Speaker 1: 00:00 Welcome to the Dr. Gundry Podcast, the weekly podcast where Dr. G gives you the tools you need to boost your health and live your healthiest life.
Dr. Gundry: 00:14 Welcome to the Dr. Gundry Podcast, and happy holidays. Yes, the holiday season is upon us and you deserve to enjoy it to your very best. But historically speaking, as you know, the average American gains five pounds, yes, five pounds, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s every year. And you know that the holidays can wreak havoc on our health with the foods that we choose to eat. So that’s why weight gain is so common for most of us at this time of the year. But you don’t have to fall into the winter weight gain trap. So in just a minute I’m going to share my tips for enjoying the holiday season without sacrificing the lean healthy body you want in the process.
Topic number one, what to do before the party. This may be my most important tip of this entire podcast. It’s preparing for the party that really is going to make all the difference. So you don’t want to fast all day because you know you’re going to be gorging on foods that really you don’t have any other time of the year. What you really want to do is, number one, eat something healthy before you get to a party, before you walk out the door.
Now, I’ve told you before, grab a handful of nuts. Whether they’re walnuts, or macadamia nuts, or pistachios, hazel nuts, your choice and know the mixed cocktail mixed with the peanuts and cashews no not count as a healthy choice. Eat it before you get there. Don’t say, “Well, I know they’re going to have handfuls of nuts and I’ll just grab them when I get there,” because chances are it’s going to be that classic cocktail mix which just quite deadly, not only because of the peanuts and cashews, but also because of all the really bad vegetable oils they’ve been cooked in.
Have yourself a half an avocado. It’s actually a great way to get full before you head to the party. I personally like a bunch of [inaudible 00:02:34] dipped in guacamole. It’s going to give you the crunch that you’re going to crave when you go to the holiday party so you won’t be tempted by that giant bowl of corn chips or potato chips, you’ll already have the crunch out of the way.
The other thing to arrive with before you get there is a stomach that’s full, quite frankly, of my favorite sparkling water, Sanpellegrino, or sparkling water of your choice. And you know my trick, put a little bit of balsamic vinegar in it. It’s going to taste like a coke, but you’re going to have all that nice bubbly fullness in your stomach before you get there. And that’s going to really, really take the edge off of things before you get to the party. It’s a trick that I use whenever I’m heading out for anybody’s house or in any holiday party and we certainly do get invited to our fair share of them.
So topic number two, what do you eat once you get to the party? Well, one of the first things you do, and I always look like somebody who’s almost cutting into line. As you know, a lot of these parties are buffets, a lot of them are bring-your-own. If it’s a bring your own dish, Penny and I always make something unique that nobody else is going to try and it usually ends up being a big winner.
For instance, you’d be surprised how many times we’ll take a a raw coleslaw as a dish. It’s not something that everybody brings and we make it quick. You can even buy coleslaw mix, the cabbage and a few rock carrots, make your own dressing. We actually make it out of avocados and guacamole, it’s really delicious and people are struck with how good it is. You don’t have that much time? Actually take guacamole and mix it with coleslaw mix and you’ll be shocked with how good it is and it’s going to give people the crunch that they’re looking for.
But getting back to scanning the buffet table, what I’ll do is I’ll actually look, walk down from one end to the other, and see what my obstacles are and see how I can actually fill up my plate with stuff that is going to look like I’m stuffing myself and it’s going to look like I am really enjoying whatever our host and hostess has put out. But I’ve filled my plate up with a lot of the vegetables. And believe me, as you fill up with vegetables, you’re going to find that you really don’t have any room for all the wonderful-awful stuff.
Are there any foods you should never eat at a holiday party? Well, it’s actually most of them. But first of all, one of my favorite holiday drinks is eggnog. Interestingly enough, I always blame getting sick at holiday parties on eggnog. And as it turns out, I was right because most eggnogs, number one, they’re buying at a store. Number two, there’s so much sugar content in eggnog. It’s unbelievable. Even if it was made with half and half, it’s most likely casein in one meal. So maybe there’s a really healthy egg in it, but that’s about it. If you want the eggnog, believe it or not, eat a hard boiled egg with a little of eggnog spices, nutmeg sprinkled on it, and you’ll actually be shocked with how good it tastes. And you’ll say, “Oh yeah, it’s a pretty good replacement for eggnog.”
So those are some of the tricks, which brings me to one of the tricks I talked about years ago with my wife, Penny. She loves bread. I think if she could have any food in the world, it would be bread. She knew from experience that bread didn’t love her. As you know, we try to teach you how to eat foods you love but love you back. So we decided to use a mantra for Penny, that bread was something she couldn’t have, but she was a person who doesn’t eat bread. And she defined herself in this way. So no longer was, “Oh, I can’t have the thing I love. I’m a person who doesn’t eat bread.”
And to this day, it’s fascinating whenever a waiter comes over to a table, particularly at a restaurant we don’t know, or it has a great reputation for baked goods, she goes, “No, I’m sorry, we don’t eat bread.” And that’s it. And it’s worked for her. So go to the party with that intention in mind. I’m a person who doesn’t eat five pieces of cheesecake. It’s easy to say, I’m a person who doesn’t eat fruit cake, and that’s a story in itself, but just start with that mantra, “I’m a person who doesn’t eat this. I’m a person who used to eat a pound of M&M’s when I go to a party, now, and that pound is sitting there, I am a person who doesn’t eat peanut and M&M’s anymore.” And it’s a whole lot easier rather than depriving myself. Okay, so let’s take a quick break.
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Okay. It’s holiday season and it’s time to drink and that’s when things really start to get out of hand. Yes, alcohol is a great way to reduce inhibitions and it makes people social, and people say the most fascinating things at holiday parties that the next day they wish they hadn’t said. But the important thing is you’ve got to be realizing that even though alcohol does decrease your social inhibitions, and makes you a much more friendly person, it also decreases your inhibitions on going for the foods that you’ve already decided you’re not going to do.
So are there safe ones to drink? Are there not safe ones to drink? First of all, interestingly enough, there are some studies that suggest that red wine, and also champagne, particularly what’s called non-dosé champagne, where there’s no sugar added, and straight alcohol. Now, be it gin, bourbon, whiskey, scotch. Please, no vodka. Or tequila that’s colored, may not break ketosis and there’s actually some exciting work done by some of the founders of Dry Farm Wines that they’ve drunk their red wine and did not break their ketosis. I’ve experimented with that myself, and I can drink red wine, particularly from Italy and France, and I don’t break a ketosis fast, which is fun fact.
Now, that’s not a license to say, “Dr. Gundry says that I will stay in ketosis if I drink red wine.” Believe me, if you drink a bottle of red wine, the odds are you will break your ketosis. So that’s not a license to drink.
Number two, take a tip from my father. My father rose to Executive Vice President of Mutual of Omaha Insurance Companies in Omaha, and he was constantly, constantly at cocktail parties. And he had to have his wits about him, so he would meet the bartender at whatever function he was, he would order himself a gin and tonic. He would take that gin and tonic back to the bartender, and the rest of the night he would be having a gin and tonic that had no gin in it. And it looked exactly like what he did the rest of the night and he appeared to be the jovial fine person he was, but he never got inebriated like most of the people he was with.
I learned this trick from him as an undergraduate at Yale. Fun fact, I had a bet with my father that I would not drink, smoke, or toke for four years at Yale. And if I accomplish that, which I did, I would get a car, which I did. How did I do it? Well, quite frankly, when you go to all these mixers, I would get a ginger ale in a glass without ice. And ginger ale in a glass without ice looks like a bear.
Now, warning, do not do this at home. Chugging a ginger ale is one of the worst experiences I have ever had in my life. Go ahead, try it. So I learned from my father that you can appear to be drinking alcohol and not drink alcohol, and I think that’s the point to take away. The other point to take away is as silly as it seems, dilute your alcohol with ice cubes or with sparkling water. Make a spritzer, and make a point of it saying, “It’s the holidays, I want a holiday spritzer, can I have some sparkling water in my wine?” There’s always ways around this, and if you do drink, please don’t drive. There’s plenty of Ubers and Lyfts out there now and don’t get on the road, please.
Okay, what are you going to do before you go to bed? First of all, please, please, please, please try to stay up rather than crashing in the bed. So many studies show that if you go to bed on a full stomach, you’re going to have really impaired sleep. You’re probably going to get some heartburn that you wish you hadn’t done, and you’re going to regret it in the morning.
Now, when I stay up, what you do is get yourself a pair of blue blocking glasses. They are ubiquitous now. You can get them on Amazon or wherever you want to go for about $10. Block blue light, that way you can watch your favorite TV show, or you can read a book, you can be on your Kindle, and it won’t impact you going to sleep. There’s more and more and more really important research coming out that even brief exposures to blue light before you go to bed is going to impact your sleep pattern. But stay up and don’t just crash into bed.
The next thing, if you screwed up, before you go to bed, say, “Okay, I screwed up and I’m not going to do this again.” Because usually you notice you’re going to feel bad before you go to bed and almost certainly you’re going to feel bad when you wake up. And make the [inaudible 00:14:50], “Okay, that’s it, I did it. It’s out of my system. That doesn’t mean that the rest of this holiday season because I screwed up once or maybe twice, I’m just going to blow the whole thing.” Once you fall off the horse, as I tell all my patients, just get right back on. It doesn’t mean that you’re a failure and this whole holiday season is down the drain. Just get back on the horse, one day is not going to make that big a difference.
Okay, so that’s it for holidays. Now, people are always asking me about what kind of supplements to take, particularly around the holiday season. The holiday season, you’re going to be exposed to a lot of different individuals in close personal contact, and the best thing I can tell you to do is make sure you’re taking vitamin D3. Be conscientious about taking vitamin D3. If Penny and I know we’re going on an airplane, we double, triple, quadruple the vitamin D that we normally take, and I can tell you it makes a huge difference in preventing flu viruses, colds, because you’re going to be in close personal contact.
If you want to add some vitamin C to your regimen, just remember that vitamin C is water soluble and it only lasts for about two or three hours in your system. So easy, fun thing to do is buy some chewable vitamin C tablets. Please get the sugar-free kind that don’t have sucralose, and chew about four during the day every four to six hours, and it’s another great trick for the holidays and it really works. So those are my supplement tips for the holidays.
Okay, we’ve got an audience question, one of my favorite parts of the show. Audience question comes from Heaven Sent Travel on Instagram, asks, “What brand of cereal do you recommend?” Well, first of all, stay out of the cereal aisle. Almost all cereals, if you’ve noticed, even some of the organic ones are filled with glyphosate, better known as Roundup, and they have no business going in you or your children. Most cereals are very heavy sugar-laden products. Be careful about the grain-free cereals in general because most of them have sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, lots of sugar from honey, so try to stay away from those.
There are alternatives. If you love oatmeal, you can’t resist oatmeal. You can make millet oatmeal or sorghum oatmeal that will give you absolutely the texture and the flavor you’re looking for, but won’t contain those harmful grains. So millet and sorghum is always an option. Also, there are some coconut-flake based cereals out there, thrive Market for instance, carries one, that are really pretty safe. They still have a little more sugar content than I like, but they’re loaded with healthy fiber from coconut, and as you know, I’m a huge fan of coconut.
So there are alternatives. But the takeaway is, breakfast is really one of the least important meals for you to think about. Your ancestors never ate breakfast because there wasn’t any breakfast. So those are my tips. So thanks, that’s a great question.
And now it’s time for our review of the week. After the episode with Dr. Paul Saladino, a proponent of the controversial Carnivore Diet, JB Dar3 on YouTube wrote, “What a great podcast. My brain allows these opposing perspectives and I received a cognitive workout designing what viewpoints I agree with and will now continue to research for myself. Wish more professionals were as confident is Dr. G to bring such wonderfully controversial guests on their show for such a lively, informative debate. Agreeing to disagree is so professional. Thank you gentlemen.” Well, thank you for writing in JB Dar3. I’m glad you enjoyed it and we’ll give you more.
So that’s it for the holiday edition of Dr. Gundry’s Podcasts. And wishing you a great holiday season and a happy new year, I’m Dr. Gundry. I’m always looking out for you, and see in 2020.
Thanks for joining me on this episode of the Dr. Gundry Podcast. Before you go, I just wanted to remind you that you can find the show on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. And if you want to watch each episode of the Dr. Gundry Podcast, you can always find me on YouTube at youtube.com/drgundry, because I’m Dr. Gundry, and I’m always looking out for you.