Aside from Santa, snowmen and sleigh bells, Christmas is also associated with an abundance of delicious and comforting festive food and drinks. From mulled wine and freshly baked sausage rolls to smoked salmon blinis, we all have our go-to favourites, meaning it can be hard to avoid a little over-indulgence.
Usually the extra mince pie isn’t likely to cause too much harm to our health, yet there is a fine line and all too often, it’s easy get a bit carried away. Come January, many of us then attempt to go healthy with an unsustainable fad diet – something that is usually doomed from the outset as it leaves us feeling unmotivated, unfulfilled and run down. Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be the case for 2017. Armed with our tips and tricks, it is possible to have your cake and eat it during this festive season. Here’s how…
Be mindful when munching
It may not feel like it, but Christmas isn’t just about food. While get-togethers often involve sitting around the table and sharing a festive feast, it’s important to remember that there are other ways to socialise. Mix it up by making sure group activities don’t always revolve around cuisine. Things like leisurely winter walks and ice skating help burn calories, meaning that slice of Christmas cake becomes much more justifiable.
Variety is the spice of life
If you tend to do all the cooking around Christmas, bolster your usual festive dishes with foods that are nourishing and nutritious. For example, why not introduce things like red cabbage and gherkins – these can be extremely tummy-friendly. Sugar-free oat cookies and bone broth made from leftover turkey are also brilliant ways of giving your body a treat without the guilt. If you find the cold makes you want to reach for comfort food, stock the larder with root vegetables that can be easily roasted and teamed with whole grains to create the perfect winter warmer. Healthy and filling, it’ll help to deter you from reaching for the chocolate box.
Hydrate for health and happiness
Unlike summer where we tend to reach for an icy beverage to cool us down, the cold winter weather makes us turn to the more decadent baileys, hot chocolate or mulled wine, meaning we can often forgo the all-important water intake that helps to keep us properly hydrated.
If this sounds familiar, start the day with hot water a slice of lemon to give your body a hydrating boost after a night of slumber. When you do indulge in the festive fun, remember that it’s always a good idea to intersperse each glass of alcohol with a glass of water to help keep your hydration levels topped up.
Hit the sack
The pressure of having a wonderful Christmas can put a strain on your sense of wellbeing when there are presents to buy, guests to organise and food to cook. Topping up your wine glass might seem like the perfect antidote, but the extra calories can take their toll on your health. A restorative sleep routine can make all the difference, helping to strike stress off the menu and stop you from comforting eating late at night. Just before bedtime, establish a routine that will help you to unwind, whether it’s a warm bath, peaceful meditation or catching up on a podcast or TV episode.
We hope you found our tips useful, and if you have any of your own, we’d love to hear them – just tag us on twitter @LizEarle!
The Liz Earle Team x