Over the next 6 weeks or so at Christmas there is a great deal of temptation and potential gluttony that could undo some of the amazing work that you have achieved over the last few months. Now please don’t get me wrong, enjoy your Christmas just have a think about the rules of the game.
Clever food choices
- Protein is your friend, make sure that you are having protein for every meal, especially breakfast, you are less likely to reach for the mince pies later in the day!
- Easing off the potatoes on Christmas Day leaves more room for Christmas pudding and means you are having the carbs for dessert instead of for the main course, I’ve been doing this for years and find I enjoy my Christmas Day far more because of it.
- Keeping up with your veg intake, particularly cruciferous ones like broccoli and Brussel sprouts, they help your liver to metabolise alcohol and help it detox all that rich food by increasing liver enzymes!
- Drink black coffee after a big meal particularly at lunchtime, this really helps your liver and your digestion, if you can’t manage caffeine then try decaffeinated (still at lunch though because it does have a small amount of caffeine).
- Eat nuts and seeds, a great snack to have when you get peckish or are having a glass of wine or Champagne away from a meal. BONUS – nuts support the production of liver enzymes so they are also helping your liver to detox the drink! Toast them, roast them, flavour them with spices, treat other people with something special.
Sweet treats after Christmas meals
- There are often plenty of these around at this time of year. The mince pies, Christmas cake and chocolates, have them as part of your meal, preferably at lunchtime, this slows down the release of sugar and therefore makes the job of metabolising the sugar easier for your body.
- Don’t have them output them away after meals the same way you put the other food away. Having chocolates sitting out when you’re watching TV or in the kitchen just makes you more likely to reach for them and once you’ve had one – well who knows what happens then!
- A bit more about chocolates, if you are the one buying them, buy dark and buy the best quality, enjoy them, make them special and finish them!
Alcohol with food or food with alcohol
- This speaks for itself
- If you are drinking away from a meal then have some nuts or a protein-rich snack, it will help to keep your blood sugar more stable as alcohol can make it drop significantly after the initial high causing you to reach for the sweet treats!
- Otherwise drink alcohol with a meal that contains protein.
Water, Water, Water
- Flush out your liver and kidneys and prepare them for what comes next
- Have water on the table at mealtimes and pour it out for everyone at the start of the meal, that encourages you and your fellow diners to drink some before eating – along with whatever is in your other glass!
- Have a glass of water when you get out of bed
- And another before each meal, even if you are having a glass of wine or a gin and tonic
- Drink a glass every time you reach for anything to eat or drink, you are probably thirsty. Whether it be tea, coffee, wine, gin, cake or chocolates that you are reaching for you are probably thirsty. So have a glass of water first!
Do something active and positive
- I love winter walks, don’t you? So wrap up warm and get outside, best to do this in the morning, once the light starts going it’s much harder to motivate yourself though any time will do.
- Dance – that morning dance in the bathroom. The music while you’re cooking. Let them take you to a happy place and Ge-e-et Dancing!
- Laugh, put a comedy show on TV, spend time with a friend that you know will make you laugh, listen to something funny. Laughter is so good for us – boosting the endorphins to make us feel better, increasing our oxygen intake and helping us to relax. It’s not just a short term pick me up either it also supports our long term health by improving the function of our immune system and relieving pain. Just laugh.
- Sing – singing has lots of the benefits that laughter does, improving your mood, relieving stress and improving sleep and helping with pain. It even improves your posture, increases your lung capacity and can help to clear your sinuses!
And last but by no means least
Take some time for yourself this Christmas
Are you someone who is constantly thinking of others, particularly at Christmas? This year remember to take some time for you, just you, to have space to replenish your energy, to fill your cup so you can give more to those you love most dearly (and the other ones!)
- Go and take a soak in the bath, use some Epsom salts or essential oils to enhance the relaxation.
- Go for a walk on your own.
- Read a book.
- Sit for 10-15 minutes on your own with some music on or just quietly. I find it good to have a pen and paper handy because this time often brings the best thoughts and ideas.
- Do some yoga/pilates/stretching
- Have a rest in the afternoon, lying flat resets your nervous system.
The more you take time for yourself, the more you can give back and the more fun you are likely to have. If you would like some further support on managing your energy levels and nutrition now or in the future, get in touch!