The Christmas parties have well and truly begun and the frivolities are showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. And there’s no denying that food is a massive part of Christmas! Avoid the deprivation and enjoy everything in moderation; life’s about balance, baby! Here are our top tips for surviving the festive season:
- Rise and shine with lemon water – squeeze the juice of ½ a lemon into ½ a cup of warm water upon waking. This little trick gives the digestive system and the liver a kick start, ensuring you assimilate all your nutrients throughout the day and keeps your skin, mind and energy levels happy and healthy.
- Eat breakfast – with Christmas parties usually being either a lunch or a dinner occasion, one of the best things we can do is to ensure we start the day with a decent breakfast full of complex carbohydrates, protein and good fats. Think homemade smoothies filled with berries and greens, yoghurt/coyo with home made muesli, or sourdough toast with avocado and eggs or scrambled tofu.
- Stay hydrated – we should be drinking at least 2 litres (8 cups) of water each day, and another litre if we’re drinking alcohol. At the Christmas party, having a glass of water in between each alcoholic beverage, and a big glass when you get home, is a great way to prevent a hangover, reduce late night food cravings (say no to the 2am kebab) and keep our skin looking clear and bright the next day.
- Fibre fibre fibre – ensuring adequate fibre is a great way to stabilise blood sugar levels, keep cholesterol levels healthy, decrease hunger pangs, keep our hormones happy, curb cravings and excrete excess toxins and waste. Women should be aiming for at least 25g of fibre a day and men should be aiming for at least 30g. So leave the skin on your veggies, add some oats, chia or linseeds (flaxseeds) to your morning smoothie and load up on healthy whole grains such as quinoa or brown rice with your lunch and dinner.
- Eat the rainbow – ensuring that you’re getting a broad range of phytochemicals in your diet keeps the antioxidant status of your body high, enabling it to counteract some of the damage caused by one too many G&T’s or fruit mince tarts.
- Don’t forget protein – it keeps our blood sugar levels stable which prevents hanger and food cravings, leaving you less likely to make poor food choices or overeat.
- Eat slowly – it takes approximately 20 minutes for our brain to recognise that we are full. Chew your food mindfully and enjoy each mouthful. Chewing releases enzymes all throughout our digestive tract to help us breakdown our food effectively. Putting your cutlery down between each mouthful prevents you from wolfing food down and creating a food baby. There are ALWAYS leftovers; you’re not going to miss out on anything – except maybe a food coma!
- Love your liver – some simple dietary inclusions can go a long way. Turmeric, grapefruit and cruciferous vegetables (think broccoli, kale, cauliflower, bok choy, pak choy and Brussels sprouts) all induce biochemical liver detoxification pathways. A quick green stir-fry cooked with turmeric and served with your choice of protein is a quick and easy, liver-loving dinner that can be made in 10 minutes before hitting the Christmas punch.
- Invest in rest – find your calm during what can sometimes be a stressful time of year. Taking the time for a yoga class or simply going for a quick after dinner walk to watch the sunset can work wonders for the mind, body and soul. Prevent that end of year burn-out!
- Keep active – boost those endorphins! Not only is movement beneficial for the mind, it can also improve digestion and the clearance of toxins!
- Hit up the farmers market – it’s one of the best times of year to shop at the local markets! The sun is shining and there is so much amazing summer fruit available (hellooooo locally grown berries, hellooooo pavlova toppings) as well as locally made gifts for family and friends. Support small businesses, local farmers and their families!
Wishing everyone a happy and healthy festive season! See you all in 2018 xx