It’s the ‘most wonderful time of the year’ filled with parties and family get togethers (YAY!), so we thought we’d ask our resident nutritionist Plantbased Pixie for her to tips and healthy hacks to help get you through the festive period feeling your best!
1. Avoid food guilt!
Christmas is the time people come together and end up in one of two camps: the “Oh go on then it’s almost Christmas” camp, and the “I’m trying to be good” camp. Neither one of those is particularly advisable, and both can bring up feelings of food guilt. These feelings of guilt aren’t helpful, and just make us feel worse about ourselves. Don’t beat yourself up for eating a few more chocolates than planned, it’s perfectly normal. You should never feel guilty for eating any food. If you find yourself overeating, don’t be too hard on yourself, try and understand what caused it: stress? Undereating earlier in the day? Perhaps you need to eat a bit more mindfully and focus on the food without distractions? Following overeating, the worst thing you can do is restrict yourself to compensate, as this starts a restrict-overeat-restrict cycle which can be psychologically damaging. The best thing you can do is simply going back to eating normally.
2. Make sure you’re still getting enough nutrients.
If you’re worried about getting enough nutrients, there are several healthy hacks you can do to ease your mind. Taking a multivitamin is the easiest and most convenient option, but you can also have a juice or smoothie with your breakfast or lunch to get extra nutrition, or snack on Christmassy fruit like pomegranate or satsumas. The most important thing is that you’re not stressing about it, because extra stress is the last thing you need!
3. Don’t feel you have to over exercise to compensate for festive indulgence
Avoid media articles that tell you how much exercise you have to do to burn off that mince pie or that festive Christmas drink. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. Food is there to be enjoyed, food gives your body the energy to function and move and live. Move your body if you want to, in a way you enjoy, but not as punishment for doing something you need to survive. Also, please don’t do crazy HIIT workouts on a hangover, go easy on yourself! Go for a walk or do some light stretching or yoga; these things all count as movement.
4. Keep eating plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Try warm salads instead of cold ones, such as warm rice with roasted vegetables, spinach, and a protein (e.g. tofu, halloumi, or chicken). Add frozen berries into your warm porridge, snack on carrot sticks with hummus, and order vegetables as a side dish to share when you go out to eat. Boiled vegetables can be really boring, so jazz them up a bit. Winter vegetables taste incredible when roasted with a generous amount of oil and salt, which in no way takes away from their amazing nutritional value. Think honey-roasted carrots, par-boiled sprouts roasted with olive oil and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds, and giant paprika sweet potato wedges. Yum! You can always find B.fresh juices packed with vitamins and minerals, which also makes them the perfect healthy hack during a busy Christmas season. Take a look here
5. Enjoy yourself!
That is absolutely the most important thing and one of our top healthy hacks. This is not the time to add extra stress on top of all the preparation that goes into Christmas. Don’t let food anxieties become an additional stressor, see food instead for what it really is this Christmas: it’s more than just fuel. It’s celebration, tradition, and pleasure!
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