It may feel like Christmas is going to be different this year, less large social gatherings and family get togethers or office parties, but don’t let this dupe us into thinking that ‘party’ season is cancelled and we don’t need to think about staying on track with our health during the festive time.  I think if we take our eye off the ball all those zoom parties may add up!!   

Here are my top tips:

Plan Your Food

Planning ahead is the best way to keep on track with healthy food and it also reduces the stress if you know what is on the menu. If this year you are at home and catering for your immediate family for the first time it can be quite daunting…

Here are some ideas to think about:

🎄Do a freezer top up now – batch cook and freeze some healthy meals so they are ready for when life gets hectic or you just can’t be bothered to cook.

🎄Write a meal plan for Christmas week – prepare meals ahead when you can or plan to use your freezer stocks. This takes the pressure off so you can then relax and enjoy family time.

🎄 If you are eating out look at the menu in advance – This gives you the opportunity to study it more closely and choose wisely.  Having 2 courses instead of 3, avoiding the breadbasket and asking for some olives or nuts instead works for me.

🎄 Have some ‘morning after’ breakfasts ready to go like a vegetable frittata or some overnight oats.

Stay Hydrated

At this time of year many of us drink more alcohol, tea and coffee. If we are out of our normal routine and are spending more time sedentary in centrally heated houses this can contribute to dehydration.

Here are some ideas which might help;

🎄Keep a bottle of water by your bed and have some water as soon as you wake

🎄Start the day with a cup of hot water with lemon instead of coffee.

🎄Buy a new flavour of herbal tea to try.

🎄Fill a water bottle in the morning and aim to refill at lunchtime and dinner time.

🎄Drink some coconut water which is full of electrolytes helping to balance fluids in the body.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Don’t let sleep fall too far down the priority list! If and when you have a late night, try and compensate with some early nights and a lie in or even an afternoon nap – which is easy for many this year working from home!! Remember your body needs time to recover, repair and detox. Be kind to yourself this Christmas time.

Don’t Forget to Move

At Christmas we all tend to want to down tools but plan to keep moving. We are well practiced at being out of our ‘normal’ routine this year so should have no excuses.  But if you have found it difficult to adapt when the gyms or classes have been shut this year here are some ideas:

🎄Go for a socially distanced walk with friends or family or just take yourself off to get some space and fresh air.

🎄Go online – YouTube videos are fab, try Popsugar, Yoga with Adriene or Heather Roberts.

🎄Run about with the kids in the garden or the park.

🎄Try something new to you, a bike ride or a run/jog – couch to 5K apps are great.

Mindful Drinking

If you enjoy a drink then Christmas season can often be difficult to manage and easy to get carried away even if you are just at home. Be mindful of this and plan for the odd big night and be moderate on others. On the big nights still be mindful:

🎄Remember to eat well too.

🎄Try to stick to the same drink.

🎄Choosing colourless spirits is often the better option.

🎄Drink water as well as alcohol.

🎄Take water to have by your bed.

Enjoy this Festive Season however it looks for you this year.  Relax and have fun but don’t derail completely and overindulge, leaving yourself a new year clean-up project!

Instead, take some time to prioritize your health for 2021.  Your health has never been so important. Even with a vaccine on the way, keeping yourself fit and healthy is your best protection from becoming sick with covid or otherwise.

If you would like help and support to do this in the New Year, then book onto our Menu&Mind 5 Week Challenge starting on January 6th.  Places are limited so early booking is essential.  More details here