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6 Recipe Hacks To Avoid The Holiday Weight Gain

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Holidays are the day of love, family and feast.  My mission is always to educate you and teach you how to get DEFINED get RIPPED year round.   One of the keys to being able to stay fit year round is always thinking 5 steps ahead.  You are going to have social events every week, every month, every year for the rest of your life.  You are going to have multiple big holidays every single year for the rest of your life.

So what does that mean?   That means you are going to have to learn how to plan ahead, and learn how to navigate these social and holiday situations intelligently.  Being fit means ALWAYS thinking ahead, making smart choices, being disciplined and consistent.  

Earlier this week I posted the strategies on how to prepare for this day so you can eat PIE and stay in shape.  How to prepare for the holiday so you can eat or drink and truly get away with it.  I told you HOW to prepare for this holiday so you can eat MORE and enjoy time with your loved ones. 

If you missed it, click this link to read that FIRST!

Today Im going to teach you some tips and tricks on how to change up the ingredients so you can make your favorite dishes just healthier, cleaner, and possibly with much, much less calories but keeping it tasty!  Healthy food doesnt have to be boring and Im going to give you some quick and easy tricks and tips to keep it exciting without expanding your waistline or destroying your health.  

Just remember, living ripped requires you always being committed to the lifestyle, thinking 5 steps ahead, being disciplined in social situations and eating smart. 

So lets get to the tips.  

Tip #1.  Remake your recipes. There is a healthy alternative for EVERY single thing you could imagine. No matter what your favorite food is, the food you look fwd to the most(mine pumpkin pie), there are smarter, healthier, cleaner recipes all over the internet.   The recipes Im about to recommend are super easy to make and made with all natural ingredients.  So the key is when searching for a new recipe is to search on Google for "Paleo Recipe_____".  The reason I say search Paleo is because anything that qualifies as Paleo doesnt have Flour(wheat or white) or Sugar(refined) in the ingredients.  These two are the top 2 killers in America, the top two reasons why Americans are fat.  And the top 2 things that cause cravings and binging.  So eliminate those from your life.  Whatever you want to make, Search for your favorite dish in Paleo form and you will find a smarter, healthier option that will keep you ON POINT.   For example search "Paleo Pumpkin Pie. Paleo Turkey.  Paleo Ham.  Paleo pie crust.  Paleo mashed potatoes." etc.  

Although Im not one that follows a Paleo style diet, I do believe in always eating REAL food just like the Paleo community.  This trick here is the hack getting great recipes without jeopardizing your results.  


Tip#2.  Trade out your Flour.  Your recipe should be following the tip #1 rules.  But just incase you arent listening I want to reiterate AVOID flour  One of the absolute WORST ingredients you could consume is Flour(white, wheat), its worse than sugar, highly inflammatory and damages your body in tons of ways.  Incase you dont know, todays Wheat crops have been hybridized, scientifically engineered, and have Super Glutens which our bodies cannot digest efficiently.  On top of this contain Round Up(glyphosphate weed killer).  Along with having very addictive effects leading to cravings and over eating.  Along with spiking your blood sugar putting you in a fat storing mode from the Insulin burst.

By avoiding this stuff like the plague, this will eliminate the Gas, Bloating, digestive discomfort, lethargy, brain fog, skin disorders, and cravings for the days after.  Its also highly inflammatory and will lead to an injury, joint pain, muscle pain for 7-14 days AFTER consumed.  Which means you are going to be tight, achy, in pain, and your workouts are going to suck if you eat it, or you will pull or tweak a muscle.  Its TERRIBLE.  If you are experiencing any of these symptoms now you know why.  The foods to watch out for if others bring them (bread, pasta, baked goods, pies, pie crusts, fried foods, flour tortillas etc)

So if your recipe calls for flour what would be the smarter choice?

 Replace Flour with Almond flour,  or coconut flour.   Using coconut or almond flour will also reduce the carb intake DRASTICALLY because they are higher in healthy fats.   Healthy fats will make you fuller longer and will help keep you from over eating and gaining weight.  I will discuss some options in the tips below.

Just make sure you follow tip #1 for you recipes and avoid all foods that contain flour that others bring to the party.  Better yet, share this article with those people coming!

Tip #3.  Replace Sugar with healthy natural forms. If you followed tip #1 this is already done.  If not trade out any sugar ingredients with Honey or 100% Organic maple syrup(My personal choice), or Brown Rice syrup.  This eliminates the refined sugars which are highly addictive and can drastically spike blood sugar levels leading to a crash following.   Sugar is 8x more addictive than cocaine, which leads to you craving and binging on more of the same.  So Avoid it and replace it with healthier options like Maple Syrup or Honey.  Maple syrup is my personal favorite which makes all dishes taste awesome!

Tip #4.  Protein is Priority.  There are two hacks to this that are absolute life savers for holidays and social events.  The first one is the appetizer.  You see, most people put out chips, bread, and other high carb foods as a snack when they are entertaining.  This is a fitness FELONY.  This spikes blood sugar, leading to a crash, insane cravings and non stop binging for DAYS.  So we have a smarter choice and its one of my personal favorites that works like a charm every time!!! 

Hack #1 is to serve Deviled Eggs.  Deviled Eggs are packed with protein and good fats, both of which make you FULL because of the hormones that are triggered when you eat them.  This fullness lasts a long time and when its time for you and them to eat, you will naturally eat much, much less food because the deviled eggs are so filling.   

So by starting off the social gathering with Deviled eggs you are saving yourself, and your loved ones from over eating and getting fat because you will be feeling full already.  So whether you are hosting the gathering or just visiting, doesnt matter, whip up some deviled eggs and serve.  These are ALWAYS  hit!  People LOVE deviled eggs.  I usually make about 140+ for our events and they are always GONE by the end of it.  

Just make sure you make your Deviled Eggs with Paleo Mayo(find homemade recipe on google. or buy premade at Whole Foods or online)

I would boil up 5-8 dozen eggs(Costco sells Organic 24 pack cheap, use 3 of those packs) because these bad boys go quick!  I usually make 140+ and theres never any left overs.  

Hack #2 is mentioned in the holiday prep article here  but I will say it again. When its time to sit down with the family for dinner/brunch your very first full plate is a pure PROTEIN plate.  This means your first plate of food is pure turkey, eggs, steak, ham, lamb, or fish.   You do NOT get to touch anything else until you have finished your PROTEIN plate.   That means no potatoes, no fruit, no pie, no alcohol until you have done this.  The reason we do this is to keep your blood sugar from spiking, leading to a crash, which prevents cravings and binges.  No cravings, no binging, leads to no excessive calorie consumption and you getting fat.  

Now after those two things are done, its time to enjoy the foods you like.  The smart ones of course.  You get to eat your potatoes, fruit, Paleo Pie(recipe coming up below), or have a glass of wine.  

You follow those two rules and it will save you and your loved ones from over eating 1,000's and 1,000's excessive calories.  Which means you survive the holidays without any weight gain.  Yay!  

We have talked about ingredient changes, so lets talk about some of my favorite ways to make pies and pie crusts.

 Because lets be real, we all know thats the only reason you like thanksgiving,  the pie, dont lie. lol  


Tip #5.  Low Carb Crust and Delicious Healthy Pie Filling.


This is a Pecan Crust eliminates all the excessive Carbs from the crust but has an amazing flavor. 

It tastes amazing with the Paleo Pumpkin pie and cuts the calories from the crust down from 1800-2000+ to just over 1,000 for the entire pie.  








Heres how to make it:

  •  1 cup pecan pieces (frozen)
  • 2 T melted Grassfed butter (Kerrygold at store)
  • 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup or Honey

1. Take pecans out of the freezer and measure them into a food processor (you can use a blender, but be careful not to blend them down too small). Pulse the processor until the largest pieces are as big as lentils or split peas.

2. Add the butter and the sweetener (Maple Syrup or honey). Blend until it's mixed evenly.

3. Dump it into a pie pan, and push with your fingers to cover the bottom and sides. It should be the right consistency to mold the crust to the pie pan evenly.

Nutritional Analysis: Whole crust is 1058 calories, 41 Carbs(Good Carbs), 100g Fat(GOOD fats), 10g Protein.  This Equates to 132 calories, 5g carbs, 12.5 grams of Good Fat, 1.25 grams of protein per slice.

Compare to Normal Pie Crust.   1800-2000+ Calories with 216g Carbs(Blood Sugar spiking, Body Fat Promoting, addictive kind), 108g Fats(not so healthy kind), 9g protein.

That means if you choose the Pecan Crusted you save Almost 100 calories per slice and eat 22g less of carbs per slice.  Thats a WIN!

 ALMOND FLOUR PIE CRUST (This whole crust is about 1,600 calories)


2 cups of almond flour

1 egg,  1/4 tsp sea salt

2 tbsp coconut oil or Grassfed Butter

1tbsp Maple Syrup or Honey

This one is high calorie, but the calories come from clean sources.  Has only 61g carbs for the whole crust, and packs in 54g protein, and has 139g of good fats.  Which equates to 200 calories of crust per slice, 7g carbs, almost 7g protein, and 17g of good fats. 

Calories: 1600 

Carbs: 61g 

Protein: 54g 

Fats: 139g

1. In a food processor or bowl, briefly mix almond flour and salt.
2. Add in coconut oil(butter), Maple syrup(or honey) and egg and mix until a ball is formed.
3. Press dough into a pie dish. Note: this pie dish was larger than the standard 9″ size, so the crust didn’t extend as far up the sides but you get the idea.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-12 minutes.

 I will say the Pumpkin pie recipe below tastes better with the almond flour crust, but I also have listed a crustless option to save calories.  Yes, I have thought of everything.  

So we talked Crusts, lets talk PIE.

Most peoples favorite pies are Apple and Pumpkin so take either one of these pie recipes below and put this filling into can be made using any one of the crust options above, or go crustless to reduce calories like the one below.  

What I mean is to put this same filling Im about to teach you below, and put it into a Almond crust, a pecan crust or just go crustless.   

CRUSTLESS PUMPKIN PIE!!! (This comes out amazing even with no crust!)












  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup Maple Syrup or Honey
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1.5 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. allspice
  • ¼ tsp. cardamom
  • ¾ cup Unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • 1-2tbsp of Grassfed Butter or Coconut oil

Calories: 968

Carbs: 137g

Fat: 36g 

Protein: 20g  


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Grease a glass pie dish with Grassfed Butter or coconut oil.

3. In a medium-sized bowl, slightly beat the eggs.

4. Add in the following to the eggs, hand whisking after each addition to combine well: pumpkin puree, honey, salt and spices, milk.

5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes. You can check if toothpick inserted into center comes out relatively clean, but after 1 hour and 10 minutes, it should be done. You should check at an hour to make sure it’s not burning, if it is, it might need to come out early. You want the pie to set, but you don’t want the top to brown/burn.

6. To serve, slide a silicone spatula under each piece (rather than a metal cake server/cutter), which keeps the pie piece from breaking. (Your first piece may be less successful since it’s hard to slip a spatula under when there’s no room, but I haven’t had problems with any piece thereafter).

7. Serve warm or cold, with whipped cream or ice cream (optional).


You can use that same Pumpkin Pie recipe and put it in your Pecan Crust or you can go Crustless.

Now lets talk Apple Pie

APPLE PIE FILLING (Use one of the 3 Crust options listed above)










5 medium apples (or 3 extra large apples)
1 tbsp vanilla
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp sea salt

1. Peel apples, core, and slice into thin strips.
2. In a large bowl, add sliced apples and the rest of the ingredients. Use your hands or a large spoon to mix the ingredients delicately and well.
3. Place the apple pie filling evenly into the pie crust.

#6. Make your own side Dishes

Whipped cream, cranberry sauce are both packed with sugar.  So here are some smarter recipe options that are quick and easy.  

Whipped Cream 


- 4 cups fresh berries (a mixture of your favorite)
- 1 lemon
- 1 can full fat coconut milk (14 oz.), refrigerated for 6 or more hours
- 1/2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp. raw honey
- Dash of cardamon (optional)

1. Place the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours (or overnight). This will cause the cream to separate from the milk. Open the can of coconut milk and scrape out the cream into a medium sized bowl. Hint: I always open the can from the bottom and pour the milk out into a separate container before scraping out the cream. You can use the saved milk for other recipes.
2. Add the vanilla and raw honey (and a dash of cardamom if desired). Whip the cream with a hand mixer for about 3-5 minutes. Place the bowl in the fridge until ready to serve.
3. Wash berries and place in serving bowls. Squeeze the lemon juice and pour over the berries - use as much or as little as you like. Place a big scoop of Coconut Whipped Cream alongside the berries and serve.

4. Use to top off Pumpkin pie, apple pie etc.  

Cranberry Sauce



12oz Organic Cranberries

3/4 Cup Fresh Squeezed/juiced Orange juice

1/2 Cup Honey


1. Mix all 3 ingredients into a pan and simmer on medium heat.  Stir often, simmer until the sauce thickens and the cranberries all pop.  

2. Refrigerate.

3. Serve at room temperature.  


So there you go, there are the tricks and tips by trading out the terrible ingredients with smarter choices.  I found all of these recipes by doing a quick google search "Paleo___recipe".   Be sure you do the research to find your favorite recipe and make a healthier, smarter version.  Make sure you follow all the Holiday RULES and you will have an great time, get to enjoy some good foods and you will stay lean through the holidays.  

My mission is to educate you, inspire you, to live better and live to your full potential.  

Share this blog with your fitness minded friends.  Share this with your family and friends.  

Happy holidays!  

Daymond Sewall.  

Author The Shredded Executive 

Owner Phenomenal Fitness

Owner Be The One Apparel






Phenomenal Fitness Inc

Coach Daymond Sewall

Coach Desiree Sewall


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