Christmas is just around the corner, so it’s time to start planning that festive roast. With the new year coming up too (along with your new year’s resolutions), we thought that it’d be a great to share our tips to give your health a head start!
Here are five tips to plan your meals during the festive season:
1) Don’t take the joy out of Christmas
Our first and most important rule is to realise that moderation is key. It’s common to eat more during the festive season since we’re surrounded by delicious food everywhere we go.
So instead of having half a lamb roast with 4 bottles of beer and 3 gingerbread men for dessert, enjoy these foods in moderation while leaving tummy space for some roasted vegetables and fruit. Having a healthy breakfast also allows you to leave room for those delicious festive foods.
2) Make fruit-based desserts
We’re lucky to experience summer Christmases here in Australia because it means that we have fresh tropical fruit ready for us to eat on this occasion. Fruit is an excellent addition to desserts as they are naturally bursting with flavour and essential nutrients. Try yoghurt or custard topped with berries and nutmeg or cinnamon. If you’re feeling indulgent, berry tarts are delicious ways to up your fruit intake too. Alternatively, if you’re looking for something low-effort, fruit salads and fruit skewers are simple, yet satisfying.
3) As obvious as it sounds… drink water!
During Christmas time, we tend to drink a lot of alcohol and sugar-sweetened drinks which can add a lot of energy into our diet. Opting for flavoured mineral water can reduce the calories in your diet if your goal is weight maintenance or weight loss. Also, eating a lot of energy-rich food can lead to gut issues like bloating and constipation. Keeping hydrated (while eating enough fibre) can help in maintaining the health of your gut to ensure that you have a pleasant festive season with less frequent visits to the bathroom.
4) Get moving!
Christmas/ New Years’ time is a time of rest and relaxation, which can often lead to days slumping on the couch. However, maintaining an active lifestyle means getting a head start to your health for the coming year. When planning events, choose an outdoor venue and encourage your family and friends to engage in some friendly competitions of beach volleyball or backyard soccer.
5) Plan ahead
Planning the meals you will make for your family or friends during the festive season means that you’re less likely to rely on a quick fix. Ensuring that you have vegetables ready to roast stored in the fridge and a full fruit bowl encourages healthy eating. Preparing these before the event will make life much easier for you when serving your guests. We also recommend planning some light and easy meals for your ‘off days’ in between festive occasions. This can help relieve cooking duties but also a break from the feasting you may have had.