Holiday Countdown: Christmas survival guide

Posted on December 20, 2016
red plate with silverware and a star ornament on wood table

If you’re traveling over the river and through the woods, sticking to a tummy-friendly diet can be a challenge. Even if you’re enjoying the holidays close to home, navigating the bar and buffet at office parties and open houses can be a challenge. We’ve curated the best of our recent articles to show you how to have a merry, tummy-friendly Christmas.

Road food

Airport security won’t allow you to take a container on board, but you can enjoy one of these low-carb beverages before screening. The snacks will travel well regardless of how you reach your destination.

Hot, low-carb seasonal beverages
Save the carbs and do your wallet a favor! Take along a thermos of any of the following:

Hibiscus and Goji Tea
With its red hue, hibiscus tea is perfect during the holidays.

Mulled cider
Limit yourself to an 8-ounce serving, add some cinnamon and enjoy this holiday favorite.

Hot chocolate
Heat 1 cup almond milk with 1/4 cup of cocoa and 1 tsp. of NOW Foods Organic Better Stevia Extract Powder.

Portable, low-carb snacks

Trail mix
You can buy a few ounces of high-carb trail mix at the supermarket, or you can make a couple of pounds of this healthier version for about the price of one box of the packaged stuff. Portion it out into snack-sized zip-lock bags and never settle for stale peanuts again.

Cranberry Pecan Biscotti 
Xanthan gum, a thickener which can cause gas, appears on this recipe’s ingredients list. Most people digest it without difficulty in amounts of fewer than 6 teaspoons. You’ll find only a 1/2 teaspoon of the thickener in this 15-cookie batch, so enjoy!

Open House

You’ll probably be invited to a few house parties this season, and you’re more likely to run into trouble at the buffet than at the dining table. Watch out for anything breaded, fried, or layered. Not many people cook from scratch anymore, so assume that anything that features three or more ingredients (sandwiches, raw veggies, fruit) is processed and off-limits. Try to eat no more than a handful of nuts (click here for the carb count of the most common varieties). Antipasto and crudités are your friend.

You’ll want to avoid sauces (yes, including cranberry) but that doesn’t mean that you have to completely abstain. Limit yourself to a couple of tablespoons on the side and you’ll be golden.

  • Cranberry sauce is laden with sugar and, therefore, carbs. Think of it as a condiment, not a side. Say yes to no more than a couple of tablespoons.
  • Skip the marshmallows and just eat the sweet potato.
  • Serve yourself a tablespoon of gravy and the equivalent of half a baked potato when eating baked or mashed spuds.
  • Take seconds when offered turkey, goose or ham.
  • Take a tablespoon or two of stuffing.

Tip: eat the nutritionally dense, low-carb foods first and give yourself time to realize that you’re starting to feel full.

Drink Responsibly

Alcoholic drinks can have either a very low or very high sugar content, which means that some will be low-carb and one serving of another may contain your daily carb allowance! Choosing alcoholic drinks with a low sugar content or non-alcoholic beverages is the best way to avoid tummy troubles.

While many spirits have no added sugars and, therefore, a low sugar content, mixers can be the worst offenders. As Sara Ipatenco reports, “A 4-ounce daiquiri has 6.7 grams of sugar, … none of it from the actual alcohol.” Even artisanal, house-made syrups may contain as much sugar as the brand name mixers.

For example, while many people consider a vodka and cranberry cocktail as being low-sugar, this drink contains a whopping seven and a half teaspoons of sugar.  A gin and tonic isn’t much better: it contains four teaspoons of sugar. That’s a whopping 66% of the American Heart Association’s recommended daily sugar intake for women … in one glass! (The tonic water mixer is the culprit.)

On the other hand, a gin and lime gimlet cocktail or a vodka and soda will help avoid sugar completely. A pint of lager, which contains less than a gram of sugar, can cause less intestinal distress than a rum and coke.

The Office Party

If you overindulge while out with friends, you may have to put up with some grief the next time you see them. It’s a spectacularly bad idea to monopolize the buffet or – worse – become intoxicated at an office party. Your co-workers and your boss will definitely notice. Chances are that photos and/or video will be taken to document the event on your company’s website. Everything from a poorly chosen ‘festive’ dress to images of you wobbling on your heels can be immortalized and posted online. Here’s how to drink responsibly:

Eat something before you go … 
Whether it’s the protein bar stash in your bottom drawer or a sandwich from the corner deli, having something in your stomach will eliminate the possibility of drinking on an empty stomach or going hungry during the speeches.

Be fashionably late
This isn’t work, so don’t feel that you have to show up precisely on time. On the other hand, don’t try to get away with disappearing after one circuit of the room. Good rule of thumb? Stay for half of a long event, three-quarters of a short one.

Contingency Plans

The harder the cheese, the lower the carb content. If your friendly bartender was a little too generous with the pour, nibble a couple of cubes of cheese to along with a couple of other healthy items from the buffet.

You’ve probably been looking forward to seeing loved ones all year. The last thing you want on your mind is gas and bloating!If you can’t resist that second helping of stuffing, two CharcoCaps® capsules will get you back in the holiday spirit in no time!

CharcoCaps® dietary supplement relieves gas and bloating FAST!*  Enjoy your favorite foods without worry! *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.