Navigating the festive feasts without the guilt

Navigating the festive feasts without the guilt

With the festive period fast approaching, the anxiety around what to cook and eat for Christmas is growing. Whether you’re planning a cosy dinner at home or venturing out, the choices of dishes and drinks can seem overwhelming, and the options are indeed endless!

In the past few days, I’ve had several conversations about this as friends and clients sought advice. My perspective on social eating is that cherishing and enjoying these special get-togethers is paramount, and goes beyond any concern around calories.

The art of connecting and nourishing your body and soul during the festive period can take different forms for different people. Before delving further, I invite you to ponder: How would you like to spend your holidays? What culinary delights would bring joy to your family this year? How can you make the experience both fun and nourishing for everyone involved?  These considerations can set the tone for a meaningful and pleasurable holiday season.

Here are my top tips that could help you plan the celebration!

  • Consider balancing indulgent treats with nutrient-rich options: Ensure that there is a wide range of vegetables and fruits are incorporated into your meals.
  • Healthy snacks: Can you think of some healthier snacks that you could prepare? Homemade popcorn and energy balls are always a favourite in my house.
  • Staying attuned to your body’s signals: Stop eating when you feel 80% full.
  • Stay hydrated: Make sure you drink enough water. Get some alcohol free drinks when you next shop. Make some smoothies, hot chocolate, cordials with your children and serve them in fancy glasses.
  • Portion sizes: If conscious of eating too much, use a smaller plate and stop piling up too much on it!
  • Mindful indulgence: Pick your favourite dessert and enjoy every bite as opposed to nibbling throughout the day with lots of snacks just because these are available throughout the day.
  • Timing of your meals: Set a couple of days when you eat your main meal at lunch time. Alternatively you could have earlier dinners and some healthier snacks prepared if you are hungry. Grab some seasoned nuts or bake some chickpeas for a protein rich snack.
  • Practice gratitude: Give yourself a moment to appreciate the food and company you have. It can help enhance our dining experience and build a more positive relationship to food.
  • Plan ahead: Meal planning can come super handy as you can take control of what you are going to cook and serve up and won’t be forced to buy a last minute ready meal or something you would not usually eat.
  • Stay active: Incorporate a winter family walk into your plans. Choose an activity you would all enjoy together.

This reminds me of the blog post I have written about treats – a good time to read it, if you haven’t already!

The key is to enjoy the season, but be kind to yourself and balance your meals with plenty of colourful veg, fruit and wholesome grains. Drink lots of water, especially if you consume alcohol. Take some vitamin supplements if you have many late nights as a safety net.

If you do choose to indulge, remember, have fun doing it as if you are going to feel guilty and miserable while you are eating those beautiful meals, it kind of beats the point, doesn’t it.

Would you enjoy those festive meals and put your mind at rest if you signed up to a health MOT in 2024?

If  you are ready to embrace a healthier you in the New Year, check out my nutrition coaching packages and book your spot now! Spaces are limited!