The Importance of Balance over the Silly Season with Tabitha Hume
The Importance of Balance Over The Silly Season
Tis the season to be merry. And many people throw all caution to the wind and sink into victim mode during this time.
“It’s the Holiday Season; I can’t eat HEALTHILY during this time!”, following which a somewhat impressive scoff-down of mince pies, greasy potatoes and sparkly chocolates, ensue.
But is it wise to simply forget ALL good sense with the hope that the collateral damage will be made right in the New Year?
There are ways to move through this crazy period with your head screwed on straight and belt buckle on the same hole.
Try these ideas:
- Realise that a bit of ‘fun’ food every day is MUCH better than a 2-days splurge of greasy foods, bad carbs, dark chocolate bunnies and too much champagne. In fact, not only will you feel pretty awful, but the liver and pancreas actually take a lot of strain. If you already have insulin resistance, this is actually dangerous and needs to be navigated carefully. Rather choose to have ONE fun food each day, and choose ONE meal during which you will relax a bit and have more fun. This way, you’ll feel better and protect your poor body from harm.
- The same holds for alcohol. Rather than abstaining completely and then letting rip on one, big party, rather break it down into a little bit here and there, and space yourself with the bubbles on the big day. A great way to do this, is to drink one of many of the alcohol-free beers, gins and tonic or wines as an opening drink. Then, space your alcohol tots with sparkling water, tomato cocktail or half Appletiser, half soda water.
- If there is a BIG celebratory meal coming up, like Christmas lunch, ensure that you eat AS NORMAL from the moment you awaken: lovely muesli, plant-based yogurt, plenty fresh fruit. Then, have a fruit smoothie with some protein powder and/or soya milk for mid-morning. This way, you can ensure that when you sit down to the big lunch, you will not uncontrollably INHALE four times the amount of food you normally would, because you are so starving! Trying to ‘keep calories low’ because you know lunch will be high-calorie, only backfires on you and you’ll feel awful afterwards.
- When you sit down to the big meal, ensure that you have double-helpings of the salads/veg/crudites (you could bring some along to contribute to the festivities?) TO START on, so that you really fill up on those. By the time the main meal starts dishing up, you won’t feel too hard-done by, asking for one potato instead of six.
- Where you can, choose Low GI carbohydrates, such as bean dishes, quinoa, sweet potato or rice, rather than HIGH GI carbs, such as potatoes, garlic bread or polenta, which cause insulin to spike and spike cholesterol levels, too.
- Rather choose foods that have less fats or oils (have some of these delicious treats, but decide to have smaller portions of them). The fats to be careful of, for preventing cardiovascular problems are coconut oil, palm kernel oil and peanut butter/oil.
- Drink LOADS of water. This not only helps prevent you craving sweet things (underhydration leads to chocolate-cravings), but it spaces your alcohol, keeps you a little fuller, and actually prevents heart attacks!
Eat, drink and BE merry, but instead of FORBIDDING yourself anything fun, OR ELSE splurging and eating as many vegan mince pies as your mouth will fit in, keep half your plate filled with salad (with starters), vegetables (with main course) and fruit (with pudding). THIS is moderation. And fun.
Food represents LOVE to the chemicals in your brain, so give yourself some of it and revel in the afterglow of fun, fizz, family, friends and festivities!