screen-shot-2016-12-13-at-16-12-03How to stay vibrant and healthy this Christmas: no abstinence required!

December is a time when healthy food and plenty of sleep can get pushed to the wayside.

Here is a brief reminder of some of the things we can do to practise just a wee bit of self care to keep us smiling like Santa and not scowling like Scrooge this year!

  1. Nibble on olives at buffets or “the day after.” Olives contain compounds related to those found in Ibuprofen, ie they’re great anti-inflammatories.   Hangovers are thought to be in part due to elevated inflammatory markers.
  2. Make sure you don’t stand near the buffet table all night at a “do.”. You’ll only pick mindlessly.  Choose some interesting things, ideally with some protein in, put on your plate and start up a conversation elsewhere.
  3. If you know that once you start on the crisps, you won’t be able to stop, then don’t start.. Walk away – you’re stronger than a deep fried over-heated bit of potato. (ok, so a little bit of abstinence here it’s true!)
  4. Get the Nutribullet (or such like) out for the mornings. Pack it with spinach, celery, pineapple chunks, ginger, lime, pumpkin seeds and coconut water if you’re feeling a bit jaded.  This is packed full of electrolytes (so really hydrating), B vitamins, anti-inflammatory Bromelain, vitamin C, zinc and some B vits.   This is immune boosting, energy giving and nutrient dense.   Serve it with a boiled or scrambled egg and you’ll be set for the day.
  5. Chop up a load of veg in advance and keep in fridge.   As nibbles put them out on a plate with a dip like houmous or babaganoush.   It looks pretty, tastes great and is providing you with a heap of nutrients.
  6. If you suffer from bloating, 10 minutes before large meals, have a tbsp. of apple cider vinegar in some water. This will help you to digest the feast you’re about to tuck into.  Don’t forget to chew really well.
  7. Tuck into turkey! It’s high in tryptophan, an amino acid that gets turned into serotonin and melatonin in the body, thus helping us sleep and supporting our mood. Make a fabulous soup/bone broth from the carcass when you’ve finally had it all – your gut will love all the properties from the bones.
  1. Choose champagne over vodka and cranberry! Bubbles have around 1 tsp of sugar per glass – vodka and cranberry around 7.5!!! It’s the mixers that are the killer – G and Ts have about 4, so that’s a bit better (and in my opinion totally worth it, every now and then….shhhhh!).  I would go for full sugar over full sweeteners!
  1. Make some yummy healthy truffles from coconut oil, dates and raw cacao. See \https://edinburghclinicofnutrition.com/2016/03/26/easter-chocolate-truffles/  Have as chocolate alternatives.  They usually receive a very warm welcome!
  1. Be kind to yourself.  Enjoy the foods and drink you ever so slightly overindulge in, just don’t make them a new everyday routine.  Stress is one of the biggest problems for our health, so be easy on yourself and have a very wonderful Christmas and New Year!