It is the celebratory time of year and how lovely it is to indulge in everything about it. By planning a little around our food and drink we can soak up the spirit, enjoy and leave ourselves feeling energetic to take on the new year, rather than sluggish and unwell by the time the new year rolls around.
Here are a few tips for enjoying your traditional Christmas fare and looking more broadly to take on new ones that are just as tasty and as enjoyable as the old. read on to find out more.....
1. Save festive treats for the actual holidays
Have whatever you like on Christmas Day, and save the festive cakes, mince pies and other celebratory foods until close to Christmas. Leave them in the shops weeks before so they are special and you’ll really enjoy them.
2. Make a choice
When an array of food is on offer, choose the foods you most desire. Take a good serving, eat and really enjoy! There is nothing to say you must try everything.
3. Plan ahead
What social activities are coming up? When will I enjoy an alcoholic drink and when will I reach for the water? Without a plan, it’s all too easy to end up indulging in more alcohol and food than we wanted to. Knowing you have a few functions in one week, you can pace yourself. Be sure to include plenty of vegetables with lunch particularly if you know you’ll be eating out in the evening and you suspect the vegetables will be light on. This is mostly important if you are eating out regularly.
4. Reassess after one plate
Buffet style can be 'dangerous'. By the time you get to the end, the plate is piled, flavours are all mixed and it really is a bit of an epicurean shambles. Go for quality over quantity. Sit down, savour the flavours and stop before the full gauge hits 10. Ask yourself how you are feeling after one standard plate, do I feel like more or am I satisfied with what I have had? The feeling of overeating can be unpleasant.
5. Get your veggies in
t your veggiesStill aim for five servings of vegetables per day over the holiday break. To make them special for the festive season (which generally is over more than one day and one meal as for one day it wouldn’t matter), go the extra mile with preparation. Roast a variety of carrot types (you can get purple ones!), stuffed capsicums, mushrooms, sweet potato, pumpkin and parsnip with the traditional potatoes using herbs and good quality extra virgin olive oil.
Make salads with roasted beetroot, radishes, asparagus, leafy greens, mangoes and summer tomatoes fresh in season. There are endless choices. Serve vegetables onto your plate first so they are the feature.
6. Choose nourishing nibbles
Have desserts, pre-dinner nibbles or snacks when people drop in using fresh seasonal produce. Berries and cherries are beautiful festive treats perfect at this time of year. Fresh nuts, still in their shells also have are good festive fare.
7. Give healthy gifts
Instead of bringing cakes, cookies, lollies and wine when you visit friends and family for the holidays, give gifts of more nourishing, tasty foods they can enjoy, and ask family to do the same for you. A subscription to a favourite podcasst, yoga class, massage might also be fun. Some ideas to try:
8. Drink plenty of water
We can confuse thirst with hunger, so keep well hydrated. Have water in jugs out when friends come over. Have a water bottle when out and about with the last minute errands and start with a water when out socialising. A hangover is partly due to dehydration.
9. Keep an eye on serving sizes
Look at the size of your plates, bowls and glasses. We tend to fill no matter what the size. Keep these smaller so you don’t simply fill them with eyes bigger than your stomach.
10. Go for balance
Enjoy a shortbread and a veggie packed roast dinner too… it is all about feeling well and enjoyment with balance!
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Simone likes to share her expert nutrition advice. Read more