I’m hosting a little Christmas lunch this year which I am super excited about, because I love to cook for my family and friends (obviously!) Before I get super busy in the kitchen, I wanted to share with you a few little tips to for enjoying the festive season, food and non-food related.
- Commit to eating mindfully amidst all the mince pies, pudding and general festive feasting. Even when there’s a huge spread at the table and you’re most likely spending more time than usual sitting at home with lots of food around, make sure you stop to think about what you’re putting in your mouth, just a for a second or two. Are you eating that because it’s your favourite Christmas trifle and you’re truly savouring a yummy treat, or are you just bored/tired/overexcited? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying more indulgent foods at Christmas time; just take a moment to think about what you’re putting in your mouth and the pleasure that it is giving you, and be grateful for it.
- Of course, you can also make Christmas a little easier on the tum by contributing to a healthier Christmas table. Make something nourishing to share with family and/or friends. Pair your roast with an array of vegetable-based sides, like my favourite Spiced Red Cabbage Salad or Cauliflower Puree with Roasted Garlic. If you’re short of time, don’t stress. Pull together a “wellness board” with some organic cheese, fresh fruit, your favourite nuts and a selection of raw vegetable crudites; arrange these nicely then add a large smear of each of tahini and hummus creatively on the plate and sprinkle with mixed seeds. Voila! Super professional. Or you can gift something delicious, like my Vegan Gingerbread Globes (a featured recipe on welltodo London) or some granola (try this Cinnamon & Ginger one or a Chocolate Buckwheat version which is pictured above).
- Take advantage of time off work to indulge in some soul “food”. I’m not just talking about edible food here. During the holiday season most of us get some time off from our usual working routines to chill at home, visit family we may not often get to see, go away somewhere nice; whatever tickles your fancy. Seeing close friends and family, spending a day lazing around in your pjs, watching silly Christmas telly, getting stuck into a new book or just playing with your cool new presents; these are all lovely little things that are food for the soul. When we’re content emotionally we are less likely to take comfort in rubbish food, overeat out of boredom or engage in other destructive behaviours.
- Catch up on some sleep. No, I don’t mean stay in bed until 2pm everyday (sorry!) – but rather, use this time period when you may not have as many commitments to get into some better sleeping habits. Sleep not only makes you feel better, it also helps with weight management. When you’re sleep deprived, your hormones start to drift out of whack and you produce more ghrelin, the little messenger that makes you hungry. Cue the extra slice of cake. If you’ve been a stress-ball all year and not sleeping well, use the Christmas break to (i) rest and recover, and (ii) practice a sleep cycle you can maintain when life gets busier e.g. in bed by 10.30pm, up at 7am.
- Research and plan some new activities and recipes to try in the new year. Between work, recipe testing, blogging and trying to have some form of social life, I can end up feeling very frenzied, stressed and unfocussed. I know it’s old fashioned, but I like to get a hard-copy calendar and a few coloured pens and seriously PLAN out what I want to achieve over the next few months. You can try it my way or you can make yourself a huge inspiration/mood board to prop up in your bedroom; whatever works for you. It’s a fun way to spend half a day and you’ll be prepared and motivated come new year!
I hope you all have a fabulous Christmas! xx