and uh, always
Before I delve in to this, I just want to point out that sitting around choosing to eat mountains of shitty foods is not what I am suggesting here. I think every meal is an opportunity to nourish ya bod, ya mind and soul!
But what irks me about any festive time (this happens a lot during the Easter break, just as much as Christmas time), is the "guilt free" + "earn your pudding" + "don't over-indulge this Christmas" kinda talk. And you see it. In fitness communities particularly.
Food should not be making you feel guilty, period.
Food should be enjoyed, period.
Food is MORE than fuel - I think we can all agree on this.
Christmas whatever it means to you, is a time to feast. It's a time to share food with the ones we love - the family we were born in to and our chosen families. What says LOVE more than FOOD!? That's my love language right there. I was raised in a family whereby if you're sick, pregnant, postpartum, moving house, stressed, celebrating - the answer is food. Home cooked meals. My mum still packs mine and my brothers' freezers with her homemade lasagne, quiches, sausage rolls - you name it.
So instead of focusing on avoiding the "guilty / naughty / dirty / bad" foods this Christmas (yes food apparently can be naughty too). Let's try the following to continue to prioritise our health - mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
1. Eat the pudding. Enjoy it - I am sure whoever made it put a dang large amount of love in to it, and yeh probably sugar and maybe some alcohol. But you will be okay!
2. Don't overeat your saturated fats - the daily recommendation is only 20g. I say 30g to my clients based on the fact not all saturated fats are treated equally. However - I cannot tell you how many people end up in ED on Christmas night due to eating heaps of fatty foods and their gall bladder is having a meltdown (yes, this happens often).
Try to be mindful if you're eating saturated fats to spread it out over the silly season, not smash it all in one day.
Some examples are: butter, ghee, suet, lard, coconut oil and palm oil, often cakes, biccies, fatty cuts of meat (oh pork belly you are so good), sausages, bacon, cured meats (chorizo, salami, pancetta), cheese, pastries such as pies, quiches, sausage rolls and croissants. Cream, crème fraîche and sour cream. Ice cream, coconut milk, coconut cream, milkshakes and dairy milk chocolate/chocolate spreads.
It sounds like I just took all the fun out doesn't it? But it doesn't have to feel that way. Opt for more omega-3's - cook up some salmon on the barbie with some prawns and save the pork belly for tomorrow if you had a huge serving of fatty lamb with cream and pudding!
3. Stay hydrated. okay, no brainer you're thinking. But in Australia, Christmas can be a hot hot day. And if you're drinking alcohol, it's too easy to become dehydrated. Be kind to yourself, drink a glass of water in between alcoholic beverages. If you choose not to drink, keep the waters up and maybe some sparkling water with some fresh fruit and herbs added - fancy!
4. Keep your brekkies protein rich to avoid arvo crashes and to assist blood sugar regulation.
Eggs, seeds, nuts, nut butters, nitrate-free bacon, meats, full fat yoghurt or greek yoghurt, quality protein powder in a smoothie - get a palm size serving of protein in first thing (and every meal)!
5. Don't count ya calories or macro's - and go back for seconds of those duckfat spuds if that's what your heart is calling for. Mine always always does.
6. Move your body daily to improve digestion. I always do a mini workout on Christmas day whether it's Yoga asana or a walk, jog or some weights. Why? Not because of the feast upon me in terms of extra cals, but because it improves digestive function. And I know once those duckfat spuds hit me, I will be a hardcore sloth. I love movement, and movement should always be enjoyed. Hit up the surf if you're at the beach, walk along the ocean, go to the park, a cycle. Nothing strenuous - but keep active to FEEL good.
7. Ignore - block - delete: anyone who reminds you, that you need to opt for "Guilt-free" foods and ways this silly season. Anyone who shames food, that makes you feel bad, guilty etc. You don't need that shit in your life. Anyone who works in my industry who supports diet culture is not the ideal person/account to listen to. Creating positive relationship with food IS nutrition.
Share all the food, enjoy yourself. Have a safe, happy and healthy Christmas and New Years 2022.
Yours in Optimal Health