After the crazy storms we’ve had rolling into Brisbane over the last few weeks, there’s definitely no doubt that the Christmas season is here!
This time of year has everyone buzzing with excitement, but also with a lot of fear with the thought of over-indulging during these few weeks and undoing all the hard work that they’ve put in at the gym and in the kitchen. But it doesn’t have to be this daunting - take this festive season as an opportunity to practice your new chosen lifestyle and eating habits in different environments. Think about what sort of freedom this gives you – you’ll be able to make choices that are right for anywhere and anytime. Now that is a powerful skill!
Here is my handful of healthy tips for enjoying the Christmas festivities:
Begin the day with a nourishing and satisfying breakfast that includes protein and healthy fats. This will prevent the low-blood sugar crash that leaves you craving sugar mid-morning and will help you resist the temptation to indulge in the Christmas treats too early. This could be a protein coconut cream smoothie, a vegetable omelette with avocado, or nut & seed granola topped with coconut cream and a banana.
Choose to snack on unprocessed whole foods as much as possible. There are usually plenty of healthy options as part of the main Christmas meal such as ham, turkey, seafood, vegetables and salads – but it’s the snacks before, during and after that usually tip us over the edge. Try snacking on raw vegetable sticks with freshly made avocado or pesto dips, nut butters with apple slices, nuts and seeds, olives, goji berries, or raw nut and date protein balls (recipe below).
Chew and savour each bite of food by eating mindfully. This will prevent you from over indulging, aid with your digestion of food, and if you do enjoy a little treat it makes sure that you will enjoy every bite of it :-)
Stay hydrated by consuming enough water. Ensure you have a glass between any alcoholic drinks especially during our hot Australian summer. Add in a twist of lemon, or lime and mint to give it some extra flavour, or opt for some coconut water which includes lots of natural electrolytes.
Keep moving! After a big Christmas meal enjoy a nice walk with the whole family (and don’t forget any furry family members!). Take a frisbee or ball along to have a bit more fun during your walk, or set up a casual game of backyard/beach cricket or volleyball. This will help with food digestion and is just a really nice way to get the whole family involved and have some laughs together.
And most importantly during this all – just enjoy! Be grateful for the opportunity to spend this time with your friends and family, to create new memories and share the love and lots of laughs :-)
Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas, and a happy, healthy and vibrant 2015 :-)
* Originally posted on 23 December 2013 as a guest post for Vicky and her fantastic team at Vitality Nutrition