It’s that time of year when we are tempted with food that really isn’t great for out health, some might call them treats, but which bit of you are you really treating?

Do you want to have a fantastic Christmas without feeling out of sorts or experiencing digestive issues and holiday weight gain? Our Nutritional Therapist Julie Deeks shares her tips for staying healthy over the festive season.

Always eat a good quality protein breakfast, such as eggs or smoked salmon on German rye toast or sourdough, bowl of porridge topped with milled flaxseeds, chopped nut and grated apple and a spoon of plan probiotic yogurt with a sprinkle of cinnamon. This will help to regulate your appetite and control hunger pangs – leaving you able to step away from the festive chocolates and cakes without feeling like you are missing out.

Don’t graze on canapés, cakes, crisps and chocolates. Swap them for healthy snacks instead.Have some colourful raw vegetable batons available to munch on, and make your own humous, it’s so easy. Or better still don’t snack. We don’t need to snack!

Christmas dinner
A traditional turkey, goose or nut roast can be a healthy meal. Pile your plate with vegetables so there’s less room for the fast releasing carbohydrates such as the potatoes. If you’re hosting, serve extra vegetable dishes like tender stem broccoli, leafy dark greens like kale that are in season and delicious steamed or try steaming Brussel Sprout tops for a change. I like to add some roasted squash and carrots for colour and a natural sweetness to the meal, and these are very densely nutritious, and you have less room the roast potatoes!

Size matters. So, have a little of what you fancy, not a lot. A good trick is to serve puddings in smaller bowls or small glasses, it deceives the eye. Fill a small plate rather than having a large plate half full. We can be fooled. Or better still, why not have a refreshing fruit salad?

Eat before the event
Don’t go to a party hungry – have a healthy snack beforehand, make a protein smoothie with protein powder, spinach, mango and milled flax seeds with milk of your choice, or a small pot of plain full fat yogurt with some nuts and grated apple or sourdough toast with nut butter and thin slices of banana. These can help you stay away from the junk food and slow down the rate the alcohol will hit your blood stream if you are drinking at the party. Allowing you to have fun, but not fall over drunk after 1 glass of wine!

Beware of the buffet
Add some salad and vegetables and choose protein-based canapés like cheese, salmon and chicken, so there’s less room for deep fried snacks. Don’t linger, step away from the buffet table!

Avoid sweet or cream based cocktails and drinks. Champagne and spirits like vodka and gin are better choices. All alcohol has calories and alcohol tells your body to store fat especially when we drink in the evening! Never drink on an empty stomach and eat something with your drink to reduce the impact sugars have on your bloodstream. Drink water between each alcoholic drink, this helps you as you can’t physically drink as much when you have water in between. You will feel much better for it the next day.

Here’s to a Happy Christmas and a healthy New Year!
If you would like to improve your diet in 2018 and eat more healthily, book a nutritional therapy session with Julie Deeks at The Forge Clinic. Please call 020 8332 6184 or email us now.