Top 5 tips to stay Happy and Healthy over Christmas:
Keep hydrated when drinking alcohol: if you are drinking alcohol try to consume it in moderation. The recommendation for both men and women is to avoid drinking more than 14 units of alcohol per week and to spread those units over the week. As alcohol may cause us to pass more urine than usual, remember to alternate water or sugar-free fizzy drinks with your alcoholic drink. Also, in general, aim to drink at least 6 or 8 glasses of fluid a day (water, low-fat milk, sugar-free drinks all count) and check the colour of your urine to see if you are well hydrated - we should all aim for a pale straw colour or clear urine.
Try not to focus on the fear of gaining weight: it is unlikely that a few days of different eating habits will result in weight gain. Our body naturally fluctuates during the day and over a week and it shouldn’t be a cause of stress or something to worry about. Remember that health can be improved independently of your weight. Instead, focus on enjoying delicious meals.
Enjoy the outdoors and gentle movement: there is plenty of research showing that increasing daily movement has a positive effect on both our mental and physical health. Try to go on a festive walk with your loved ones perhaps with a warm hot chocolate in your hands.
Include some vegetables in your meals: whether you will be eating at home or at the restaurant try to serve a variety of vegetables to help you meet your 5-a-day. Roasted vegetables are always a good option and you can try to add some nuts and pomegranate seeds ones cooked for a fun twist.
Have a nutritious breakfast to start your day: a way to keep a routine is to start your day with a nutritious high fibre breakfast. For example, having an oat-based porridge is a great way to start your Christmas day. Try to be creative with your topping by adding cranberries, mixed nuts and seeds, kefir, yoghurt, peanut butter, chocolate, etc.
Gingerbread breakfast pancakes.
320 ml milk
4 Tbsp maple syrup
2 eggs, room temperature
3 Tbsp butter, melted
240 g flour
3 Tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
In a bowl combine the wet ingredients: milk, maple syrup, eggs, butter and whisk well until combined
In another bowl mix the flour, brown sugar, salt, spices, vanilla, baking powder.
Gradually incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir only until combined. Let the batter sit for 3-5 minutes to thicken.
Heat a large non-stick pan on medium heat and grease the pan with butter.
Pour ¼ cup of batter per pancake and cook on one side until holes start to form around the edges (around 2 minutes). Flip the pancakes and cook on the other side for additional 1-2 minutes.
Serve with yoghurt or whipped cream, fresh fruit, nuts and an extra drizzle of maple syrup.
Francesca is our Registered Associate Nutritionist. Francesca specialises in healthy eating advice, sports and dance nutrition, vegan/vegetarian diets and intuitive eating. Francesca aims to provide her clients with the right tools to nourish and fuel their bodies without restriction or food rules, in a way that makes them reach their goals and feel the best. Contact us to book Francesca.