Tis the season to be jolly but most of us feel utter exhaustion. Parties, shopping, wrapping, family and work deadlines can all stop us from feeling merry and bright. Diet won’t stop the Christmas crowds or office Kris Kringle, but it can help you cope with stress. Here are my tips to energise you through the silly season.
If you’re seeing yellow in the morning, then you’re probably dehydrated. Alcohol, stress, warm weather and running around makes us parched. It results in feeling sluggish and more vulnerable to infections. Keep water handy and eat food that has a high-water content such as fruits and vegetables. Also, drink extra H20 to replace caffeinated and alcoholic beverages.
Santa snacks like fruit mince pies, lollies and fruit cake can make us feel apathetic and weary. Keep some of your good habits going by munching on fresh fruit, yoghurt, wholegrain crackers or veggie sticks to balance the eggnog and chocolate. Maintain your exercise and slip in incidental activity if you’re losing gym time due to Christmas commitments.
Festive eating can present us with plenty of opportunity to overeat. Try to spread your intake out over the day and be aware of how you’re feeling. If your stomach feels bloated and tight then you need to slow down, drink more water and do more physical activity. Take the focus off food at gatherings by hitting the dance floor, helping your host or taking a break to step outside.
Bradley Cooper might make a hangover look fun but we all know that as they accumulate in December it can make you feel wretched. Even a few drinks can interfere with much needed sleep so try to alternate your alcohol with water, drink low-alcoholic or organic wine, have alcohol free days and don’t mix your drinks. If you find you simply can’t get through a social engagement without alcohol, then decline the invitations that you don’t rate highly.
When the carols suddenly stop our defences drop and that dreaded cold appears for your holiday. Boost your immune system by increasing your antioxidant intake with leafy greens, nuts and a rainbow of fruit particularly berries and avocado. Keep your healthy fats in check with sardines, salmon and seeds. Look after your gut with yoghurt, kefir, miso and a quality probiotic.
Balance is the key to surviving the party season. This doesn’t mean skipping meals because you’ve overeaten. Enjoy the treats you love in small amounts while still investing in healthy foods to aid your digestion and immune function. If you love a fatty sausage at a BBQ, then put plenty of salad on your plate. If you adore eggnog, then drink water first. If you can’t resist plum pudding, then have a smaller portion and add fruit.
The festive season can deplete you of your usual stamina and energy. It’s not always the most wonderful time for a beer either. Family pressures, time constraints to purchase presents and excess food take a physical and emotional toll. Give yourself the Christmas gift of continuing to eat, exercise and sleep well. Yule be sure to keep your jingle going until Christmas then.