I love Christmas!
I really do – it’s my favourite time of the year. A time that I get to enjoy spending time with family and friends, and when everyone seems to be in a merry mood.
Along with all of this merriment also comes the party season.
For a lot of us, December will be about one Christmas get together after another. You can see where I’m going… all the good intentions and healthy habits quickly go out the window when presented with drinks and tables of food.
So I am here to help you have fun and stay healthy during the festive season without getting completely drunk or eating everything in sight. Don’t drop off the wagon until January!
Read on for a few tips to help you stay healthy over the festive season.
Think about how much you are drinking
Have you noticed how alcohol constantly crops up in my posts?! I think you know by now it is not good for you. We all know that drinking long term can damage our livers, but it’s such a big part of our culture that it turns up practically everywhere!
I consider myself blessed I dislike the taste of alcohol, so for me it’s easy not to drink. For those of you who want a drink or two but want to be mindful of the effects, I would suggest that for every glass of alcohol you drink, have a glass of water. Alcohol dehydrates the body, so it is very important to keep hydrated.
Also, remember, alcohol can add to weight gain. Cocktails and wine are very high in calories, so go for a vodka with freshly squeezed lemon juice and a little sparkling water instead. Remember – it’s still alcohol, so drinking water and limiting your consumption is still important.
One mistake many make when off to a gathering where there will be food is to drink on an empty stomach. Always eat something before drinking, as this will slow down the absorption of alcohol.
Another great tip is to take 20 drops of milk thistle in a small amount of water before you go out. Take 20 more when you get back, along with some magnesium and another 20 drops the following morning.
Milk thistle is the best remedy for cleansing and detoxifying the liver and rebuilding damaged cells. I go for the Milk Thistle Complex drops by A. Vogel which you can get in most high street health stores.
It’s important to stay well hydrated so aim to drink 2 litres of good quality filtered water every day.
For those of you who want to enjoy the season without alcohol, there is such a wide range of alternatives you can take to any party. Most supermarkets now stock alcohol free prosecco, wines, beers and spirits which are great alternatives.
Up your Exercise!
Winter is a time when many of us put on some extra pounds (I wrote another blog on this), add in Christmas and things can get out of hand, so it is important to stay active as much as possible in order to keep your weight and fitness under control.
Ok, being realistic, Christmas is not the time of the year to be losing weight but this does not mean we have to pile on the pounds. Aim to stay at the same weight by increasing your cardio.
Cardio exercise helps burn fat, so join a gym and get running. The more you sweat, the more calories you burn! And always remember to get in your 10,000 steps a day!
Have a Detox Day
If you know you are going to a party, plan in a detox for the following day. Start the day with warm water and lemon followed by a green smoothie full of antioxidants that combat free radicals like alcohol and rich foods. Include super foods like wheat grass for optimal nutrition.
As it’s a detox, do not drink any caffeine which means no coffee or tea. You should only be drinking water and herbal teas and be eating a very light amount of vegetables. Try steamed vegetables and salads for lunch and dinner. A detox day means no animal protein, carbs, sugary snacks, or alcohol. You want to give your body a rest to recover from the previous day.
Never go to a party hungry! If you do, you will binge on everything in sight. The tip is to have a small bite beforehand. Avocados are filling, so choose an avocado salad, or a protein shake.
I talk about balance and moderation a lot. If you fancy some cake, have a slice, just not the entire cake. If there is a buffet, then look for healthy options alongside the not so healthy ones.
We need antioxidants to prevent cell damage from free radicals, so make sure you start the day in a super healthy and energising way.
It’s especially important to try to stay healthy during the festive season when we are more likely to overindulge.
Always start the day with a warm water and lemon followed by porridge and a green smoothie. Include wheat grass, chlorella, spirulina, chia seeds, baobab powder, maca powder in your cereals, porridge and green smoothies.
Go for the rainbow diet at mealtimes. This means you are eating a variety of different coloured fruit and vegetables.
Pay special attention to your liver during the party season; so include foods which support it such as brussel sprouts, cabbage, bok choy, broccoli, kale, leeks, dandelion greens, rocket, caraway seeds, turmeric, quinoa, dill, artichoke, onion, garlic, and cauliflower.
Get Enough Sleep
It’s a busy time of year. Many of us are trying to get work out of the way so we can have a break, then there is the shopping and socializing. Don’t burn the candles at both ends – so many people then crash at Christmas.
Sleep is so important – it’s when your body repairs itself.
Pace yourself and make sure you get enough rest and sleep. You don’t have to stay at the party till the very end. A wise person once said ‘nothing good happens after 2am’.
Like I said, the key is always balance. Everyone wants to enjoy themselves at Christmas. Have a few treats and follow my tips for stay healthy during the festive season.
If you would like to know more about increasing your health and fitness levels, then get in touch – there are a variety of ways of working with me.