Christmas is the best time of year - there's always so much going on, so many pretty decorations, gift giving, parties and lots of amazing food. We all love letting go a bit during the festive period, eating more than we usually would, indulging and enjoying ourselves! However this can lead to feeling sluggish, bloated and rubbish - nobody wants that!
I thought I'd share some of my tips for staying that little bit healthier over Christmas - that doesn't mean don't enjoy a mince pie and mulled wine, it means perhaps put some simple actions into place to make yourself feel that bit better and keep your body & mind happy.
1. Start your day with lemon water. I start my day with a mug of warm lemon water every day, but it's especially important during this time of year when you might be putting your digestive system through more than you normally would. Drinking lemon water before you put anything else into your system in the morning really kickstarts your metabolism. It helps to alkalising your body and cleanse your system too!
2. Eat a healthy breakfast. There are lots of parties and events over Christmas & New Year, which means come the evening time you're more likely to be indulging in treats. Breakfast is the easiest meal to make sure you keep healthy and it sets you up well for the day ahead. Try a big bowl of porridge with chia seeds, warmed blueberries and almond butter, a delicious banana, spinach, kale, almond butter and hemp powder smoothie or avocado on toast with cooked spinach and tomato.
3. Exercise. This is key! Don't lose your motivation over Christmas, but stick to a good workout routine to keep you feeling fit and to sweat out any toxins. Try and do this first thing in the morning to ensure you get it done! Not only will you feel physically better but emotionally it'll help you destress and get those happiness hormones pumped around your body.
4. Get lots of sleep. Nothing makes your energy levels drop more than a big night and then only a few hours sleep, especially if you're doing this repeatedly. Maybe you won't get 8 hours every night but try to as much as you can - it'll keep you feeling happy, de-stressed and ready for this hectic time of year.
5. Drink plenty of water. This is something we don't do enough as it is, but when there's lots of parties, alcohol flowing and sugar being devoured it's even more important to stay hydrated. Try and drink at least 2 litres throughout the day - trust me, it'll make you feel and look wonderful.
6. Get creative. No-one is going to tell you not to eat a few of those celebration chocolates or a warm mince pie and hot chocolate but maybe you could get yourself in the kitchen and come up with healthy alternatives. I've been doing this and not only is it so much fun but you can end up making treats that are good for you but still taste as delicious as the sugar-laden sweets.
7. Balance is key. Everyone indulges when Christmas comes around and it can be horrible for our physical health but also for our minds - we can start to feel emotionally worse for wear and down when we consume too many processed, artificial foods. The best way to stop this happening is to make sure you keep the balance! You can still enjoy the festive food, but get those greens in too. Or perhaps if you know you're going to a Christmas dinner party tomorrow then eat loads of fresh fruit, vegetables and whole foods as you can today.
8. Have fun and don't fret! My last and most important tip is to have fun, enjoy yourself and don't worry if you consume more 'bad' food than you intended. Never feel guilty for eating wonderful tasting food that you enjoy and don't worry if you don't get your 5 a day every day. Life is about balance and doing what makes you happy, so if you want that mince pie with brandy cream then go for it! The worst thing you can do is beat yourself up about it afterwards, so please don't. Christmas is about having fun and sharing time with your loved ones - enjoy it!
Have a wonderful Christmas!