Enjoying yourself during the festive season can sometimes seem difficult if you’re trying to stay fit and healthy, so our nutritional therapist Lesley Harper has come up with some hints and tips to keep you feeling good.
- Become more conscious of eating and try to savour each mouthful. Chewing your food well can help you to feel full sooner. You will also be giving your body the time it needs to produce digestive enzymes which can help to prevent digestive discomfort.
- Drink, drink, drink … plenty of hydrating fluids to help minimise the effect of alcohol. Aim for one-and-a-half to two litres of fluid per day, ideally consisting of plain water, herbal or fruit teas.
- Watch the canapés – steer clear of over-processed pastries and savoury snacks as most of them are high in hydrogenated fats and salt. See below for healthier suggestions.
- Don’t stand beside the buffet as it is likely to lead to mindless eating!
Making healthy choices
There are plenty of healthier choices available in the Christmas larder:
- Unsalted nuts and seeds are good sources of protein and essential fats; both vital to keep energy levels balanced and to help keep hunger pangs at bay – so get out the nutcrackers!
- Houmous, guacamole and salsa are healthier choices than cream or cheese dips.
- Figs and dates are rich in fibre so can help to maintain healthy digestion and help clear toxins from the body. Figs are also one of the highest plant sources of calcium, and contain vitamin C; especially important at this time of year to support immunity.
- Olives can help the liver to secrete bile, which is needed to break down fat from the diet.
- Celery sticks are excellent for liver and digestive health, while carrot sticks are high in beta-carotene – an anti-oxidant important for immune health.
- Snacking on these foods can help keep your nutrient levels topped up and are so much better for you than snacking on crisps, cheese puffs and salted nuts.
Your liver might be especially overloaded at this time of year. You can help to lighten the load by:
- Limiting your alcohol intake. Don’t drink every day, and don’t binge drink.
- Trying to have a glass of water between each alcoholic drink to help maintain good hydration.
- Including avocado, beetroot, apple, artichoke, ginger, and lemon in your diet. Start your day with hot water and lemon, or juice carrot, beetroot, apple and ginger for a nutrient-dense liver supporting drink.
Chamomile, fennel, peppermint and ginger teas can settle your stomach and help prevent bloating after you’ve made your way through turkey and trimmings.
Try to take some form of exercise each day, even if it is only a ten minute walk after dinner. This can help to balance energy levels, aid digestion, and prevent over-snacking.
Enjoy your food and drink, and remember you don’t have to say no all the time.
Just say no to second helpings!
At our Exmouth eco-clinic, we offer a multi-disciplinary team approach involving acupuncture, emotional freedom technique, massage therapies, McTimoney chiropractic, myofascial release, nutrition, reflexology, circuit training, corrective exercise, Pilates, Tai Chi, TRX, yoga and more.
Lesley offers no-charge 15-minute consultations to enable you to decide if nutritional therapy will be helpful for you. Call to book your appointment.