Christmas, more than any other occasion throughout the year is probably the most indulgent and associated with the widest range of food and drink related treats. It also goes on for a long time. Christmas parties start in early December with cocktails and bubbles galore and then culminates in a day of utter gluttony on the 25th with free license to eat chocolates and drink alcohol from morning to night. But it doesn?t end there of course. Boxing day delights of leftovers, more chocs, more drinks and then a few days later more celebrations with New Year?s Eve.
However, with a little awareness and a positive desire not blow all your good health practices within the space of a few weeks, you can continue in to party season with a gentle commitment to your well-being to have fun, to have some treats but reign it in so that you can go in to the new year without feeling the need for crazy (and bogus) detoxes and ridiculous diets ? basically crisis management. Why start a new year full of regret? Head in to 2015 feeling in control, full of energy and set up for a fab new year I say, and you can still have loads of fun and lots of delicious foods, just don’t go mad and it?s a win, win.
To help you body, here are some tips:
? Start the day with a large glass of warm lemon water (juice of a half a fresh lemon or lime). Drink with a straw to protect your tooth enamel from the fruit acids. Lemon water is a great hydrator. It will wake up your digestive system, helping you cope with the onslaught of food and it?s a general good health tonic, so try and make this a daily habit.
? If you are trying to indulge less this year, a great tip is to clean your teeth after you?ve eaten each meal. It will really help prevent that incessant, unconscious picking at the nuts, chocs, mince pies etc.
? Before you tuck on to your Christmas feasting, take a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar in a little water just as you begin to eat. This will stimulate stomach acid production, needed for protein digestion and good acid levels also ensure the rest of your digestive system is primed for action. If you are prone to indigestion, heart burn, bloating etc. this will really help as will taking digestive enzymes with your meals – readily available from health food shops and online.
? To avoid getting uncomfortably over-stuffed over Christmas, try really hard to eat more slowly and chew, chew, chew. Doing these 2 simple things will result in eating far less but feeling suitable satisfied. Eating quickly inevitably results in over-eating.
? Also, before embarking on that mountain of food, take a few moments to take some deep breaths and calm your system down, especially if you?ve been manically preparing the lunch or rushing around after everybody. You need to switch in to ?rest and digest? mode in order to trigger the digestive processes. If you don?t, you may well end up feeling more stuffed than the turkey and utterly tired out.
? Fill up on the veg and meat. Have a small amount of the roasties (roast parsnips and potatoes have a high glycemic index, meaning they trigger a high blood glucose response, resulting in high insulin levels and high insulin levels make you far more prone to storing body fat). And be honest with yourself ? do you really need that Christmas pud and mince pies? Often we eat because the food is there, it?s what we are used to, but maybe this year you can go without and not see it as deprivation, rather self-preservation. You will feel SO much better if you don?t go mad on all that sweet stuff. Again, these foods that give you a blood sugar surge also put you in fat storage mode.
? Finally, have milk thistle by your bedside. This is a magical herb for liver health. It supports liver detoxification and liver cell renewal so a much needed little Christmas helper for many. Have by your beside and take at night.
Have a great one and I look forward to sharing more health info and my upcoming first book all about stress and why it makes you fat! Happy 2015!