Today on our blog we invited local Dietitian/Nutritionist Katrina Mills from Body Fusion to give us seven hot tips for Christmas Eating.
Ready or not, Christmas is here and so is a month’s worth of festive parties, social gatherings and end of year concerts. With so much happening it’s easy to fall into bad habits like ordering take away meals multiple times a week, grabbing processed snacks while on the run and missing out on sleep due to late nights out indulging in one too many champagnes or beers. Add this together with skipping some of your exercise and it’s your body’s worst nightmare. Do yourself a favour and give yourself the best Christmas gift by following our guide to healthifying your hot Aussie Christmas:
Tip One – Get Into Good Habits
- Create a list of quick & easy meals you can whip up for dinner that stop you from ordering take away. Some examples include one pan omelettes, vegetable soup & 1 slice wholegrain toast or 1 microwave rice cup + 1 tin salmon + 1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes, handful of spinach leaves & 2 tsp pesto.
- Make our Zucchini Fritters ahead of time, perfect in the fridge or freezer.
- Pack high fibre, protein rich snacks and keep them in your work drawer, car or handbag so you have something to satisfy you when you’re on the run. Snap lock bags of nuts/seeds, trail mix, wholegrain crackers or fresh fruit all make wonderful snacks.
- Stay hydrated as the weather warms up. You’d be surprised how common it is to mistaken thirst for hunger. Keep a water bottle with you at all times and always drink a glass of water before deciding to buy a snack.
- Make sleep a priority. There is no replacement for a good nights sleep, it will reset your appetite hormones, helps stabilise stress levels and reenergise the body. Make a conscious effort to get at least 7-8 hours sleep per night, limiting blue light from mobile phones and computers at least half an hour before bed.
- Keep moving even if an event coincides with your normal exercise regime. If you miss your regular class compensate with a lunch time walk or evening swim.
Tip Two – Never Arrive Too Hungry at a Festive Event
Arriving at a function ready to eat an entire Christmas ham is never a good idea. Eat regularly throughout your day, have a fibre rich meal or snack before you go like some snowpea & cucumber sticks with hummous or 1 scoop plain greek yoghurt with 1 piece of fruit so you arrive level headed so you can serve yourself a sensible portion. Ask yourself: ‘Do I really want or need this?’ The simple act of checking in with your appetite and asking yourself this question will reduce the amount of nibbles & canapés you devour before the actual meal. If you’re at a cocktail event limit yourself to a 5 canapes limit then step away from the food table. Remember you don’t have to say ‘yes’ to everything on offer.
Tip Three – Swap your fizzy drinks
It is no secret that fizzy drinks, including flavoured mineral waters are laden with sugar, acid that damages teeth and add significant kilojoules to your diet. Instead serve up jugs of sparkling water with different fruits for flavour eg. Orange & mint, lemon & lime, watermelon & basil.
Tip Four – Be alcohol wise
It is a time of celebration and in Australia that often means free flowing bubbles and beers. If you choose to drink then opt for a shot of a clear spirit with a soda water/ diet mixer instead of beer & cider. If you’re a wine drinker then slow yourself down by finishing one glass at a time then chase it with a non alcoholic drink (like the fruit flavoured sparkling waters). Always aim for at least 2 alcohol free days per week.
Tip Five – Serve up salads first
Whenever given the chance head to the salad bowl first and fill up half your plate with vegetables. Look for green leafy salads, steer clear of creamy dressings and get as many colours as you can. It will leave less room on your plate for oversized portions of garlic bread, potato bake and meat.
Tip Six – Banish burnt & bad quality BBQ meat
When meat is burnt or charred it develops substances called heterocyclic amines. They are produced in foods that are cooked at high temperatures when blackened or charred and have been linked to causing cancer. Turn down the heat and marinate your meat instead. This protects foods from charring and reduces potential cancer causing agents formed in the meat. It also infuses flavour and tenderises.
Processed meats like bacon, pastrami, salami, hot dogs and some types of sausages have been classed as carcinogens, strongly linked to bowel cancers (Australia’s second highest cancer killer!). Replace cheap sausages, cabanossi sticks and hot dogs with homemade lean mince burger patties and smaller cuts of lean steaks or better yet throw some shrimp (that’s prawns) and fish on the BBQ instead. Fish has been thought to reduce bowel, prostate and breast cancer.
Better yet, give our Sweet potato & tuna patties a go instead.
Tip Seven – Enjoy Treats in Moderation
Finally, enjoy treats in moderation. Pick one or two of your absolute favourites come Christmas Day and truly savour them. A few extra’s over a couple of days can be tolerated by the body but don’t let it become a daily ritual.
Remember, one fruit mince pie over 4 weeks can add up to an extra 1kg of weight, that’s not something many want to start a new year with.
Don’t forget that you can also give the ultimate gift of health to yourself or another this year with the Body Fusion Fresh Start Package. Check out more details here
Wishing all of Lane Cove a very safe, happy and healthy Christmas and New Year! Katrina from Body Fusion
Katrina Mills is an enthusiastic and driven dietitian/nutritionist who was inspired by food and nutrition from a young age. She believes that whole, natural foods should be one of the cornerstones of a balanced, healthy lifestyle that can be enjoyed by all – no matter what walk of life. You can find out more about Katrina here
221 Longueville Rd Lane Cove, New South Wales, Australia
0410 533 213