Silly season: that time of the year where people tend to over eat, over spend and under estimate the impact it will have on them.
Where did 2016 go? My to-do-list for 2016 was very long and now I need to start think about what we want to achieve in 2017. We had a fairly good year, no hospital stays for Little M (one outstanding achievement), a great family holiday in February (seems like ages ago), my sister got married (FINALLY) and we survived most of the challenges the universe send our way.
But to be honest, I think our greatest achievement for this year must be our new lifestyle. Every January we promise that “this” year will be the year we start living healthy, but by April you are eating a dozen hot cross buns and Easter eggs, June the cold is setting in and all you want is soup with loads of freshly baked break. This year was our “year of change”. We knew that Little M needed all the support she can get and it was not good enough anymore just to say “you can’t eat this” while we snacked on a slice of pizza or chocolate. We needed to make a lasting change, something we would be proud of.
In March this year, we cleaned out our fridge and cupboards and only buy whole food, nothing processed. We immediately felt better, no more heartburn, no more 2pm slumps (you know, that feeling after lunch where you want to just curl up in the corner of your office and take a power nap), no more chewing gum all the time and we realized that most of the time we only eat because we are bored. And we lost some weight – BONUS!
We attempted to do another Whole30, as we did them before, but our will power was just not enough to make us succeed. It seemed that we were again doomed and that the dreaded winter would put us back to our old wobbly self. Thankfully we discovered a Banting coach (LCHF) and joined her online course to guide us with the journey. We joined not to lose weight but rather improve our overall health and obviously improve on Little M’s eating habits. It seemed impossible to just cook one meal for the whole family, and I really had very little faith that this lifestyle would work.
So 6 months later and I am completely converted and a believer. Low carb living is possible! Not only for adults but also for kids! Little M started gaining weight (Another great BONUS) and her health seemed to improve drastically, so much that we reduced most of her medication! We also enjoy the health (and weight) benefits with hubby losing a total of 5.2 kg (- 5.2 cm waist, – 3 bust, – 5.5 hips) and myself a total of 7.5 kg (-10 cm waist, – 8 cm bust, – 10 cm hips). We even pre-ordered our copy of the Low Carb Creed, and started reading it immediately. So needless to say more, we are now totally embracing our lifestyle.
So what does this lifestyle mean for the silly season? Can you still enjoy all the festive cheers while watching what you eat? We have a few standing Christmas traditions and most of them involve food. Baking sugar biscuits on Christmas eve and decorating them as a family. Having a fondue with loads of bread, crumbed mushrooms and other treats. Hubby can’t celebrate Christmas without fruit cake drowned in custard. So what will we do this year?
Our coach shared this video with us about surviving the silly season, and I think it is a great guide to enjoy the festivities but in a very mindful manner. This year we will replace our fondue with a braai-due (there will be a special post dedicated to this great invention of hubby), we will still bake some silly season biscuits, but low carb friendly versions. On Christmas day we will enjoy our feast, and to ensure we have plenty of low carb friendly food available to us, I offered to make leg of lamb, salads and for dessert – Cheese cake (from The Low Carb Creed).
I do believe this is the season to be silly, but be silly in a responsible manner. Do you really need the breadstick and cake? To us, the silly season is about being silly with our closest family and friends. Sharing memories and special moments. We also need to teach Little M that the silly season is about LOVE, not money, food or gifts. This will be our very first low carb silly season, and I suspect it might not be perfect but we will try our best to make it memorable. We will share all our silly season memories early in 2017.
For this silly season I decided to make my own “giving plate” and full it with low carb treats and snacks. None of our family of friends follow a low carb lifestyle, so this would be ideal to share with them and show that you can still enjoy treats (occasionally) guilt free. Perhaps, this could also become a new family tradition and at the same time show people that “Low carb can be lekker”.
Hope you all will have an amazing festive season, filled with love and happy memories. Be silly, make memories and remember “low carb living is a lifestyle, not a death sentence” (courtesy of Merle).