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HOLIDAY SEASON NUTRITION TIPS


Christmas is a wonderful time of the year to spend with family and friends.  It is also a time of year where there are plenty of festivities and delicious foods and drinks making it hard to avoid overindulgence.  A few extra pieces of Christmas cake here and some mulled wine there can accumulate and may result in adding a few extra kilograms over the holiday.
That is not to say that you should avoid all these festive foods completely or feel guilty, just be mindful of what you are eating. Although easier said than done, this can be a challenge for some.  Below are some tips that you can follow to help you through the festive season. ( read further for my amazing Bliss Ball recipe! A healthier alternative for Christmas baking)
  • Don’t try to lose weight over the season. With all the parties and food, it will be almost impossible! Instead enjoy this time with your family and friends. Your focus should be to maintain your weight.
  • Try and avoid going to a party hungry. There will be lots of tempting foods and you can easily eat a lot in a short amount of time. Best to have a small healthy snack beforehand, like fruit and yogurt or some apple slices with peanut butter.  
  • Be conscious of how much you are drinking. For example, mulled wine can have around 400 calories per serve! Try and alternate your alcoholic drinks with water.  If you want something a little more interesting than water, try sparkling water with lemon, lime or grapefruit!  Just bear in mind that Juices, punches, flavored mineral waters and soft drinks are also high in calories.
  • Listen to your body and be mindful. It takes a few minutes for the “I’m full signal” to reach your brain. Once you have finished your meal, take a break, drink some water and mingle with family and friends.  You may come to realize that you are satisfied.  Making conversation can also distract you from going for a second helping.
  • Swapping the traditional heavy foods for healthier options is an easy way to cut calories. For example, Swap roast potatoes for baked sweet potatoes, fruit cake for fresh fruit, custard for natural yoghurt, and crackers for vegetable sticks for dips and salted nuts for unsalted nuts.
  • Stay active over the holidays. If your regular gym class takes a Christmas break, plan for other types of activities. You may find this as an opportunity to try a different style of gym class.  Depending on which hemisphere you’re in, go swimming or surfing with your friends or go for hike.  If you are in the northern hemisphere, rug up and go for a walk with the family.  If you really don’t like the cold, try finding an indoor activity such as an indoor swimming pool or search YouTube for workouts you can do at home 😊
 
 
 The main thing is not to stress if you overdo it with food and drinks.  There is always the next day to start fresh with some exercise and healthy eating – just make sure you don’t fast.  Keep in mind that a few parties will not make you overweight, it’s what you do on all the other days throughout the year that count.   
Below is a natural healthy treat you can try to make over the holiday season
 
Christmas Bliss Balls
  • 1/2cup fresh dates pitted
  • 1/3cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2cup rolled oats
  • 1/2cup nuts of your choice – example: almonds, walnuts and pecans
  • 1/2cup shredded coconut
  • 2tbsp coconut butter/oil
  • 1tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2tsp vanilla essence
  • 2tbsp desiccated coconut, cocoa, or crushed pistachios as toppings
Method:
  • Soak dates and cranberries in a small bowl of lukewarm water for 15 minutes or until soft.
  • When soft, drain and tip dates into a food processor.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and process until combined
  • Remove mixture from food processor and roll into teaspoon sized balls.
  • On a separate plate, spread out your topping and roll each ball until nicely covered
  • Place on a baking tray and refrigerate.
 
( TIP : If you don't have a food processor, chop the dates and cranberries in to small pieces, 1-2 table spoons of Almond of Peanut butter and a dash of milk (of choice, I used oat milk) in order to get the ingredients to stick in a smoother consistency)
PSA. THESE ARE EXTREMELY TASTY AND YOU WILL WANT TO MAKE THEM ALL YEAR AROUND