Our Paleo Family

Let’s Get Ready for Christmas Cookie Season!

If you’re new here, let me tell you something about my family: we like Christmas cookies. Correction: we LOVE Christmas cookies.

Paleo Molasses Gingerbread Cutouts

We try to have a family meeting once a week and during the first meeting after Thanksgiving, we make our list. We check it twice. We find out whose been naughty…oh wait. That’s the wrong kind of list. Everything is nice on this list!

Everyone gets to choose two “must have” Christmas goodies. That creates a total of eight types of cookie. (4 people x 2 cookies each = 8 types of cookies — See, I’m good at math.) And then since I have this food blog, we brainstorm a couple new treats we want to create or think of an old favorite that has never made the transition over to Paleo. For example: lemon bars. I’ve tried them for years and have never come up with a recipe that I felt was worthy of publishing. Will I try again? Yes, yes I will.

Last year’s version. Pretty, but didn’t make the cut.

Following this math, we should have 10-11 cookies on our list. I’m looking at the list right now. There are 15 cookies/candies/treats on this list. I think we need to knock a few off. Of course, I say this every year and it never happens.

In my defense, we cluster a lot of our baking into the week right before Christmas and we take these goodies to extended family. And this extended family can put away an incomprehensible number of cookies.

Serious and no fun side note: Way back at the beginning of this year, I did a series of posts on Insulin Resistance. My insulin resistance to be more specific. I’ll summarize for you:

  • my body is carbohydrate sensitive (it’s a real medical thing)
  • I had labs drawn the week after Christmas

Do you see the connection?

My blood work done immediately after Christmas showed that I was knocking on the door of insulin resistance. Perhaps I had indulged in a few too many Christmas goodies.

I cut sugar and most carbs (other than vegetables and some fruit) from my diet and in less than 6 months, all my labs were back to normal. To quote my doctor, “Not a sign of Insulin Resistance here at all.”

Does this mean I plan to go hog wild this Christmas knowing that I can reverse any damage over the following six months? No way. Especially considering how Insulin Resistance –> Pre-Diabetes –> Type 2 Diabetes works. You can read all the details in one of my earlier posts, but basically, the body does not just infinitely bounce back from this sort of thing. It will eventually quit responding to the influx of sugar and you will end up with Diabetes.

So no, I can’t eat lots of cookies. I can’t even eat one every day. That stinks for sure, but honestly, none of this stuff holds as much appeal as it used to. I know what it does to my body and it’s just not worth it.

But paleo treats play a big part in helping those who are new to paleo realize that this is a sustainable diet/lifestyle for the long haul. You eat squeaky clean paleo (meat, vegetables, herbs, healthy fats) 98% of the time and sprinkle in a few treats here and there. That is a sustainable plan for most people.

Think about it – when you see all those shiny wrappers filled with chocolates and Christmas tree shaped cakes in the grocery store and your mouth starts watering – if you stop and really, really think about it, those foods are not very satisfying. AND they have been chemically designed to make your body crave more. Why not indulge intelligently? Choose one or two paleo treats per week that are totally worth it. The natural sugars, balanced with healthy fats, are much less likely to set in motion a sugar craving.

Please understand that just because I bake a lot of treats, I’m not eating all of these and I don’t recommend you do either. But I offer you lots of choices. Pick the recipes that appeal most to you and your family and enjoy (guilt-free) some amazing holiday treats.

You’ll see my whole list of goodies below, but if I had to choose just a few, these would be my picks:

  • gingerbread – spicy, sweet, chewy – the perfect cookie
  • fudge bars – for the chocolate lovers – perfect fudgey filling with a great oatmeal layer to balance out the chcolate
  • baklava – believe it or not, paleo baklava is possible and it is amazing, so amazing that a friend of mine labeled it, “Better than Baklava.” Look for an instructional video soon because it is a little complicated. But worth it!

Those are just my picks, but you might have totally different tastes. The sugar cookies are awesome and so fun to decorate with your kiddos.

Here are all the Christmas goodie recipes you can currently find on my website. If you don’t see something here you like, never fear. There are more coming. Hopefully, even those lemon bars!

And if you need help with the process of any of these, be sure to keep checking my YouTube channel (or subscribe for notifications) because I’ll be making videos as we prepare each of these.