Ah yes, the Holiday season is upon us! Love it or hate it, both can be a reason to overindulge on food and alcohol. To put it in numbers: An English study showed that raising a glass in the holiday’s results in an increase of 12 million bottles of alcohol extra sold, per week that is!
So let’s see what we can do to set ourselves up for a more ‘wholesome’ Christmas. That’s right, let’s put in a plan in place, for when it comes to the holidays, we cannot bank on our willpower alone!
Survival tip 1: Bring your own plate
Do you have to bring a plate? Great! We tend to eat the most of the things we put on our plate first, so make sure your contribution is a healthy one and load up your plate with that before you touch anything else. Check out these tips how to make a good salad!
Survival tip 2: Choose your indulgences wisely
One of the negatives effects of alcohol on our system is the disturbance of the pro- and anti-oxidant balance, causing oxidative stress. Popular foods high in anti-oxidants and popular on Christmas menu are cranberries and all the berries which garnish the Pavlova.
Stock up on salads and greens with every meal, especially asparagus. As we all know, even small amounts of alcohol put a burden on our liver. The properties in asparagus protect the liver cells from alcohol toxicity and the fibers and flavonoids help reduce oxidative damage. This makes the asparagus a perfect item on the Christmas menu.
Mango, a Queensland favourite, is not only a powerful anti-oxidant, but research has shown that mango might even stimulate the enzymes which break down alcohol in our system.
Survival tip 3: Catching up with ‘old’ friends, literately
Now is the time to catch up with old aunty Gretel or that long retired co-worker who made a guest appearance. You see, we humans love to mimic. We yawn, and anyone watching us, will follow suit. So sitting next to people who eat slowly, might slow down the way you eat as well. Chewing properly is not only a win for your digestive system but you will also feel full quicker.
Survival tip 4: Breakfast
Yes, yes, breakfast, not overeating rest of the day, energy … we know this now, right! So one more time, have a healthy breakfast to make sure you are not going back and forth to the office Christmas tree to eat all the candy canes!
Survival tip 5: Create a solid base
Eat something before you start drinking! If your office day blends in with the party, you cannot bank on getting enough pretzels in your system to help slow down the absorption of alcohol. Think protein like nuts or biltong, or pop out before the party begins to eat a steak sandwich.
Survival tip 6: How to ‘cure’ that hangover
Still ended up with a hangover? Besides having plenty of water, try some prickly pear juice. It has found to reduce 3 of the 9 symptoms of a hangover due to its anti-inflammatory properties and that it is an anti-oxidant.
Survival tip 7: Feel the Joy
Don’t beat yourself up about the perfect table setting or menu. It is important to remember that the Holiday season is all about connection. Connecting to our loved ones, and to reach out to people in need. And by reflecting on the past year, to connect with ourselves.