Mince pies, pigs in blankets, movie marathons, Terry’s chocolate orange(s), WINE (and the rest), owning the dance floor at the office Christmas party, shiny wrapped presents and a couple of family feuds thrown in for good measure, Christmas is a joyful and indulgent time of year which, on the most part, can be a magical few days/weeks.
What people often don’t talk about is the overindulgence, followed by guilt (or FEAR if tequila became involved), the lack of movement and routine, loneliness, sadness and even the grief of spending Christmas without someone you love.
Whilst I cannot guarantee you a festive period filled with unending joy, I’ve put together a few simple tips to help guide you the through the festive season with a conscious and more open heart:
- IT’S OK TO INDULGE – I think it’s really important to say right here, right now that indulgence is ABSOLUTELY allowed. Eat, drink and be merry as the saying goes, however make sure that you are doing it out of love for yourself and for your mind/body/soul. If not, take a step back and ask yourself what WOULD make you feel great. If it’s chocolate cake and champagne, then go for it, but if it’s something different, honour that feeling and run with it.
- A NOURISHING BREAKFAST – I know, it’s so easy to reach for the chocolate first thing on Christmas morning. Fuelling yourself with a balanced, healthy breakfast is key to feeling better later in the day. Choose a breakfast which includes vegetables/fruit and is rich in protein; protein supports the body in balancing blood sugar/energy levels and will keep you fuller for longer:
- 2 poached/scrambled eggs with wilted spinach, sauteed mushrooms and roasted tomatoes
- A green smoothie of spinach/kale/any greens, frozen berries, plant milk/water and some plant based protein powder (I like VivoLife or SunWarrior)
- Porridge made with your choice of milk/water, topped with seasonal fruit and chopped nuts. I like to add 2 tablespoons of chia seeds and some grated courgette when cooking the oats for an extra boost of veggies and protein. Spice it how you like; add cinnamon or nutmeg for some festive warmth!
- WINE AND WATER – Whether it’s wine, champagne, beer or a Christmas cocktail, if you’re drinking alcohol this festive season, use the one drink, one water principle. As somebody who occasionally enjoys a gin and tonic or two (Two Gins Totes by name), I try my best to make sure that I always have at least one glass of water in between alcoholic beverages. If you’re looking for some liver support during the festive season, Milk Thistle is a supplement which you may be able to consider (but check with a health professional first that it works for your individual needs).
- VEGGIES ARE COOL – When filling your plate with festive feasts, start with vegetables and colour FIRST. I like the Alliance for Natural Health’s ‘Food4Health’ Plate (link below) which is a great starter guide. Think of vegetables as being the main focus in every meal which fill 50% of your plate.
- MOVE YOUR BODY – The power of movement is so important, not only for your physical health but particularly for your mental health. This does NOT mean that you need to be hitting the gym or running 5 miles a day over the festive season (but if it makes you feel great then go for it!), however the simple pleasures of getting outside for a brisk walk, or a quick yoga flow in the living room, will give you the time and space that you DESERVE to honour your body and be grateful for all that it does for you. Remember that exercise is often more fun with a friend – make it a team effort!
- THE POWER OF A SUPPORT NETWORK – On the subject of friends and family, I cannot stress the importance of not just surrounding yourself with loved ones at this time of year, but actually talking about how you are feeling and supporting each other through whatever emotions are coming up for you. Christmas can be a challenging time of the year for many people for a whole host of reasons. Open your heart, surround yourself with positive energy and trust that there are people out there who love and care for you. The light in me honours the light in you.
Have a wonderful, soulful and mindful Christmas. Wishing you a festive period filled with health, happiness, love and laughter.
MERRY CHRISTMAS! Xxx