Christmas is upon us! As well as being a joyous time of eating, drinking and being merry, for many the festive season can also be one of the most stressful and unhealthy times of year. So what can you do to survive the season and come out the other end actually feeling you have had a break, rather than feeling in desperate need of one?
I have compiled my top 7 tips to ensure you get the most out of the festive season and make it through relatively unscathed…
Tip No. 1
The first and most important rule of the silly season is to never leave the house for a Christmas party on an empty stomach. You will not be able to make any sensible decisions about what and how much to eat when your tummy is rumbling and your nose is fine tuned to notice all the tantalizing smells wafting from the trays of canapés being proffered to you.
Equally, drinking on an empty stomach will dehydrate your body, throw your blood sugar balance off and leave you feeling worse off in the morning
Make sure you have a little snack that includes some protein to keep the hunger at bay for longer and absorb the alcohol you may drink. If you are in a hurry, have some whole natural yoghurt with muesli or a few nuts and seeds or hummus with celery sticks.
Tip No. 2
At the party, avoid any deep fried canapés such as mini spring rolls and samosas. If you can’t help picking on something see if there are some olives or nuts being offered. The fat they contain is actually good for you! If all else fails go for anything with lots of vegetables!
Tip No. 3
Stock up on vegetables. The traditional Christmas meal actually has lots of vegetables; so don’t be shy to pile on the brussels sprouts and parsnips. Make sure half of your plate is full of a variety of vegetables to fill you whilst providing you with nutrients at the same time.
Tip No. 4
Be conscious of the alcohol! Match each glass of wine with a glass of water and you’ll feel much better the next day. As soon as you arrive at a party rehydrate with a glass of water first and get something to eat (if you have not done so already). Remember to pace yourself!! Try not to start drinking too early in the day. Once you get home, remember to rehydrate again with another glass of water or two!
Tip No. 5
Buy the healthier food options or make your own! Many supermarkets stock a range of healthier traditional Christmas foods such as gluten free mince pies, low sugar Christmas pudding and raw chocolate!! You can even make your healthier versions at home by swapping key ingredients such as white flour for buckwheat flour, refined cane sugar for xylitol and dairy milk for oat or almond milk.
Tip No. 6
Stock up on a few supplements that help support your digestion and liver. Good choices here are a digestive enzyme to help break down the rich foods being consumed. It’s also a good idea not to rush your food and take time to chew it properly! To give yourself some gentle liver support you can consider taking the herb milk thistle. This will ease the load of the alcohol and if you take one tablet before drinking and one before bed it will help to keep your hang over at bay especially if swigged down with a peppermint tea.
Tip No. 7
Keep the exercise up. Try to do something small every day to compensate for the extra workload and extra food you might be eating. It will also keep your spirits up and help you stay balanced mentally. Going for a country walk, leisurely inner-city bike ride or yoga class are enjoyable things to do over the Christmas period to help you bring in the new year feeling more like you.
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