Whether you call it Christmas, the Holidays or the Festive Season … it’s often busy! Yup, we love those catch ups with people you don’t see often, socialising with family & friends. Honestly, there is a lot of love about the season & food plays a big part.
No doubt about it – Christmas is an easy time to overindulge. Need some tips to help?
At our house Christmas is about family, fun & laughter plus of course food. We try to keep it healthy as a rule of thumb (don’t get me wrong there are some indulgences)! Here are some ways we try to keep it healthy over the festive season.
Take a plate, keep it healthy.
Most gatherings we attend as a family or as individuals are “take a plate” kinda deals. Whether the direction has been given for nibbles or a salad as the contribution, I make sure it is loaded with vegies & it offers a rainbow of colour. It also means, there is something there to keep me on track with my eating too!
I make sure to always have 3 meals a day (breakfast, lunch & dinner), as skipping can be just as bad as overeating. As an example, if I attended a lunchtime BBQ catch up, then it will be a lighter dinner with salad & fish; or if it was a big Christmas party night, then I aim for a vegie rich breakfast with some cheese.
Some foods are just intertwined with the Christmas – the fruit mince pies, the rumballs, ham off the bone & the fresh cherries! So, go for quality not quantity, remember to enjoy them in moderation & savour each bite.
Give a bit of thought to water. Truly, if you are hosting an event this will be welcomed by the designated drivers, the pregnant friends or the peeps who just “don’t like wine”.
Keep big jugs of water available so everyone can keep hydrated. Need to get a bit fancy? No problems, add in some orange & basil; or lemon & cucumber; perhaps some fresh berries; or some ginger & lime (seriously, there are loads of options to pimp up your water & make it special). If you love ice in your drinks; try adding cut up fruit or herbs to them, so you can just pop them into the jug (or glass) with no fuss!
Moderate the Christmas cheer
There are a few strategies you can use here. A popular one is to alternate your drinks – try alcoholic with non-alcoholic drinks; maybe you could opt for 2-3 gatherings where you drink & others where you are the designated driver; or perhaps make a drink plan so you have a pre-set limit for alcohol.
Aim for weight maintenance.
Honestly, for some it is unrealistic to lose weight over Christmas (FYI that’s me). If you are on a weight loss journey perhaps aim for maintaining during this period. Often it is a lifestyle change, so this “maintenance” will align with what will happen when you reach your goal weight.
Choose fruit-based desserts.
Now it is summer here in Oz & I am lucky enough to live in a sub-tropical climate, so there is a lot to love about fruit this time of the year. THINK: mangoes, cherries, stone fruit, watermelon – there are a lot of yummy choices!
There are a lot of options here! Go for a walk (short or long); or if you have got little munchkins around – visit a playground. If you are lucky enough to be at or near the beach, go for a swim, do some bodyboarding, try some surfing lessons or just take a long beach walk. Perhaps, grab some sports stuff out of the cupboard, dust it off & get outside THINK: backyard cricket, bocce, coits or even badminton. Just get outside, get moving & enjoy the sunshine.
Just enjoy Christmas.
Remember to enjoy the company of the people with you, appreciate the talk & laughter, savour the meals. Take your time to enjoy the season in all its glory.