Thriving Holiday Gatherings

Thriving Holiday Gatherings

I was going to title this post Surviving Holiday Gatherings but I think that puts too negative of a spin on what should be some of the most important times of the year – Thanksgiving and Christmas. So I think it’s better to talk about how we can have Thriving Holiday Gatherings. I’ll keep this relatively short since I know everyone is probably running at a million miles an hour with the holidays approaching. So I jotted down 6 ways we can approach the holiday gatherings that many of us will be attending with a healthy approach on food and people allowing us to thrive, not just survive.

1. Focus on protein

I often joke with my wife about one season of The Bachelorette when this dude Chad was on the season. Every shot they always showed him eating all the meat they would provide for free, when they interviewed him he said something along the lines of it’s free protein so he’s gonna eat as much as possible. I kinda take the same approach to any type of gathering, just focus on eating as much protein provided as possible. It’s satiating and delicious and will keep you full enough to not be tempted by all the other things that may be on display. And when I do this my wife always jokes that I’m pulling a Chad.

2. Minimize carbs

Now if you’re eating a bunch of protein your plate should already be pretty full, but that doesn’t mean you can’t eat just a little of your Grandma’s sweet potato pie or some family tradition of mashed potatoes or something like that. If you limit yourself to just a little bit you’re gonna satisfy everyone and it’s still not that many carbs in the big picture. One little scoop is a lot different than a heaping pile of mashed potatoes and one slice of turkey. Bleh. Flip the script. Fill your plate with the protein and then squeeze in some starch on the side here or there.

3. Embrace conversation

Realize that the time you’re with the people at whatever gathering you may be at has a purpose. So often we can go through these types of family or friend gatherings and just “make” it through the conversations. Believe me, I’m an ISTJ so I’m not one for conversing, but that doesn’t make it right. We were made to be communal people. Try asking truly how others are doing, seek to understand them and what’s going on in their lives. So often these gatherings happen with people we only see for a few times a year, or maybe even less, so make the most of the time you have with the people you’re around. Maybe you needed to be there to ask how that person is doing or for you to grow in some way. I know it’s a weird concept in this day of constantly sharing and posting and projecting ourselves – try for a second to be about others and not yourself.

4. Fast from your phone

Now this one goes hand in hand with embracing conversation. This may sound crazy but try to go a whole gathering without using your phone. You’ll survive I promise. It will feel weird. You’ll get phantom vibrations but remember there was a time where we didn’t have phones to distract us. And that’s literally what the phones do when we’re at gatherings like this – they distract. Try to even put your phones in something like this locking cookie jar. Heck have everyone put their phones in it when they come in the door. That’ll be a conversation starter right there. Now I know what you’re thinking “what about taking pictures?!” – let’s be honest – how often do you go back and look at all those pictures, I know I rarely do. Work at building memories instead of just a ton of unused pictures. If you still want one picture just be super intentional at the end of the day to take one group photo or something.

5. Don’t talk about diet

Don’t be that guy (or girl) who all they literally talk about is how they’re paleo, primal, keto or vegan. We are all annoying. You may be super excited to talk about your diet and how well it’s working for you but I guarantee you that someone will be on some other diet or worst they’re self conscious because they’re not on any diet and they just want to enjoy all the food piled up on their plate. Inevitably all conversations about diet will then lead to arguments, and these gatherings have people from all walks of life so it’s bound to have a ton of different opinions collide when the topic of diet comes up. Save talking about diet for Instagram or with someone you see every single day and you run out of everything else to talk about. You don’t want to be remembered as the person who was talking abut gluten and lectins the whole time. You want to be remembered as the person who was humble, kind and caring – right?

6. Eat the dessert

The end of the day comes around and you’ve had great conversation. You’ve fasted from technology. You’ve eaten a ton of protein. But that pumpkin pie is still staring at you… guess what? Just eat it. Don’t let food control you. You control what you eat. And at the end of the day if you really want that sentimental piece of pumpkin pie or banana pudding just have a little bit. You won’t get unhealthy from one bite of pumpkin pie just as you can’t get healthy from one slice of grass fed rib eye. Eat responsibly and still enjoy yourself because one bite of something that will really satisfy you will be worth it. Just don’t eat the whole pie…


That’s it guys. Have a great Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hold the selfies, put the ’Gram away. Get your family, y’all hold hands and pray. Take care!

10 Primal Choices You Can Make Right Now

10 Primal Choices You Can Make Right Now header

Starting a diet, trying to lose weight or going primal doesn’t need to be complicated. It can be daunting to do this at first but really changing your lifestyle begins with little choices we make here and there. That’s why I put together this list of 10 primal choices you can make right now so that you can understand that going primal, or getting healthy, doesn’t need to consist of making your own broccoli sprouts or locating a local farmer that sells grass fed and finished beef or walking into a gym and using every piece of equipment. Primal is more than food choices, it effects choices we make all day long. So read below and check out how you can start and finish your day by making just a few primal choices.

1. Go to bed earlier

This is a must for anyone seeking to live a healthier life. Sleep is so important and many studies are coming out now showing just how important sleep is. You should be getting 7–9 hours of sleep each night. This will help set your circadian rhythm and get things back on track. Sleep should be our number one priority.

2. Drink black coffee

As your day goes on feel free to start with some coffee, but hold the sugar, cream, butter blah blah. Just drink black coffee. Coffee already has a ton of health benefits and we don’t need to start out our day with a huge blood sugar spike. If all you drink is black coffee in the morning this will help curb hunger and allow you to extend the fast from your sleep the night before.

3. Skip breakfast

For years we’ve been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day or that we need to eat a bunch of small meals throughout the day. That’s just simply not true. Many studies are coming out now indicating that a compressed eating window is better for us. Eating a couple large meals in a span of 8–10 hours. So if you get in the routine of skipping breakfast, or just eating breakfast type foods, later in the day – that would be a great choice for you.

4. Eat simple meals

Going primal and getting healthy does not need to be complicated. Eat real whole food and avoid packaged stuff. It’s better for you and probably cheaper that way. Think eggs, butter and bacon – or salad, olive oil and tuna – or steak and roasted broccoli. All of those can be cooked up or put together so quick and requires very little thought. Keep things simple and buy whole foods and ditch recipes if you have to.

5. Get in the sun

This is another one that the world tells you to avoid. They say stay out of the sun or use sunscreen at all costs. This is ridiculous because we need sun, we need vitamin d. The Vitamin D Council suggests that we have a Vitamin D level of 40–80 ng/ml or higher. If you haven’t had your Vitamin D levels checked you should because Vitamin D is important for so many things and we can supplement it but the sun is free and you get a nice tan doing it. If you’re concerned about getting burned, just go inside or cover up with an SPF shirt like this.

6. Eat a handful of nuts

If you’re getting hungry but don’t feel like a full meal, just grab a handful of nuts. It’s the natural “fat bomb”. I typically prefer macadamia nuts or brazil nuts, but the choice is up to you. Just try not to eat the whole bag. Eat a handful or two – drink some water – wait a few minutes and see if you’re still hungry. Handful after handful of nuts are still a ton of calories so be careful not to go overboard.

7. Cook big chunks of meat

Lets face it – chicken breasts suck. They’re dry, lean and really boring. Stick with eating the best quality meat you can afford, but prioritize big chunks of meat that have fat and cartilage and bones. Big chunks of meat will fill you up and provide you with plenty of food for leftovers or for when you need a snack. I prefer pork shoulder and cooking it in my instant pot. I can get a good 3–4 days of meals out of that.

8. Trash seed oils and use butter and olive oil

A simple way to get healthier and primal is to throw out all you’re fake fats in your pantry. Canola oil, soybean oil, corn oil, etc… and use butter or extra virgin olive oil instead. Industrial seed oils are terrible for your health and we would all be better off not consuming any of them. We have been told that saturated fat is bad but recent studies have shown that to be false once again. Seed oils are polyunsaturated fats which have more of a propensity for oxidation unlike saturated fats. Read more about it here, but tl;dr saturated fat good – polyunsaturated fat bad.

9. Turn on night shift

All that blue light from your phone and computer screen is messing up your circadian rhythm. You need to turn on night shift on your phone if you have it, or some equivalent feature that adds more yellow light back in your display as the night goes on. If you don’t do this and you let the blue light keep hitting your face and eyes from your phone and computer you’re telling your body it’s high noon and day time.

10. Use essential oils

Cutting out toxins is always a good thing. And better immunity is always a major plus! No one likes being sick. We use essential oils a lot in our home, not just any essential oils but specifically doTERRA! Because of their purity and potency they can actually be used for health benefits. We turn to OnGuard + soft gels at the first sign of germs. We turn to our oils for pain, energy, gut health and cleaning too. We diffuse lavender and serenity in the evening to calm down and help us reach those early bedtime goals also. If you take the natural lifestyle leap, a starter set is the best value – here are the doTERRA starter sets


That’s it folks. I hope these 10 ideas can help you progress throughout your day and make little choices to becoming more healthy and more primal. Let me know if you have any more ideas in the comments below. Take care!