Staying healthy this festive season
By Gillian Lewis
Christmas is fast approaching. I know some of us look forward to it and others would just like it to hurry up and be over. For many of us the festive season is associated with additional eating and drinking; and the New Year is usually associated with trying to lose the 2-3 kilos we put on over the festive season.
So this year I have a few tips to help you stay healthy throughout the festive season.
1. Alcohol – Hopefully it is not a surprise that this is the first item on my list! If you find that your alcohol consumption increases over the festive season, you are not alone. Many of us get to January and regret the extra alcohol consumed over Christmas.
To remedy this I suggest –
· Have an alcohol free day if you don’t have a party or function to attend.
· Drink a glass of water between each alcoholic drink.
· Order a drink that looks alcoholic, but isn’t. Perhaps a lime and soda?
Alcohol safety issues – 1. Don’t mix alcohol and kava. Kava and alcohol combined may cause liver damage. So choose your poison for the night, kava or alcohol, not both. 2. Don’t drink and drive. There are enough taxis and buses around to get everyone home safely.
2. If you have a big lunch then skip dinner, or just have a light snack instead of an evening meal.
When you are invited to a party have a high protein, healthy snack before you go. This will help you not to over indulge later.
When faced with a large meal or buffet, make sure you eat some protein and vegetables first. Leave the rice, pasta, potatoes etc. on the side of your plate.
Limit sugary sweet treats to one a day.
3. Exercise – As our time is taken up with parties and festivities the time and opportunity to exercise decreases. The routine of gym, walking or swimming etc. gets put aside for a few weeks. My advice is to plan some celebrations that include an active component. Also, try adding some active and fun family/group events into the calendar. E.g. a family walk, a bike ride or a snorkelling trip; buy a football or a skipping rope for the kids and help them play with it. Try to fit in as much incidental (and hopefully fun) exercise as possible.
4. Pace yourself – The Christmas period can be very stressful for some people. Choose what you would like to do this festive season and stick to it. Don’t over extend yourself. Do the things that you enjoy, not what you think you should be doing.
Wishing you a happy and healthy festive season, Merry Christmas.
Gillian Lewis is a qualified Naturopath and the owner of Reflections Naturopathic Clinic; she specialises in nutrition and herbal medicine. She sees clients by appointment from Tuesday to Saturday each week and can be contacted via the contact sections in our website or by Facebook Message