‘Tis the Season for Christmas cocktail parties, late night board game sessions and a plethora of delicious, enticing foods wherever we go. What would Christmas be without the parties, fresh baking and home cooked comforts on those cold winter nights?! We love our food and at Christmas time there is no better season to showcase that love of good food then with the ones we love. It’s easy to forget to take things in moderation this time of the year until we wake up one morning with a pounding headache or step on the scale in the New Year with those fresh resolutions in hand a little too surprised by the number that’s looking back up at us. But wait! Read on to discover the Top 10 Tips to help you thrive and not just survive this holiday season:
Top 10 Tips
- Go easy on the buffet! When at a cocktail party remember that 3-5 pieces is great for a pre-meal appetizer and that the 10-15-piece range means you are entering into full meal territory so no further dinner that day is necessary unless you really want it;)
- Plan to grab a healthy bite of vegetables before you go to a party as fresh veggies will ensure you get a great dose of antioxidants and help to fill your tummy before you head out to dissuade you from overindulging when your out and about.
- Choose your hor d’oeuvres wisely! Scan what foods are available at stationary food stations as well as what is being passed around so that you can choose healthier protein options such as fish and chicken as opposed to red meats which are harder to digest and can therefore lead to bloating and inflammation.
- Ask for a doggie bag! If you see a really great treat that you’d love to have then ask the caterer for a to go bag. They will more than likely be happy to oblige and then you have another sweet treat to look forward to tomorrow. Try to get something with dark chocolate in it for a great dose of magnesium, which is considered an anti-stress mineral, perfect for over the holidays.
- Hydrate while drinking! Remember to pace yourself and for every alcoholic drink you have make sure you are consuming one glass of fresh, clean pure water as well.
- Drink wisely! When drinking at a function there are a few tips to cut down on your sugar consumption. Mix drinks with club soda as opposed to pop to cut down on the sugar content and help with hydration. Try a cider instead of a beer to help cut down on the bloating that can accompany wheat beers and try to skip out on those sugar laden mixed shots that often break out after hours!
- Exercise! Even with an extremely busy schedule try to aim for a brisk 15-20 minute outdoor walk to help increase the scarce Vitamin D (which is key for calcification of the bones) we often are low on in the winter and exercise is an excellent way to manage our hectic schedules and allow for a clearer mind when juggling all of those fun RSVP’s we have.
- Hold a party at home! A great way to control the type’s of foods available to eat are by throwing your own cocktail reception. Plan on incorporating a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables and if you plan a potluck then challenge your guests to bring a modified healthy dish of one of their favorites. For example, instead of mashed potatoes try mashed yams with plain Greek yogurt for a great dose of b-vitamins from the yams and probiotics from the Greek yogurt.
- Rest your weary head! With all of the excitement during the holiday season be sure to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night. If not you may experience symptoms for low blood sugar when you wake which can lead to intense cravings of refined and fast foods later on in the day.
- Move the focus away from food! I know it can be hard but there are a lot of fantastic Christmas events in Calgary that help us to focus on what the true spirit of Christmas is. To be thankful and spend time with the ones we love. Go and check out Zoo Lights at the Calgary Zoo, Once Upon a Christmas at Heritage Park or catch the amazing Nutcracker put on by Alberta Ballet at the Jubilee Auditorium.
Brought to you by:
Cordelia McFadyen, RHN