Eating Light & Healthy During The Festive Season
The Importance Of Exercise
It is very important that you get some fresh air during these dark winter months. Try and spend at least an hour of your day outside, even if it’s cloudy, natural light will lift your mind and body. Go for a walk in your lunch hour, get off the bus one stop extra away from work or home. Make a special effort to get out a do a run on the weekend. Find odd jobs to do between meals to avoid nibbling, or go for a walk.
Be as active as possible, as often as you can – aim for at least 30 minutes most days. Walking, jogging, swimming and cycling are all good, and you can also try to build more activity into your daily routine.
It can be more fun to exercise with a partner, friend or family.
Giving yourself time to relax is important in avoiding Christmas stress. Instead of going out every night, curl up with a good book or pour soothing aromatherapy oils into a bath and have a long soak.
Before you go to bed, drinking camomile tea may aid relaxation.
Exercise is a great stress reliever. Take a walk every day rather than staying indoors throughout Christmas, or book a pre-Christmas treat at a health farm.
Laughter can relieve stress. Book a pantomime.
And, if you really want to get away from it all, why not go abroad during Christmas? Search the internet for the best flight and holiday deals.
Exercise your stress away. The adrenaline we build up under stress needs a release. Sport and exercise – whether walking, cycling, running, swimming or whatever else turns you on – is one of the greatest stress busters. It gives your mind and body a positive challenge. It is virtually impossible to think negatively while running.Try it!
The Importance Of A Good Diet
It is possible to eat healthily at Christmas time. Here are a few tips on how to avoid piling on the seasonal pounds…
Roast turkey – This is not fattening! It’s all the extra puddings, sauces and snacks that pile on the festive pounds!
Christmas lunch – Make sure half your plate is made up of vegetables (preferably steamed and served without butter)
Drinks – Alcohol is high in calories so it can contribute to weight gain – try to alternate alcoholic drinks with water during the festive period
Canapés and buffets – Bad for you! You usually eat more than you think, and the food is often processed and high in fat. Choose crudités rather than sausages where possible
Pudding – Stewed plums and apples with cinnamon and low fat crème fraiche make a lighter alternative to Christmas cake and pudding
Chocolate – (especially good quality dark varieties) contain chemicals that release natural ‘feel-good’ hormones in the brain. It’s also a good source of iron and B vitamins. Eat in moderation!
Here are some simple alternatives to help reduce fat consumption and reduce calorie intake:
Replace a Chocolate caramel biscuit (62g) with a Plain scone and save: 80 calories and 7.5g fat
Replace a can of fizzy drink with a bottle of water and save: 140 calories
Replace 1 pint whole milk with 1 pint skimmed milk and save: 200 calories and 22g fat
Replace a pastry topped mince pie with an iced-top minced pie and save: 60 calories and 6g fat
Replace a cheese and ham toasted sandwich with a chicken salad sandwich and save: 162 calories and 15.5 g fat
Replace a serving of sherry trifle with a serving of oranges in brandy and save: 168 calories and 20g fat
Replace a small packet of salted peanuts with 2 crisp breads and low fat soft cheese and 1 sliced tomato and save: 200 calories and 20g fat.
Replace a packet of cheese and onion crisps (35g) with an apple and save: 130 calories and 11.5g fat
Replace 2 cocktail sausages rolls with 2 cocktail sausages and save: 67 calories and 5g fat
Replace a tablespoon of sour cream dip with a tablespoon of salsa and save: 62 calories and 8.1g fat
Here are 12 ways to help keep your dinners light and healthy:
1. Watch out for hidden and unnecessary fats – grill foods instead of frying, and if you do fry, try to use less oil or use spray oil…
2. Use low fat yoghurt instead of sour cream for dips and salad dressings, and low fat milk for puddings.
3. Use egg white instead of whole egg when coating meat, fish or poultry with crumbs.
4. Prepare soups and stews a day or two in advance and refrigerate them overnight. The fat will rise to the top and congeal and can be removed easily. If time is a problem, use a fat or gravy strainer to remove fat from sauces and soups before serving.
5. Grill meats, fish and poultry to remove excess fat and add flavour. Instead of sautéing meats in stews and braised dishes, grill them to remove fat and save on clean-up.
6. Use skimmed or semi-skimmed milk. Skimmed milks provide the same nutrients as whole milk but with much less saturated fat, cholesterol and calories.
7. Use reduced-fat cheeses, but avoid non-fat cheeses, which are rubbery and bitter.
8. Use salsa as a condiment to enhance grilled foods and sandwiches. Use fruit salsas as a delicious and fat-free topping for grilled fish, poultry or meat.
9. Purée roast garlic to use on bread or as a fat-free flavour enhancer for comfort foods such as mashed potatoes or pasta.
10.You can cook chicken with the skin on, which will not add any fat to the dish. The secret is to discard the fatty skin before eating the chicken. Also be sure to trim the fat from beef, lamb and pork before cooking, which reduces the fat of the finished dish.
11.When selecting oils, choose monounsaturated oils such as olive, corn or groundnut – the good guys in oil. No matter what type of oil, limit the amount used.
12.Instead of using salt use herbs to spice up food.