To finish off for the year, I have included my last few tips for surviving the festive season! You can find part 1 of this series here.
TIP #5 KNOW YOUR MIXERS
Ever heard the rationale, 4 grams of sugar is equivalent to 1 teaspoon sugar? Based on this information, do you know how many teaspoons of sugar you are consuming in one can of soft drink? Have a look below:
Coca-Cola – 35g of sugar or ~ 9 teaspoons
Sprite – 35g of sugar or ~ 9 teaspoons
Schwepps Agrum – 28g of sugar or ~ 7 teaspoons
Fanta 22.8g of sugar or ~ 6 teaspoons
Schwepps Indian Tonic water – 12g of sugar ~ 3 teaspoons
Natural Mineral Water – 0g of sugar
These figures listed above reflect 1 can of soft drink. Add these figures up when you have 1,2 or even 10 drinks over the course of Christmas day and where are you left standing? Would you add 9 teaspoons of sugar to your coffee?
If you are looking for alternatives, opt for sparkling water, natural mineral water AND/OR attempt to “Pimp” Your Water with the following recipes.
TIP #6 OPT FOR FREE-RANGE, WILD CAUGHT, GRASS-FED
I was um-ing and ahh-ing about posting this information. I know we have all heard it before, but come Christmas time, we tend to indulge in a little more seafood and poultry so I thought it was fitting. It is so important to eat a diet rich in nutrients and as always, this begins with the source.
Wild fish are designed to eat smaller marine life, plankton and sea vegetables. Commercially farmed fish are usually fed a diet that consists predominantly of grains and soy pellets.
Turkey and Chickens are designed to forage for foods, eating a wide variety of insects, plant matter, seeds, small snails, worms and slugs. Commercially raised turkey and chicken are fed grains such as wheat and corn, soy pellets and the like.
Pigs are also designed to forage for food. They do not a diet based on grains and corn. Yep, commercially raised pigs are fed a diet predominantly of wheat and corn.
Cows & Sheep are designed to eat grass. Commercially raised cows are often fed a diet of grains (wheat and corn) to make them fat.
Using humans as an example, when we eat a diet rich in the wrong foods, what happens? We get sick. With little room to exercise and the wrong diet, these commercially raised animals can get very sick. They are all (YES, FISH INCLUDED) fed a variety of antibiotics and other drugs to get them over the line and ready for market.
This Christmas, opt for the healthy, strong robust animals and avoid picking off the sick ones for maximum nutritional value. To help create the feeling of satiety, proteins should make up 50% of your plate, followed by 50% delicious seasonal veg!
TIP #7 MAKE YOUR OWN SALADS
So many people ask me how I survive going to friends and families places for lunch, dinner or any meal when they aren’t on the same page as I am food wise. It is simple, I always take a plate to share.
With a host of delicious menu items come Xmas day, sticking to a simple meal of protein, good fats and vegetables can be a little harder than normal. One way to keep yourselves on track is simply variety.
Tempt everyone’s taste buds with one or two new salad combinations. Let them feast upon an array of colourful fresh vegetables, using an abundance of seasonal produce. Experiment with roast vegetables even quinoa. I have included a few different salad combinations in my new cookbook including avocado and mango salad (pictured) that pairs perfectly with seafood feasts.
At our Christmas lunch, we always have more than one salad available. It adds variety and gorgeous colour to the table. Each year we try something new and our guests are always asking for recipes. Remember, vegetables don’t have to be boring!
TIP #8 GUILT FREE DESSERT
If your weakness is the dessert table, then we need to find a solution. If you have followed all the previous steps – made your own dips full of good fats, started your meal off with protein, kept away from the wheat based crackers and breads and loaded up on salads and you still have room, lets add a guilt free dessert to the table. My raw lemon & raspberry cheesecake is delicious. Let’s face it, if there is a safe alternative available, you won’t be tempted down the road of no return 🙂
TIP #9 GET ACTIVE
As the year draws to a close, we like to start thinking about a list of new year’s resolutions. Coming in at a close number 2 on the top 10 list of annual resolutions is of course, to lose weight. Truth is, we need to eat less processed foods and move that little bit more to make this a reality. While we have been focusing on how to incorporate nutritious food into the xmas menu, why not look at ways of incorporating more movement:
- A family game of backyard cricket
- Friendly game of Tennis at your local court
- Afternoon match of Lawn Bowls
- Kick a football or a friendly touch rugby match
- Take the dog down to your local beach for a walk.
- Bike Rides (google: bike tracks in your state)
- Game of Frisbee at your local park
- Beach Volleyball (St Kilda Beach offer community matches)
- Afternoon playing (not watching) the kids in the pool
- Indoor Rock Climbing Centres
- SUP (Stand up Paddle boarding) or Learn to Surf
Even giving the gift of movement: Cricket Sets (Kmart $25), Totem Tennis Game (Kmart $12), a Frisbee, Soccer Ball… The list goes on.
There are plenty of ways to get active, just think about moving rather than sitting and observing. Get involved in a new activity and use your holidays to start a new way of life.
TIP #10 MEET YOUR FRIENDS FOR BREAKFAST RATHER THAN A DRINK
This is one of my favourite tips and is another great way to avoid drinking too much this festive season. When catching up with friends and family over the holidays, opt to meet them for a morning walk and breakfast instead of dinner and drinks. Eating healthy whilst out at breakfast is a lot easier than trying to find something healthy for dinner that you would both agree upon. Smoothies, Fruit Salads, Eggs, Omelettes, there is so much to choose from!