Christmas in Australia is time to enjoy our family and friends, however all the eating and drinking associated with Christmas can be damaging for our health. It is too easy to enjoy all those Christmas parties, yummy treats and meals a little too much. Here are a few quick and simple tips to keep you stay happy and healthy throughout the Christmas period.
- Plan Ahead – planning helps to reduce the stress that can sometimes be involved in preparing for a healthy Christmas and also having an accidental blow out with food or drink. If you are off to a party have something small to eat before you go particularly a handful of almonds. This will line the stomach if you plan to have a drink and also reduces the temptation to demolish the whole cheese platter.
- Drink Wisely – Avoid over drinking and becoming dehydrated. Consuming a glass of water between alcoholic drinks (or mix soda water with a white wine) will lessen the effects. Resist the temptation of high sugar soft drinks and juices as these are great fat builders to the body.
- Reduce the Damage – If you have a few drinks over Christmas think about supplementing with B vitamins and antioxidants to reduce any damage to your health. An activated B vitamin along with legumes, avocado, nuts and seeds will aid natural forms of Vitamin B. This helps to combat free radical production caused by alcohol drinking increasing natural antioxidants. Additionally, include citrus fruits, berries, parsley, blueberries, green tea, tomatoes and other red or orange veggies into the mix. If you have overdone it (haven’t we all at some point?!) rehydrate with some coconut water which is full of natural antioxidants or try either warm of cooled ginger and lemon tea.
- Stay Hydrated – as the summer heats up it is easy to become dehydrated. Keep a water bottle with you when you are out and about and get into the habit of having a large glass of water about 30mins before your meals. When you next feel hungry, take stock consider is it hunger or thirst.
- Consider Good Choices – Fill up on fruits, veggies and lean protein before hitting up the naughty treat stuff!
- Have a Treat and Enjoy It! – Christmas is not a time to deprive yourself or to aim to loose weight. There are so many delicious foods on offer at Christmas, so enjoy some of them. Choose a treat and then really savour it, just try not to have a complete blow out.
- Keep Moving – The holidays are a great time to get out and be active. Join in with the backyard cricket, the Marco Polo games in the pool or go out for a walk with friends. Aim to do something active every day.
- Aim to Maintain Regular Healthy Habits – At Banksia our programs focus on Five Health Habits which we encourage you to incorporate into your daily lives. Most of these are simple and only take a couple a minutes, so aim to keep these going through the busyness of the Christmas period. Your body will really thank you.
Importantly, have fun. Enjoy time with your family and friends and don’t aim for everything to be perfect. Life can be unpredictable and sometimes we just need to go with the flow
Wishing you a wonderful and very happy and healthy Christmas
Charmaine and the Banksia Team