So how are you going to enjoy the festive season and come out the other side full of health & vitality. You may be able to avoid big portions and one or two deserts but how can you negotiate the nibble & buffet assault course.
Nutrichef’s Barbara Cox guides you through the calorific minefield with some simple advice and tips
Feast on festive nibbles
You’ve eaten your dinner you’ve been for a walk outside, but…
By the time you sit down in front of the television, you might be ready for a few nibbles. You know what to avoid! But what can you grab instead? Luckily some of our favourite traditional Christmas treats are incredibly good for you
Nuts,(please avoid the salted ones), rich in energy and nutrients, like omega 3, reveratol, vitamin E and B.
Walnuts are a great source of omega 3 and will keep your anti-oxidants topped up. Try stuffing one inside a stoned date. Figs are great at this time of year. This fibrous fruit contains something called tryptophan guaranteed to induce that afternoon nap by the telly!
Dates contain an impressive list of essential nutrients and are rich in dietary fibre.
Dried fruits retain all the benefits of their fresh cousins. For a change from apricots & raisins try cranberries & goji berries.
Why not dig out that clementine, tangerine or satsuma from the bottom of your Christmas stocking low in calories, high in vitamin C and potassium.
Raw veg are great too, some celery and cucumber sticks are refreshing and hydrating.
Negotiating the Christmas buffet
Christmas is a great time to socialise but it can also be a great opportunity to allow time for yourself; don’t feel obliged to attend every event you are invited to, if you really don’t want to go, don’t; just decline politely. Then you avoid the buffet temptations!
Avoid going out when you’re hungry; you’ll more inclined to overeat. Have some fruit, yoghurt, sandwich or cereal beforehand. Then the hunger pangs won’t take over when you get there!
Learn to recognise and acknowledge your true hunger and appetite. Don’t automatically head for the buffet because everyone else is! Could you be thirsty?
Tempting as that spread may look, don’t let it take you up another hole on your belt. Keep the following tips in mind:
Don’t stand by the food, choose your food and move away; you can come back if you are still genuinely hungry. Chatting and picking is a sure fire way to pig-out!
Go for the raw veg with dips (hummus, guacamole or salsa). They are a good alternative to pastry-based canapés. Choose dips like hummus, guacamole and salsa, avoid the creamy ones.
Avoid fried & fatty foods like sausage. Choose solid pieces of chicken or turkey and remove the skin. Avoid processed meats that can be incredibly high in salt.
Keep your eye out for fish options, still high in protein but less calorific, salmon, tuna, smoked mackerel and prawns. But once again steer clear of the creamy sauces and mayonnaise.
If you want to stockpile your plate, do it with fruit & vegetables. Aim for a variety of colours and flavours. Vegetables are a great source of fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and you have to eat vast amounts to get fat on them.
If you must indulge in dessert, share with someone else, you’ll eat less and maybe make a friend! So much cosier at Christmas.
Don’t be tempted by too many things that you wouldn’t normally eat! This is a sure fire recipe for indigestion and blaoting!