Updated: Dec 3, 2019
There is absolutely no doubt that us Brits L O V E Christmas and each year it creeps in earlier and earlier! Have you noticed as soon as August bank holiday comes and goes selection boxes are beginning to pop up in the supermarket?!
It’s thought that we consume between 6000 & 8000 calories on Christmas Day alone! Not to mention the festivities leading up to it. Work parties, end of term parties, tins of chocolates popping up in the office, the "Stuff it, it’s Christmas" extra mince pie, the variety of alcohol to warm us up by the fire over a weekend. Over the month, actually, 6-8 weeks, it all adds up and it’s easy for the energy levels to deplete and the inches to creep on.
So how do we e n j o y this festive period without feeling uncomfortable, bloated, sluggish and with a dollop of guilt on top?
I’d like to share a few tips that amongst the festivities your body will be grateful for!
Water- Drink 2 litres of water minimum each day to keep the digestive system ticking along and the brain fog at bay. For every glass of alcohol, drink another glass of water. Water is fundamental in decreasing cravings as the body easily mistakes thirst for hunger. Throughout the festive season, with the nature of the foods we eat, we consume more salt and end up even more dehydrated. Dehydration also contributes to a sluggish colon, which in turn will lead to bloating and will adds inches around out middle.
Plan your meals- If you know you’re going to be enjoying festivities one evening, plan so that the other meals you’re having that day are filling and nutritious. Also, if you’re drawn in by the nibbles, ensure you’ve had a meal before you go out. You’ll be less likely to reach for them.
The tins of chocolates- We’ve all been there, a tin of chocolates are in the office, everytime we walk in, walk out, walk by, speak to a colleague, someone mentions Christmas, someone breaks into a song or a festive shimmy and before we know it we’ve consumed…. we don’t even know how many we just know the tin is now empty! Instead, try choosing your favourite 3- 5, and when you’re sat, with a cup of tea, having a break, or post lunch, have them, enjoy them, be really present eating them and don’t feel guilty!! You will definitely enjoy them more, your chocolate need will be more satisfied and you’ll be less likely to dip into more.
Chew your food and eat more slowly- Taking the time to chew your food properly means your body can prepare to receive it more efficiently, digesting it better and reducing that super bloated feeling.
Make and eat homemade- Where possible cook from scratch. When cooking from scratch the ingredients are purer and less processed. You have more control over fat content, sugar content and your body will be grateful for less preservatives.
Exercise- You may already have an exercise routine in place and be super keen to continue with it over the festive period! However, if not, simply going for a gentle walk will not only blow the cobwebs away (particularly during those days between Christmas and New Year) but it will help to keep the digestive system and blood flow ticking along nicely.
Have a little army of wingmen- By that I mean supplements!
Digestive enzymes-will help support those larger meals and will help with that uncomfortable bloating feeling.
Milk Thistle- helps to support the liver during times of ‘over indulgence’ .
Live Bacteria- will help to maintain healthy bacteria levels within the colon. There’s more and more evidence in the link between our gut bacteria and the important role it plays in supporting the digestive system, immune system and reducing an IBS ‘flare up’.
(I stock a wonderful supplement range, if you need help with choosing a range with confidence, do get in touch.)
One last little thing to send you on your merry way! A couple of years ago I was introduced to a wonderful christmassy mincemeat flapjack recipe from Nutritional Therapist, Jane Barrett. It made a great guilt free nutritious treat so I'm passing it on.. It can be found here!
I’m wishing you a very happy and healthy festive season, may you find time to ‘just be’ and make some gorgeous memories with your favourite people!