Here are some tips for maintaining some simplicity, peace, calm, health and joy around this time of year. You can end 2017 feeling energised instead of exhausted because after all, it is holiday time for most of us.
Food should be an enjoyable part of life, and sharing food with others at Christmas time can be part of a rich and rewarding time creating good memories. However, with some extra awareness, we can avoid the bloated, uncomfortable, heavy and not to mention guilty feeling so common around this time of year and minimise the tendency to overindulge.
1. Be mindful when you eat. Enjoy your food, sit down and eat it mindfully, and see it, smell it, really taste it. Try not to graze unconsciously while talking and dipping the hand in the nut or lolly bowl!
2. When you fill your plate with food, fill it mainly with non starchy vegetables, and then use the more high calorie treat foods as accents and condiments, rather than filling up on them.
3. When you eat sugar, you crave more sugar. If you can, stick to delicious fresh fruit and avoid the sugary foods that abound at this time. However, if you have a sweet tooth and haven’t jumped on the “no sugar” wagon yet, try having a teaspoon of coconut oil after lunch, to help curb the afternoon sugar cravings and crash.
4. Make sure to eat some protein with each meal, and do eat proper meals and don’t snack all day. Give your digestion some rest time to avoid that bloated, uncomfortable feeling.
5. If you eat in a way that makes you feel bad, don’t throw in the towel and keep eating badly till some time in the New Year when you make a resolution to change! Its a common, recognised phenomenon and it never works! Rezoom for your next meal, bring in some healthier options, plan ahead and start freshly each meal, each day, one day at a time.
6. A celery or cucumber juice first thing in the morning, or at any time during the day when your digestion is not feeling great, is healing for your gut, stimulates sufficient hydrochloric acid, as well as being alkalising, cooling and refreshing for your whole body. It helps offset those sluggish feelings, and sugar cravings, with minimal calories.
7. A squeeze of lemon or lime juice in a glass of water first thing in the morning is another way to help your digestion and kickstart your liver, helping it to do its job of detoxifying.
8. If you drink alcohol, make sure you always eat first, preferably a proper meal. It is easy to overindulge at this time of year, so try alternating an alcoholic drink with a non alcoholic one, such as a sparking mineral water with ice cubes made from lime juice and fruit.
9. If you are taking a plate to share, or entertaining, make some healthier choices. For example: salads, raw nuts, fresh fruit, vegetable crudites, cheese cubes, olives, rice or wholegrain crackers with fresh guacomale or hummous.
10. Maintain your supplement regime, and your healthy meals and habits, as much as possible.
11.Experiment with making some delicious raw desserts. While they still tend to be fairly high calorie, they will leave you feeling so much lighter and cleaner than Christmas pudding with custard! Another suggestion is to share one serving of dessert between two of you.
12. At the end of your meal or between meals, sip on herbal teas such as chamomile, peppermint, fennel or ginger. These all help with digestion.
At this time of year, leading up to Christmas, it can get pretty frantic. And some people simply do not enjoy this time of year for various reasons.
I encourage you to be kind to yourself, wherever and however you find yourself this Christmas.
I highly recommend a daily meditation practice, to help counterbalance the overstimulating, frenetic energy of this time of year. Keep up your regular self care practices, and step out of the commercial crazy energy.