Nourishing Ways to Thrive During the Festive Season
Posted by Kirsty Wirth
Can you believe Christmas is just around the corner! Every year it seems to creep up, then BAM! Santa’s on your door step!
I’m the type of person who leaves all my shopping until the last minute; taking advantage of all those crazy late night shopping hours on Christmas Eve. That being said, I am always organised when it comes to Christmas day lunch. I love food and the rituals around food and most importantly I love creating recipes that I know are both deliciousandhealthy that I know my family will love.
I believe it is so important to keep your health and diet on track throughout the Christmas period as it is usually the one time of year people throw their healthy eating choices out the window and then many people struggle to get back into a healthy routine after all the holiday festivities. I also believe it is the perfect time of year to relax and indulge with all of your loved ones. I am a strong advocate of nourishing your soul, just as I am a strong advocate of nourishing your gut. My family and friends may often hear me use the words ‘soul food’, this is me describing food that is shared and enjoyed with all of the special people in your life that brings with it contentment and happiness. Christmas is the perfect time to cook and share soul food. Below I have combined the best of both worlds for a Christmas that is filled with healthy souls, healthy minds, healthy bodies and most importantly- healthy guts!
Helping your gut bugs survive the festive season
Be Prepared You know, those scouts are on to something here, as this is really the number one point to staying focused and making the right food choices over the Christmas break. Of course Christmas morning is a morning filled with children's laughter and the scrunching of wrapping of paper, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t have a nourishing breakfast to start your day. A breakfast full of protein and fats will really set you up to make great food choices during the day. It will balance your Leptin hormone, which is the satiety hormone, made by adipose cells that helps to regulate energy balance by inhibiting hunger and makes us feel full. So not only will some beautiful eggs, bacon and avocado taste amazing it will also regulate your insulin levels which will also switch off the sugar cravings and kick start your metabolism to get you through the day.
Movement Moving Christmas morning – a walk with the family let the kids try out their new bikes – This will stimulate digestion, get your lymphatic system pumping and get some precious vitamin D in your system. BYOTake your own food and drinks along to family events to share and encourage others to try as well. Share your knowledge and education of yummy healthy food. Water, water, water Red wine and champagne are a big part of many family Christmases. A glass of red wine is full of antioxidants and polyphenols which nourish our body but it must be backed up by plenty of water to ensure that your liver is getting some love to process the toxins from the alcohol. Good quality spirits and soda water is also a great choice if you are going to drink as they are low in sugar. MindfulnessEat slowly and enjoy and savour every mouthful. It takes 20 mins for our brain to register we are full and not to go back for seconds. Chewing slowly also generates precious digestive enzymes to help us digest our food and absorb all the nutrients we eat. Undigested food sits in the gut, feeds pathogenic bacteria and makes us crave more. Choose wisely If you are at an event, ask for gluten free meals and skip the regular sugar filled desserts. At family events, take advantage of the cooked veggies and salads and make a yummy mayonnaise to take to add that extra good quality fat to fill you up.
Gut nourishing and festive friendly treats
Prepare healthy gut loving Christmas treats to take along to your family function. This will ensure you have yummy and gut nourishing food choices available at your Christmas dinner that everyone will love. Here is a recipe that is always a hit at Christmas time.
Christmas is a time for gratitude, family and friends. It is a time for relaxation, enjoyment and contentment. By incorporating these changes throughout all of your Christmas festivities, you will be nourishing your gut bugs and keeping them thriving and in turn, they will provide you with an abundance of energy to keep you on your game and enjoying all of your celebrations. If you have a little too much wine on Christmas day, or you smuggle an extra slice of Christmas pud home for leftovers – take this on board as soul food, be at peace with the decision and wake up the following morning and nourish your gut and body the way you always would.