Navigating The Holiday Spread

by Lauren Hixon 0 Comments


MOST of the Let’s Truck Tribe is health-conscious, currently enjoying the benefits of a healthy keto, carnivore, or paleo diet. You’ve worked hard to reach your wellness goals and you’ve done a great job doing so! For many, the holidays can be a stressful time where dietary protocols fall to the wayside and gluttonous eating prevails. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Successfully navigating the holidays can be the difference between a time of enjoyment or one of unbearable restriction, which is why we put together this guide to help you stay on track and partake in all the festivities. 

Contributing to the Holiday Food Spread

The best way to control what you eat during the holidays is to lend a hand in the kitchen and contribute to the meal. This way you’re ensured to have at least one dish to enjoy without sabotaging your hard work. We provided a couple recipes for you to try, and hopefully share, with loved ones. Since the turkey is compliant with most dietary protocols, we provided healthy recipe swaps for other traditional favorites that would typically break the keto and paleo protocols like mashed potatoes and stuffing. Below are links to our Cauliflower Mash and Sausage & Herb Stuffing — and they will not disappoint. 


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Navigating The Holiday SpreadNUTRITIOUSLY!

If you do not have a say in how your holiday meals are prepared or what the pre-dinner spread consists of, we have some tips to help you navigate what you’ll likely come across. Keep in mind the goal is high fat, low carb, and moderate protein while avoiding overindulgence. So make a small plate of your keto, paleo, or carnivore-friendly foods, and step away from the table!

Most gatherings will have a cheese plate or charcuterie board: Load up on some meats and cheeses and bring your favorite GRAIN-FREE crackers to add to the spread. I'm sure the host won't mind.

Avoid most dips: They typically consist of unhealthy fats, sugar, and/or added flavors and preservatives.  

Crudité boards are a good option for those on keto or paleo protocols: Just don’t overdo it, and be sure to bring your own dipping sauce. 

Stay away from the obvious offenders: Cookies, truffles, and other sweet treats.

Opt for some roasted nuts: I mean, how often do chestnuts make their debut? Just watch the carbs.. these beauties are good but high in carbs.

Additional Advice

Eat before you go to the party: Just like you should not head to the grocery store when you’re ravenous, you should maintain a level of control when it comes to your hunger when attending holiday gatherings. If you’ve already eaten something healthy you’ll be less likely to inhale copious amounts of unhealthy foods. 

Bring your own food: This can be as basic as crackers to contribute to a cheese plate or charcuterie board, or a dip for the crudité. Ask ahead if there’s anything you can bring. “No, you cannot bring a dish to our holiday party”, said no host ever! 

Manage your cravings: Most of us know how difficult it can be to stop craving sugar and high-carb foods. It took time to finally get here! Since you don’t want to start from the beginning, it’s important to make sure you control your cravings before the holidays begin. Spend time limiting carbs so you’re not craving them when the temptation hits.

Beware of sneaky sugars: Sugars take many forms and can easily sneak into the diet when eating foods we think are healthy. Bring your own condiments, like salad dressing, and other things you typically like to top your favorite dishes with. 

Stay clear of holiday beverages: Hot chocolate, apple cider, and eggnog are typically loaded with unwanted sugars, in addition to other things that are not keto, paleo, or carnivore approved.  

Give and take: If you do accept a sweet treat, cut back on other carbs to keep a healthy balance. 

Keep moving: Don’t get stuck in front of the buffet table. Keep moving to get the blood flowing and burn some energy. This will give you a chance to mingle with more than one person and perhaps answer some exciting questions about how you dropped several clothes sizes, and prescription meds, since you’ve seen friends/family last.

Manage your sleep: Staying up late to hang out with your favorite people often means cutting back on sleep. Sleep loss can make it difficult to manage blood sugar, and when you’re sleep deprived you tend to eat more, and prefer high-sugar foods. 

Most importantly, have fun! 

Use this time to connect with those you care about. When you focus on good company, you focus less on the food. Don’t worry if you fall off the wagon and eat things that are not part of your current dietary protocol. If you do, remember that all your work is not lost. Just make sure you get back to it the very next meal. The worst thing you can do is believe that all the work they’ve done is lost so you may as well continue the gluttonous road and start over again in the new year. The truth is, the longer you stay eating poorly, the harder it will be to get back to where you were. So don’t fret if you do have a cheat. 

The After Party: You did it! Take a moment to acknowledge your self-control during the most difficult time of the year, even if you did enjoy a cheat or two. The important thing is that you’re committed and hopefully made some good memories with those you care about.

What About the Leftovers?  You’re probably wondering about the leftovers. For the most part, it’s best to leave them to avoid further temptation. The one leftover you should not let go to waste, however, is the turkey carcass! This is the perfect time to make a nourishing bone broth. Follow the recipe below to make a nutrient-dense broth that can be enjoyed for days to come. 



Lauren Hixon
Lauren Hixon


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