Christmas is without a doubt one of the most enjoyable times of the year. It’s a chance to switch off, enjoy quality time with friends and family and eat delicious food! For many of us though, it seems like piling on the pounds is inevitable; whether it’s your grandma’s enticing eggnog or your dad’s perfectly cooked potatoes, the temptation to overeat is almost impossible to resist. But it can lead to lethargy, bloatedness and a bit of an overload for your poor body. So we’d like to suggest a few tips to stay healthy, happy and full of energy this Christmas, while you still get to enjoy all your favorite treats!
Enjoy yourself, just try not to overdo it
Overindulgence is the big thing at Christmas!! Going back for seconds and thirds (maybe even fourths) of Christmas lunch followed by mindless snacking in front of the TV usually leads to a food coma on your favorite couch later on. According to research, the average person will consume more than 5000 calories in one day and put on 4-5 pounds over the Christmas season.
How about this year we don’t treat this time to eat as much as we can, because we can, and enjoy our favorite treats sparingly and with more awareness? Eat slowly, mindfully and listen to your body when it becomes full. Putting all that stress on the digestive system will make you feel uncomfortable, sluggish and more susceptible to heartburn, so take it easy this Christmas by keeping indulgent days to a minimum and being more present with your body when you eat.
Go for organic grass/fed poultry and organic veggies
For those of you who eat meat, consider sourcing good quality, local (if you can) organic meats. Organically farmed means the animals have a lot more space to roam, have been pasture fed their whole life and are able to grow at their own pace without being pumped full of antibiotics and growth hormones. This not only means that the meat you’re eating has had a healthy, happy life, but it will also be a whole lot tastier!
And it’s the same with veggies! Organic vegetables are highly nutritious and are without the harmful pesticides and man-made, chemical fertilizers that non-organic vegetables are laced with. So fill at least half your plate with fresh, colorful veggies and know you’re doing your body and the environment a pretty big favor!
Cook from scratch
Pre-prepared foods are tempting, especially when you’re at your wits end trying to get everything ready in time and then spot the lure of the premade figgy puddings and packaged mash potatoes on those perfectly positioned shelves at the grocery store. It may be easier to stock up on pre-prepared meals, but they are heavily processed, with refined sugars, additives and are stripped of nutrients.
Cooking from scratch means you know exactly what you’re eating and can also have fun experimenting with new recipes. Where possible, use fresh, organic ingredients and when experimenting with desserts, try to swap your white sugars for healthy alternatives like honey, stevia, agave, coconut sugar or even fruit. And hey, isn’t part of the Christmas fun spending most of the day prepping and cooking with the rest of the family, listening to music, enjoying a cheeky glass of Christmas port? We think so!
During the holidays it’s so easy to become a couch potato, and while we admit, it’s not the most appealing time of year to enjoy the outdoors in some places, the more we can make ourselves go outside and enjoy the beautiful surroundings, the healthier and happier we become! Getting outside into the fresh air releases endorphins, recharges negative ions (which deplete when we overuse technology) and will help you burn off that Christmas feast!
Without realizing it, many of us can suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) during the winter season, which is a biological condition in which your body produces depression-like symptoms due to the lack of exposure to sunlight and low levels of vitamin D. So wrap up warm, get outdoors, take some deep breaths and enjoy breathing in some of that fresh wintery air, whatever the weather! It’s a perfect way to embrace the holiday season!
Take time to chill
It’s a pretty mad time on the lead up to Christmas, so taking the opportunity to relax will do you the world of good. Remember, Christmas is supposed to be an enjoyable time, so take that well-deserved break, go out for a walk, take a lavender infused warm bath or snuggle up in front of the fire with your favorite book.
When those inevitable moments of stress start creeping in, practice the art of pausing, stopping what you’re doing, taking a deep breath and reminding yourself of what a great job you’re doing and how everything is working out perfectly. It always is!
We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
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