Eating Healthy During The Holidays & While Traveling – Episode 9: PaleOMG Uncensored Podcast

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“Failing to plan is planning to fail”

It’s so easy to make excuses during the holidays or while we are traveling. But based on my own experience with traveling a sh*t ton over the past three, I know for a fact that you can make it work if you want to. But you have to want it. And when you want it, you have to plan ahead. We make sh*tty decisions when we are frantic and have no other options available. But if you plan ahead, you’ll always have something available or a game plan to keep you on track. Your health is still most important, so act like it! Even when families or friend’s feelings are involved, remember that your health is the most important and you should treat it that way.

I’m working on getting transcriptions for each one of my previous podcasts, including this one, so I’m writing a bit more in detail in the description until then. And that way, if you don’t want to listen, you can quickly scan this! But know that transcriptions are coming! Hope this topic is helpful!

When heading out to travel – do your research:

  • Download the yelp app (searching gluten free and paleo)
  • Google (duh)
  • Ask friends
  • Look at blogs and social media
  • Plan some of your meals
    • Restaurants
    • Grocery Shop – Make meals for yourself
  • Drink a ton of water – take a water bottle with you
  • Pack snacks for emergencies
    • Rx Bars
    • Larabars
    • Larabar bites
    • Mammoth Bars
    • Fuel For Fire Protein Packs
    • Nut Butter Packets
    • Plantain Chips
    • Jerky
  • Work with what you have
    • Eat the meat off of a sandwich (when I have no other option, I’ll get a breakfast sandwich at a coffee shop and just eat the egg and sausage patty without the bagel/croissant)
    • Get a shitty salad with no dressing or croutons
  • Look up the ingredients at McDonald’s before you go there. Look at just the sauce ingredients alone!
    • This is the ingredients in just the Habanero Ranch Sauce alone: Water, Soybean Oil, Corn Syrup Solids, Distilled Vinegar, Buttermilk Powder, Egg Yolks, Maltodextrin, Dried Cayenne Red Pepper Sauce (Aged Cayenne Red Peppers, Vinegar, Salt, Garlic), Sugar, Corn Starch, Modified Food Starch, Contains 1% or Less: Salt, Spice and Spice Extractives, Natural Flavor (Dairy and Animal Sources), Lemon Juice Concentrate, Lactic Acid, Habanero Pepper, Red Bell Pepper Powder, Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate (Preservatives), Xanthan Gum, Propylene Glycol Alginate, Apple Cider Vinegar.

When dealing with the holidays:

  • Follow all the steps above
    • Plan ahead
    • Get to the grocery store
    • Plan some of the meals
  • If you’re heading to a holiday party
    • Bring a couple of your own side dishes
    • Load up on meat and vegetables first and then get smaller portions of the heavier food that you don’t want to miss out on since you only get it once a year
    • Don’t forget that you don’t HAVE to feel uncomfortably full on Thanksgiving or other holidays
    • For dessert – bring something you know you can have or have smaller portions of the dessert you truly love
    • Drink lots of water

Reader Questions:

How to explain your healthier choices to your friends and family:

  • Questions usually stem from insecurities (when it’s not just curiosity) so I just explain what paleo is, where it came from, and how good I felt when I started eating paleo. Explain paleo in a positive light instead of what you can’t have. And the more you stick to your guns, the more people will back down.

How to take part in family traditions (such as cinnamon rolls) and you don’t want to hurt their feelings:

  • Remember first and foremost, your health is most important.
    • Be able to explain yourself why you aren’t having something
    • If they love you and respect you, they should respect your healthy choices
    • Come up with an alternative for yourself – gluten free cinnamon rolls! (I’ve seen them in the frozen food isle in Whole Foods)

Dealing with friends and family without feeling high maintenance and while maintaining and good relationship with them and your own food:

  • If these are important people to you, they should respect you.
    • Pick the restaurant yourself
    • Go wherever they want to go and just pick the best option like a bunless burger
    • Bring your own food to some of the events
    • Explain to your friends and family why you are eating a certain way and the ways that it’s improved your life
    • It may be time to consider if that friend is still worth having if they are putting your down for making healthier life choices (I have had to end friendships because of that)

How do you know how much food to eat:

  • Eat until satisfied, not full

Thanksgiving traditions?

  • I go to my CrossFit gym to do a team workout then have mimosas afterwards and get a good buzz going! Best day of the year!

What should I make for lunch if I don’t have access to a microwave?

  • Eat your lunch cold! Still delicious!
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Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.


37 thoughts on “Eating Healthy During The Holidays & While Traveling – Episode 9: PaleOMG Uncensored Podcast”

  1. Thanks Juli. I’ve been eating paleo and alcohol free for quite a few years now and it can certainly get awkward among family and friends! Great to hear your thoughts on it as I feel like the only one sometimes. I eat clean as it makes me feel good but will enjoy other foods in moderation if I want a treat. If I want an ice cream or piece of cake, then I’ll eat it and enjoy it. Not something I eat everyday so it’s not going to ruin my health. But I’m not the kind of person to mindlessly stuff my face with chips and pretzels while sitting around drinking. People think I’m being “good” and restricting myself but I just don’t enjoy that.

  2. Haha, omg, love you! So good that someone has the guts to actually say all this on their blog 😛 Exactly the way I feel, but if I put it the blunt way you do, I’d get so much hate! It’s NOT hard, people are just so lazy! If you care about your diet, you make it work 😛
    I have celiac disease and food allergies so traveling, etc, is even riskier, but I ALWAYS make it work. When you have a specific diet, you HAVE to learn to plan ahead and prepare. My mom still hasn’t learned that and always starts complaining she had nothing to eat, not even snacks, and I just shake my head while I’m eating my prepped and brought foods 😛
    (p.s. thanks for actually getting me to laugh-out-loud today!) xo

    1. Me again… Great post Rebecca. Slightly off topic but I also think there are no excuses when you have kids and people need to take responsibility for giving their kids the best start in life. Since having kids I’ve started noticing the crap people feed their children. It takes more planning when you travel, but it is possible. For example, I recently went traveling with my toddler for over 2 weeks and he ate healthy the whole time. The flight from the US was 16 hours so I packed him plenty of food before we left. I cooked up some vegetables and chicken and filled his insulated cup with that before we left and also packed an avocado, punnet of blueberries and a hard boiled egg. Airport security had no problems with me taking it on the plane. He had plenty of food while waiting around the airport, on the flight and some leftover when we arrived at our hotel. For the 2 weeks we were traveling I found a way to provide him with healthy food every day whether it be buying food from the supermarket and making something myself, ordering a healthy room service meal from the hotel and filling his insulated cup with that or ordering a healthy option at a restaurant for us both to share. Yes it took a little more time and effort, but parents need to not only take responsibility for themselves but also their kids. I wouldn’t snack on breakfast cereal because it’s unhealthy and full of sugar and artificial crap, so why should I feed it to my kids?

  3. Hi Juli! I love your podcast. I love how you say out loud everything I’m thinking in my head. I just have to share a family win: last time I went home to visit my dad he made my scrambled eggs with no dairy and he scrambled KALE in!!! Then he packed me a super cute airplane breakfast with peeled boiled eggs pre salted and peppered, an apple cut up, and peanut butter in a little snack bag packed in a bigger baggie with utensils and napkins. For airplane lunch: leftover meat and all kinds of cut up veggies!! He also witnessed first hand my reaction to gluten (oops) and now totally gets why I don’t eat it any more:)
    Thanks for everything you do, especially for keeping it real,

  4. Juli,

    Great podcast. Totally agree – it’s all about planning ahead. It continues to amaze me how few airports cater for healthy eating. I’m fortunate enough that SFO is my home airport, and there are lots of healthy choices, but even still, I bring my snacks with me. One thing I would add to your comments is that while yes, of course, it’s better to make the good food choices to begin with, if you do fall off the wagon so to speak for a meal, the very next meal is when you try to get back on track. There’s no point in regretting what is past, because you can’t change that, only what you do next. I think we all have this idea that Mondays are the day to start new regimes etc., but really that’s just in our heads.
    Glad you like Mammoth bars – it’s a couple of guys from my gym who are behind them!


  5. Juli, you are absolutely hilarious!! I love your podcast and your straight up honesty. I can’t wait for your next podcast regarding children because from the little comments you’ve made here and there I feel that we may be in the same boat regarding children… they scare the life out of me.. well at least having one of my own does haha. Now convincing my significant other is another deal… I’m interested to hear how your husband agrees/disagrees with your stance and any advice you may in regards to communicating about this topic 🙂 Keep the podcasts coming!! They’re great and love all your topics.

  6. Maybe this isn’t helpful to anyone, but I tend to not want to mention that I’m paleo to anyone when at friendsgiving or at work dinners, so I tend to just gloss over my choices (i.e. lie) and re-direct the conversation when someone questions what I’m eating. For example, if someone mentions that I’m not eating any bread out of the bread bowl, I say…ugh, I just can’t have any more bread today, or I’m saving room for my cocktail or something like that. Or I’ll actually take a little bit of the food I don’t want to eat and put it on my plate and then just not eat it. I find that nobody looks at your plate after the fact. Or I’ll load my plate with what I want and then say I’m saving all the other stuff for round two and then oops! magically I’m stuffed and couldn’t possibly have another bite. I’m not trying to sway anybody towards paleo and I don’t want to seem holier than though (not that that was what Juli was suggesting!) I just don’t think it’s anybody’s business but my own what I eat! Just my opinion…I’d rather re-direct than explain my choices then nobody feels threatened because they are eating bread haha.

    Juli! I’ve tried to make your flourless chocolate cake twice now from the cookbook and I don’t think I’m doing the egg whipping part correctly. If you have a chance to show it on snap this week while you make it that would be great! I can’t seem to get the egg whites stiff enough (maybe I’m not beating them fast enough?) My cakes always come out really thin. Still delicious though! Anyway, thanks for all the content! You’re the best!

    1. are you beating yourself with a whisk or are you using a handheld mixer? because you don’t have to whip them faster if you are using a handheld mixer, just longer! but i’ll definitely try to remember to show what the whips should look like on snapchat! and are you using the size pans that i recommend in the book?

      1. I’m using a stand mixer with the whip attachment (whisk attachment?) I’ll try my handheld mixer next time and double check the pan size I’m using. Maybe it’s time for some new pans haha, I think this cake is worth it! Thanks!!

        Also…as a side note…it would be really cool if you got a notification via email if someone replied to your comment. Then people would know and can come back to the blog and check. I think it would really foster a more active comment community. Also, it would be cool to be able to like someones comment. Also, it would be cool if you had the number of comments that have been made listed below the recipe on the front page. For example, I’ve loved reading the comments on your skincare post (super helpful stuff), but I have to go back to the post and scroll down and try to figure out if there are new comments. It might be helpful to have a tally. Just a thought! Thanks for all you do!

  7. SUCH a great podcast!

    On a side note…not to be a b*tch…it seems to me like some paleo eaters are starting to sometimes “be like vegans”, meaning they’re seen as announcing their diets to the world for no apparent reason. I’m NOT saying anybody here did that or acts that way, this is just what I’ve witnessed in person. And when that happens, especially when people have insecurities exactly like Juli said, they can be really insulted. Also especially, because you never know the struggles through which other people are going, and how your comments/unintended tone/expressions/etc. may affect them.

    I’ve noticed that sometimes the best thing is to not say anything. If I’m offered food I can’t eat, it’s been a way bigger deal to reject it as opposed to take it and literally not touch it. I accept it as graciously as possible and then just don’t eat it. I might cut it up and push it around my plate, but rarely do people notice I’m not putting the food into my mouth. The few times somebody has asked what’s going on, I’ve said with a big smile “I’m working on it [but I’m so full from your mom’s awesome turkey]. Want to help me with it?” And so far, every time, they’ve said yes, so I guess they were actually scoping for seconds.

    Obviously, do you. I have terrible self-control and was scared to do this, but now I know my own limitations and how to better control myself (not take a single bite, not be hungry at that point, drink a ton of water during that part of the meal).

    Anyway, thought I’d throw that out there, in case it can help ease tensions during a fairly tense time for many people.

    1. i kind of always forget about not talking about it since it’s my job so all my friends and family knows how i eat since it’s what i do for a living. but i’ve totally been in those situations in my life where i’ve taken something on my plate that i know i won’t be eating, that way people don’t question me or get offended! works like a charm!

  8. I LOVE your podcast! One of the best moments of this one was when you said there was only one pro of having children – I only have one pro too (the tax deduction)! But the tax deduction is totally wiped out when you consider all the money you have to spend on them. So if that is your pro too, then I cannot offer you any more help in the pro department… But in all seriousness, I love your podcasts and blog. I am someone who tends to worry a ton and it has helped me put things in perspective. Thank you so much for helping me do that. Hope you have a great Thanksgiving and can’t wait for the next podcast!

    Also, I saw you posted one workout top that had a bra attached. Can you recommend others for a small busted girl? I really liked the one you posted and would be interested in others that you like.

    1. if i ever find tops like that one, i’ll definitely link it in my monday posts! i always share fitness apparel there, but those kind of tops are harder to come by (other than lululemon, of course)

  9. i recommend loading up on meat and veggies first so you’re feeling fuller before you go into those heavier dishes which usually tend to lead us to binge

  10. To the question about how to eat without a microwave:

    Just throwing this advice in there as well! I do have microwave access most of the time, but a lot of times i don’t need it. I eat fresh veggies and fruits as side dishes and have salads topped with cold chicken or turkey pretty often. I would say that carbs are the hardest thing to find and eat cold thats palatable so here are my suggestions: sweet potato chips, plantain chips, quinoa salad (its good cold i swear!) and i dont like cold squash that much, but a pinch of salt might help it go down.

    Then also you can buy a good thermos that keeps things hot for a long time and load it down with soup or chili on cold days!

  11. I’ve been meaning to comment for a few weeks now, but then I always forget… I just wanted to tell you that I really can’t hear any of the random background noises you are always apologizing for. Didn’t hear Jackson slurping at all. So don’t worry about it!

    Love the podcast 🙂

  12. I fucking love your weirdness. You’re a freaking weirdo… you know that right??? CANT WAIT for your next podcast. I’m 38 and don’t have kids, don’t want kids, have never wanted kids. Society says: you get married, you have kids. It’s not for me and I hate it when people make me feel bad for my choice “you still have time to change your mind”. NO!!! I’m not changing my mind and there’s nothing wrong with that!!!!

  13. Hi Juli, thanks for really good podcasts! Love very single one of them! And this is coming from someone who does not curse or does not really like it when others do either ????

    Anyway, I have a random question about your workout gear. How do you take care of them? I.e. what type of detergent and or rinse do you use? I was using the sports wash but it still smells. I don’t dry my stuff I the dryer, I hang dry it but it is still smelly smelly.

    I don’t know how/if that would fit in to a podcast. Or maybe you have a response here on the blog.

    Thanks again for a great blog and podcast. We love your recipes too!

  14. Juli,
    My greatest advice to the childless by choice is if you’re on the fence….wait. It kinda sucks if it’s not what you want. I have a darling 2 yo daughter. She means everything to me and I love her more than anything but it literally sucks sometimes. And if it wasn’t something I wanted I would consider this torture. xo

  15. Hi Juli! Love Love Love your podcast! Just a quick question. You mentioned in your podcast that you used to eat more fat, but have since reduced the amount you eat. I was just wondering what prompted you to reduce your fat intake? How did you know you were eating more than you needed and how do you know now that you are eating a proper amount for you?

    1. it wasn’t one certain thing that prompted it. i ate A LOT of fat when i first started paleo and crossfit and i lost a good amount doing that. but then over time, that constant consumption of fat led to some weight gain, even though i didn’t want to believe that it was true. cutting out nuts and nut butters all together was extremely helpful for not only my digestive tract but a little bit of weight. but i was still eating a ton of coconut and avocado. it wasn’t until i got to the stage in my life where i said “fuck it” and ate more of what my body was craving, which was carbs, that i wasn’t craving that fats as much. for example, if i ordered a burger with fries (instead of veggies or fruit like i had in the past), i found myself not really wanting the avocado on top of the burger. so i started removing fat and eating more carbs and my body felt much better. so i still don’t even know if i’m eating the proper amount, i’m just using my body as a constant experiment, figuring out what it wants one day vs what it wants another and why exactly. experimentation is key!

  16. Love all of your podcasts!! Can’t wait for more. I love how you go between your “Juli voice, and your Jackson voice” its so cute when you talk to him. I talked to my cats the same way. I’m sure they would roll their eyes at me if they could. Hahaha…love it. Big hugs!!

  17. Your podcasts are my faaaave. This one was great! Thanks for sharing your tips and tricks and empowering us to enjoy the holidays in a fun, moderate, no-big-thang way. So much yes!

    I can relate on eating too much fat and not feeling my best. When I intuitively added more carbs and started moderating my fat intake, I felt so, SO much better and was able to slim down even more than when I was heavy on fat and protein. Thanks for reminding us that what worked yesterday might not work today, and to keep an open mind and remember that healthy living is a journey with no real finish line.

    God that sounded cheesy. Anyway. Love you! And Jackson! <3

  18. Happy TG Juli!! Just wanted to give you some food for thought on your podcast for this coming week (on babies). I agree that there’s a lot of social pressure to have a kid soon after getting married and at the end of the day, it’s nobody’s biz but your own whether you want to go for kiddos or not.

    Here’s my thought as someone who felt the same way you do – I don’t hate kids, but I was never sure I want them. I spent a LOT of time at your age, exploring the idea of becoming a mom. I asked EVERYONE who had kids, what was their “why” for doing it, and could they imagine their lives being happy and fulfilled without them. Most said they didn’t have a specific “why”. It was just something you do. But interestingly, most also said they could see themselves being happy without kids, too. One person actually said, you REALLY have to want to want kids because they’re such a pain in the ass to raise (said in a joking, but not really way).

    So at the end of my internal and external life exploration, I decided it wasn’t for me. I’m now 46, happily married and that question is probably off the table for good now, and although I sometimes wonder what if, I have to say, life is pretty fucking awesome. Weirdly enough, when I tell (some) people I chose intentionally not to have kids, they ask me who is going to take care of me when I’m older. I personally think that’s a really fucking lame reason to have a child. PS, because I don’t have kids, have enough money already to have a comfy retirement and to pay someone to change my diapers if need be. I don’t need to make/grow a person to do that for me.

    Whatever you do, don’t fall prey to the fear of growing old alone. It seems to be the first comeback that most parents will give you. The reality is that kids grow up, go off to college, have families of their own, and may not even live in the same state as their parents when they are aging. Plus most parents don’t want to be a burden on their kids anyway.

    I know it’s a huge decision to make and such a personal one, but I LOVE this topic. I wish more women would talk about this, and take the time to THINK about becoming moms before jumping in. I think we’d have less angry mommy bloggers drinking wine out of a sippy cup at the park, complaining about how the “system” doesn’t support women raising kids. Nothing against moms – they have the most important job in the world and I don’t know how they do it, but it is a personal choice, and one that thankfully, we have a 100% autonomy to decide for ourselves.

    BTW – I’m sure motherhood is fucking awesome, too. I can’t say since I’ve never done it, but I do love being a dog mom. I get my maternal needs met picking up dog poop and getting all the cuddles, and I never have to pay for college!!!! 🙂

    Good luck with your ponder!!!

    1. omgggggggg. i literally JUST recorded my podcast about this topic then came over to my blog to moderate comments and yours is there first one to pop up. and it is EXACTLY what i just talked about. i even was just talking to my friend about it the other day and she said the same thing about a person to take care of her, and my answer was that she can save all the money she would have spent on a child and spend it on a bomb ass retirement old folks home lol. i really do hate that comment/excuse because i personally wouldn’t want to make my own children do that. i watched my parents do it for my grandparents and it’s sad and awful. anywho, this comment was pretty much the best comment ever and so amazing to know that there are some other women out there thinking through that kind of stuff, whether they decide if they want kids or not, at least some are thinking it all through. and know that you can have a really awesome life without kids, too! so thank you for leaving such an amazing comment!

  19. Hi Juli! I’m a huge fan of yours and really appreciate all of the awesome recipes/fashion and workout inspiration/life advice you put out in to the world. Your posts, Instagram, Snapchat, and podcasts always make me smile.

    I just wanted to say that this particular episode really resonated with me, and that I truly heard your voice in the back of my head on Thanksgiving. I’ve been Paleo for almost 3.5 years now, so I know which foods make me feel crappy and I avoid those by default at family functions. It’s still easy, however, to get caught up in the “stuff yourself” mentality and to end up feeling completely terrible when the holiday is over. This year, I got my turkey, loaded my plate with veggies (that I brought), and had some mashed potatoes (which my mom made with ghee and chicken stock instead of butter and milk – yum!). I felt completely fine after the meal, while the rest of my family was groaning uncomfortably. I also made an apple crisp that everyone LOVED and I knew I could feel good about enjoying. I had one serving (with cashew milk ice cream), savored the hell out of it, and moved on with my life.

    I’m traveling this weekend, and I already loaded up on healthy snacks to bring with me. Thanks to you, I feel more confident about enjoying the weekend without blowing the things that are important to me.

    Thank YOU, Juli, for everything that you do. You rock!

    1. that’s so so awesome!! good for you! it really is the best feeling just not feeling like complete crap afterwards. keep kicking ass and feeling amazing!!

  20. This is the first Thanksgiving break when I haven’t come back feeling like a need to eat nothing but cucumbers for a week. I packed Lara bars, read menus and picked out what I was eating before we went out (including Hopdoddy), and was mindful of avoiding choices that would make me feel terrible later. I love all of your podcasts, but this one was especially useful. Thanks!

  21. I had a major realization this podcast and I just want to say thank you!! I, like one of your other readers works really long hours and don’t always have the ability to get to a microwave for lunches. Sometimes I also feel like I’m always on the run that I barely have time to sit down for lunch, which I need to change and become more selfish. Suggesting to eat your means cold was the BEST thing ever!! I even love cold spaghetti more than I love it warm!! Pretty much a life changing idea!! I love your podcast!! And keep up the CUSSING!!! Thank you for doing what you do!

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