Between family bonding over a large Christmas day spread, baking cookies for Santa in the kitchen with the kids and the endless end of year Christmas parties, it is certainly a time of indulgence.
Now don’t get us wrong, we are all about balance when it comes to our food choices however the busy, over-eating and over-drinking lifestyle that we tend to embrace in December can often leave us with a sad sluggish liver, stressed out and with a few extra kilos on our hips. Don’t worry, it’s not all doom and gloom! You can still eat, drink and be merry without compromising your health and wellbeing. All it takes is planning, preparation and a bit of willpower!
Watch your plate
We know, it may seem hard to control those portions when you are sitting at the Christmas lunch table with an eyeful of deliciousness in front of you. However, try filling at least 1⁄2 your plate with tasty veggies and fresh salads and the rest with protein and grains. As much as you would like to go for second servings, wait 20 minutes for your stomach and brain to discuss whether or not you are full. If you are still peckish after that, go for a small second serve.
This time of year, the supermarkets are full of frozen, canned or boxed foods to help make Christmas day cooking that little bit easier. Although helpful, these pre-made meals are typically processed and contain high amounts of sugar, salt, preservatives and artificial flavours. By preparing your meals from scratch, you will know exactly what you are consuming.
Our liver is the main organ in charge of detoxification of harmful substances within our body, particularly alcohol. It processes over 90% of consumed alcohol with the rest exiting via urine, sweat and breath. It takes the body one hour to process just one alcoholic beverage. This time frame then increases with each beverage consumed. The thing is, our liver can only process a certain amount of alcohol at a time so when someone has too much to drink, the alcohol left unprocessed by the liver roams around the blood stream and liver cells slowly begin to destruct.
From this, you can see why it is vital we support our liver during the festive season.
Plan some alcohol-free days and grab a pressed juice or mineral water. Alternate your alcohol vs non-alcoholic drinks
Ensure you eat before and whilst you are drinking alcohol
For every alcoholic beverage, consume 1 glass of water
Pour your own drinks so you know how much you have consumed
Focus on consuming nutrients that support the liver detoxification pathways, these include:
- Zinc- capsicum, ginger, sunflower and pumpkin seeds
- B6- bananas, carrot, lentils and walnuts
- B12- bacterial synthesis of B12 occurs in the gut however B12 is found primarily in animal products and a quality supplement when on a plant based diet will ensure your levels are met.
- Vitamin -C- Broccoli, brussel sprouts, pineapple, sweet potato and raw cabbage.
Hydrate and heal with cold pressed juice
The benefits of consuming cold pressed juices are endless. They help ease the strain of detoxification and deliver high quality nutrients that support healthy body functioning. Consuming cold pressed juices during the Christmas period or completing a 1-3 day juice cleanse post- Christmas will not only give your digestive system a well-deserved break but will help allow your body to heal.
Oh My Greens
is an excellent choice to realign your body’s PH. It promotes alkalinity, reduces inflammation, assists with liver detoxification and is hydrating and refreshing for the body. We would recommend this juice if you are nursing a Christmas hangover!
Speaking of hangovers, if you experience alcohol induced nausea and belly aches then Lemon Tango
is the juice for you. It is a beautiful blend that is perfect for settling an upset stomach, aiding digestion, strengthening immunity and boosting energy levels.
is also a perfect choice to support body detoxification, increase blood flow, cleanse the liver and kidneys, increase your overall energy and reduce muscle pain and soreness. Did you know that the dark red colour of beetroot is derived from the pigment betalain? This pigment displays potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Over this period it is very easy to get into a ‘chill out and do nothing’ routine however it is imperative that you keep your body moving. Whether it be popping into the gym for a 30- minute cardio session, a walk with the dog at the park, a home HIIT workout or a Christmas morning walk with the family. Whatever it may be, get moving!
Look after your mind
Although Christmas is typically an exiting time to connect with others and celebrate, for others it may give rise to financial issues, family conflicts or loneliness. This can cause an increase in stress and anxiety for some in the lead up to Christmas and New Year. It is okay to feel overwhelmed when it comes to making plans and the added pressure of social expectations, however your Christmas day is what you make it. Change Christmas to meet your own personal needs and spend time with those who are supportive. It is ok to say no to
social events, it is okay to spoil your children with your time instead of gifts and it is okay to spend Christmas with one friend instead of twenty. Make it yours.
Remember to stay present, stay safe and enjoy this beautiful time. Happy Christmas!
Words thanks to our nutritionist Edan Willing