It can be difficult to eat healthily at this time of year – there are way too many temptations! Rather than risk offending your hosts or depriving yourself or your guests, try the following swaps and choices that may mitigate at least some of the damage.
- A dessertspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar in warm water 10 minutes before a meal can help strengthen stomach acid to help you digest your meal.
- Drink plenty of water during this season but try not to drink with meals as this can dilute your stomach acid.
- Support your liver by starting each day with a mug of warm water and the juice of half a lemon.
- Other foods that are helpful for the liver include bitter veggies such as watercress, rocket, endive, chicory, asparagus, artichoke. Make a starter of these dressed with olive oil and apple cider vinegar to kick start your digestion.
- Wherever you are eating try to choose as many differently coloured vegetables as possible. No, this does not include chips, in fact, it doesn’t include white potatoes at all, but it can include sweet potatoes! We should be aiming for 5 portions of veg per day and 50% of your plate should be vegetables.
- This is a great time of year for dried fruit – in mince pies, Christmas cake, compotes etc. But the sugar is very concentrated in dried fruit, so limit how much of this you eat. Instead go for fresh, low sugar fruits such as berries, apple, pear, citrus.
- Red wine has much less sugar in it than white wine, prosecco, champagne etc and red has the additional health benefits antioxidants and resveratrol (great for heart health).
- While spirits don’t come with any similar health benefits, some people find they drink less and suffer less if they chose spirits rather than wine. So perhaps some good quality gin or vodka with a lower sugar tonic (e.g. Fever-Tree) may be a good switch. These modern mixers make a nice drink on their own – easier to hide the fact that you’re not having alcohol if social pressure to drink is an issue!
- And try to not to drink on an empty stomach – you are much more likely to start nibbling on crisps and peanuts once you start drinking. By the time you get to the dinner table, you’ve already taken in a few hundred calories! Try to delay the first glass of wine until you are sitting down for dinner.
- Go for raw nuts rather than salted nuts. And buying them in the shells which you have to crack will reduce how many you eat!
- Make some Kale Crisps to replace potato crisps.
- Make your own dips such as fresh guacamole or courgette hummus served with vegetable crudities or flaxseed crackers.
- A little cheese in moderation is OK, but replace standard cows cheese with organic or raw cheeses and sheep’s or goats cheese. Serve with grapes, apple slices or celery sticks and chose these rather than crackers.
- Replace milk chocolate with 70%+ dark chocolate. Full of antioxidants, magnesium, polyphenols and flavonols.
- Peppermint, ginger or fennel tea can help settle your digestion if you’ve over-indulged.
Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas from all at Homefield Wellness Retreat.
See you in the New Year x