Melanie Waxman’s tips for a Healthy Christmas
The nutritional expert Melanie Waxman shares her tips and tricks for you to look and feel your best this Christmas!
"A healthy Christmas doesn’t mean resisting all your favourite foods, but rather making mindful choices and small changes that will keep you feeling fit, happy, and in good shape".
The festive season is upon us, which means more parties, more alcohol and more food. Why not choose to be healthy instead, and still enjoy the holidays? This doesn’t mean resisting all your favourite foods, but rather making mindful choices and small changes that will keep you feeling fit, happy, and in good shape.
Here are some easy ways to enjoy the festivities while maintaining your health:
When it comes to cooking, creating new dishes and traditions for your friends and family is a great way to incorporate healthier options into your holiday feast. There are many ways you can do this, for example, by adding soups, versatile salads and vegetable dishes, as well as whole grains instead of refined carbohydrates.
How can we make salads and vegetable dishes more exciting? Add seasonal fruits, vegetables and nuts into them! Use pomegranates, tangerines, parsnips, brussel sprouts, pumpkin, kale, pears, leek, walnuts, and chestnuts to spice them up!
How to avoid falling in an unhealthy trap?
- If you’re heading to a Christmas party where you know there aren’t going to be any healthy options, you can have a small meal prior to curb your appetite. Another trick is to prepare a lovely, healthy dish to bring to a party, so that there is something delicious and healthy you can eat.
- Start your day with a nourishing, high-energy breakfast to keep you fuelled and energised throughout the day and will also influence your food choices. What does the perfect breakfast look like? Some of our favourites are: miso soup, hot porridge, fresh berries, nuts and seeds, or a refreshing vegetable juice. Having a healthy breakfast can prevent you from overeating at other meals.
- Bring healthy snacks to work to avoid being tempted by the holiday treats that often pile up at the office.
- Make sure to get a good night sleep and rest well. We tend to make poor choices and eat higher calorie foods when feeling tired.
What not to do:
Don’t skip meals in lieu of the big feast. This can affect your energy and blood sugar levels and make you more likely to overeat later on. Instead provide a selection of simple snacks for everyone to munch on, like for example, raw vegetable sticks, hummus, vegetable or bean soups, apple slices, fruit salad or toasted almonds.
Swap sugar for healthier alternatives
Rather than using refined sugar, chose natural sweeteners for baking cakes, cookies and pies – rice syrup and maple syrup are great substitutes!
How to balance the healthier foods with the heavier ones
We believe you should enjoy eating the meals you love, therefore, make sure to include plenty of alkaline forming foods over the holidays – greens, pickles, sauerkraut, miso soup, lemons, and sea vegetables. They will balance out the acid forming ones – animal proteins, sugar, refined carbs, and alcohol.
It’s all about balance
- Watch the portions. Even healthy foods can add the kilos if you eat too much. Chose a smaller plate and serve less food. Have smaller bites, chew well and eat slowly. Only chose the foods that you love and really want. Don’t pile your plate with everything just because it is there.
- Pick indulgences wisely. Chose things that are special to the holidays and unique to the season. Really enjoy and savour what you eat without feeling any guilt. Then get back on track the next day.
- Keep hydrated. Drink plenty of water or herbal teas as this prevents you from overeating. It is often water we need and not food.
With these tips on how to celebrate a healthy Christmas, you’ll feel more balanced, energised and fit throughout the holidays. You don’t have to leave all your healthy habits aside to enjoy the festivities!