Eat, Enjoy, Drink & Be Merry this Christmas!
Now that December has arrived, it’s time to bust out the Christmas decorations and officially kick off the festive season! That means enjoying end of year work parties and summertime get-togethers before Christmas lunch even rolls around, not to mention the inevitable Boxing Day brunch, boozy New Year’s Eve celebrations and the hazy days that follow before we return to reality in January.
While the festive season should definitely be enjoyed after a year of responsibilities, deadlines and ups and downs, a month of untempered excess will make it a lot harder to start the new year feeling fresh. By enjoying food and drinking consciously this Christmas, you’ll avoid the sugar crashes, hangovers and mood swings that inevitably follow the excesses of summertime’s many celebrations.
Eating a balanced diet
Continuing to eat a balanced diet during the festive season can be especially hard because our routines become drastically altered. While you might enjoy sleeping in and eating out more than usual, don’t forget to check in with yourself to ensure you’re still eating a variety of foods, plenty of fresh fruit & vegetables and wholefood proteins.
It’s still possible to eat well even when you’re enjoying a relaxing day (or month). You can whip together a quick green smoothie that covers your veggie intake for the day. You can enjoy that breakfast pancake stack you’ve been craving by picking a recipe that won’t leave you feeling sluggish (we’ve got you covered with our protein-packed pancake mixes). If you’re vegging out in front of the TV for the day, don’t grab one of the sugar-packed snacks bursting from the supermarket shelves this time of year. Try munching on roasted nuts and seeds instead which add fibre, vitamins and proteins to your diet (our breakfast toppers with natural yoghurt double as a great at-home snack). And if you’re running around with a list of errands, keep snacks like our all-natural Peanut Butter Bars on hand to give you a sustained boost of energy when you most need it.
While it’s important to maintain a balanced diet during this month of excess, it’s just as important to let yourself indulge and enjoy this time of year. Restricting yourself completely won’t just impact your ability to freely partake in all the festivities, it will cause you unnecessary stress during a time that should be fun and careless!
The trick to enjoying Christmas time indulgence is to truly indulge – that means taking the time to really savour every bite of pudding and every sip of wine. When we mindlessly and guiltily consume snacks, we don’t get to process our enjoyment of them. Instead, we crave more and more, consuming way more sugar without actually enjoying the treats we’re having.
While limiting our sugar intake is best for our health, enjoying sweet treats every now and then is totally ok. Allow yourself to indulge over Christmas, without guilt or shame – just ensure you’re not replacing the five food groups with chocolate for the entire festive season! And when all the celebrations are over, keep healthy treats on hand that taste as decadent as your old favourites, like our Choc Chip Crunch Peanut Butter Bars that will satisfy your cravings without giving you a nasty sugar crash.
Staying active during the holidays
Losing our everyday routines over the holidays can impact our motivation to get regular exercise – especially when the sweltering summer days stack up, making us lethargic and content to lay around in the shade enjoying a glass or two of rosé.
If you’re not hitting the gym as regularly as you would throughout the year, you can still enjoy a jog or a walk around your neighbourhood in the evening when the harsh December sun has set, or an early morning stroll if your circadian rhythm gets you up early even when you’re on holidays.
If you’re finding it particularly hard to stay active during this time, make it fun and rewarding for yourself. Walk to get your daily caffeine fix instead of driving or taking the tram. Have a 15-minute solo dance party in your bedroom to cheesy songs that make you smile. When the kids start playing footy in the backyard or throwing a frisbee around after Christmas lunch, kick your shoes off and join them! Keeping active doesn’t have to look like running on the treadmill or lifting weights, as long as you’re moving and getting your heart rate up, you’re on the right track!
It’s all about balance
December is a month for celebrating – looking back fondly on the year that was and looking excitedly to the new year with all its possibilities waiting to be discovered. By looking after yourself this festive season, you’re giving yourself the best launching pad for 2020.
So this holiday season, go ahead and have a second helping of ham, have a slice of cake, drink that cocktail (who am I kidding... cocktails is a plural!) Don’t make yourself feel bad for indulging a bit during this time of year. It’s summertime, it’s Christmas – it’s inevitable. Just remember that balance is the key to good health. Don’t neglect fruit and veggies, grains and cereals, legumes, nuts, proteins like lean meats, fish, tofu and tempeh – they belong in the festive season just as much as wine and chocolate!