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Eight steps to a healthy, happy Christmas

Here are some great ideas to help enjoy the festive season the healthy way…

  1. Start the day the healthy way – get in a green smoothie or make yourself a berry smoothie with some added greens. If you are opting for cooked breakfasts over the summer season, add veges to these too.
     
  2. Snack smart – chips, dips and cheese will be everywhere! See my slot on TVNZ Breakfast for some healthier alternatives.
     
  3. Avoid arriving at Christmas functions super-starving-hungry – have a salad, green smoothie, some fruit or a yoghurt before you go to help you to tame your snacking when you arrive so you can wait and enjoy the main meal.
     
  4. Be the one to take something healthy and delicious – if you are asked to take a plate to a function, make it your job to show others how delicious healthy food can be. My book Lose Weight for Life has some fantastic recipes, here is one you will love.
     
  5. Enjoy alcohol-free drinks – and ideally some alcohol-free days!
     
  6. Learn to say ‘NO THANKS’ – two powerful words so many people need to get much better at using more often. You do not have to go to every social event you are invited to if it is going to cause you stress. You do not have to eat or drink everything that is offered to you. Be polite and kind in your delivery of these words, but don’t spend the festive season eating more than you need just because you don’t want to offend other people.
     
  7. Light meals – inevitably you will end up having some big meals over the festive season. If you have a huge lunch or dinner which lasts for several hours, just make your meals on either side of things super-light and healthy. Salads, smoothies, fruit and yoghurt. Get the veges in wherever you can.
     
  8. Keep moving – walks with family and friends, swimming in the sea, running around playing frisbee or with a rugby ball – whatever you do, keep active! You might still be able to fit in the odd gym and run session too, it will make it much easier to get back into things when the New Year rolls round.

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone!

Until next time.

Love, Claire x

Claire Turnbull, BSc (Hons) Dietetics UK, NZ-registered nutritionist. Managing director of Mission Nutrition, and Healthy Food Guide nutritionist.

First published: Dec 2013



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