Harrah! The festive season is upon us, which means lots of reason to celebrate and get together with friends, family and work colleagues. Of course these occasions wouldn’t be the same without festive food, nibbles and drinks, so here are our top tips to help you out and keep you on track over the Christmas period.
Allow yourself to enjoy it! Why be hard on yourself by saying i shouldn’t have another glass of wine or that was a bad day because I had 2 mince pies. The reality is that you absolutely CAN have all of those things, everyone can, but it is YOUR choice whether you decide to have them or not. So why not allow yourself to enjoy these occasions by saying to yourself I can have that Christmas pudding with lots of double cream on top but I am going to choose the fruit trifle and skip the cream. Give it a go and start looking forward to those occasions when you can make lots of choices because you can!
Avoid saving yourself for dinner. Skipping breakfast in a bid to save calories for dinner will cause your sugar levels to drop and before you know it you’ll be reaching for the biscuit tin for a quick spike! Eat little and often with a balanced breakfast and healthy snack and this is all before the turkey is ready. You’ll enjoy your dinner without feeling like you have to scoff it down because you are so hungry.
Embrace the fresh air and put on your walking boots. Rather than heading straight to the sofa after dinner suggest going for a walk and why not get everyone involved the kids, the pets, the neighbours, the in-laws they’ll love it! Walking helps with digestion and releases endorphins and you’ll feel much more awake to take on the family in Charades!
Here are a few quick healthy tips when it comes to Christmas dinner
- Take the skin off the turkey before you eat it to reveal healthy lean meat full of protein and less of fat.
- Try sweet potato mash, it is full of vitamins and minerals and has a much lower GI than white potato mash.
- Healthy snack ideas include: Veggie sticks and Hummus, Unsalted Cashews, Walnuts, Olives, Almonds
- Use Whole-wheat (or homemade even better!) rolls for the soup instead of white processed rolls.
- Steam or roast the vegetables. If you prefer to boil them then make sure you keep the boiling water to make the gravy or add to the soup, because this is where all the nutrients will be!
- Roast your potatoes using olive, walnut or coconut oil.
- Avoid packets, sachets or readymade varieties where possible and cook everything from fresh to avoid preservatives and hidden salts.
Keep on moving! The festive season is the most important time of year to make sure you keep up the exercise routine. It will help to relieve stress, stop you from feeling lethargic and bloated and from gaining extra pounds. Most importantly you won’t feel like you are starting from scratch on the 1st January.
Prepare for busy periods. To make sure you don’t go off track try and plan ahead. A good idea would be to cook in bulk and freeze it so you won’t need to spend lots of time preparing food each day.
Drink up! Water that is. Especially if you would like to enjoy a few alcoholic beverages over the festive season. Alcohol puts a huge amount of pressure on the liver and causes dehydration and yes both of these contribute to headaches, low energy, feeling lethargic – hello hangover! So heres a few tips to limit these effects:
- Try not to drink on an empty stomach
- Drink a class of water between each alcoholic drink
- Limit your intake and make a conscious effort to keep track of how much you are drinking.
- And for the hangover… Kick start your day with this super healthy hangover boosting smoothie, followed by plenty of water throughout the day and a meal plan filled with fruit, vegetables, nuts, protein (eggs/salmon/organic red meat) and healthy carbs (oats/ sweet potato/basmati rice).
Super healthy hangover boosting smoothie
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 cup Greek yogurt,
1 tablespoon chia seeds,
1 small banana
1/2 cup spinach or kale
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup coconut water
Honey and cinnamon to taste
2-3 ice cubes
Blend all together and enjoy!
So hopefully these tips will come in handy over the Christmas period and leave you feeling fighting fit for 2015!
Wishing you a very Happy and Healthy Christmas and a fruitful New Year (no pun intended!)