I just don’t have a cut off switch when it comes to a Christmas feast. The problem is, with silly season in full swing I’m overindulging in way too many Christmas temptations. Between work functions, end of year farewells, catch ups and family gatherings I’m saying yes to everything – including my aunty’s absolute killer trifle…oh my, it’s soooo unhealthily delicious.
There’s something about the festive season that turns me into an eating machine, which goes against my normal routine of eating healthy and exercising regularly. This year I’m committed to having a healthy Christmas. I’m not going to lie, I will be enjoying that trifle because food is my world and let’s be honest, it’s about bringing people together and having some fun, this year I’m just going to be sensible about it. I’ve come up with my tips to a healthy Christmas:
- Avoid drinking too much…I know, it’s an obvious one, but it’s one of the biggest factors to staying healthy. Challenge yourself to some alcohol free days.
- Don’t sit still for too long – it’s ok to eat your mum’s amazing Christmas pudding, just make sure you balance it out with some regular exercise. Go for a stroll after dinner with the family, test out the new skate board your nephew got from santa, or challenge your family to some healthy competition with a volleyball match (I must keep my winning streak going!).
- Don’t go crazy on three meals a day. If you know you will be having a big lunch or dinner. Limit yourself to a light healthy breakfast, maybe a small bowl of summer fruits to start the day.
- Eat slowly – Give your brain time to register that your stomach is full. Taking small mouthfuls and chewing properly will also help with digestion.
- Healthy options – If you are hosting, add in those healthy options too, maybe some sushi, sandwiches or a nice cheese platter with tzatziki and vegie sticks. Or prepare a kick arse salad to bring to your family lunch.
- Heading to a Christmas party? Make sure you have a small healthy snack before you leave, it helps with the urge to go back for that second or third plate of Christmas delights. Pace yourself…
- Load the plate with healthy food first – leave only a small portion on your plate for the more unhealthy options.
I love Christmas and all that comes with it, but it’s important to look after yourself and your health. It’s going to be a challenge but I know you can do it – (picture me cheering you on the sidelines – or maybe not, that’s a little weird).
A lot of us will be on the road visiting our family and friends, so be sure to stop and stretch your legs at one of the Coorong Healthy Highways active spaces or healthy outlet to keep you on track, visit www.cooronghealthyhighways.com.au. Merry Christmas!
Emily Arbon (Christmas lover & Coorong Healthy Highways supporter)