• Lucy Francis

Mind & Body Wellness During The Festive Season

Many of us can feel rather daunted about the festive season approaching – with typically more alcohol, endless food, parties (although with COVID-19, I don’t think this part will be such a factor this year!) we can sometimes feel a bit out of our comfort zone.


I hope you can find some comfort in my tips below to give yourself a merry, stress-free Christmas for your mind and body so you can relax and enjoy this time with your loved ones!


1. Keep a sense of Routine: Leading up to Christmas, I always recommend keeping your routine as normal as you can – that doesn’t mean you can’t have the odd glass of mulled wine or a mince pie for pud at the weekend… but maintain some exercise, keep up with balanced day-to-day nutrition, and keep your alcohol intake within the recommendations. These are all elements which will help you feel your best and remember - It’s the little things and what we do routinely that have the biggest impact on our overall health.


2. Be intuitive: Listen to your hunger cues at Christmas - If you allow yourself to eat exactly what you want (yes!!) and stop eating when you're satisfied or when you stop enjoying it, you will eat in a balanced, moderate way. You won't crave what you didn't have or feel deprived (because you had it!) and you will be less likely to feel overstuffed too.


3. Eat mindfully and slowly, ensuring you have a balanced portion of a bit of everything for nutrition variety. Savour each mouthful and recognise when you are full (as per above!). Don’t forget to chew thoroughly, too! Mindful eating promotes a relaxed state for your body and mind, helping to increase nutrient absorption and prevent common digestive symptoms such as indigestion, bloating and gas.


4. You don’t need to skip breakfast unless you just aren’t hungry in the mornings. Think protein for blood sugar stability - perhaps something light but also festive! Smoked salmon and a poachie on a piece of sourdough toast with wilted spinach, roasted tomatoes? Or some Greek yoghurt/DF alternative with festive fruit (figs, berries, sliced orange perhaps), a sprinkle of cinnamon and some scattered seeds. Again, this will prevent getting over hungry (or hangry!) and feeling like you’re out of control when it comes to your main Christmas meal.


5. Don’t neglect your veggies! There are so many delicious veggies to make the most of at Christmas: red cabbage, Brussels sprouts (my tip is to cook them with plenty of lemon & garlic), parsnips, cauliflower… all full of fibre, antioxidants and healthful compounds our livers love. Help yourself feel good on the inside and get that rosey glow.


6. Get outside! Keep your body moving to support good digestion, help support healthy blood-sugar balance and also your mood! There’s nothing like lovely fresh air and some sunshine to get the happy vibes flowing. You’ll most likely feel great for it and absorb some of that festive atmosphere (if you’ve not got enough of it already!) from the community ‘buzz’.


7. Take the pressure off: Christmas comes around once per year. Be kind to yourself, enjoy this time with loved ones and IF you are someone who is worried about ‘piling on the pounds’ (as some of my clients have expressed to me!) please know that a day or two of eating outside our 'norm' is likely to have ZERO effect on body composition. It doesn't work like that! Let’s say you usually eat 2,000 calories per day on a normal day... You’d have to eat 3,500 additional calories, totaling 5,500 calories, to gain a single pound. And that's not even taking any physical activity into account.


Relax and enjoy your Christmas! L x

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