Sidestep Temptation: A Healthy, Paleo End to 2014

Sidestep Temptation: A Healthy, Paleo End to 2014

The New Year is almost here and as 2014 comes to a close, it becomes increasingly more difficult for many to stay on track with their healthy eating style, especially if they’re habits you’ve only recently begun to integrate.

And, if you’ve let these healthy food choices dwindle a bit more over the last month or two, having been perhaps a bit too caught up with the festivities of the holidays, you’re certainly not the only one.

The first and second weeks in January aren’t the busiest time in health and fitness for no reason, after all!

But rather than shrug your shoulders and opt to making how you feel as a result of what you’re eating, anything less than top priority, could ultimately lead to sluggish digestion, poor sleep, mental fog, and a couple extra pounds by the time 2015 rolls in.

Sure, those eggnogs, side dishes, cookies, and cakes might sound good at first, but if we’re prepared ahead of time with a strategy to sidestep temptation, it can turn into a win-win situation as far as enjoying the holiday festivities without feeling deprived and enjoying yourself simultaneously!

Here are my Top 5 Tips to make surviving this last few days leading up to the New Year healthy, while still being enjoyable:


Certainly, this applies year round, but even more so now when stress may be at an all time high. By starting the day with high quality protein along with a good dose of fat and veggies, we hedge our bets for steady, focused energy all day long to get us through a tough work day and then brave the holiday shopping crowd at the mall!  In my book, Pocket Paleo, Breakfast (HarperCollins, 2015) share ideas from basics, like a veggie omelet to uber creative such as wild game for breakfast. Why not?


Rather than thinking of snacks as ‘100 calorie packaged items’, if we revisit that concept and think of a snack just as any other meal, consisting of veggies plus natural proteins and some healthy fat, we create the perfect meal to enjoy mid-morning or mid-afternoon.  Grab 50 recipe ideas from healthy snacks in Pocket Paleo (HarperCollins, 2015).


That last minute office party your coworker is throwing together where nachos and boxed wine are the centerpiece, are not worth the migraine and a belly-ache the next morning. However, when you’re hosting a cocktail party, and serving your own Paleo perfect appetizers and want something special, perhaps my truffles would fit into your splurge-appropriate occasion. If you plan in advance and select the best choices, you can enjoy a treat without the emotional baggage many might feel if they partook without planning, and then decided to throw the baby out with the bathwater and eat anything and everything in sight.


Rather than spend the day baking cookies with the kids, why not make edible gifts that are Paleo friendly and still fun to make? Anything homemade is always a wonderful, heartfelt option and the whole family can be involved. Spiced nuts in mason jars, your own selection of your favorite dried herbs and spices tied into a lovely bouquet garnis or a fruit basket created out of local, in-season produce are just a few ideas to get the wheels spinning. It’s the time spent together creating, and the concept of giving that makes it special, not what you’re actually cooking or baking, so why not go healthy?


Yes, it’s harder to wake early when it’s dark outside and your bed is cozy and warm, but the more often you get in even a 30 minute walk or cardio session at the gym, the more likely you are to choose wisely when you eat throughout the day. In Pocket Paleo, Workout, I give 50 ideas for what to eat before and after a training session.

Just like you’d put a plan in place for a big project you’re undertaking at work, a study schedule for school or a master plan for a career change, having a big plan for your health is key and so, too, are the small steps that make each day a success in and of itself.

Enjoy, Keep Healthy, and Happy Holidays!

Paleoista’s Signature, Decadent Raw Paleo Truffles


  • 1 cup raw cacao nibs, ground, plus a little extra for dusting
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup coconut butter
  • 1 cup creamy roasted almond butter
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp finely shredded natural coconut


1. Combine cacao, coconut oil, coconut butter, almond butter & honey.
2. Stir ingredients until well combined.
3. Place bowl in freezer for 10′.
4. Roll into 1 inch balls.
5. Roll in the extra ground nibs and the shredded coconut.
6. Place in tiny foil candy cups and then into a box for presentation.

About Nell Stephenson, B.S.

Nell Stephenson, B.S.Nell Stephenson is a competitive Ironman athlete, personal trainer, and a health and nutrition consultant. She has an exercise science degree from the University of Southern California, a health/fitness instructor certification from the American College of Sports Medicine, and over a decade in the health, fitness and nutrition industry. To support her training for the Ironman Triathlon, Nell has tried many different nutritional plans and has found that the Paleo Diet is superior to all other ways of eating. She’s found that she’s leaner, faster, and fitter than ever before and uses her own experience to teach clients how to achieve optimal nutrition and health. Visit her website at Download meal plans tailored to you here.

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