As we know, it is super easy to go OTT on the food front at Christmas time. While we should definitely enjoy ourselves, here are some things to consider if you want to limit the post-festivity food crash.
Equip yourself to survive
Christmas time can deliver a raft of wonderful functions with family, friends, and colleagues that collectively can leave you feeling festive, but exhausted. Help support your energy, brain, and body through the party-times and where possible choose to eat real whole foods, get your sleep, and lock in some downtime between events.
Eat slowly and mindfully
Whilst the day – and season – involves food, it’s not ALL about food. Christmas and the array of events it can offer are opportunities to appreciate the company of others. When sitting down to a meal chew slowly, and put down the cutlery between each meal and enjoy a chat. By eating slowly and mindfully you can improve digestion, and your body has a chance to tell you when it is full (so you are more likely to stop eating before you collapse into food coma).
Fill your plate with veg
Veg are easy for the body to digest and full of health supporting nutrients, so load up half your plate with colourful plant goodies. Filling up mostly on veg and leaving only a little room for things like sweet or deep fried treats may help avoid being huddled over in food-baby pain many hours later.
H2O is the way to go!
Keep your water drinking up! This is particularly important for those languishing thanks to those hot summer temperatures. Being hydrated can boost mood and cognition, leading you to make better meal choices, feel less weary (and let’s be honest, the endless stream of festivities for weeks on end is a little tiring), and may curb the tendency to over-fill on the food. And if you are having an alcoholic tipple, choose lower alcohol options, and knock back a glass of Mother Nature’s elixir between each drink.
Whether walking, swimming, or playing backyard cricket with the cousins, get moving as much as you can.
Be kind to yourself
Gift yourself one of the biggest gifts at this time of gift giving – compassion. If you eat thirteen too many Cadbury Favourites, the next meal or next day replenish yourself with nourishing real whole foods. But don’t hate on yourself. The guilt will get you and your health nowhere.
And if it is all a little crae crae, here are some more creative ways to cope with the madness of Christmas.
Eat, drink and be merry!
Finally, do you need gift ideas, or are you on cooking or catering duties? Our books and e-books are great as presents, and these along with our website offer inspiring no-added-sugar food creations that will delight everyone at the Christmas table!
By Angela Johnson (BHSc Nut. Med.)