We are well into the festive season and no doubt have begun celebrating the end of this very big (and difficult!) year with friends, colleagues and loved ones.
During December it sometimes feels hard to maintain balance with our health, particularly when it comes to our diets. If you’re an ‘all-or-nothing’ kind of person, once the wheels fall off and you start having more indulgent foods and bubbles than you normally would, you may feel like throwing the towel in and telling yourself it all starts a-fresh in the new year, so you may as well go all in and toss all your healthy eating habits out the window!
Instead of thinking that it has to be all or nothing (super healthy OR forget your health until January 1…or 2..) try to maintain little aspects of balance throughout December, even if it only seems like little tweaks here and there. It could be as simple as adding in an extra serve of salad and a few extra waters before the wines start flowing.
Try to keep the following in mind during those celebratory occasions:
· Keep the water intake up! Make sure you’re having 6-8x glasses of filtered water daily, and especially on the days you know you’ll be having a few drinks later on – make it your goal to have had 6x glasses of water before you get to the evening function, and have a water with a lemon slice between alcoholic drinks
· Take a ‘lighter wine’ or a non-alcoholic sparkling with you when going to friends houses or functions, and that way you can still enjoy the social aspect of sharing a festive drink, but one that is lower in alcohol, or alcohol-free. There are a few lovely ‘lighter wines’ on the market that are lower in alcohol content so you can have a drink with less guilt! We love NON 0% alcohol wine-alternatives.
· Make up for the fun with an extra antioxidant-rich diet the day before– if you know there’s going to be some indulging on Christmas Day or another particular social occasion, plan to make your meals the day beforehand, (and hopefully the day afterwards!) as antioxidant rich, and liver-loving as possible! Think good quality lean protein (amino acids in protein are essential for liver detoxification pathways), heaps of green veggies (baby spinach, rocket, kale, broccoli, bok choy, edamame), colourful salads (bright coloured fruits and veggies contain higher amounts of antioxidants), fresh herbs such as parley, oregano, basil and thyme and plenty of lemon juice in filtered water!
· Say no to the refined-sugar and all the extra snacky ‘bits’ – there are often the little sugary bits and pieces in between the meals at festive functions and even on Christmas Day – the box of chocolates being handed around, the biscuits with cups of tea, the bowl of chips or even the lollies kids pull out! Avoid adding in these additional bits of highly processed and sugar-rich snacks, instead having a sparkling water with a lime wedge and allow your digestive system to have a rest before eating again.
· Use some liver and gut supporting supplements such as chlorophyll, P2 Detox powder, charcoal, aloe vera juice, slippery elm, probiotics or even a bottle of liver-supporting herbs from your Naturopath. Just because we’re going to indulge more with festive food and drinks doesn’t mean we should drop off the supplements – in fact it’s all the more reason to support yourself more and amp up the gut and liver support! Doing so will make the day after a few too many bubbles feel a lot more manageable (as will a B complex and some magnesium!)