With the holiday season upon us, the Christmas dinners and celebrations pose a challenge for those of us trying to eat healthier and keep in shape! It can be easy to overlook good eating habits and over indulge at social events where there is an abundance of rich, heavier foods. Eating an excess of these rich meals or eating too frequently can lead to bloating, stomach cramps, reflux and other digestive upsets. To avoid this, here are some smart swaps to try at your next Christmas gathering:
- Dips: Choose guacamole, hummus or tzatziki dips over heavy cream based or cheese based dips. They are full of healthy and lighter fats which are easier to digest
- Desserts: Choose a fresh cheese and fruit board over heavy dessert, laced with sugar. For example choose a merengue, topped with lots of refreshing fruit over a heavy cheesecake.
- Avoid dinner rolls/bread rolls, which just fill you up with lots of simple carbohydrates
- Drinks: Alternate your beverage of choice with sparkling water in between drinks. If drinking choose, a white based spirit with a soda mixer over a sugar loaded cocktail.
- Smart swaps: Choose fresh sushi over sausage rolls.
- Smart swaps: Instead of flavouring potatoes with butter. Try flavouring them with herbs and spices. Rosemary, thyme, oregano, cumin, or coriander ground have some great flavours with potatoes!
It is highly important to recognise portion sizes during the festive season. If you know you have a few Christmas events to attend, pace yourself, keep your water up and let your body digest your food to prevent overeating. A great way of doing this is with the addition of soothing teas like chamomile and ginger tea. It’s important to not burn yourself out this festive season.
Enjoy these smart swaps this holiday season.