With the weather getting colder, the lights all lit up, and the faint sound of jingle bells on the tip of everyone’s tongue, we all know the party season is fast approaching, and already in full swing for a festive few! Despite all the excitement and merriment, the Christmas season is also slightly like running the gauntlet, in terms of avoiding sugar and calorie laden treats. Unlike most holidays, which are usually over after a week or two of indulgence, the Christmas party season lasts a whole month! Which can be a real challenge for anyone trying to stay in shape.
However being healthy over Christmas does not meaning hiding in doors and missing all the fun, there are ways you can do both, enjoy the party season and stay healthy!
It is all about making the right choices when you are out and if you are entertaining providing choices which are delicious and your guests will enjoy, without adding to their already over burdened system!
DRINKS & COCKTAILS
Sugar laden cocktails and sweet vin chaud can be one of the main culprits when it comes to the Christmas weight gain. Instead try going for red wine, or vodka and soda with lots of fresh lemon and lime. Or try making your own healthy cocktail jug. Lots of citrus fruits are great for the liver and adding pomegranate seeds makes it look pretty and Christmassy. The low sugar content will keep your waistline happy too!
I love canapés no Christmas party is complete without a cocktail sausage! Try to focus on vegetable and protein based canapés. They will help to keep blood sugars balanced and sustain your energy. Avoid the pastry bases and bread heavy canapés. Other bases that can be used are cucumber slices, vegetable rostis, and Chinese spoons or just have skewers of meat, prawns, scallops and vegetable with dips.
Here are some ideas below:
Homemade Mackerel pate or Hummus with vegetable dips
Quails eggs dipped in celery salt
Chicken skewer with avocado, spring onion & lime dip
Tuna and sesame tartar on a cucumber cup
Prawn Asian salad on a Chinese spoon
Beetroot rosti with smoked trout & watercress
Seared beef fillet skewer with salsa verde dip
HOW TO AVOID ROLLING FROM THE TABLE TO THE SOFA ON THE BIG DAY!
When filling up your plate really focus on the turkey and the vegetables and put these on your plate first. Trying to leave the potatoes and bread sauce till last and try to limit these as much a possible. Turkey is not only a great source of lean protein it also contains tryptophan which converts to serotonin, leaving you feeling wonderfully happy! So no need to hold back on the turkey.
Be a bit more creative with vegetables, by doing something a little more adventurous than the usual boiled peas and carrots. They will give you so much enjoyment that you won’t mind having one less roast potato. Delicious Christmas vegetables can be the best part.
My favorite Christmas vegetables:
Braised red cabbage with apples
Carrot & swede mash
Sprouts with chestnut, peas & sage
The great thing about braised cabbage and vegetable mash is it can be made in advance and frozen making life even easier on Christmas day. You might even get time for a walk, a perfect way to burn off some calories and build up an appetite!
THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS TREAT!
Chocolate Orange Truffles
Instead of reaching for the Terry’s Chocolate Orange, or a handful of “well they are only small” Celebration chocs. Why not whip up a batch of these they are perfect for any sweet craving and will help to keep blood sugars balanced. They are so easy to make and completely guilt free, containing only almond, raw cacao, dates, coconut oil and orange zest. They are really delicious!
(See next post for recipe)