This diet rule has just made us feel way less guilty about our Christmas feasts
The Party Season is here….the time of year when it’s so easy to give into excess, with the promise in the back of our minds that we’ll stick to our New Year’s Resolutions to get seriously healthy come January.
It’s pretty much a given that we’re going to indulge somewhat over Christmas so the best thing to do is be prepared and ensure, “Damage Limitation.”
Here, Consultant Nutritionist Emma Buckley shares her top tips.
Eat before you go out!
Don’t arrive at a party starving, you’ll make the worst food choices. Usually the canapés are pastry based and deep fried. The best thing to do is to eat something fairly substantial before you go to the party so that you won’t feel compelled to nibble. If you are planning to go to dinner after the party, why not go before? If you can’t get around to eating before and are starving at the party, go for the healthier options of nibbles, like chicken satay skewers, sushi, prawn cocktail, etc. leaving the deep fried prawns, vol-au-vents and chicken goujons behind.
Keep topping up the hydration.
A hangover is mostly dehydration. Always try to have a glass of water with each glass of alcohol and alternate with soft drinks.
For you and the children, be mindful of how much of something you’re eating. A little of what you fancy does you good - not the whole selection box in one go!
Exercise each day!
Even a quick walk with the kids.
If you’re hosting a party...
You can choose what to serve. Go for foods that are healthy, tasty and easy to prepare, like brown bread and smoked salmon, veg sticks and hummus, unsalted mixed nuts, cheese and fruit, homemade popcorn, homemade salsa and guacamole, chicken and prawns etc.
Add nutrition at each and every opportunity.
Whether it’s having vegetable sticks as a snack, extra salad leaves in the prawn cocktail, smoked salmon as a canapé, however you do it….just do it. Christmas dinner is the one meal you can have plenty of anti-oxidant rich vegetable options: Brussels sprouts, carrots, peas, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower cheese, sweet potatoes, onions and garlic in the turkey and stuffing, the list is endless. When making the cheese sauce, cut a few fat calories by using low-fat milk. Turkey is a great meat, a wonderful source of protein and is low in fat, as long as you avoid the skin. The amount of protein on your plate should be no more than the size of your palm, but given that it’s Christmas day, you’ll probably go for a little more. Ham is also a good source of protein and iron, it can be high in salt and this can be lowered by soaking overnight, then boiling for 20 minutes, change the water and then slowly boil. Roast potatoes and other vegetables in olive oil and use lots of herbs for flavouring. To make gravy, let the turkey juices settle so that you can spoon the fat off the top.
The 80/20 rule.
I love this rule. As long as 80% of food is good, 20% can be not so good!
Lack of sleep can lead to a lowered defence system so make sure you get plenty of sleep and rest and take some downtime for yourself.
Honestly, if you can’t enjoy yourself and let go a little at Christmas, when can you?
Again, surviving the Silly Season is all about planning and preparation and a little bit of surrendering! Please enjoy yourself and don’t beat yourself up if you overindulge a little, it’s good for your soul. As long as you have a great time and don’t regret it, it’s all good. Remember, 80/20!