The Silly Season might only last for a couple of weeks, but the average person can sometimes gain a couple of kilos over Christmas each year, indulging in excess when really it doesn’t have to be that way.
Ever wondered what the healthiest and fittest eat at Christmas time? We’ve rounded up what some of the leading health experts eat at Christmas – and it’s not all salad leaves!
Lauren Hannaford – PT and IsoWhey Sports Ambassador
When it comes to the Silly Season and Christmas, it’s hard to deprive yourself of all the delicious food that you are surrounded by. It has become more and more a festival of food at this time of year, so rather than trying to pretend that I don’t want to eat the pudding or sit there gritting my teeth the whole time depriving myself, I just try and have a balance with it. Instead of just digging right in and thinking I will be able to control myself, I go for the healthiest options first!! I fill my plate with the salads and veggies first before I opt for that heavenly looking potato bake. If I’m still hungry 10 minutes after having the ‘healthy food’ then I usually grab a smaller plate and put some of the ‘not so healthy’ bits and pieces on- it’s all in the balance and moderation!
Peta Shulman – Founder of GoodnessMe Box
The holidays are a time to indulge- it’s all about letting your hair down, enjoying time with friends and family and having that extra slice of pudding! However, that doesn’t mean you have to completely throw your healthy lifestyle out the window. A good way to ensure you maintain your healthy lifestyle during the holidays is to offer to bring dessert yourself! Think chia puddings instead of bread and butter puds, bliss balls instead of rumballs, pumpkin brownies and more. I love the three-ingredient chocolate truffle recipe found in our Decadent Desserts e-book, by Melbourne-based nutrition student Alicia, @balanced.basic- it’s just almond meal, chia seeds and choc-hazelnut spread. Options like this taste so naughty that none of your relatives will know they are nice!
Belinda Reynolds, Dietician, Nutritionist and BioCeuticals Educator
Christmas can, more than not, often mean lots of big meals enjoyed with friends and family, and therefore the stress of keeping completely healthy can often seem daunting. But it doesn’t have to be! There’s no reason why you can’t indulge and enjoy a little treat here and there at Christmas time.
In saying that, however, knowing that you are filling up on foods that are mostly good for you – such as lean protein and colourful vegetables – can help to keep you feeling well, and hence enjoying the time more. They can also fill you up, leaving little room left for the bad stuff. I aim to focus on healthy snacks and nibbles that include raw veggies and delicious healthy dips, plus nuts and some great cheese as a treat. Meals focus on protein sources (e.g. prawns, smoked salmon, chicken, ham off the bone) and lots of great fun and creative salads.
I always steer clear of breads and other sides which are high in refined carbohydrates. For dessert, I love dark chocolate, or cacao mixed in with coconut yoghurt, a little stevia for sweetness, strawberries and a superfood-type sprinkle (with nuts and seeds, coconut flakes and dried berries).
Jordanna Levin – Holistic Wellness Coach and Founder – The Inspired Table
Lots of seafood! My family orders an abundance of prawns and lobster at Christmas time. It’s the only time of year we buy lobster so it’s always really special. There is also an abundance of salads, usually a ham or turkey and we finish off with an over the top Pavlova adorned with seasonal summer fruit. I always make sure Christmas centres around one meal of the day not all three! I like to start Christmas morning with a nutrient dense green smoothie by cramming in as many superfoods, veggies and proteins as possible. This way I can be sure that if I overindulge over Christmas lunch (which is likely) I know that I’ve had my nutritional fix for the day. Dinner is always super light, and then I try and get back to business as usual on Boxing Day… dragging indulgent Christmas fare over the entire week is many people’s Silly Season downfall.
SHARE your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Main image courtesy of Shutterstock.com