Christmas is here (well almost!) and for most of us this means complete indulgence, and time to create and tuck into some seriously naughty food. From the countless boxes of chocolates and biscuits doing the rounds in the office, to the canapés circulating at parties (well, they are only small…) and not forgetting the mulled wine, champagne and then the pièce de résistance – the hearty Christmas lunch!
It’s very easy for all good intentions of trying to be healthy to go completely out the window, with a view to starting afresh in the New Year. But why make 1st January so hard for yourself?
Shiny present – Photograph by Vicky Brock
Here at The Pure Package, our gourmet diet delivery experts are going to give you a few tips and Christmas ideas that will leave you feeling better (and slimmer) in January. And that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun – we promise! Good tidings we bring… The Pure Package’s healthy Christmas ideas and tips.
Christmas Dinner and Everything that Goes With it
The dinner is big, but that stick of butter is bigger… – Photograph by Brian Johnson & Dane Kantner
The number one rule is to pace yourself. To avoid that uncomfortably full feeling eat slowly; and once you feel full, have a break. It is very tempting to go for seconds, thirds or even fourths, but try and resist that extra mouthful/plateful. You will enjoy it much more later on, after a brisk Christmas walk.
If you want to stack your plate high, do it with veggies. Christmas is a fantastic opportunity to branch out and have a selection of gorgeous seasonal roasted vegetables, and there are plenty of yummy Christmas recipes to help you. Think colour and variety: roasted beetroot, sweet potato, swede, parsnips are just some ideas. You can also use garlic and lots of fresh herbs to flavour.
Snack on festive nibbles such as unsalted nuts and dates, or dig out those clementines from the bottom of your Christmas stocking instead of the biscuits, cake, chocolates, etc. Healthy snacking is very important as it keeps your blood sugar levels balanced and helps to prevent cravings. It will also help to prevent you overeating when it comes to the big Christmas meal.
Despite all of your best efforts, there will always be leftovers from your Christmas lunch. Here are some ideas from our extensive gourmet diet delivery menus on how to use these over the following days:
- Whizz up your leftover veggies in a blender with some turkey or vegetable stock for a delicious and nourishing soup
- Make some bubble and squeak cakes with your potatoes and leftover veggies, and serve topped with a poached egg for a delicious Boxing Day brunch
- Make a mix with your leftover nuts and dried fruits, and sprinkle over your porridge/ cereal for breakfast
- Use your leftover over turkey to make delicious salads, or strip and stir fry with veggies
Delicious vat of mulled wine – Photograph by Will Atwood Mitchell
Alcohol is a double-whammy when it comes to diet. Not only is it high in calories, but it can also give you the munchies the next day (making those chocolates and mince pies very hard to resist)! More than likely, you will be having a tipple or two over the festive season, but always try to alternate alcoholic drinks with water. This will help prevent dehydration and minimise the ill-effects the next day.
Stay clear of sugary drinks and mixers. For the lowest calories, opt for a clear spirit with a slim line tonic, soda or pure fruit juice.
Red wine is the festive season favourite, and who can resist a warming glass of mulled wine? Research indicates that moderate red wine consumption may help protect against certain cancers and heart disease, and can have a positive effect on cholesterol levels and blood pressure. However, any health benefits of red wine disappear after a couple of glasses, so don’t overdo it.
Avoid going to parties when you’re hungry. Not only should you not drink alcohol on an empty stomach, but you will also be tempted to fill up on canapés. Have a light dinner before you go and then treat yourself to a couple of what you fancy, rather than one of everything that comes past on a tray.
The Morning After
Always have a good, substantial breakfast – scrambled eggs on wholemeal or rye toast, or muesli with yoghurt and fresh fruit are good, filling options. This will help prevent you from snacking on the wrong foods mid-morning.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Herbal teas are also fantastic for helping to settle the stomach – try peppermint, ginger or fennel.
Alcohol robs your body of vital nutrients, so fill up the next day on plenty of fresh vegetables. The green leafy vegetables – kale, broccoli, spinach etc. – are particularly good for supporting the liver and aiding detoxification.
Christmas doesn’t need to leave you feeling guilt-ridden and queuing for the gym on the January 1st. Think, eat, drink and be merry! Do let us know if you’ve got any healthy Christmas food ideas or methods to help stay slim this Christmas.