Holiday check-in

This Christmas I headed to the Chicago area to be with family.  It was the first time being with my mom since “coming out” as Paleo (well, for ease of communicating with her I just refer to it as “grain-free” — she’s not really computer-literate, so she hasn’t been exposed to much Paleo information, but she is familiar with concepts like gluten-free).  Surprise surprise, when people are aware of your food needs they are able to accommodate them much more easily!  I was actually really grateful that my mom made an effort to plan meals that were grain-free (she and my sister occasionally supplemented a meal with bread, and ate several snacks/treats that I simply skipped).

For lunch the first day (23rd) we went to a local brewpub.  I skipped a beer this time 🙂  Mom and Sis had sandwiches, I had a very nice pork belly salad.  I asked them to not include the biscuit, but unfortunately the salad did come dusted with some fine bread crumbs — WTH?  Anyway, should have been specific about grain-free.  For dinner we made a steak salad with some nice cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, and red onion.  Delicious!

The next day we had steak-and-eggs for breakfast.  A family member had very thoughtfully sent some bagels and lox to be delivered around mid-day, so I had a snack of lox and cream cheese while others loaded up bagels.  Then we traveled to see my other family for a Christmas Eve gathering.  There were many many treats and finger foods available at the house, the vast majority of which were SERIOUSLY un-Paleo (think chocolate-covered potato chips, velveeta cheese dip, etc).  I had a pretty clean meal nonetheless, sticking with sliced deli meats and cheeses and some cold shrimp.  Yum!  A few more chocolate treats were ingested than were necessary, but overall it was thumbs up.

Christmas day started with coffee, sausage, and eggs — thank goodness it was a holiday, my extended family doesn’t usually eat breakfast at all.  Again this turned into a two-meal day, as we had dinner around 4pm.  I was starving by then, but luckily my aunt had neglected to put out any nibbles beforehand so I wasn’t tempted.  We had turkey, ham, and many carby side dishes (I skipped all, though I did taste the sweet potato casserole — what a disappointment!  It was SUPER sweet, I couldn’t bring myself to eat it).  I did have a side of green beans.  And for dessert, my mom had made baked apples (grain-free again, woohoo!).

The next day (26th) started off with scrambled eggs with lox and cream cheese, one of my favorite breakfasts.  Again it was a two-meal day, though I snacked on some jerky in the afternoon.  Dinner was sushi/sashimi (gasp, RICE!).  I had a side of seaweed salad, both because I love it and because I was desperate for some veggies.  Also a glass of wine.

Finally, the last day in Chicago had arrived.  My friend and I had brunch together, where I ordered a very nice omelet with chorizo (only a tiny bit), arugula, and goat cheese.  Very cheesy, I actually didn’t feel super great after this 😦  Anyway, we soldiered on with some shopping and lots of chatting.  For dinner we went to another brewpub, and this time I couldn’t resist a beer.  I also had a great bratwurst with onions and sauerkraut, plus sweet potato fries.

All in all, a very successful trip from a Paleo perspective!  It was great to be (mostly) around people who know about what I eat and could therefore help me find something suitable.

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