5 ways to celebrate over the holidays without sacrificing your health

By MiNDFOOD

5 ways to celebrate over the holidays without sacrificing your health
After a long and difficult year for most, we're all looking forward to a well-deserved break these Christmas holidays. Over the festive season we tend to overindulge, which often leads to uncomfortable bloating and an unhappy gut. Yet, there’s no reason we can’t enjoy all the holiday festivities without sacrificing our health.

Christmas time is already stressful enough, so keeping our gut happy can help to keep things moving and reduce bloating or discomfort. With one less thing to worry about you can make the most of the time with your loved ones.

Accredited dietitian and author, Geraldine Georgeou, best known for her no-fads approach to weight goals, explains how to celebrate over the holidays without sacrificing your health.

1. Stay hydrated

A hot summer day or a glass of celebratory bubbles can mean our bodies need more water than usual. Staying hydrated can increase your energy, regulate your body temperature and lessen the burden on your liver and kidneys.

Try to keep your hydration levels up throughout the festive season, go further and even gift yourself a stylish, reusable water bottle! This will also help to keep things moving through your digestive system.

Take advantage of all the fresh fruits that are in season around Christmas time and throw them into your water to make it more fun and flavoursome.

2. Start the day with fibre

The festive season is synonymous with overeating and ‘food comas’. One way we can minimise this is by starting the day off right, with a fibre-filled breakfast.

Fibre-dense cereals such as All-Bran are an excellent way to start your morning as they help the good gut bacteria in our gut to thrive, which promotes a better digestive balance. Fibre-rich foods also help you to feel fuller, meaning you’re less likely to over-snack throughout the day.

To cater for the dietary requirements of the whole family, swap out your cereal for a high fibre gluten free cereal such as Sultana Bran Gluten Free. If you are wanting to add a Christmas twist, consider topping fibre-rich cereals with fruits or nutmeg.

3. Change up your trimmings

Enjoying a meal with loved ones is without a doubt Aussies’ favourite way to celebrate the holidays. Making healthier choices over this time is often neglected. However, there are simple and easy ways to enjoy your meal without guilt. Try swapping a cheesy dip for fresh guacamole, or potatoes for sweet potatoes.

These swaps mean you won’t have to substitute taste for health! Even adding in colourful foods, like leafy greens and bananas, will help you to incorporate nourishing vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, iron, folate and potassium.

These foods won’t just make your plate colourful but also improve your skin. Perfect for Christmas family photographs!

4. Use small plates

With all the delicious food over Christmas, our eyes can often be bigger than our bellies.

Research from the University of Cambridge shows the simple hack of using smaller plates will decrease your intake by 16 per cent. Downsizing your plate will most likely mean you won’t even notice you are eating less.

Having smaller portions at a time will allow your body more time to digest between courses.

5. Keep it grainy

Bread is usually the first thing to go when people are trying to lessen their carb intake. However, bread shouldn’t be lumped into one no-go group.

The key here is to choose the right bread to celebrate the holidays. Avoid breads made with refined white flour, such as standard sandwich loaf, Turkish bread and focaccia as they have a higher glycemic index (GI) which can cause blood sugar levels to spike, sending us into a bit of an afternoon slump.

Instead, replace these with wholemeal which is higher in fibre or a sourdough bread which as been fermented for more than 24 hours. These breads have a lower GI and are easier to digest. They can also help to boost your fibre intake and ensure your blood sugar levels stay steady.

To learn more about the Kellogg’s fibre range, visit the Kellogg’s website.

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