The Paleo Guide to Christmas

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By Hunter Gavera aka ‘The Paleophile’

Hey guys, this is Hunter here- you probably remember me from my wildly successful blog post where I introduced the world to a brand new way of eating called ‘Paleo’. Since the article was published I have received literally tonnes of email (or as I like to call it ‘emaileo’ LOL!) and recently I have been getting lots of questions about the forthcoming Christmas period. I have decided to publish some of my responses so that you can all benefit from my extensive knowledge and remain Primal throughout the holiday period.

‘Hey Hunter, I’m loving the Paleo lifestyle but Christmas is approaching and I’m worried about how easy it will be for me to remain authentically Paleo during this difficult time. I’m particularly worried about what I will eat on Christmas day as my family likes to gorge on carbs and modern processed junk. Do you have any hints and tips for making a Paleo-friendly Christmas dinner?’

It’s true that Christmas is an intensely difficult time for Paleo Warriors worldwide. Paleo-man’s Christmas dinner would have probably consisted of Roast Grass-fed Mastadon with a side of protein rich insects and some green leafy veg. Perfect. Sadly, the grain industry has sabotaged our most sacred festival and left us facing an annual carb-fest that leaves us sick, bloated and diabetic.

But fear not modern-day warriors, I have devised a completely Paleo-friendly Christmas dinner recipe just by making some simple tweaks to the traditional menu. The result is a truly delicious and easy to prepare ‘Paleo Christmas Dinner’!

Turkey

Good news folks- turkey is completely Paleo! Low in carbs, high in protein and delicious to boot. If there is a more Paleo-friendly food than turkey then I’m yet to discover it! Make sure you get a fully pastured turkey, which are available in supermarkets and petrol garages nationwide. And don’t listen to the rumours that turkeys are raised in confinement, given antibiotics and have their beaks seared off without anaesthetic- that’s just propaganda sponsored by the vegan industry and we all know that vegans are statistically more likely to commit murder than meat-eaters.

Gravy

Gravy is Paleo. Just make sure you don’t use wheat flour as a thickener as it will give you autoimmune disease. Instead use a combination of coconut flour, arrowroot and grass-fed butter.

Cranberry Sauce

Believe it or not, cranberries are Paleo. Now I know what you’re thinking- all that concentrated sugar must be bad for us right? Well actually, as long as you only eat them once a year, they’re perfectly safe! Still not convinced? Well think about it this way: Paleo-man was always on the run, either escaping a predator or catching his prey. When he stumbled across a cranberry bush he would have only had a few seconds to grab a bite before he would have to move on or die. Therefore it would have been physically impossible to consume more than 10g of sugar in one day. This is how clever Mother Nature is! Unfortunately, since the dawn of agriculture we have bypassed our natural primal instincts and are essentially gorging at the cranberry bush all day long. And people wonder why we have a worldwide obesity epidemic!! So eat all the cranberries you want, just don’t eat more than 4 and do NOT have cranberry sauce as that is just a sugar-laden diabetes and cancer cocktail. Simply pour 2-4 whole cranberries over your turkey and tuck in!

Potatoes

Sorry folks but potatoes are a no-go. It is impossible to eat any amount of glucose-rich potatoes and not enter the insidious fat-gaining zone. Besides, despite what some people may tell you, potatoes are most definitely not Paleo. Paleo-man didn’t have fire so any food that has to be cooked to be eaten is not Paleo. Ever eaten a raw potato? Hmmm, didn’t think so!

Brussels Sprouts

Sprouts are a green vegetable so they are Paleo. Just make sure you cook them thoroughly. If you don’t like the taste of sprouts just serve them with plenty of butter and bacon. Yes, you read that right, you are allowed to eat butter and bacon on this diet! Paleo for the fucking WIN!

Christmas Pudding

Christmas Pudding is not Paleo but it can be. Just replace the wheat flour with coconut flour, use dried vegetables instead of dried fruit, add 2 scoops of whey protein isolate and make a delicious stevia and rapadura icing. Scrumptious!

‘Hey Hunter, that sounds like a mighty fine Christmas Paleo feast but I have a problem. I practise intermittent fasting and am currently doing the ‘Stop-Eat-Stop’ program where I am only allowed to eat every 4th day. I am concerned that Christmas day might not fall on one of my eating days and am worried that I might not be able to enjoy a Christmas dinner. What do you suggest?’

I hear you brother. I follow a similar program called ‘Stop-Eat-Self Harm- Stop’ and it can be very tricky but there is a solution. Every December I switch over to a really easy style of IF called ‘The Happy Hour Diet’ where I can actually eat every single day! I can literally eat as much as I want between 6.30pm and 7pm (It’s supposed to be 6.30-7.30 but I was gaining weight so I cut it down) as long as I stay under 10g of carbohydrate. This means that as long as you stay within the window you can enjoy a delicious Paleo Christmas dinner every year!

Your family will probably try and sabotage you and insist that you eat Christmas dinner with the rest of them in the early afternoon. Resist. This is not safe from an insulin-resistance perspective and you need to hang on until 6.30pm at all costs. But once you reach ‘happy (half) hour’ you will be able to laugh at them struggling to get their ‘wheat-bellies’ off the sofa while you pig out to your heart’s content!

‘Sounds great Hunter but I still have a major problem. All through Christmas time my friends and family drink huge amounts of carb-heavy alcohol. I don’t want to be a stick-in-the-mud and not have a drink but I also don’t want to ruin all my good low-carb work. Is there a solution? I’m scared.’

You bet your life there is my friend! As you know, people who eat carbohydrates are proven to have greater levels of depression and social anxiety disorder and are therefore far more likely to turn to alcoholism. When you are strict Paleo all year round, alcohol becomes less and less appealing because you are more in touch with your inner primal being. So the first thing you can do is become even stricter with your Paleo diet. A good starting place is to halve your current carb allowance, especially if you eat more than 10g a day.

Plus you may not realise this but alcohol is actually a man-made Neolithic invention that is created by fermenting grains (which are evil enough as it is) and essentially doubling the carbohydrate content. Think about THAT the next time you reach for a Budweiser! Drinking fermented grain juice is a surefire way to give yourself Type 2 Diabetes so instead I would suggest trying a ‘traditional beverage’ like Kefir or Kombucha. I learnt about these wonderful drinks at last year’s Ancestral Health Symposium and have been glugging away ever since! I particularly recommend ‘Gavera’s Organic Young Green Coconut Juice Kefir’ which you can buy directly from my website for just $14.99 per 100ml bottle.

‘Hey Hunter, I have two young children and want to buy them some presents this year that are primal rather than commercial. Plastic toys made in China are definitely not Paleo.  I am keen for them to stay in touch with their ancestral heritage and I want to get them presents that will encourage this. Do you have any suggestions?’

I sure do! I have two young boys myself- Gary and Robert- and I know how difficult it can be finding presents that keep them in touch with their true primal being. Firstly, I would make sure you get them both the ‘iPaleo’ app for their iPhones. It has hundreds of tips for leading an authentic Paleo lifestyle and my boys just love it.

Another great idea is a stockpot. Making your own bone broth is all the rage in the Paleosphere right now and there is nothing more exciting for children than putting some bones in a pot and letting it simmer gently for 24-36 hours. For a real treat I bought some of those ice lolly moulds and we make our own lamb or beef flavour ‘broth-lollies’ which are just delightful. Honestly, the look on your kid’s faces when they rip open a 10-litre stockpot on Christmas morning is a joy to behold. And for an added kicker you can put a grass-fed lamb carcass in their stocking so they can get started right away!

And finally, it is important to get your kids something that encourages physical activity. There are many great options but for me you can’t do better than a good old-fashioned tyre and sledgehammer. They provide the ultimate in functional training for your little ones and can be had for cheap from your local scrapyard. Children are constantly being encouraged to play sports these days and while this is all very admirable, sports are just not functional or primal. Think about it, if you were being chased through the plains of Eastern Africa by a hungry Pterodactyl, how much use would kicking a football be?! Children need to train functionally to prepare them for the rigours of a Paleo lifestyle and the trusty old hammer and tyre combo never fails. If you are unable to find a set, then the TRX suspension system is also very Paleo.

So there it is folks- my fool-proof guide to a Paleo-friendly Christmas. I hope this helps you get through such a testing time without acquiring Syndrome X or homicidal tendencies.

Merry Christmas fellow Warriors!

Written by: Matthew Green

34 Comments

  1. You make me laugh so much with this article Matt. Thanks.

    Reply
    • This wasn’t written by me. This was written by Matthew Green.

      Reply
      • Ah yes, Matthew Green. I see that now at the bottom. Well thank you for posting it. Made me laugh a lot.

        Reply
  2. Hilariously great. I especially liked this irony:

    “Paleo-man didn’t have fire so any food that has to be cooked to be eaten is not Paleo.”
    … and then two sentences later…
    “Sprouts are a green vegetable so they are Paleo. Just make sure you cook them thoroughly.” :-D

    Reply
    • Haha! Missed that. Well played!

      Reply
    • I also appreciated that one!

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  3. Hilarious. Great job. Merry Christmas!

    Reply
  4. Thank you Hunter and Matt. I feel truly empowered to survive the holidays now! Just to make sure, the pumpkin pie is paleo, right? As long as I make it with coconut flour and grassfed butter? No pumpkin though, because that’s a neolithic agricultural invention, right?

    Reply
    • Waaaaaaay too many carbs I’m afraid, I would call it a Pumpkinsidious Pie.

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      • REALLY? Crap. I totally thought the MCFAs cancelled out the carbs. No WONDER I can’t get below 12% body fat!!!

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      • “Pumpkinsidious Pie.”

        Ahahahaha I can’t stop laughing

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        • I second the pumpkinsidious for new word of the century.
          Merry Carbmas Folks!
          xo
          hag

          Reply
  5. I’ve been asking Santa Claus for sexual intercourse with a beautiful woman every Christmas since I was 13 years old. Every year I’ve faithfully left out a big pile of cookies and a half gallon of milk for him, in addition to sending gold-embroidered letters directly to his home address (not his elves’ workshop) in the North Pole. I always write very politely and in very neat cursive too.

    I’m wondering if I’ve sabotaged myself by giving Santa these cookies and milk for the past 9 years. When I think about it, I always got exactly what I wanted up until I was 13 years old. As soon as I turned 13, though, I stopped getting what I wanted.

    9 years is more than enough time to cause insidious weight gain. I’m afraid that I might have given Santa autoimmune disease, Type 2 Diabetes, and other irreversible health problems as a result of feeding him these sugary, carbohydrate laden treats for such a long time. He’s probably been too weak and too sick to find a beautiful woman to bring to me, much less pick her up, stuff her into a sack and leave her under my Christmas tree.

    This Christmas Eve I’m going to leave out some heavily fermented kefir (to get rid of all the lactose), as well as some paleo cookies made with dessicated coconut, stevia and water. I’m also going to leave him a hand-written list of my favorite paleo exercises, with a heavy emphasis on the sandbag drag, which I think should be very helpful for training him to lift his sack of presents.

    If it doesn’t work this year, I have high hopes for next year. I’m trying to stay positive and I believe that in a year’s time it’s possible that with exercise and a proper diet, Santa will be able to heal and get back to delivering all the presents that everyone’s been asking for.

    But in the worst-case scenario, if Santa has been irreparably damaged by my wanton supplying of death-inducing Christmas fare, I have considered the option of obtaining a beautiful woman like one of my paleolithic ancestors would have — with a large blunt club hand-carved out of driftwood and a sack fashioned out of organic grass-fed lambskin.

    Although one other thought I’ve had is that maybe Santa has been giving me what I *really* want all along — to live a more completely paleolithic lifestyle. Come to think of it, I have been having erectile dysfunction lately anyway and maybe someone up there is just looking out for me. There’re so many possibilities and mysteries, I guess this is what the magic of Christmas is all about!

    Reply
    • Haha. Nice Jib. I once wrote some satire with similar reasoning busting the balls of the movie The Secret – attributing Kathy Ireland’s desire to make out with me and play Nintendo games until the sun came up to my intense visualizations and positive thinking. (True story, who knew she would want to do that with a 13-year old guy?)

      As for Santa. Good ideas on lowering his glycemic load. Go with Jersey milk as well. Way higher fat content and minimal insulin spike.

      Reply
  6. Cranberries grow in bogs, so I think paleo man would have needed a rowboat to get to those cranberry bushes?

    Otherwise, good reading. Glad I get to eat some taters with the family tomorrow!

    Reply
  7. LMFAO!!! Thanks to the two Matts, this is one of the funniest posts on any blog! To Thomas Seay’s comment: actually that picture is not only humorous but it is more accurate than one would expect from a Paleo Eater. True the “Poster Boys” of Paleo such as Robb Wolf and Mark Sisson are exact opposites of that guy in the photo, however, most people who follow a strict low carb paleo diet end up looking like that guy. I should know I was one of them. In 2011 alone, I gained 70 lbs eating lean meats, non-starchy veggies( except raw carrots) and nuts (especially Almonds). Not only was I low carb, I was low-fat ala Loren Cordain (btw, have you seen a recent pic of Cordain – he is looking a little chubby).

    Reply
    • Ok JonO, I will take your word for it. I am only speaking from experience. When I was doing Paleo, I actually got down to a weight BELOW what I would want. Of course, that was all short-term, so you may be right.

      Anyway, I stand corrected.

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  8. Thomas, Hunter did initially lose weight on Paleo but this photo is taken from his recent low carb cruise. Poor poor Hunter Gavera.

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  9. I know! Those paleo people are such idiots! If they would just eat moar sugar and pizza they’d all look a little plumper and healthier. I love going to paleo parties and slipping Cytomel in the punch…

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    • Hey, i didnt write this! Could there be two Zach’s in the universe?

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    • This is actually a pretty hilarious parody of the metabolism-focused side of the blogosphere.

      Make sure the punch isn’t pineapple, or it might raise your serotonin!!!1!

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  10. I slipped up… I read this “So eat all the cranberries you want,” and became so excited at the idea that I ended up finishing off 6 whole cranberries before I read the next part… “just don’t eat more than 4″

    How can I make up for this mistake? An extra day of fasting? More big boring salads(I mean, delicious full of flavor and nutrition) Donate my vibrams to charity?

    I just don’t want to fall into insidious territory but I’m afraid it might be too late.

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  11. All my life I have felt like I have been missing something, and now I know what it is!! GORGING AT THE CRANBERRY BUSH!!! That’s it! That’s the KEY to my HAPPINESS!!!! Dear God, thank you Matt!!

    Reply
  12. I should say THANK YOU MATTHEW GREEN! You made my day!!

    Reply
  13. ” ‘Stop-Eat-Self Harm- Stop’ ”

    Mate, I’m in tears here! Hilarious parody of Eat Stop Eat.

    Reply
  14. And don’t forget to rub flax oil on your steaks before you grill ‘em up!! (possibly the most dubious piece of advice given by Loren Cordain in the original paleo book – it was my “aha” moment that this guy might be totally full of shit).

    Have a lovely X-Mas y’all…I’m going to go make my buckwheat pancakes now….

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  15. mm buckwheat pancakes would be delicious. However being stuck at my parents house doesn’t give me access to such luxuries. Non-Paleo bloating here I come

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  16. Hahaha… laughing my chocolate cake-stuffed self senseless here. Lovely work.

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  17. How about grassfed testicles, grok probably ate those so shouldn’t I include them into my healthy paleo lifestyle ?

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  18. Hilarious.
    “Gravy is Paleo. Just make sure you don’t use wheat flour as a thickener as it will give you autoimmune disease. Instead use a combination of coconut flour, arrowroot and grass-fed butter.”
    A spoonful of wheat flour is a huge no-no. It’s enough to leave the average paleo follower sickness and stomach bloating for days on end.

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  19. So much funny. XD

    That Christmas pudding sounds disgusting, but I would actually eat stuff like that when low carbing haha. XD

    Reply
  20. Hey Matthew,

    Looking forward to reading more. Great blog post.Really thank you! Want more.

    Paleo Cookbook Review

    Reply

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