holidays episode. We are doing this because we know this is the time of year where a lot of people indulge, and they go to holiday parties, they fall face first into a tray full of gingerbread cupcakes with homemade vanilla bean frosting. I don’t know, that might have happened to somebody recently that we know… Uh, so we wanted to talk about optimizing choices, keeping your head on straight, dealing with family, all of that good stuff. However. Before we delve into questions, let’s talk about our overall mindset about how this stuff works. I want…we want no one freaking out and causing, you know, a chronic cortisol spike. We don’t want people freaking out about one indulgence, or the one glass of wine that, you know, turned into 18 glasses during a party. You know, where old friends hadn’t seen each other in 10 years and you are celebrating the season. This is a warm, cozy, community-type family oriented time of year, and stressing out about choices… it’s going to ruin it. That’s my take, anyway. So, keep your head on straight. If you indulge; move on from it. If you get shmammered on schnapps at your ugly Christmas sweater party, which may also have happened to someone at some point during the last, you know, 12 months, enjoy that memory and make good choices going forward. You know, obviously if you know going into the season that you feel medically, like absolute arse when you do these things, you have the power to refrain. Own that power. It’s your choice, your health, and you do have the capability to make those good choices and not lose any of the fun or the cheer of the season. That is 100% possible. But overall, just remember, keep calm, enjoy your family, own your choices and move on from them. I don’t know, is that cool?

Diane Sanfilippo: That sounds good to me.

Liz Wolfe: Cool. So, let’s talk about, what is your favorite holiday food, Diane? I want people to get some ideas from all of your culinary genius.

Diane Sanfilippo: My favorite holiday food.

Liz Wolfe: Any indulgences? You’re like, “Oh yeah, definitely! I love kombucha, and…”

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: “milk steak, lamb steak.” I don’t know. Anybody that watches Always Sunny will know milk steak. Sorry about that one.

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t even know what that means.

Liz Wolfe: You don’t need to know.

Diane Sanfilippo: Holiday indulgences…well, actually, I don’t know, because it hasn’t really come up yet. Like, I guess over Thanksgiving I made some dark chocolate gingerbread brownies, and my indulgences always tend to be sweets. I’m not a huge drinker, I just don’t… I’m not a good drinker. I can’t tolerate very much alcohol.

Liz Wolfe: Ha-ha.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s just not a pretty scene, and I get all congested, so a couple of drinks is all I can ever handle, so I always kind of label myself as a bad drinker for that reason. So, I think I usually tend to go towards the sweets. I remember a couple of years ago, I was doing a ketogenic diet over the time that the holidays were coming, and I basically ended up just taking the one day of the holiday, you know, Thanksgiving day, Christmas day, New Year’s day, as my time to kind of let my hair down and eat whatever, and for me that always really means the sweets. Like, I think I made my Grain-Free Magic Cookie Bars. Those have always, always been a favorite of mine, with the graham cracker crust and all that, but obviously made with a nut crust instead of graham crackers. I just don’t really have any desire to eat grains, so it’s not something that I feel like I want to indulge in, but something that is made kind of, I don’t know, I guess the paleofied treats. Those are really my kind of deal. What about you? Are you an eggnog girl or…

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} Never.

Diane Sanfilippo: 40 glasses of mimosa or

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} 40 glasses of just about anything. Well, I don’t know. You know, my family doesn’t really drink much, but I guess at holiday parties, I’ll pretty much steer clear of beer, which kind of stinks because you know I love, or I used to love the boulevard wheat and the real dark, good IPA, that type of stuff. I liked beer the way a lot of people like wine. I just, it’s fun.

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t like either, so all of the things you are saying are, like, kind of like Greek to me and also nothing of what you are saying sounds good, at all.

Liz Wolfe: What about ouzo. Greek ouzo? I’ll do some ouzo. I sound like a crazy alkie, but I’ve always kind of enjoyed that stuff.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, you do. I’m kidding {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} But what’s funny is I’ve never cooked with wine. I’ve never bothered to cook with it, which apparently is not, you know, makes me even less of a chef than I already was, but I’m with you. I do a lot, well not a lot, but I would gravitate towards the like paleofied type of treats. Generally, I think where people run into problems is when they are going over to somebody else’s house and having to eat somebody else’s food. If it’s at all appropriate, I will always make one or two things and bring them, you know, a cheese tray from some kind of local farm with crackers but I’ll get rice crackers. Or I’ll get gluten free crackers instead, and then, you know, I could snack on that if I needed to. I will also do the Garden of Eatin corn chips, which are pretty socially acceptable. It’s non-GMO corn, and organic and all that good stuff. You do what you can where you can. But I’ve also brought, to people’s houses, I’ve brought homemade like cauliflower hummus, so instead of chickpeas you use cauliflower, and it’s really good. I think I got that from Melissa Joulwan’s book. I think you’ve got…

Diane Sanfilippo: I have a recipe for that.

Liz Wolfe: Oh yeah, you’ve got one too.

Diane Sanfilippo: In my book.

Liz Wolfe: In your book. And I’ve even done, you know, I’ve gotten some real thick cut bacon and baked it and made it into basically bacon chips. People love that stuff during the holidays. I’ll do bacon wrapped dates…

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh yeah! Bacon wrapped dates are definitely a hit, pretty much across everyone.

Liz Wolfe: Definitely. A lot of the stuff that we cook when we host at our house, we’ll do…I just haven’t found it that hard to have a gluten-free Thanksgiving. I mean, we don’t really miss the bread at all. But we’ll do the heritage turkey. We’ll get some sweet potato casserole with roasted sweet potato and coconut cream, and we’ll top that with some cinnamon Paleo Krunch. Julie from PaleOMG has an amazing stuffing recipe, sausage stuffing, it’s ridiculous. I added some chopped chestnuts to that. Some apple pie…

Diane Sanfilippo: So you basically made my recipe after you added chestnuts to her recipe. I’m just messing with you! I’m like, why are you not using my recipes? You’re my friend!

Liz Wolfe: I have no idea. No, because, here’s why. I’m at my parent’s house, and I totally forgot to bring your book.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m messing with you! The stuffing recipe is on my website anyway. But I’m just telling other people so they can find it.

Liz Wolfe: Ugh! Breaking my coconut…coconut date balls.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah I am!

Liz Wolfe: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: That’s alright, I deserve. What else. Yeah, so you have pretty much everything in your book. Your Thanksgiving meatballs.

Diane Sanfilippo: Those are really good. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Which are amazing.

Diane Sanfilippo: Well, like the other stuff that we basically made, so I made all of Thanksgiving dinner this year, and… yeah, I don’t think it’s that hard. I think when we get to some of the questions that people are asking, it’s more about, like, if somebody else is making the food, and I think that’s kind of…The big thing is, if it’s at your house, there is really no issue at all where you can just make dishes that are, you know, gluten free, grain free, whatever paleo friendly, and it’s not an issue. I think the bigger issue is once people leave the house, either being prepared or knowing what to tell people or just kind of figuring out how to pick and choose or then how to kind of bounce back if they chose wrong {laughs}. So. Maybe we’ll get into some questions. We threw out some questions on Facebook just to see what was on people’s minds, and what’s kind of stressing them out about the holiday season, so. Who do we have here first?

Liz Wolfe: I think it’s Junie.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

1. How do I stay on the wagon? [12:24]

Liz Wolfe: So, this is from Junie. “First off, love the podcast and Diane’s snazzy new hairdo on the website!” Hello!

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}.

Liz Wolfe: I know why you picked this question. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I didn’t do it! This is Charissa picking these for us.

Liz Wolfe: Oh, I love her. “I walk on my lunch break and listen to this podcast. It’s the best part of my workday. Thank you. I’ve been on and off a paleo way of eating since January 2012. I feel like I fall off the wagon when I get caught in a bad way of thinking that goes something like this. ‘Why can’t I eat like normal people. Really, how bad can it be for me if everyone still eats all this stuff on a regular basis? Why was I able to reach weight goals easier while eating a “clean” non-paleo diet?’ I’m sick of having to tell people that I can’t eat this or that. I also think I suffer from selective amnesia, I say jokingly, as there are tons of little symptoms that go away when I eat paleo, that I seem to forget about when I’m feeling sorry for myself.” Word to your mother, Junie, I totally know how you feel.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Alright, to make a long story short, I know unequivocally through these recent return to SAD experiments,” that’s standard American diet, “that I feel much better when I eat a paleo diet. I know that in having an autoimmune disorder, Hashimoto’s, that very real symptoms of me being intolerant of non-paleo foods are present. I know that my previous weight goals were more motivated by vanity, and may not be as healthy as I thought they were. I know that no matter how simply the paleo diet is laid out, there are a great deal of personal tweaks must be made to find the right formula for an individual. I know, I know, but why do I still fight this? Diane has mentioned a few times that when trying to get off gluten, that it took her about a year to really do it. I'd love to hear her elaborate on this story, and what it was that finally made her give it up for real. I’ve read the introduction to Practical Paleo, and love the book, so I know her story in general, but would like to hear more about the way she’d fall off the wagon, get back on again, and ultimately found the strength to say, ‘I’m at peace with living in a way that is the best for me.’ Maybe you could both share some anecdotes about how your clients have made the transition from partial to fully committed. Or maybe you’ll tell me that I need to chill, and just take things as they come. Either way, can you address the emotional/psychological aspects of major dietary changes like this?” Yes we can.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. Well. {laughs} Let’s see, so, “I’d love to hear her elaborate on this story, and what it was that finally made her give it up for real.” Well, what it was that made me give it up for real was Robb Wolf’s seminar. Like, that’s really the point blank moment in time that I stopped for a whole day, and, you know, I had read Dangerous Greens, I had learned about the problems with gluten, but I never connected the dots between how this food affected people in general and how it affected me. Because, either I wasn’t recognizing the digestive distress that I was experiencing, I wasn’t recognizing that impaired immunity caused by foods I was eating, and that I was getting sinus infections all the time. I never connected those dots. I also never connected the dots that getting sinus infections regularly meant my immune system was compromised, which meant if something like cancer, diabetes, or heart disease was going to develop in me, my chances of having it develop would be higher. So, all of these things that take years to sort of really get, and understand, and know reasons why I should, I get it now, that whatever those little things are that she mentioned, like little symptoms, those little symptoms throughout the years throughout your life mean your immune system is compromised. So, if you have compromised immunity for years and years, that’s when, you know, chronic disease has a chance to develop versus if you have a strong immune system your whole life, your chances of developing chronic disease are that much lower. And so, what also helped me make the switch was, like paying more attention to when I ate a certain food. So, like trying to stock into the holidays, and kind of staying on track for the holidays, you know, if you go to your first holiday party for the season and you kind of go off the rails, and you are eating things you don’t normally eat, pay attention to what is happening to your mood, to how you feel the next day, um, what’s happening in the bathroom. {laughs} You know, if you are running to the bathroom, or if the next day what is coming out of you is not what it usually looks like, you know, those are all signs that you didn’t tolerate something, and they are also signs that you compromised your immune system. So, you know, it’s really up to you to decide at what point enough is enough, and for me, there was also a moment when, it was probably one of the last time I ate gluten knowingly as a, you know, conscious decision. I was at La Boulange, which is, obviously, a bakery around the corner from where I lived in san Francisco, and you know, they have great scrambles and salads and things like that that you can get that don’t involve grains at all, but I would always ask for them to leave the bread off the plate, and say no bread, and sometimes they would forget and put it on there. And so, I think the last time I knowingly ate gluten was this piece of bread was on my plate, and La Boulange has free Nutella, so, I don’t know that I really need to explain too much about what happened next, but long story short I ate the bread with the Nutella, and shortly thereafter I had to run home a block or two blocks away, and go to the bathroom very, very urgently. And, you know, it’s not a pretty picture to talk about it, but the reality is is that it kind of snapped in my head that that was what was happening as a result of the food I was eating. And it’s not always that severe or immediate for other people. Or, they are just not tuned into it. And so I think, you know ultimately, how do we give up the fight and just say, you know what? I don’t eat those things. I don’t know. I think it’s different for every person, and I think for me, it was realizing all of the autoimmunity on both sides of my family and realizing that for me to prevent that as much as possible, those foods aren’t a part of my diet. And then after however much time of choosing that, I think it probably, you know it was like maybe March or April of that year, so by the time I got to the holiday season, I don’t think I felt that same sense of loss or that same feeling of mourning over the grains. And, I also definitely believe in making paleofied treats a reality, if that’s what you want to do and you want to feel like you are included or you are having something that you missed, that’s the time to me to bake those, you know, nut-flour breads or whatever it is and kind of enjoy the season in that way without the digestive distress, without compromising your immunity, and especially with Hashimoto’s, we know that gluten is super important to avoid. It’s just one of those things where you’re just going to have to decide at what point you are worth it, and at what point, you know, your health is more important long term than a moment of “this bite tastes really good.” And I think it’s the same mindset for people who are looking to lose weight versus just, you know, to stay healthy with something like an autoimmune condition. When we have to eat every single day, but the choice between, like, do I want this thing that is going to somehow soothe me and make me feel good right now, because I just want that pleasure that it induces, this treat or whatever it is, versus I’m trying to reach a goal, and maybe that goal is shorter-term, maybe it’s a weight loss goal, or maybe it’s a long term goal of just keeping my thyroid healthy. I don’t know what it is that flips the switch for each person. Because I think it’s really different. But, at some point you just have to know and understand that it is real, and I think that some people don’t either fully believe it or haven’t learned the one little fact that just flips their brain. You know, there is something that for each person, you know, people come to our workshop for a whole day, right, and you know, maybe the beginning of the day, something new isn’t hitting them and at some point during the day, it just turns for them. They are like, wow, you know, I’ve never heard somebody explain it that way before. And so maybe it’s just time. But, I don’t know. Liz, do you have any other ideas or what kind of helped you make that switch?

Liz Wolfe: What helped me make that switch? I don’t know, I think it was just time. I think I just leaned into it, and thought about things and continued learning, and just took away kind of that overwrought hand wringing feeling of, like, oh god I have to be all or nothing! I have to be on the wagon or off the wagon, and I messed up and now, you know, my world is crashing down around me. I just kind of calmed down, and I said to myself that if something happens, get over it, but just do my best to make good choices moment by moment. And when you kind of take that baggage away from the whole deal… I mean, I knew what was right for me, but I just wasn’t necessarily doing it, and I think it was mostly because of the emotional environment that I was creating around my food.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I think that, like, I’m kind of re-reading some of what she said, too, and she’s got this sort of attitude of “I’m sick of having to tell people I can’t eat this or that,” and I think that that… I was really used to having different dietary “restrictions”. I mean, to me they weren’t restrictions, but different things I was doing, and so my friends got really used to it. And, you know, you don’t have to tell people you can’t eat something. You know, you can just tell them what you do eat, or what you want to eat, and not make a big deal of it. So I think, sometimes it’s the way that we frame it ourselves that makes it seem like a bigger deal to somebody else.

Liz Wolfe: Right.

Diane Sanfilippo: Um, so I think that’s part of it. And, you know, since January, so she’s been almost a year of doing this. You know, I lost weight and was the leanest I ever was eating high-carb, low-fat, training really hard, driving myself into adrenal fatigue. You know, I had a 6-pack and my thighs didn’t touch for the first time in my life, and I absolutely can’t say that now. But I know for sure that I’m way healthier now than I ever was. So I think there’s just a lot of mental shift that needs to happen. So, when you’re dealing with other people and trying to kind of figure out your own resolve about your choices, you really do have to kind of, like, calm down and settle into them and just really choose it. And if you are not really choosing it, maybe try and figure out why. Like, what’s that barrier for you to feel like this is going to be ok and you are not missing out anymore. And I think it’s different for people who have an autoimmune condition, for example, you just have to get to that point where you no longer see that thing as food. And I know that that has happened for two of my really, really good friend’s have Hashimoto’s, and both of them just absolutely don’t view any gluten-containing item as food. It’s just not an option. They are not interested. I don’t know, maybe it just happens over a lot more time.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. Alright. Very good. Oh, you know what I did want to say, also speaking of what’s happening in the bathroom. This also goes for people who are staying paleoish, but with those paleofied treats and lots of nut flour pie crusts and stuff like that, baked goods with almond flour and everything like that. If you do notice something very different in the bathroom, don’t ignore that. Take it as information, you know, in your quest to get to know yourself better and what does and doesn’t work for you. So in the same way that… it’s not to say that, you know, an almond flour cupcake is bad for you. But, some people just can’t tolerate these kinds of concentrated sources of, you know, just a big whack of nuts! So, just take note of that. I know, you always laugh at me when I say “whack of nuts”. I think it’s funny.

Diane Sanfilippo: Anything that is, like, silly around the word nuts, and I just start laughing.

Liz Wolfe: Fair enough. Anyway.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m so mature.

Liz Wolfe: Just take note of that stuff, continue to get to know yourself better. And this entirely off topic, but I think it’s really fun to own how your own body works. And I’ve gotten really into that since I’ve started the whole Taking Charge of Your Fertility thing. We’re not having any cave babies anytime soon! People like freaked out about that the last time I said it. Don’t look at me like that, D-Sizzle. But, it’s really cool. Like, you take your temperature every day, and you start to notice your own, you know, when things are happening to you and why, when your temperature goes up and why, and when it goes down and why, and it is really freaking awesome. So, you can look at that as kind of a, you know, microcosm, or like a small example of the many different ways that we can get to know ourselves in ways that we completely never thought about before. So, you know, we talk about what goes on in the bathroom? I mean, that’s no exception. These are all different ways that you can take ownership of your own body and know yourself really well, which is alright, but we grow up, most of us spend decades not having a clue or not being able to connect any of the dots. And it’s really amazing to finally stand up and do that. So. Alright. Moving on.

2. Best time to eat sweets? [25:37]

Liz Wolfe: Next question. The best time to eat sweets, this is from Stacy. “I’ve heard that eating sugar after a meal is the best way to minimize blood sugar spikes if you choose to indulge. Is that true? Is there a better time to eat sweets?” And I… Diane, I’ll be interested to hear your take on this. I actually do prefer to have a full meal of some kind, like a full gluten-free type meal, something that’s rich in the good stuff, you know, meats, butter, veggies, stuff like that before I get to the indulgences. I think that planning an indulgence and starving yourself all day to, what, I don’t know, offset the calories or something… that’s not just punishment, but it probably does set you up to overindulge in a way you wouldn’t if you were really satiated with some good stuff first. What are your thoughts on that?

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. I mean, I think it’s pretty obvious that if you throw in a bunch of sweets on an empty stomach, you really are just setting yourself up for a huge blood sugar spike without much other nutrition around that, so yeah, definitely think that eating real food that is not sweets, not the treats and whatnot before hand is kind of the best approach. And I think, too, it does keep you from overindulging. I think making sure you get in enough protein is really important, and I think around the holidays, protein is definitely one of the tough ones in some ways to make sure it’s available at a party. I mean, I think there’s usually like a bowl of mixed nuts, or like cheese…

Liz Wolfe: Not a bowl of mixed ….

Diane Sanfilippo: Hmm?

Liz Wolfe: A bowl of mixed beef cubes. No, that doesn’t happen.

Diane Sanfilippo: At my party.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Now everybody wants to come to my party {laughs} for mixed beef cubes. I think what happens is, you know, yeah it just kind of puts the breaks on a little bit for people to get in some real food ahead of time. I don’t know, maybe part of it, too, is making the treat and bringing it somewhere and just kind of knowing what it’s made of and knowing that it’s not, well this is all around more mindset stuff than just how it hits your blood sugar, but just knowing that, like, you can have that treat anytime. You don’t need to overindulge. But I do think the best time would still be after having some protein and fat, otherwise. I mean, at least protein, because chances are the sweets that we’re eating, most of them tend to have a good amount of fat in them that we’re making. Baked goods with butter or coconut oil, that kind of thing. So I would throw it in, after the meal. Yeah. And probably not like early in the morning. {laughs} And probably not right before bed, either. Even eating some fruit before bed, lately, I’ve been kind of waking up really warm, and I think it’s just too much sugar for me. Just some fruit. So, we’ve all got different things that we tolerate, so. Yeah, that’s what I would do.

Liz Wolfe: We’ve talked a little bit about something related to this topic at our workshops where we’re working with people to talk to family and maybe, you know, when you are starting really from square one with somebody that is used to a breakfast of 3 pieces of toast and whatever it is, we’ve said if you were to tell your family member, hey, just as a little experiment, start with, you know, your eggs and your veggies first, wait for the bread until the end, and it’s possible by that point you won’t even be as interested anymore. Which I think is a little bit telling. So, somewhat related.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. I think, you know, it works both ways that it works on our appetite signaling to kind of help calm us down a bit and make a more rational choice. But it also, you know, absolutely works just filling up the stomach, you know.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

3. Recovery after indulgences [29:39]

Liz Wolfe: Alright, this next question is on recovery after indulgences. We may have one or two of these questions. Ok, Hope says, “Ok, I did a big no-no,” {laughs} “and ate stuffing and pie over Thanksgiving, and now of course I feel like poo. I’ve stopped eating yucko stuff, which is helping, but anything I can do to speed along my feeling better?” My strategy is pretty simple. I will push the dose of cod liver oil/butter oil blend. I'll kind of double up on that for a couple of days. I’ll take a week of actual probiotic supplements. I really like Bio-Kult. That can kind of help. Lots of broth to hydrate with a good complement of minerals. I’m not a huge fan of just chugging a ton of water all the time to feel better. I think sometimes that can be a little counterproductive. That’s my take. What’s yours, Diane?

Diane Sanfilippo: Um, hmm. I don’t really know about like actual physical things to do, because I haven’t really dealt with that in a long time. I think part of it..

Liz Wolfe: Oh my… you’re so peculiar. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: What? What?

Liz Wolfe: You’re so compliant.

Diane Sanfilippo: No, I just, like, I don’t eat things that leave me feeling bad for days. I mean, I just, I don’t know. Like, the things that make me not feel great are weird things like too much tomato sauce.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: And that pretty much evacuates itself very quickly {laughs}, so it takes care of itself.

Liz Wolfe: Oh man. I love you.

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t know. But, yeah, I mean I do the same thing with the probiotics if my gut isn’t feeling spot on, definitely making sure I’m getting some probiotics. I tend to just keep doing it with the food. I don’t really have any probiotic supplements on hand. But, otherwise I think what I used to do {laughs} I used to do this with a hangover, back when I had a juicer hooked up was make some green juice, but also make sure I was eating protein, but I would take like kale and celery and cucumber. And it wasn’t like a meal replacement, it was just, I don’t know, I felt like I needed vitamins and minerals to get into my blood stream really quickly.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mentally, it felt really good. I’m not sure how well it helped me to recover, but I might try it. If my juicer was hooked up. I think I would probably do it again.

Liz Wolfe: Why not?

Diane Sanfilippo: That juicer is in a storage room somewhere.

Liz Wolfe: You can’t juice chicken, can you? You can’t juice beef cubes?

Diane Sanfilippo: No but you can blend it into a {laughs} can you blend it? You can blend it into a smoothie.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I saw this video of a body builder who took like basically chicken and water and made a shake out of it. {laughs} I was like…

Liz Wolfe: I am going to punch that man in the….nuts.

Diane Sanfilippo: There’s one way to do it!

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} it’s like, forget protein powder. Just put the chicken breast in the blender.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, you know what, good on that guy. Good on that guy.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: Seriously.

Diane Sanfilippo: We can learn a lot from bodybuilders. I’m just saying.

Liz Wolfe: The forums from bodybuilder websites are full of some of the most scientifically accurate information I’ve ever seen.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: These are dudes that want to optimize every last, you know, cell in their bodies.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. It’s interesting stuff.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Superhuman radio is a really good one for that.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: You just have to be able to listen through all the advertisements for aromatase inhibitors.

Liz Wolfe: “oh, this aromatase inhibitor will make you jacked!”

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing} Exactly!

4. Recovery from leaky gut after exposures [33:20]

Liz Wolfe: Alright. We’re just in rare form today. Ok, next question. This is from Dave. “I have been recently diagnosed with celiac and a leaky gut. I just finished the elimination diet, and I’m starting to reintroduce foods on a weekly basis. On occasion, the rigors of modern life force me to eat out. About half the time, I come away feeling some pain and/or discomfort, which I chalk up to some gluten getting into my food, either through cross-contamination, something in the food, like sausage. I’m loathe to go back on the elimination diet, so I’m worried that these instances might again lead to a leaky gut. How much exposure does it take, and over what time period? What kind of symptoms should I be on watch for, should I suspect something? My wife and I love your book. We bought 4; one for us, one for each of our exes, and another for my mother-in-law. All so our kids can eat as healthy with them as they do when they are with us. Keep up the great work.” That is a functional extended family there. “One for each of our exes.” Pretty cool.

Diane Sanfilippo: Seriously.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. What are your thoughts on this?

Diane Sanfilippo: Umm. {laughs} I don’t know! This is like, you know, it usually ends up… it’s so varied for every person, and it’s really hard to say how much exposure and what time period. We know that it takes about 2 weeks for your gut to fully heal if it has been damaged. And obviously, it can feel like it’s taking a lot longer for some people. I don’t know what symptoms you should be looking for specifically, because your symptoms may manifest very differently than other peoples. There’s a whole list of signs and symptoms of leaky gut in my book ____ leaky gut. And, I think the reality is, you know, really trying to be more diligent about, you know, asking questions and avoiding things that you continue to learn might be contaminated. Foods like sausage, as he mentioned. You know, just being a little bit more diligent about that stuff should be pretty helpful. And I think, you know, you’ll feel it, and you’ll start to learn where you can have a little more leeway or not. So, it’s pretty much, if you’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease, you will probably always have a leaky gut to some degree. And so that’s not to make you feel like stressed out or kind of worried about it all the time, but just know that it’s not something that will become perfect and perfectly healed. And so, any minor insult is like, you just kind of screwing everything up. And, you know, this is the same so some of these weren’t questions that were specific to the holidays, but I guess in kind of tying it back to that, you know, how do you just kind of keep exposure to a minimum and really pay attention as we talked about in a previous question, but I think it’s just doing your due diligence. Asking people what they are making, bringing something if it’s questionable, and you know, maybe even eating before a party so you don’t have to go there and eat. You just socialize, maybe you have a drink if you feel like you can do that, knowing that alcohol also contributes to leaky gut. Also knowing that there are a lot of other things that contribute to leaky gut besides just food. Food is really just one aspect, and stress is a huge part of what contributes to leaky gut, and that can be mental and emotional stress, or it can be environmental stressors. So, if you’re just constantly worried about it, that’s going to actually make it worse. Um, so, you know, I think it’s a pretty ongoing process. When someone says they finished an elimination diet, starting to reintroduce, that’s cool but there is no hard beginning and end to this whole thing. Well, I guess there is a beginning, but there’s usually not a very hard end to an elimination reintroduction type of protocol, because people kind of go back and forth all the time. You know, you may find that you reintroduce eggs and you feel fine, but then later you may start to not feel great, and you may try it again and see if maybe at that point in time it’s not working for you. So, it can take anywhere from one bite of an exposure to a lot more. For some people it can take… you know, I think this happens to me. I don’t actually notice if there is a dusting of white flour on something. I had some sweet potato French fries several weeks ago, and I was pretty sure they were dusted with flour, but I ate them as an experiment. I was like, I want to see if I notice something. And I didn’t notice any digestive distress. Everything felt fine for the next few days, and you know I don’t think that affected me so much, but what used to affect me really hardcore would be whole-grains, because that insoluble fiber and whatever other part of the protein are actually on that bran and the endosperm that were irritating to me, are gone when they are polished off. And that doesn’t mean that I then indulge in white flour products all the time, because I know why they are not healthy to eat, and I’m not interested, but at the same time, you know, learning your exposure level, learning where you feel the irritation, what that manifests as in your body can really make the difference. I know one of our other friends who is celiac she gets actually nauseous if she eats gluten, which is another sign. It’s not the same digestive distress, but nausea is, I mean that’s huge. And if you’re feeling anything like that, I mean, that’s definitely a sign that you know you’ve gotten exposure. Remember that it can take 2 weeks to completely heal up if you are going to completely heal, and we’ve talked about gut healing a million times on the podcast, you can go back and read up about that. But, yeah, that’s pretty much what I’ve got to say. And thanks for buying the book and buying it for your exes.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Awesome.

5. How to handle judgment from family [39:19]

Liz Wolfe: Very nice. Ok. Next question from Leslie. “My question is as to the feelings of judgment on behalf of family members. First, as someone with celiac I struggle during the holiday season at family gatherings. Second, as someone who has embraced the paleo lifestyle, which has been extremely life changing for my PCOS and food allergies, it is alienating to be surrounded by the average American eaters. Advice?” Let me just say here, Leslie, you have celiac. You are doing the absolute right thing for your condition and what you’re dealing with, and if you’re not feeling the love from your family on that…just breathe. I find that shocking and … just breathe through it. Because, I guarantee you that if you are dealing with this, there is someone in your family who has the same symptoms who is going to observe your behavior and your choices, and you could be changing their perspective without even knowing it. So, don’t feel alienated. Just press on. Man, that just makes me upset, that she could be alienated for making those choices.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I don’t…I don’t know man, I think…{laughs} It’s a really tough one. I think people really need to start to understand that you’re not just being picky and you’re not just being…I don’t know. That you’re not doing this as really a choice. For whatever reason, people are imposing their thoughts and foods on your, and the reality is, all of that stuff is not about you. It’s always about them. If somebody else is trying to force you to eat something that you don’t want to eat, it’s about them, it’s not about you. And, you know {laughs} I can see this happening when I bring chocolate to somebody’s house, and it’s because I want to eat the chocolate, so I bring it there, and I’m asking them to eat it too, and it has nothing to do with them. Obviously, I want them to enjoy it if they want some, but the fact that I’m bringing it there, you know, it’s a nice… it’s a gift, and it’s a thing that you want to share in, but the reality is, if they are not aware that your desire to not eat those foods {laughs} is more important to you than, you know, they are going to get their feelings hurt. And to some degree, you can’t control that. You know, you can be gracious and say no thank you, and you can do your best to sort of, you know I always say this but I feel like it’s the easiest way around it, bring the foods that you can eat. Just bring them. If you know somebody wants you to be eating apple pie, you know, that they make every year and for the last 30 years you were eating it and all of a sudden you’re not, you know, just explain to them, you know what? I feel really sick when I eat gluten. Or when I eat meat. Or when I eat XYZ, whatever it is. I feel really sick and so this is what I have to eat now, or this is what I’m choosing. If that’s how you want to frame it, however it is. And it really depends on the family, too. You know, if they are really into following doctor’s orders, then you say, my doctor told me I can’t eat this or that. Like, whatever it is that you need to tell them to sort of just keep them at arms distance with the criticisms and the feelings of judgment, do what you need to do. You know, that’s all I say. I don’t really think there is any other great way around it, but hold your ground, because I think when people fluctuate on what they say they are going to do, and then they don’t do it, that’s when people kind of see it as a, well, it’s just a choice that she’s willing to bend on sometimes, so if I keep at her maybe she’ll just eat this. You know, or maybe she’ll change her mind, or what have you. So, I think that’s a little bit of another way to do it. Besides, obviously, like I said, making the food that you can eat. And then surrounding yourself when you’re not with your family, obviously there are those set hours and meals that we are with our family, but otherwise don’t go to holiday parties where you are going to be surrounded by people who are going to be judging you and ridiculing you. Just don’t surround yourself with those people. That’s really the best way to avoid controversy and conflict is to not put yourself in that situation in the first place. And that’s obviously a different situation if it’s more of a social gathering than just family.

Liz Wolfe: To your point about bringing your own food. My grandma brought her pumpkin pie to Thanksgiving, and I made Bill and Haley’s chiffon pumpkin pie from the Food Lover’s Primal Palate, one of their old school recipes, and it looked a lot like the pumpkin pie, it was the pumpkin pie that I was eating, and people were curious, and they tried mine, and they tried my grandma’s, and they said they loved mine. They were like, wow! This is so good. So, now I have to bring it at Christmas. You know. You never know. You might surprise people, and they might want to try your stuff, and that might be the turning point. So. Get to cooking.

6. Paleo-friendly holiday cocktails [44:45]

Liz Wolfe: Alright. Next question. Least damaging holiday cocktails. Andrata says, “what are the best and most paleo-friendly cocktails and wines? I read that some wines can have gluten because a wheat paste is sometimes used to seal the barrels. Which is better, gin, vodka, tequila, etc, in terms of doing the least amount of damage to the gut. Thanks!” Well, I think this one is for me, Diane. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Please.

Liz Wolfe: Uh, yeah. I had no idea that some wines were using wheat paste to seal the barrels. That’s really interesting to me. I do know that there are some wines that are made in stainless steel barrels. Which, P.S., Diane, I was in Napa fairly recently with one of my friends, my friend Dionne, and she took me to wine country, and we drove past a winery that was … my name and my husband’s name. It was called Elizabeth and Spencer Winery. And I was like Bam! Gotta get some wine from Elizabeth and Spencer Winery.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: So, we have a couple from there. But they were telling me all about the difference and using the stainless steel barrels, and all that stuff. So, if you are close enough to your winemaker to know what type of barrels it was made in, that’s something to look for. I’ll do some tequila and lime juice. Tequila soda and lime. I don’t know, gin… I remember in high school learning that gin kills your brain cells, {laughs} which is probably any kind of alcohol, but every since then I’ve just been too afraid to drink gin. But, I sound like a total lush, but I really do, I rarely drink, but I think probably the most paleo-friendly cocktails and such are something like tequila and soda with lime or some certified gluten free cider. You’ll see gluten free beer, which technically can still contain some gluten parts per million. Cider is a lot safer. That’s pretty much my take on that. Just do shots. Shots! Shots! Shots! Shots!

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. When I drink, it’s usually hard cider or champagne and people ask what I’m celebrating. I’m like, I don’t know, Saturday? {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Celebrate any day?

Liz Wolfe: Wednesday afternoon, I don’t know.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. What? Do I need to be celebrating to have champagne? And for me, alcohol almost… if it’s not cider or champagne, I consider it dessert.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m like what’s your girliest drink, because that’s what I’m going to have.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t really know much about it.

Liz Wolfe: Alright. I do think it’s kind of fun to recognize how long of a history alcohol has just in the human diet. Like, as a fermented beverage, it’s actually kind of cool, not from a health perspective but just from a historical perspective, it’s kind of fun.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, yeah! It looks like I’m brewing moonshine in my kitchen all the time.

Liz Wolfe: All the time!

Diane Sanfilippo: With kombucha. People are like, what do we have there, Diane?

Liz Wolfe: Oh, yeah, speaking of that actually, there are some really cool kombucha cocktail ideas out there.

Diane Sanfilippo: I saw them.

Liz Wolfe: So, Google that.

Diane Sanfilippo: What do you think about that? I think kind of like ____ damage and the remedy all in one {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Who knows, man, that’s why I started drinking like soda or water with my cocktails. Like, vodka water with lemon, that type of thing, back in the day, because I was like, well, if I’m drinking some vodka I should probably drink some water with it, just maximum efficiency, maximum return. You know? {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: So I say give them a try. I think that sounds pretty cool. I haven’t yet just because I haven’t really drank yet this season, but maybe I will. Maybe that’s next. I’ll use your kombucha recipe that you put up on the blog today, and make some kombucha. It’ll be ready by New Year’s, and then go for it.

Diane Sanfilippo: Sounds good to me.

7. Keeping up with fitness routine during the holidays [48:45]

Liz Wolfe: Cool. Alright, last question, from Lauren, keeping up with fitness during the holidays. “What and how to maintain fitness levels when the weather, holiday schedule, and life get in the way of exercise? Thanks.” You have any thoughts on this one?

Diane Sanfilippo: Um, well. It depends on what kind of workouts you’re doing. I think the weather is probably one of the biggest one that kind of keeps people in the house, and you know, the schedule get’s crazy. I think just making sure that you find a way to carve out time for it. Like I said, I’m heading out of town, and I told Haley, I have to work out. You know, so I’m sort of holding myself accountable, but I’m also telling my friend, and maybe Haley or Bill will work out with me down at Pork Belly Fitness and, you know, kind of roping someone else in I think can really help. I think if you know that you won’t feel well if you don’t keep on track with your fitness routine, you know, find a way to keep something at home that will work for you if you just aren’t going to get out of the house or, you know, whatever. I think it’s also important not to stress too much about it. If you end up taking a week or two weeks off from your regularly scheduled programming, you know, it’s almost like a forced rest, and that’s fine because otherwise we don’t really have seasons when we work out in a gym 365 days a year. If you don’t force yourself to take a week or two off here or there, you know, you really run more risk for injury. So, I think that’s probably… if you’re having trouble and it’s stressing you out, and you’re just trying to get everything done, then, you know, then forgo the workout and don’t stress about it. Let it be something you know ____ that day, you know, maybe you’re at the grocery store, you’re picking up your bags and you’re moving around the kitchen all day. You’re being active, and I think that’s fine. I just wouldn’t stress too much about it. But, I don’t know. What do you think, Liz? You’ve been on the road for a little while now, still.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} Yeah. Workout? What workout? No, I like mostly, especially with travel, just doing some sun salutations or, I don’t know what the technical term is but when you just kind of go through that yoga situation. You remember me doing that in, I can’t remember where we were. Maybe it was Boston,

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m sure I had my eye mask on, so no.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, you had your eye thingies on. But just doing a quick run through of that, there’s probably a name for it that I don’t know what it is, but it really just helps center me mentally, and for something quick and intense, air squats and pushups. {laughs} I mean, you could get pretty sore just with some air squats and some pushups, so maybe some squat jumps, something like that.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. Cool.

Liz Wolfe: Alright, so we are rounding out an hour. We will be back next week with more questions, as usual, and until then you can find Diane at You can find me, Liz, at You can also order my book, Modern Cave Girl, via or Amazon. Thanks for listening everybody! We’ll be back next week.

Diane & Liz

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