THE ALTERNATIVE GUIDE TO FESTIVE FEASTING!
With Christmas quickly approaching many of us can already see our healthy eating habits flying out the window. Trinity PR has helped develop, along with Carin Hume, dietician at London Medical, some top tips on navigating the festive menu with your health & wellbeing intact!
- Seasonal selection
Don’t think that that every meal of the holidays needs to be rich and overindulgent. Of course you can enjoy some festive treats, but there are fabulous seasonal ingredients that can make nutritious and delicious meals. Why not try: trout with pan fried Brussels sprouts, a hearty parsnip and carrot soup (without cream) and a hot salad such as pan fried salmon and roasted fennel and beetroot served on a bed on leaves.
- Christmas calorie swap shop
Think creatively around your festive menu and make a few calorie short cuts which will help avoid unnecessary weight gain. Try swapping:
- Sausage meat stuffing for Cranberry, orange and roast chestnut stuffing
100g sausage meat has 252 kcal, 16g fat, compared to 100g cranberry stuffing has 162 kcal, 0.8g fat
- Brandy cream for low fat crème fraiche
1 tablespoon brandy cream contains 136 calories compared to 24 calories in half fat crème fraiche
- Use the German soft cheese, quark instead of cream cheese
Calories in 30g cream cheese is 132 calories compared to only 40 calories in 30g quark
- As a canape, have mini salmon blinis in the place of anything wrapped in pastry
1 mini blini topped with salmon and quark contains less than 40 calories, compared to at least 100 calories in a mini puff pastry snack
- A healthy balance
Avoid falling into the trap of making a food or vegetable dish which is naturally delicious and relatively low in calories, a calorie-dense dish by “topping it up” with plenty of double cream, butter and bacon. Festive recipes and cookery programmes can be rather generous with these ‘extras’, so don’t be afraid to adapt recipes with the goal of reducing the ‘extras’.
- Support your body’s natural processes
Excessive alcohol and sugar intake, coupled with lack of sleep, over the festive period can mean that the body needs adequate resources (e.g. nutritious foods) in place to support a healthy detoxification system. The best way to do this is by eating plenty of greens, bright coloured vegetables and sulphur-rich vegetables (that includes vegetables such as kale, cabbage, broccoli, onions, leeks and mushrooms). Some herbs and spices also have a favourable impact on detoxification; these include dill, parsley, coriander, ginger and turmeric. After an indulgent evening why not start with morning with a freshly made vegetable juice or smoothie.
- Go Nuts…
If you’re prone to doing the “nut bowl scoop” at Christmas – don’t worry, you can still enjoy the festive nut selection without piling on the pounds. Adding unsalted nuts and seeds to vegetable dishes or salads is also an easy way to increase your intake of “good fats”. Try some flaked almonds with your Brussels sprouts, add multi-seeds to salads and soups or feast on traditional roast chestnuts (packed with potassium, vitamin C, beta-carotene and magnesium).
- Get some fizz
Festive celebrations often start early, and go on late! While there’s no harm in enjoying an alcoholic drink, it pays to think carefully about your choice of beverage and make sure you stay hydrated and avoid the dreaded hangover. Many new world wines can be high in alcohol (up to 13%) – so after a glass of wine, switch to a refreshing alternative such as a tall glass of San Pellegrino, a small dash of vodka and fresh lime, or try out one of the lower alcohol beers (1-3.5%).