Christmas wouldn’t be the same without a cup of hot chocolate in hand and a constant trail of cookie crumbs down your new knitted jumper, right? But the question is, how can we stay healthy during this festive season? Its not only Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were talking about , but its the entire season. I’m off to Beirut in less than 10 days for a nice long vacation, and honestly i doubt I will be heading to the gym anytime there. Might hit the corniche for a few runs with my dad, some push ups and sit ups here and there but I guess thats about it.
I know we all assume that our health will get neglected during the holidays as the hectic Christmas season takes over our lives. No time for the gym, too much shopping to do, loads of family reunions, parties left and right but it’s up to you to make it work.
Here are some ways to have a healthy Christmas inspired by some of my favorite health experts.
If you are hungry as soon as you arrive at a party, and you struggle to resist the canapés, always have a pre-party snack. One of my favorites is cup of greek yogurt and a couple of banana slices.The yogurt’s protein slows stomach emptying, which helps delay the effects of that first glass of wine while the potassium-rich banana helps balance any increase in my salt intake – especially helpful if I’m going to be nibbling on olives, crisps or salted nuts.
THINK AHEAD OF PARTIES
When you get to yourChristmas party, choose your drinks and canapés wisely. Cocktails are an easy way to ramp up the sugar load. Stick to red or white wine and alternate your alcoholic drinks with still or sparkling water with lemon/lime to give your liver a break. Go for the veg sticks, olives, sashimi, pigs in blankets, cheese and nuts but steer clear of the mini pastries, tarts and fried foods.
In between celebrations, go for foods that cleanse and support your metabolism to lighten the overall load when you do over-eat. Prioritise fresh salads, such as chicken and greens, veg-heavy soups, , oily fish and eggs. These contain essential B vitamins, Omega-3 fats, magnesium and other nutrients that help your body deal with excess sugar. Skip the bread, pies and pastries on your ‘good’ days.
EAT IN BALANCE
When Christmas Day arrives, fill up a third of your plate with succulent turkey, half with delicious veggies and the rest with the trimmings, like potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce… Go easy on the Christmas pudding and treat yourself to some good-quality dark chocolate – at least 70% cacao – when everyone else is ploughing into their selection boxes. If you get hungry later on, snack on nuts or clementines and drink plenty of filtered water. Ease your digestion further with some peppermint, fennel or ginger teas.
After indulging, have a light breakfast such as oatmeal and berries followed by eggs and spinach to help your digestive system recover quickly.
Most importantly, my final tip for having a healthy christmas is to just let go and enjoy every minute of it. Don’t worry too much about what is passing your lips and how long you’ll have to spend on the treadmill come January. ’Tis the season to be jolly, after all. should be all set for a happy Christmas! Merry Xmas y’all!!!