While the holiday season allows us to press pause on our routine, indulge in festive celebrations and spend time reconnecting with friends and family, this can easily lead us to neglect habits that are important for our health. Indulging in delicious pies, puddings and pastries, drinking with friends and family, prioritising social events – this is all part of the joy of Christmas. However, too much of a good thing (in this instance) can lead you to feel sluggish and drained, rather than refreshed for the new year.
You can enjoy the festivities this Christmas without completely sacrificing your wellbeing – this doesn’t mean you need to miss out either! By simply being mindful of exercising, nourishing your body with wholesome food, and taking enough downtime for yourself to recharge, you can enjoy your holidays without completely depleting your energy and sense of wellbeing.
Below is a guide on how you can stay on track this Christmas.
1. Begin the day with a nourishing breakfast
At Eden, we are huge advocates of balance – and to achieve this, we don’t necessarily believe restriction is the key. Rather than focusing on what you ‘shouldn’t’ eat or drink, focus on what healthy and wholesome foods you can eat during the day to ensure you’re still feeding your body the nutrients it needs.
If you know that you’re in for a day of delicious (albeit not particularly nutritious) party food, you can still ensure you get some goodness into your diet for the day by eating a nourishing breakfast!
Our Creamy Coconut Porridge with Stewed Seasonal Fruit is a wonderful option to start your day feeling nourished and healthy. The high fibre content helps stabilise blood sugar levels, which will help keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer. This recipe is also rich in vitamin C and nutrients to support a healthy immune system.
For a quick and easy option, our Maple Coconut Goodness Granola contains a delicious medley of nutrient-rich seeds, activated almonds, coconut and gluten-free whole grains for a boost of nutrients.
2. Plan your snacks for the day ahead
Another way you can ensure you are adding goodness to your diet each day is by preparing snacks that are nutrient-dense with vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, protein or healthy fats.
Simple snacks such as mixed nuts, coconut yoghurt with seasonal berries, chia pudding, smoothies, and carrot sticks with hummus take only moments to prepare and pack, but will help control your appetite and cravings so you don’t overindulge in festive treats later on!
3. Schedule time for physical activity
Our daily routines can tend to fly out the window during the holidays, which may mean that your usual physical activity may not flow naturally from your schedule for the day and may require a more conscious effort. Perhaps going to the gym is not as convenient as when it’s on the way home from work, or you’re not waking up as early and therefore the habit of going for a morning walk slips by, or social engagements pop up instead.
Forming a new routine over the break can be helpful for maintaining healthy habits. We suggest being organised and making commitments in advance for when you want to exercise, and fit this into your day or week around other arrangements.
4. Celebrate seasonal flavours
Rather than gorge on processed foods, why not bask in the delicious flavours of fresh seasonal produce? As our Australian Christmas falls during summer, a smorgasbord of fresh seasonal produce is available to all. Instead of turning to mince pies, chocolates, and fudge, try bringing a plate of fruit skewers, frozen mango bars, or vibrant salads to your Christmas dos. Plus, fruit and vegetables can have up to three times more nutrients when grown in season!
5. Be selective with your indulgences
Indulging is one thing, overindulging is another. The latter will leave you feeling worse for wear. Whilst enjoying yourself is important, the opportunity to overindulge continually arises throughout the silly season, from decadent cocktail parties to a fridge full of homemade sweets. Instead of taking every opportunity to indulge, we suggest choosing what you most enjoy at each occasion and savouring it mindfully to truly enjoy it!
6. Substitute ingredients for healthier alternatives
Not only will this help keep you on track, but you’ll feel better for it too! Better yet, you’ll barely notice the difference. If you’re hosting or bringing a plate, try using a mix of coconut sugar and stevia instead of refined sugar, experimenting with herbs and spices instead of relying on salt, and using unsweetened apple sauce in place of butter and oil in baking.
If you’re planning a treat to bring along to a function, click here for our Christmas Crackle Recipe, which is made from wholefoods, bursting with nutrients, and is quick and easy to whip up!
7. Remain hydrated
Dehydration is the prime cause of sluggishness and lethargy that we might feel after a feast.
Filling up on excesses of rich foods full of salt and sugar that our bodies aren’t accustomed to (not to mention alcohol), will throw your metabolism completely out of balance.
Here are some tips for staying hydrated during the festivities:
- Throughout the day, drink plenty of water or herbal teas and try to avoid caffeine.
- Infuse your water with fresh fruits for flavour and additional nutrients.
- Alternate each alcoholic or sugary drink with a glass of water.
We encourage you to focus on maintaining good practices by balancing the Christmas season luxuries with planned time for exercise, mindful eating, and making smart food choices. Not only will this help you feel rejuvenated for the new year, but it will make the celebrations all the more enjoyable!