Now that we’re in December. The nights are drawing in and the weather is cooler and more damp. Christmas is almost upon us. Are you ready?
We’ve swapped our summer salads and cold food for nourishing soups and warming stews. Christmas lunches and parties will be back on this year. If you’re worried about staying fit and healthy over the festive period here are some simple tips.
Turkey is a great option as it’s high in tryptophan as are chicken and bananas. We use tryptophan to make serotonin (happy hormone) and melatonin (sleep hormone). So, these foods improve our mood and our sleep quality.
Avoid piling on the roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings and have extra vegetables instead. Parsnips are a good source of B vitamins and folic acid.
Brussel sprouts are great! Not only are they packed with folic acid, vitamins C and K and beta-carotene, B6 and fibre. They also have phytochemicals called glucosinolates which can help fight cancer.
Swap puddings for fruit or have a mini dessert. I love the mini mince pies.
Add ice to your Baileys or wine or alternate one alcoholic drink with one glass of water.
At buffets opt for a salsa dip rather than cheese or sour cream. Choose plain nuts over honey/ dry roasted.
Stop when you’re full and don’t make yourself uncomfortable. Wait at least 20 minutes after a meal before deciding if you need more food.
Try to keep daily movement in your routine and get some fresh air.
Aim for 6-8 glasses of filtered water daily around 1.5-2L
Okay, so we’re not all perfect and that’s ok. If you do overindulge here are a few recovery tips.
Rest and rehydrate the next day.
Filtered water, green tea or hot water with lemon juice are good choices
Eat fresh, healthy food. Don’t be tempted to grab convenience food.
Nux vomica is a great homeopathic remedy for hangover or Carbo veg for indigestion. Take in 30C potency. Take once before bed and then up to three times a day. Stop when your symptoms improve.
Take a high dose of vitamin C 1000mg
Milk thistle is a great herb for liver support and digestion.
Ginger is great for nausea.
Avoid strenuous exercise but a gentle walk is a great idea.
Not everybody enjoys Xmas. There’s a lot of pressure to host the perfect party buy all the ‘stuff’ that everyone else has. We don’t want to miss out on anything. Then there’s the pressure to get everything done before the end of the year.
I’m not keen on the dark nights and I personally find too many parties quite overwhelming. It can be important to prioritise what you want to do and what you enjoy and remember to rest when you need to.
Tips for your mental health
Don’t book too many activities and try to cram in too many visits.
Book pyjama (do nothing) days to give yourself time to rest.
Enjoy time with family and friends that you want to see.
Don’t overspend and then worry about how to repay. People will understand.
If you have a full house still take time for a walk or getting fresh air or listening to music.
Just stop and breathe for 5 minutes to help reduce your stress levels.
If you have too many invitations don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ to some to avoid overwhelm.
Don’t try to have an ‘Instagram’ perfect Xmas. Do it the way that you and your family enjoy.
Turn off your phone or set your ‘do not disturb’ for a few hours especially in the evenings.
If you feel affected by the darker days invest in a S.A.D. light that mimics daylight or a sunlight alarm clock. I’ve used a Lumie one for years that gradually lights up to wake you. It will make a sound but I’m usually awake by then. This will help to improve your mood and sleep.
Hugs are great stress relievers so hug your partner, kids, friends and pets.
Images taken by Sam Peel from ‘Welly Picture’ ( www.wellypictures.com) a Northamptonshire photographer. She takes images that fit any brand/business style, make your clients pause and think. She specialises in Headshot/Personal Branding, Food, Business Brands & Fitness photography.