The arrival of the festive season comes with bountiful servings of ham, turkey, seafood and Christmas pudding coupled with late nights jam-packed with eggnog, champagne, beer and nibblies.
Regardless of your preferences, when it comes to the festive season there is a tendency among many to over-indulge – and this can be hard to avoid!
There are the Christmas parties, the office festivities, the lunches with friends and relatives, and end of year celebrations. Depending on your schedule you may have anywhere between two and ten of these occasions to attend, which may leave you feeling not only exhausted, but bloated.
This year, avoid or reduce the discomforts associated with the festivities by not throwing your healthy eating and exercise regimen out the window, and instead develop a game-plan to face the ‘silly season’ head on!
1. Be proactive
You have the opportunity to enjoy the festive season without compromising your waistline or your energy levels. This can be achieved by being proactive and adopting strategies to manoeuvre your way through the abundance of food and drink that may be on offer.
You can navigate your way through the festive season offerings by making healthy choices and planning ahead simply by:
- Planning ahead! Make the effort to stop at a supermarket and buy some fresh fruit and crudité vegetables (carrots, celery, capsicum, etc.) to take on your journey to use as snacks. Natural yoghurt and fresh, unsalted nuts also make handy, more healthy snack options when on the road; and
- Load up on incidental exercise: Just because you’re on holiday doesn’t mean your muscles have to be. Make the most of the sunny weather and exercise outdoors. Balance out Christmas lunch with a game of backyard cricket. If you’re staying at the coast, start your day with a beach walk. If you’re hitting the shops for the Boxing Day Sales, park a little further away and pack in some extra steps. Every little bit helps!
2. Know your limits
If your pants are feeling a little tight around the waist, chances are you have over-indulged.
Excessive alcohol consumption and fatty foods are many times part and parcel of the festive season. However, you can look out for your health by enjoying such pleasures in moderation. Here’s some tips on how:
- Limit alcohol consumption. This way you can enjoy the festive season without the hangover or compromising your health. For example, stick to a maximum of two glasses of wine per event or dilute your alcohol with soda water or orange juice if you are enjoying a champagne;
- Consume plenty of water. It’s hot outside and with all the shopping, socialising and things to be done, keeping hydrated is a must, so ensure you are drinking 2 L each day of plain water. A great way to hydrate when your indulging is to be sure that for every alcoholic drink you consume, you also have a glass of water; and
- Watch your serving size. Be aware of what you are eating, and choose smaller portion sizes when visiting the buffet or going for that extra serving of pudding. And when it is time for a sweet treat, pick your favourite and reserve it to one serving.
3. Replenish your nutrients after alcohol consumption
If you’re drinking more alcohol than usual over the silly season, it’s more important than ever to ensure your body has plenty of B complex vitamins, as they are important in assisting your body in their breakdown and removal of alcohol by the liver. Vitamins B1, B2 & B3 are most at risk of deficiency due to excess alcohol consumption, and as B vitamins are best absorbed and used by the body when consumed together, make sure you choose a B complex vitamin.
4. Protect your liver
As stated above, the festive season is also a crucial time to look after your liver due to an increase in your alcohol intake, but did you know that the liver is performs an array of critical actions every day, including detoxifying metabolic wastes, making bile for the digestion of dietary fats, and processing nutrients.
Ethical Nutrients Liver Detox & Support contains a combination of star ingredients including Turmeric which has been traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine to support the liver and for detoxification, Rosemary as an antioxidant and Milk Thistle to help maintain healthy liver function. At a dose of just two tablets per day, you are taking a proactive approach against the potential impact of all those upcoming festivities as this formula may protect the liver, support liver detoxification and maintain healthy liver function.
5. Try These Festive Food Swaps
If you are hosting Christmas this year why not swap the traditional heavy lunch and dinner items for lighter, more contemporary fare, such as seafood platters, prawns, fresh fish, oysters or maybe a vegetarian favourite - nut roast?
Summer is the perfect time to indulge in a myriad of versatile, colourful salads and fresh fruit options instead of the traditional roast potatoes. Add interest to your green salads by including grapes and crunchy apples wedges, or impress your guests with a rocket, walnut and fetta salad with grated beetroot for visual impact.
If you are sticking to more traditional vegetables you can still swap the baked potatoes for steamed pumpkin and sweet potato, while including a yummy but healthy side like baby broccoli and green beans with flaked almonds, or baby carrots drizzled with a little honey. Don’t be limited by traditional food ideas - set your culinary creativity free.
The bottom line
Summer is a time to enjoy the outdoors, treasure time with family and friends and most importantly, to relax. Enjoy the festivities without feeling guilty or compromising your health, make a game plan using the tips above.