Christmas is a tricky time – so much food around, so much fun going on and plenty of booze a-flowing.
I’m often asked for tips to survive Christmas – after all, it’s when pretty much everything falls by the wayside, other than actual eating – and there are really only 3 essential tips that I have to share.
The reason I have only three essential tips (there are plenty of others you can try: I wrote about them here and here) is that I truly believe that Christmas is for enjoying time with the people you love. Part of ‘enjoying’ this time is, inevitably sharing food together.
Whether or not you feel that the meaning of Christmas has been lost thanks to consumerism, humans have ALWAYS celebrated good times (and commiserated bad times) by feasting and eating together. Which means trying to eat less, or be on a diet, or be ‘good’ during the holiday season just feels like a really sad thing to have to do.
Instead, just follow the three essential tips, and you’ll fly through Christmas like a superstar. (It’ll also give you a huge head start for the New Year too – especially if you want to actually Start Right)
- Be hydrated. Pretty much every single aspect of Christmas is dehydrating – from the gingerbread cafe lattes to the booze in the evening, from the salty pretzels to the takeaways, from the fingerfoods to the stress of finger-pointing families, everything you do in the next few weeks will dehydrate you like salt on a slug. And what do we do about it? We drink more booze! More soda! More coffee!Rather than try to avoid all those things that make Christmas special, just hydrate instead. Water in the morning when you wake up, and then a glass of water before meals and MOST importantly, before you go to bed after a boozy night out, have some more water. It’ll save you, your skin, your butt and most of all, your brain.
- Have some protein for breakfast – some nice, blood sugar balancing (so you don’t dip into a tub of chocolates before you’ve even switched on your laptop) protein for breakfast will do you the world of good. Things like: nuts and seeds on your porridge/cereal, a nice bit of fish on toast (kippers may stink but darn it, they make a healthy addition to your breakfast) or some lovely eggs and beans. It doesn’t matter what you have – just pick something that you can actually manage, and give it a go.
- I know that Christmas is all about red santa hats and sparkly tinsel, but to get through Christmas, you need to go green. And I’m not talking about recycling. (although, as you may already know, I’m a big fan of recycling, so yes, do that too)I’m talking green FOODS. Broccoli. Spinach. Lettuce leaves. Fresh basil. Avocados. Sprouts. Cucumber. Peas.Adding something green every day over the holiday period is seriously one of the easiest yet most brilliant ways of getting some goodness into your life. Green stuff tends to be the really good stuff – so instead of trying to remember what it is that you may, or may not need, just look at your plate and think ‘is there something green here?’. If there is, tuck in. And if there isn’t, go and see if you can put something green in there. You don’t need to do it for every meal, and you certainly don’t need to worry about portion sizes or calories. Just add something green.
So, here’s a very Merry Christmas to you – may you enjoy yourself without worrying if you are doing the right, or the wrong thing.
The New Year is a great time to start eating better (more details on that soon – sign up to my newsletter to be the first to hear about it) and Christmas doesn’t have to be the end of all your good eating intentions.