9 Ways To Have A Health(ier) Christmas

Time to read: 3 mins

We all know that Christmas is a time for indulging and relaxing the rules. However if your willpower is as strong as the waistband in your leggings (yesssss...stretchy pants!), you'll love these top tips for a healthier xmas.

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1. Load up on the protein

Luckily for all, a key staple of the xmas dinner is one of the leanest meats going. Turkey is a great protein source which will instantly fill you up, build muscle and keep you full so you're not tempted with those after-dinner choccies.

Think you've still got room for seconds? Take a 20 min rest to see if you are still hungry after eating a normal sized meal as it takes this long for our stomachs to register that they are full. The chances are, after 20 mins you'll realise you've had enough.

Try adding some protein to your breakfast so you're setting yourself up nicely and not snacking throughout the day.

Here's some protein-powerhouses from shop.lifebyequipe.com that you can try

2. Get some exercise

Christmas is an ideal time to spend time with friends & fam, so why not suggest a group activity after lunch to burn off some of these extra calories. After all, sitting down all day won't do anything for your digestion.

It could be a simple stroll or as elaborate as a mass game of rounders. You'll feel better getting out so take along any new outdoor gifts, like bikes, scooters, footballs or Frisbees, or play old-fashioned games. Ultimate Hide & Seek in the woods anyone?!....

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3. Challenge your brain with some thinking games

Replace that post dinner snooze or tv fest with a group game that makes everyone think. Be it Cards against humanity or testing your trivia, something that keeps you active will help to stops boredom-eating. If you aren’t a ‘game’ person, engage your mind by setting up any new gadgets.

4. Eat your sprouts

Many people have a love/hate relationship with the humble brussel sprout...however, they are a nutritional powerhouse. These cruciferous veggies are packed with protein, iron & potassium, essential for healthy blood pressure, heart & nervous system functioning. They are also packed with a range of vitamins.

Try lightly steaming them or lightly frying with a bit of bacon (and/or) chestnuts.

5. Squeeze fresh juices to have alcohol-free festive days

Alcohol is prevalent in most homes at Christmas. Too much can leave you dehydrated & with negative affects on your physical and mental health.

Intersperse alcoholic drinks with soft ones by adding fresh squeezed juices to hot water and honey or even into non alcoholic bubbles (try a blended peach for an angelic bellini). This will help to hydrate and give you a boost of vitamins and minerals that get depleted with alcohol - no-one will be the wiser!

Why not try BumbleZest health shots - they are all natural, tasty and packed full of interesting functional ingredients in generous doses.

Designed to be taken as a soft-drink health shot on the go, there's a recipe to help deal with all the rigors of modern life - to pick you up or calm you down.

This health shot contains nothing artificial - no preservatives, additives, GMOs or colours and is gluten, dairy, lactose and nut free.

Unlike raw juices BumbleZest drinks are safe for children, the elderly, pregnant, breastfeeding women and those with a compromised immune system.

6. Don't dash the desserts

Goes without saying that you will have a dessert at xmas. Yum!

However if you are conscious of not going too overboard on the stodge, why not try a healthier alternative to a traditional xmas pud. Try this healthier banana cake recipe here by The Cake Man and make a new tradition.

7. Be a careful cook

If your Christmas duties include chef-ing you won’t be delighted to hear that according to the Food Standards Agency, December is one of the most common months for people to get food poisoning.

Minimise the risks by not leaving food out all day. Only put out food that has just been cooked or just come out of the fridge and try to use any leftovers within 48 hours or freeze them.

8. Do something for others

It’s hard to avoid the constant giving & receiving of gifts, but charitable giving will warm you in more places than those secret Santa slipper socks you've been given.

Try to do something for others this festive season, whether it’s baking some extra treats for an elderly neighbour, inviting someone who doesn’t have family around them to join you or keeping fundraising efforts going (for all you marathon runners on your winter training regime - read Sophie's London Marathon journey for The Brain Research Trust here.

Milochie have made it even easier for you to help those in need with their BUY 1 GIFT 1 initiative - for every t-shirt bought, Milochie will donate one to Voices, providing an ethically and sustainably sourced cotton t-shirt to survivors of domestic abuse.

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9. Keep it real

‘Tis the season to be jolly’ but jolly is the last thing many of us feel with overspending, cooking, cleaning, endless ‘to do’ lists and the pressure to have a 'perfect xmas'.

Try to keep a sense of humour and proportion when things (inevitably) don't go to plan. Burnt the carrots? Is it really the end of the world? Family questions getting too personal? Do you really care if they disapprove of the choices that you are happy with?

Remember, Christmas is just one day out of 365 and it isn’t worth stressing over.

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