Who knows just how much of our festivities we will get to share with others this year. Could it be Christmas dinner via Zoom or a Teams Office party with a screen full of festive jumpers? What we do know it is very easy to over indulge in festive food and drink. Even if you don’t celebrate a traditional Christmas, the shops are still full of extra goodies that might land in your shopping basket.
You don’t have to hide away from all things sweet and tasty, but it makes sense to be aware of what you are consuming and not to let bad habits sneak in. Little things like always having a good breakfast can help you stop the temptation to grab a few extra sweets or one more mince pie during the day. Porridge or overnight oats are such a good breakfast for this time of year. Filling, easy to do and infinitely variable with different toppings or even mixing up the type of milk you use. Try using a nut milk, especially hazelnut or the obvious choice of oat milk for a delicious variation.
Moderation is the key. Enjoy the festive foods, just don’t overdo it!
Overnight oats are great if you are short of time in the morning. Layer up your bowl with oats, fruit, nuts, maybe a drizzle of honey and cover with milk of your choice. Cover and pop in the fridge, then come morning time all you need to give it a stir and enjoy! Find some recipe inspiration here and here.
Apart from breakfast, what else can you easily do to prepare your body for a festive overload? The good news is there are some simple tips that can make all the difference.
If you know your digestive system doesn’t always take kindly to a change of habits, think ahead and get it in good condition. Take a supplement containing friendly bacteria to help keep the gut clean and digesting food properly. The great news about our gut bacteria or microbiome, is that we know it does so much more than just keep the digestive system healthy. It plays a role in many areas including our immune system and possibly even our moods. So it is certainly worth looking after it!
Share the load! If you have having visitors, get them to help you with the preparations or ask them to bring a dish to share.
If you are going to be mixing with people that you don’t normally see, you might want to ensure your immune system is doing what it should be. Vitamin C, D and Zinc all play a role in helping out immune system to function correctly. Easy supplements to take and to add to your regime. If you are looking for something more advanced, you could also try Lactoferrin, this is an iron-binding glycoprotein that is found in human and bovine milk. It also occurs in tears and saliva. One of the many roles it has is as part of the immune response and as a source of antioxidants. Look for a source that is lactose free and from a high quality source.
Preparing to meet with others is a good time to look at your immune system.
If you find yourself getting stressed and overwhelmed by it all, try adding a B complex to your routine. Being stressed will also affect your digestive system, so another reason to keep on top of it at this time of year. If you have trouble sleeping, you could swap that late night coffee for a chamomile or lemon balm tea to help soothe and relax.
If you want your skin to look at it’s best gatherings and parties, remember good skin health comes from withing. It’s back to the digestive system for starters, as the skin is our biggest organ of elimination. If your digestive system isn’t looked after, you may find you get irritated skin or breakouts of spots.
After that, think about nutrients that support skin health. Vitamin C is important for collagen production, plus you can also take collagen as a supplement. Borage oil contains high amounts of GLA, a fatty acid important for skin health. Many of the top beauty creams now contain Hyaluronic acid, this is naturally present in our skin but declines with age. Babies have lots of it, think of their lovely soft, plump skin. To increase your levels you can take it as a supplement and many users report a smoother skin and a reduction in fine lines.
You can underpin all your good health programmes with a varied diet and a good multi vitamin and mineral. Remember, feeling good and doing things that make us happy are an important part of our overall wellbeing. Enjoy the moments and make the memories, don’t overdo the sweet stuff and get outside as much as possible. Relax, the dishes can wait until the morning.
However, and wherever you spend this December, we wish you all a happy, healthy and safe time.