Festive Season survival
Some simple ways to stay calm, energised and avoid the festive flab this silly season.
B less stressed, take B vitamins
Christmas parties for the last 4 weekends? Christmas shopping, financial strains, 50 Christmas cards to write? The body’s need for B vitamins is greatly increased during times of stress and supplementing with a good quality, high strength B vitamin will help you enjoy the silly season. Take one with breakfast and another with lunch if you have a busy day or late night ahead. Don’t take them any later in the day as B vitamins can keep you alert and make it hard to sleep.
Massage it away
The time out, the relaxing music, the aromatherapy essential oils…………..bliss. Make sure you stipulate that you want a relaxation massage and not a sports or deep tissue one. Follow this with a ‘do not disturb’ bath at home and finding a park at the mall will be water off a ducks back!
Adaptogens are herbs that help regulate stress hormones and support the all important adrenal glands during times of stress. My favourites are Rhodiola, Avena sativa and Withania, although there are many more. Their action is generally slow (but worth it), providing nervous system nourishment over weeks and months.
But weight there’s more!
The drinks with friends, the office party, the endless boxes of chocolates that start to appear everywhere……it’s no wonder that on average we put on 2-4kg over the festive season (most of which is never lost). Here are a few tips to buck the trend.
Stock your cupboard, handbag and work drawer with healthy snacks to avoid getting hungry and eating the seemingly endless supply of mince tarts and chocolates. Nuts and dired fruit, protein bars and apples are all good options.
Keep exercising! It is usually the first thing to go when our schedules get tight but fitting in that walk or workout between Christmas shopping and socialising is crucial to maintaining weight, energy and sanity! If you can’t spare as much time as usual just do what you can. 20 minutes is better than no minutes!
Depriving yourself of the foods you love only leads to overeating in the end. Have some of everything you love, just don’t overdo it. As with the rest of the year, moderation is key.
Last but not least, spare a thought for your liver
If you fail to do so it may repay you with many a nasty trick such as headaches, fatigue, breakouts and indigestion.
Water between drinks and taking a herbal liver tonic will help your 2nd largest organ cope with the extra alcohol and rich food. It really is amazing what a difference this can make.
High protien colourful coleslaw
This salad can be used as a side dish or even as a main meal because of it’s high protein content.
1/4 of a red cabbage (very thinly sliced and soaked in balsamic vinegar for 1-8 hours)
1/4 of a whiite cabbage very thinly sliced
1 cup of grated carrot
1 boiled egg, grated
1 cup of lentils, drained (we used delmaine)
1/2 cup corn kernels (from a can is ok)
spring onion to taste, finely chopped
1/2 cup toasted pinenuts
1 tablespoon Whole Egg Mayonnaise
Olive oil to taste
Add all ingredients and after combining well, serve!
Serves 4 as a side salad or 2 as a main meal.
Keeps for 2 days (in fact it gets better!)
Wheat free Christmas Cake
No need to miss out on Christmas cake just because you are avoiding wheat!
2 cans of crushed pineapple (880gm altogether) in syrup
1 cup soft brown sugar
2 cups finely chopped mixed nuts
1 teaspoon salt
6 cups mixed fruit (fruit cake mix, soaked in brandy if you wish)
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp lemon rind
4 1/2 cups spelt flour (from huckelberries)
1 tsp nutmeg
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp mixed spice
2 tsp powdered ginger
1. Preheat oven to 180*C. Put the pineapple, juice, fruit, baking soda, butter and sugar into a large saucepan and boil for 3-5mins. Cool till hand hot.
2. Mix the flour, baking powder and spices and nuts into the fruit mixture. Stir in the eggs until well combined. Spoon the mixture into a greased and floured 20cm tin.
3. Cook at for 1 hour at 180* then check if it is cooked through with a clean knife. Cool in the tin then decorate as you please! I usually cover in nuts and glaze with some melted jam.
Be well, Be happy, See you next year!