With just a few days to go before Christmas day, the countdown is well and truly stepping up a gear. So here is my fail safe guide to a happy, healthy Christmas:
- On Christmas morning share a decadent breakfast of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs to help maintain and sustain your energy levels for the big day. A protein rich breakfast will keep your mood, stress levels and energy more balanced than a quick fix like croissants and jam.
- If you are having a starter with your Christmas Day lunch, why not go retro with a prawn cocktail, served with a Marie Rose sauce made with a little tomato puree and creme fraiche, served on crisp salad, or bulk in the veggies and make a seasonal soup.
- The main event of course is Christmas dinner. A celebration of local produce and seasonal foods like turkey, ham, brussel sprouts, parsnips, carrots, maybe a little kale not forgetting the spuds of course! Pack your plate with vegetables and have a little less potato. Remember to cook your roasties in a little duck fat or goose fat, rather than using delicate oils like olive oil or vegetable oil, which will get damaged by the high temperatures in your oven.
- After lunch, enjoy a dessert of your choice, but rather than a huge portion, choose what you really want to eat, have a smaller/medium sized portion and really savour it. Eating mindfully is one of the best things we can do for our appetite (and our waistlines).
- Don’t feel you have to get stuck into the tin of sweets after your dinner, just choose a handful of your favourites and enjoy a few, rather than devouring the tin while watching the Eastenders special!
- Keep well hydrated – remember to drink enough water. Alternate alcohol with a glass of water, or offer sparkling water or still water with some festive pomegranate seeds to give it a Chrsitmassy twist.
- Get some sleep. Burning the candle at both ends and missing out on your sleep will increase levels of a hormone called leptin, which triggers hunger and causes us to overindulge in carby, sugary foods.
- Get outside. Enjoy the outdoors, whatever the weather. Get out for a walk, go for a bike ride or try your hand on the kids’s trampoline or skateboards.
Most of all, have a very happy, healthy Christmas.