Monday, October 27, 2014

How to survive a Halloween potluck party

One of the most challenging times to eat well is at potlucks. So many tempting foods that are oh so good, yet oh so bad! So here are some tips that helped me:

1.  Eat before going. I had a nice big healthy breakfast late in the morning, so when I arrived to the party I wasn't so hungry that I wanted to shove everything in my face.

Cabbage & carrot salad with chia seeds and coconut milk,
soy yogurt, fish, and green tea - a healthy and hearty breakfast.

2. Bring a dish that's safe for you. I know everyone wanted me to bring the famous "Pyrex Sex" brownies (named by the friend who gave me the recipe), but they are basically made up of everything that I'm trying not to eat, so I opted for some fun Halloween treats instead. Although one of them I still couldn't eat, but it was just too cute to not make.

Pyrex Sex consists of chocolate chip cookie dough, oreos,
brownie mix, and in this case a pumpkin swirl.
Graveyard ghosts - freaking adorable, had to make them.
Skeleton teeth - cute, delicious, and ok for me to eat.
3. First eat the foods you know are safe. I had some quinoa salad and a chicken & pumpkin dish right off the bat to satisfy my need to try awesome potluck dishes.
4. Distract yourself, preferably in a room away from the food. After eating a little, I went into the kitchen to prepare the food I brought, and while I was doing that I wasn't tempted to eat any more. Unfortunately I spent the rest of the party sitting right by the food, so I ended up eating way too much.
5. Request alternate versions of unsafe dishes if possible. A friend was making mini hamburgers, and she happily made me one without cheese or a bun.
6. Stick to foods you know are safe. There were brownies, banana bread, and the most amazing looking fresh-baked cookies that were SUPER tempting, but instead I ate more of the delicious quinoa salad and filled up on chili. Plus I had a lot of the apple slices with peanut butter that I brought. I ate way more calories that I should have, but I was too stuffed to be seduced by the sugary treats that could wreak havoc on my system.
7. Have someone other than yourself holding you accountable. Because I share this blog on Facebook, most of the people at the party have or possibly will read it. This means someone there could know my goals, and know if I didnt achieve them. They would also know if I cheated and ate a cookie but didnt write about it.
8. No alcohol. Not only is it unhealthy in a number of ways, youll also find yourself loosing will power after a couple of drinks. I still had lots of fun (and was plenty clumsy) without it.
9. Stay hydrated! We all know how important it is for our health to drink lots of water throughout the day. I brought my own green tea and soda water to the party so I would always have something to drink.

Other than the Halloween party, here's how I've been doing the past few days. 

Thursday, Oct. 23, health log:

Garbage day! Since I have to pull on clothes and haul my trash out to the neighborhood garbage station, why not pull on running clothes and go for a jog after tossing it out? Which is exactly what I did! A nice quick 15 minute jog to jump start my day. Followed by my regular breakfast of a cabbage salad, fish, soy yogurt, and green tea.

I loved school lunch today! There was a salad of chilled steamed cabbage, bean sprouts, and various types of seaweed in vinegar and a simmered tofu and vegetables dish. Healthy and delicious, exactly what I look for in a meal! As a super awesome bonus, we got a small snack of almonds and tiny dried fish, my favorite! The only downside was that it was a bread day, so I only managed two days in a row of gluten and dairy free so far this week.

Mmm, I love eating fish whole.
After lunch I got in an extra 30 minutes on my bike because I had to run to the bank. That also meant an extra 30 minutes in the sun soaking up that vitamin D!

I think it only took two evenings of not exercising for me to fall out of the habit. I really didn't want to exercise after work today! BUT, in my last post I wrote about the workout I was planning on doing, thus holding me accountable to all the someones out there who read it, so I HAD to do it. And did. And felt great afterwards. I even did two bonus mini-workouts for abs and butt! Yay motivation, this blog is already paying off! If you tell me your health goals, I can help hold you accountable too, so let me know in the comments.

Want a firm, round booty? This butt bonus can help!

Friday-Monday, Oct. 24-27, health log:
Another great morning with exercise and a healthy breakfast, and a safe school lunch too. Instead of exercising in the evening I went to a friends house for game night. She also is working on eating healthy, so we had lots of vegetables and some protein in a traditional dish for colder weather nabe! Nabe literally means pot,” but when referring to a meal it means a pot of soup that is cooked at the table, with ingredients being constantly added while the ready to eat ones are taken out and eaten.

Knowing that I wouldnt be home the next day for breakfast or lunch, I packed two cabbage salads, soy yogurt, fish, and almond milk to take with me. Even though its definitely not as healthy as green tea, I indulged in coffee with almond milk in the morning. I was nice and awake for the Kurashiki English Speech Contest that my student was in!

After a long day at the speech contest, I was really craving foods that Im trying not to eat, like chocolate and cookies. As I was grocery shopping that afternoon I was careful to not go down (or even look down) the dangerous aisles in the center of the supermarket. If I buy myself a treat thinking that itll be fine because Ill eat it over a few days, I always end up devouring the whole thing. Nobody feels good after an entire bag of cookies, even if they are gluten-free! So if I dont buy it, it wont be in my house, and I wont eat it. Instead I bought a healthy dinner of salad, fish, and chicken livers & hearts. Then I treated myself to a baked sweet potato drizzled with peanut oil and sprinkled with cocoa powder. I came up with it on the spot, and it turned out delicious!

As for Sunday, youve already read about the Halloween potluck party. Unfortunately I didnt have a chance to exercise at all on Saturday or Sunday, other than riding my bike around when running errands. By the end of the day on Sunday my leg muscles were starting to ache from inactivity. Does anyone else get that?

I was glad to get back into my routine, starting today once again taking out the trash and going for a jog. School lunch broke my dairy-free, gluten-free streak, though. Actually, I had a tiny bit of dairy yesterday because a couple of dishes had been cooked with butter. So I managed only two dairy free days and three gluten free days. Still egg free! How long do you think I need to not eat eggs before I can test them and find out if I have a sensitivity to them? What I've been reading says 3-4 weeks...


  1. 3-4 weeks sounds about right. This is from your very food sensitive grandma.