Christmas isn’t typically associated with health, but none of us want to start the New Year feeling sluggish, bloated and struggling to fit into our clothes. Here are five tips for making your Christmas that little bit healthier… without compromising the fun.
SEE CHRISTMAS AS A SERIES OF EVENTS, NOT A MONTH OF GORGING.
Christmas usually comprises multiple celebrations. Aside from Christmas itself and New Years there are often work parties and get togethers with friends. Admittedly there might be a few more celebrations than your average month, but where many people run into trouble is through constant, daily gorging. Enjoy yourself when it’s time to celebrate and in between those times, aim to maintain your usual healthy lifestyle as much as possible.
Christmas is a time when many of us choose to indulge… but aim to do so in a mindful, considered way. There’s a difference between indulging and over indulging. One simple way to eat more mindfully is to focus on chewing your food thoroughly, eating slowly and recognising when you are full. Overeating is a sure fire way to gain weight and promote bloating and lethargy.
CONSCIOUSLY DECIDE ON WHAT TO INDULGE IN
Make conscious decisions about when to indulge and what you’re really going to enjoy rather than consuming unhealthy foods just because they’re hanging around. I already have a list of what treats I want to form part of my Christmas and they are things I love and will really enjoy. Before eating a treat ask yourself ‘is it worth it?’ If it is – go for it. But if you’re eating something for the sake of it, ditch it.
MAKE SECRET HEALTHY SWAPS
When cooking, there are a few things you can do to make dishes healthier without compromising the flavour. I’m a big fan of tweaking traditional recipes to make them healthier. Swapping sugar for xylitol in things like cranberry sauce or mulled wine is a good place to start. There are lots of ways we can make traditional dishes healthier when we think about it.
TREATS CAN BE HEALTHY!
As part of my Christmas feasting plans I’m organising a big seafood platter with scallops, fresh crab, lobster etc. Treats don’t have to be unhealthy. Have a think about foods you love that can also benefit your health…