5 nutrition tips for a healthy holiday season
By Jessah Robinson, Adv Dip (Nut Med)
As we begin to ease into the silly season, it becomes a notorious time to indulge in festivities that often involve carb-heavy foods and one or several alcoholic beverages. But believe it or not there is a way to enjoy this festive time of the year without adding inches to your waistline. Here are some handy tips for staying healthy this Christmas:
1. Plan ahead
If you know you have a big event coming up that involves plenty of food and alcohol, prepare for it accordingly by making some healthy meals to put in the freezer such as soups, casseroles and homemade curries. This way you will have healthy meals on hand for when you are ready to return to your usual eating habits. You should also ensure to eat healthier meals and practice proper portion control the day before if you plan on treating yourself. This way you will feel better about having the sweet stuff and will enjoy it more. You may benefit from taking Livatone Shots, to help to relieve symptoms associated with occasional overindulgence.
2. Get on the H2O
It’s always important to drink water, but especially so during Christmas when we are surrounded by plentiful amounts of decadent food and are tempted to reach for extra helpings. Water is critical for many functions such as keeping our cells hydrated to carry out essential processes, boosting metabolism, regulating appetite, enhancing cognitive function and improving skin health. Drinking plenty of water may prevent you from overindulging as too often we get our hunger signals confused and think we are hungry when we are really thirsty. Get into the habit of taking a drink bottle everywhere you go to ensure sufficient water intake.
3. Go easy on the sauces
Of course, the traditional Christmas meal consists of meat and veg with a variety of condiments such as gravy and sauces, but it’s easy to go on condiment overload which significantly increases calorie intake. A healthier option is to either forego sauces completely or use condiments sparingly. Just one serving (2 tbsp) of cranberry sauce contains 7g of sugar, which is nearly 2 teaspoons. If you add this to the serve of pavlova, Christmas cocktail and perhaps a candy cane that you plan on consuming, you’ll quickly exceed the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) daily limit of 13 tsp of sugar! Think about this the next time you are loading up on sauces.
4. Be picky
Rather than serving large portions of each food, choose your favourite dishes and serve up a smaller portion. This way you get to have the foods you really enjoy without the extra discomfort of indigestion, bloating or the particularly uncomfortable “food baby”. You may benefit from taking tyrosine, an amino acid that stimulates the reward system of the brain and is excellent for curbing cravings.
5. Make a healthy dish
Healthy doesn’t need to be boring, and there’s plenty of recipes that combine the best of both worlds, being delicious and healthy. Good options include a fruit platter, frittata, carrot and celery sticks with homemade dip or a healthy spin on devilled eggs. This way you can ensure that there’s something healthy for you to eat, and others who are watching their weight will appreciate the gesture. If you are making a dessert or cocktails, replace sugar with Nature Sweet, a delicious and natural sugar alternative that is very low calorie.