Staying Healthy During the Festive Season
Nutrition advice during the festive season, courtesy of expert Grace Nutritionist Gabriela Peacock.
The festive season is always a whirlwind of cocktail parties, meals out, rushing around and preparing for the big day. Although a very special time of year, there is often over-indulgence and burning the candle at both ends which doesn’t leave us feeling in our best shape. I’ve compiled a few failsafe tips for staying healthy and avoiding that lethargic, bloated feeling.
Breakfast is Served
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day as it kick-starts the metabolism; be sure to include valuable nutrients! Don’t be tempted by a sugary pastry to add to last night’s excesses; opt for a balanced breakfast including protein and slow release carbohydrates. Rye bread with spinach and scrambled eggs, porridge with nut butter and cinnamon, or a spinach and mushroom frittata are all great options to keep you energised throughout the morning. Eggs provide a nutrient called choline which supports the liver, while protein is also vital in supporting liver function. If you can’t face breakfast try a nutrient rich smoothie including cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, cabbage, rocket, watercress etc.) and Boost Me protein powder.
With Christmas parties on the horizon (not to mention New Year’s Eve celebrations) it’s near impossible to resist a festive tipple or two. To navigate alcohol during the festive season it’s important to remember to stay hydrated. Adopt a one – off – one – on approach, switching between alcoholic drinks and water. Ask for low calorie mixers like soda water and lime or try a white wine spritzer prepared with soda so that you are having water with every drink.
Beat the Hangover!
Make sure you have all the ingredients for a good breakfast and focus on hydration to get you back to fighting form. Alcohol has a diuretic effect, leaving you dehydrated. Water is invaluable for promoting proper waste metabolism and supporting the flushing out of toxins; try coconut water or a diluted sports drink to restore lost potassium and sodium. Head to the Grace Restaurant on a Sunday morning for their weekly detox brunch; with stomach settling shots, bottomless fresh juice and a carefully considered menu to get you feeling good again!
Simple swaps over the festive season can save us from complete over indulgence. Instead of the mid-afternoon chocolate biscuit have a chocolate flavoured BoostMe protein shake to give you sustainable energy. Instead of a coffee to pick you up in the morning try green tea, sauerkraut can work as a condiment instead of ketchup or mayonnaise and look for the most nutritious options on the menu if you’re eating out. Make your own mixed nuts with almonds, walnuts and Brazil nuts for an extra skin boost.
Reduce Refined Sugar
Support your body by cutting back on refined sugar, found in sweets, chocolates, sugary drinks and even cereals or snack bars (read those labels!). You may feel like you get an energy lift after these foods (as they raise blood sugar levels prompting insulin) but consuming large amounts of sugar creates a rollercoaster for blood sugar, with slumps and peaks leaving you more exhausted and with less energy in the long run.
Most importantly, enjoy!
Christmas is a time for family, friends and enjoyment. Don’t punish yourself for indulging, just be sure to balance it out with plenty of good, nutritious food and exercise too!
To find out more about Gabriela Peacock’s nutritional services at Grace and her metabolic meal plan, please click here.