By Naturopath: Jocelyn Carter
2020 has been a challenging year! We are now at the end of it, and so our attention turns to the festive season. While we probably won’t be filling our diaries with parties, get togethers with friends, and social events with work colleagues, we will be attending events to celebrate the season, and the end of the year. There will be situations where you are faced with making good choices about what your are eating and drinking, and in some cases there won’t be good choices available. Here’s a few strategies you can use to survive the party season without over indulging in food or alcohol.
Plan ahead and pace yourself
Try to avoid a 3 course lunch then a 3 course dinner. If you have a 3 course lunch organised, then plan a light dinner, or no dinner at all. If you’re stuck with both, then remember you don’t have to eat if you’re not hungry. It’s OK to refuse a course, or only eat part of a meal.
Drink alcohol in moderation
One alcoholic drink won’t ruin your healthy eating plan. Or, you can choose to not drink alcohol at all. Seriously, it’s OK to do this. Remember you can use the word ‘no’, as in, ‘no thank you, I don’t want another glass of wine/beer/alcopop’, or ‘no thank you, I prefer a mineral water or other non-alcoholic beverage”.
This means not overloading your plate with food just because you can. Some places give you a set portion, if it’s more than you usually eat, don’t clear the plate just because the food is there to be eaten. Think about how much you usually eat, and keep portions to that size, or smaller.
Just because you’re at a buffet doesn’t have to mean you eat everything they offer. Choose to eat a small amount of a few key items.
Choose Your Food Wisely
Swap out indulgence food for healthy choices. Make sure to include lots of greens (salad or steamed vegetables) and keep the starchy vegetables (potatoes, pumpkin) to a minimum. Avoid gravies and similar sauces.
Save your indulgences for one or two key events. Or, save up for the indulgence foods you really love to eat.
Don’t Give Up
Don’t stress if you go off track. Most importantly, don’t punish yourself if you do go overboard on food and/or alcohol. Guilt can lead to overeating. Accept what happened, and aim for healthier eating to redress the balance. Don’t punish yourself when you go off track.
Remember to stick to your regular exercise routine as much as possible. Do your workout before you start partying, even if it means getting up early.
If you do overindulge and are suffering the consequences, try herbal teas such as peppermint and/or chamomile, both are great for settling the digestive system. Ginger is particularly effective for nausea, e.g suck on a piece of glace ginger, or have some ginger tea. There is no magical cure for a hangover, just time, rest and lots of water. Well, there are some herbs that may ease symptoms, but you still have to give your liver time to recover and process all that alcohol.
Wishing you a safe, peaceful and happy Festive Season.
Accredited and Registered Naturopath, Nutritionist and Herbalist.
Moonhawk Healing Natural Therapies – safe and effective healthcare.
PS: To maximise the people I can help I have set up the Vim Vigour Vivacity Facebook page. I’ll be adding lots of useful information on health and wellbeing in general.
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