The weather is getting warmer and warmer, a true indication of an African Christmas which is fast approaching and we all know what that means…Festivities in all forms; Christmas parties, weddings, office parties, friends’ shindigs and gatherings. The holiday traveling, sweet treats for those with a sweet tooth, alcohol and its derivatives for those who indulge fried everything, spicy and tangy something or maybe all of the above. This period is one extended cheat day with all the over indulgences and excesses.
Maintaining our health status and health goals can be challenged with all the temptations but with a little planning, we can stay in good health while still enjoying the great weather and the festivities.
- Stick to your health routine
Being the holidays, most of us are tempted to throw away all of your healthy habits; e.g. if you religiously have a lemon water on waking up and 3 litres of water through the day find ways to keep this up – maybe stock up on the lemon water in bulk, carry a water bottle when on the move, eat your water in fruits.
The festive season shouldn’t be an excuse not to.
- Stay Hydrated
Speaking of water and fluids, drink plenty of water (aim for 3 Litres daily) and eat lots of fruits with a high water content – watermelons, strawberries, pineapple, cantaloupe, oranges, grapefruits. Sometimes our bodies confuse hunger for thirst; drinking plenty of water will keep your skin glowing and brighter (you’re welcome).
- Greens, Greens, Greens
As I like to put it, ’Eat a rainbow’. Max on veggies and fruits – greens, reds, yellows, purples, whites. Fruits and veggies are rich in antioxidants and their healing properties will help to counter the effects of the ‘junk’ we pump into our systems during this period.
- Don’t go to an event hungry.
Eat something sustainable and preferably nutritious and healthy food with enough protein before going to a party or event. Most parties serve finger foods and snacks – samosas, potato chips, meat on skewers; going on an empty belly will almost always guarantee over snacking trying to feel sated.
- Moderation is Key.80:20 rule
At our practise, we eat, drink and live moderation. Let’s try not to overdo or under do anything – eating, drinking, sleeping, working out etc.Too much or too little of anything is not good for you.
Think 80:20 – eating healthy 80% of the time allowing for 20% guilt free treats time.
- Who cares if you overindulge?
If you overindulge, don’t beat yourself up for it. Being the holiday season, it’s okay to do so once in a while as long as you don’t make a habit out of it for every meal this season otherwise you’ll suffer bloating, indigestion and low energy – and who wants that when you should be the best version of yourself soaking up every awesome minute?
- Get active in the morning
Check this one off your list before the day fills up with plans for fun or plans to do absolutely nothing all day. When you are not able to, dance when you can – exercise the fun way.
- Keep your health status in mind.
It is not a competition, just because he/ she can eat and drink a certain way doesn’t mean I can. We are different; with different metabolism rates, different reactions to the same foods, different tolerances for alcohol, sugar, fried goodies. Know who you are, your triggers, how you react to certain foods, what conditions you live with (diabetes, hypertension, food allergies and intolerance) and be mindful of these.
- Take care of you
Keep up your self-care and self- love routines – whatever that is to you. This is so you feel amazing and grounded even when the family time gets hectic. Plus with a regular dose of self-love, you will feel less guilty about indulging.
Have an amazing holiday season everyone, You DESERVE it.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and God’s Blessings from us here at C&P.
Nutritionist/ Dietician, for C&P.