Happy November, my keto peeps! I’m Heather and this is What’s Up Wednesday! Tonight I’m kicking off my series, Surviving the Holidays and Staying Keto. Most of us look forward to this time of year. I know I’m a huge fan. If you’ve ever been to my house during Christmastime you know that I’m kind of a freak when it comes to stuff like that, but it can also be a time of year that causes a lot of stress. I know it has for me in the past, especially when it comes to things like food. So over the next eight weeks I’ll be sharing some of my tips and strategies to survive this time of year, this season of cheer and food that, again, we all look forward to end the year with. Number one on my list is really getting the dessert right. If you can get the dessert right, everything else will fall into place. And we have some time, so you can practice getting the dessert right before the pinnacle Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas dinner or whatever other holiday dinner that you’ve got going on. Over on the blog today, if you haven’t been over there yet, I share my recipe for Keto Pumpkin Cheesecake. This is a fabulous dessert. I freaking love it. I would make it more often but I really like to make it special and the way for me to keep it special and make it special is really to designate it for November through January 1st. That’s my time to eat this stuff. It’s grain-free, it’s sugar-free and it’s low in carbs, so it hits all those things… and it happens to be super easy; anybody can make this. My suggestion: I started working on really kind of perfecting this recipe October of 2015. I wanted enough time so that when Thanksgiving rolled around I would be good. I would have it. I would know what I was going to make and I would know that it was going to satisfy everybody. So my suggestion to you is, start now. Start picking some recipes that you want to try and do a trial run on them. See what works and see, you know, “Do I need to add more sweetener or do I need to make more whipped cream for the Pumpkin Cheesecake because we really like the whipped cream part.” This dessert, I think you’re gonna absolutely love. It’s straight up yummy. I mean, your family and friends are gonna love this whether or not you tell them that it’s keto and it’s gluten-free, that’s totally up to you. They’re not going to know the difference. They’re gonna eat the Pumpkin Cheesecake and that whipped cream and think that that’s just regular, everyday people’s food. So, yeah, you’re seriously gonna love this. I like to address this dessert factor first because, I don’t know about you… but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been “that” person at the table during holidays. The one that can’t have this or that and I have to politely decline when the desserts are passed around and then I sit there in a bitter silence. I’m angry and pissed that everybody else can indulge on the sugary, carb-filled treats while I just sit there in my silence and, um… again, if you know me at all, I really don’t have a great poker face and I’m not really good at being quiet with my pain and I’m just… I really tend to make people around me miserable and I’m aware of that and I’m working on it. I am working on it. But I don’t like to be that person and so there are strategies to not be that person. One of my strategies is to bring my own dessert or make a dessert that I can have. There’s nothing worse – I can’t tell you – I’ve walked into people’s houses and they’ve got these great dessert trays and dessert tables and I’ll sit there throughout the entire dinner looking at it and thinking about all the reasons why I could eat those or all the reasons why I’ll hate myself if I do and so dinner isn’t even enjoyable because that’s all I can think about… the dessert that I can’t have. So, again, you know I’ve problem solved by creating something that not only I love but everybody else loves and I don’t have to worry about creating multiple desserts. Something that’s just for me or, you know, just for my friends but that it’s something that we can all share. Nobody wants to feel left out when it comes to desserts. I mean, talk about feeling alone and different! We want to share! So having dessert that not only you can eat but that your friends can eat, that your gluten-free friends can eat! There are so many of us that are gluten-free now and that’s a cause for celebration. When we can all indulge at the same time and none of us feel guilty and none of us feel like we’ve gone off the rails or gone into a sugar coma or any of those other things… that’s cause for celebration. Get it right! Go over to my blog it’s: www.ItStartsWithTheFood.com… the blog! Right on the blog, the most recent blog is the Pumpkin Cheesecake. But also on my blog, I’ve got other dessert recipes. I’ll be sharing a couple of my other go-tos over the holidays, over the next eight weeks, on the blog every other week. You’ll be able to see what it is that I’m making in my house and I’m sharing with my loved ones and my friends and family. Then, again, try it. Don’t wait until Thanksgiving to figure out what you’re gonna have for dessert or Christmas or Hanukkah or whatever other holidays that you’ve got going on, don’t wait until the last minute. Start those trial runs now and don’t overdo ’em. You don’t have to do three or four desserts. One or two good desserts will go a long way. It’ll hit that need for that after dinner treat without putting everybody in a sugar coma and without sending you off into the sugar monster zone. This will really kind of ease that pain that most of us, I think most of us feel. {Speaking to live viewer} And Danny, you’re right pumpkin cheesecake rocks. It does. Last year I had a lot of my clients over and we did like a potluck and that was one of the things that I debuted for them and it was a huge hit. Since then, I’ve come up with more recipes. My Pumpkin Cheesecake Bites are a little bit of a different spin on it. They’re also really good. But there are so many different things that you can try before we get to the holidays and you don’t have to stay in the traditional holiday zone of pumpkin pie, pecan pie, or Christmas sugar cookies. There are so many different spins. The pumpkin iced cookies are fabulous. I’m working on a version of a sugar-free sugar cookie that I’m hoping to debut before December so look forward to that. And I want you guys to stay tuned. Next week, I’m not going to be here. I’m actually going to be in Maui with my husband, enjoying some really needed alone time after those rough couple months. But I will be back Wednesday the 16th and I’ll be sharing even more tips and strategies and, again, if there’s something that you’re specifically concerned about going into the holidays, let me know. I’ll absolutely address them. I know this can be a really stress-filled time. It’s joyous and yes, it’s the season of giving and everything else, but it can still be overwhelming, especially when it comes to things like food and health and being worn down and getting worn down really easily. Speaking of the season of giving, I’m giving you something. For the next eight weeks, between now and December 31st, I am waiving my membership initial enrollment fee of $59. So it is just $24.99 a month for as long as you want to be a part of my fabulous group. You get my Ketogenic Solutions. That’s my “how-to keto” guide. That’s for people that maybe know a little bit or don’t know anything or are wanting to start this lifestyle. This is my how-to. It’s got everything that you need for that. I’ve got my Kickin’ It In The Kitchen, that’s my keto cookbook, that’s got recipes. Everything from the Pumpkin Cheesecake to things that you can use for your main dishes and your side dishes. I’ve got my how to travel & stay keto guide. That’s going to be great use over the next eight weeks if you’re planning on going to relatives houses or traveling across the country, wherever you may be going, you can stay keto and… {Sorry, folks! The video cut out…ugh. You can link to the membership deal by going to ItStartsWithTheFood.com/membership-bonus}