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Registered Associate Nutritionist

Registered Associate Nutritionist

Seasons Greetings

 With less than 24 hours left till Christmas, I thought I would share some top tips to enjoy the festivities, but at the same time be mindful on the health side. I hope you do find them helpful, and feel  free to share any more tips on the comments section. 

Waking up in the morning- It is best to start Christmas with a power packed breakfast. An ideal option would be fibre based cereal, for example Oats or granola, extra fruit as a topping is even better to increase fibre and vitamin consumption. This will also help to keep us full until the main Christmas meal in the afternoon or early evening. It can also help to reduce cravings , especially the items containing high amounts of sugar. High amounts of sugary food can also affect our mood, as well as contributing to the calorie content. 

Throughout the morning- Keeping ourselves hydrated after breakfast is also important, this also includes Christmas Day! It can also help to stop cravings for biscuits, sweets and chocolate. Water is always the best option to reduce dehydration, however other fluids is also fine to consume. This includes tea, coffee as well as  herbal teas. Be mindful of the amount of sugar that goes into these drinks, as these can add up quickly. For example if we have 4 cups of tea a day, with 2 teaspoons of sugar, in total the amount of sugar a day would be 8 teaspoons a day. We have to also consider that there is sugar in all the other foods that we are eating daily. There is no sugar or calories when we drink water.

Snacking- After a few hours after breakfast, we can become a little peckish. The best option for snacking is plain nuts. They contain a variety of great benefits. This includes essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids are not made naturally in the body, and has to be found in food. walnuts, cashew, almonds are great sources of essential fatty acids. Seeds are also great sources, in particular chia and flaxseeds. Most importantly nuts and seeds are a great source of fibre, which is important for bowel movement. If nuts are not available biscuits are fine to have, however try to go for plain biscuits, with less sugar in them. Examples of these are rice cakes, oat biscuits, Rich tea, ginger biscuits. They all contain less sugar and calories in them, or can be slightly high in fibre. 

Alcohol- This is many people's favourite time of the day, and this is when the celebrations can start. As we are all aware excess alcohol can affect our sense of control, and to add to this, alcohol has no calorific and nutritional value. It is best to try and control the amount we have, although this can be very difficult, especially during Christmas Day!!

Spirits in general are better, as they contain no calories, it is what we put in the spirits that then adds up the calories and the sugar content. Try to go for low sugar options for example diet coke, diet lemonade with the spirits. Beers, liquors, wine (apart from Champagne) generally contain high amounts of calories and sugar. It is best to monitor these amounts with caution. If this can not be helped, it is best to consume high amounts of water in between the drinks. 

Christmas Dinner- The final and main part of the day. Turkey is always the best option, as they contain less fat, especially saturated fat. Nut roast is the other option for vegetarian or vegan. Try to have plenty of vegetables available  with the Christmas meal. A wide variety is best as they all contain a range of vitamins and minerals from Vitamin A all the way to Vitamin K. This can all be collected in one meal. Great vegetables include Sprouts, Carrots, parsnips, courgettes, the list goes on. 

I hope you find these useful, Wishing you Happy Holidays!