Healthy Eating and Drinking during the Festive Season
Christmas is just around the corner; healthy eating this season can be difficult, but not impossible. Our resident nutritional therapist, Jane Spill, has put together some top tips for a healthy, happy Christmas.
Healthy Start to the Day
Eating some protein for breakfast sets you up for a successful day, whether it is eggs, yogurt with mango, porridge with some berries and seeds....all really quick to prepare but they will keep you full until lunchtime so you will not crave caffeine and a sugary snack mid morning. You will work more efficiently with more focus and more energy. And your mood will be better too!
Even when you are rushed at meal times, take 10 minutes to focus on eating. Your digestive system needs to know that food is actually on its way and that it needs to produce some enzymes to digest it. Eat protein with some good carbohydrate – steamed leafy greens or a mix of salad leaves with some tomato/roasted peppers. This is the time of year for roasted sweet potatoes and butternut squash, which will give you energy, with beta-carotene to give your immune system a boost.
Keep everything in balance – if you want some chocolate, have a few squares of dark chocolate and enjoy them.
If you are going to a drinks party, aim to have some food before you go. If you don’t eat beforehand, make good choices, avoid pastry and choose some grilled prawns/chicken/meat skewers. Watch your aim with the very sharp end of the wooden skewers if you have had one too many as it is very easy to spear your upper lip (how is it I know that?)
Nuts...there are always nuts at this time of year. And they are great unless you feel you have a virus coming (and I include cold sores). If so, avoid, as well as pulses, seeds and chocolate. Instead, eat eggs, fish and poultry. For details of the supplement protocol I use to help keep viruses at bay, email email@example.com
Alternate alcohol with a glass of water. Your liver will love you and you will avoid the dehydration headache the next morning. Your skin will not look like a dried up prune either.
Avoid sugary cocktails – the sweet taste makes them go down much faster and they are loaded with calories. Opt for clear spirits – vodka, gin with mixers such as sparkling water, lime and soda, naturally light Fever Tree tonic water (no artificial sweeteners to give added load on the liver). Or stay with champagne or white wine, both with a similar calorie load or red wine which does have some beneficial anti-oxidants.
Finish drinking early enough so that your body can metabolise as much alcohol as possible before you go to bed. Your metabolism slows down when you are asleep so the rate at which you eliminate alcohol will also slow down. Try to have 2 glasses of water before bed. Note to menopausal women – alcohol can worsen hot flushes so unless you want to be hanging out of the bedroom window pretending to be looking for Santa, take it easy!
Indulge...but indulge moderately and have a very happy healthy Christmas!
Jane Spill BSc (Hons), DipION, mBANT is our resident Nutritional Therapist here at Barefoot Studio.
Jane is a qualified Nutritional Therapist providing treatments for the long-term management of weight loss. Jane can advise on nutritional issues relating to healthy digestive health, hormonal imbalances, improving energy levels as well as depression and mental health issues.