(Happy times with Alexander–wearing boots c/o Air & Grace, London)
I’m all for a having a good time and ’tis the season to be jolly and all that, but since transforming the way I eat, I really don’t want to go totally crazy this festive period, feeling bloated, fatigued and fit to burst come New Year’s Day!
I tend to follow a whole food, healthy way of eating 90% of the time, with treats (if I fancy them), for the rest.
It’s not a diet, it’s simply a mindful way of eating wholesome, filling seasonal food based on fish, pulses, vegetables, fruit, coconut-everything, wholemeal rice, sweet potatoes, dark chocolate (oh yes cocoa is a superfood I’ll have you know) and anything that makes me glow from the inside out.
I limit dairy to sheep and goat’s derivatives and I don’t go crazy on them either, and there’s no wheat or meat in my diet either.
I’ve written more about it HERE if you fancy a read!
I’m not totally virtuous though and melt in the middle fondant was firmly on the menu on date night the other evening, but I don’t obsess, I have a healthy (!) approach to healthy eating!!
Along with following my 90/10 percent rule, I wanted to share my tips for staying healthy and happy over the festive period. Enjoy!
1. Pace yourself
I love champagne as much as the next girl but I’ve always been a total lightweight so I limit my alcohol intake generally and on nights out, ensure I drink lots of water in between glasses of bubbly and wine too. The same goes for food, enjoy every single bite and that goes for tasty treats, but go steady too!
2. Drink more water
Something I’ve been doing recently with brilliant results. Our bodies are 60% water helping everything from digestion to circulation and body temperature so not drinking enough can make you feel tired, weary and even low.
Water helps energise your muscles and wakes up your brain (medical explanation right there)..It makes your skin glow and rehydrates your body and mind which is so important when drinking the all-dehydrating alcohol.
You can also get water from fruit and veggies too so get stuck into water-rich cucumber, grapefruit, melon, oranges, lemons and more!
3. Get moving
I know (baby) it’s cold outside but wrap up warm and have a run around the park, you’ll feel better for it! It will clear your head and warm up in no time.
Alternatively, get active with an exercise DVD in your living room and encourage the kids to get involved too!
…This family are also passionate about brisk wintry walks, we even hit the beach recently by the Yorkshire Coast-nothing like the crashing waves and welly-jumping in the sand to release those endorphins…Now go!
4. Don’t beat yourself up if you indulge
‘Everything in moderation, even moderation’ as the old adage goes (one my Dad loves to tell us daily) so enjoy your feast, cherish the rich food on your plate, the turkey, trimmings, Christmas pud but don’t feel guilty after. Christmas is about pleasure and cheer, just don’t hit that negative cycle of eating lots, feeling guilty so eating more and more. Eat for enjoyment, then tomorrow (OK maybe the day after Boxing Day), get back to eating in a way that feels right for you.
5. Control stress
Christmas can be stressful, especially if you’re hosting Christmas dinner, trying to please lots of family members with arrangements, and have a young family to boot.
I know my boys have been arguing non stop since my eldest, Oliver, broke up from school and it’s getting pretty tiresome.
That, along with the Groundhog Day style never-ending cleaning (kids can be so messy can’t they?) and I’m shattered already. Are you feeling the same? Please tell me I’m not alone?! Then it’s time to breathe. In through the nose while counting to five then slowly out through the nose and repeat.
Thank goodness for yoga- (it’s changed my life, honest) and is the perfect wake up call first thing, and relaxant pre-bedtime. My fab friend, brilliant blogger and yoga teacher in training, Zaz has an 8 minute yoga session you have to try!
I also swear by vitamin B6 (a lifesaver which helps with fatigue and balances hormones) and good ol’ Rescue Remedy for those ragey, shouty days.
I do find, even if it’s raining, getting the kids out to sprint around is the best medicine and it destresses me too. It’s usually when you least feel like it, that you need it the most!
6. Live in the present
This last year has been going at a fast, exhilarating pace but the last six months in particular have seen me put a real emphasis on living in the present more, just ‘being’-what us humans are meant to do, and that’s my aim for 2015 too. I’ve got crazy energy levels, as my Dad has, and now my own kids have, but I want to focus on the ordinary, gentle, little things as much as the high-voltage thrills life sometimes brings.
7. Looking to the future
As well as simply ‘being’ in the moment, I will be looking to the future as the year closes, as I always do. Reflecting on the year that has been, is therapeutic for me and helps me focus on my goals for the new year. I wrote this post on creating a Creative Plan last year and feel grateful for the opportunities that have come my way in 2014. Here’s to more hopefully in 2015 but most importantly continued health for my family, friends and I and happiness.
8. Be kind to yourself
Treat yourself as you would your best friend. Be kind to yourself, give yourself a break and a pat on the back too. The voice in your head should be nurturing and positive. When you catch yourself being self-critical, simply stop. Write a list of all your wonderful attributes and achievements, big and small and remind yourself of quite how awesome you really are.
9. Spring clean your relationships
Take stock of the people in your life and consider a spring clean of those who might be a negative force off and online to you. Breaking away from friends and partners, especially long term ones, can be painful but also vital to feeling truly content. Take action and live the life you deserve.
10. Be brave
Dream big, follow your heart and don’t let anyone tell you can’t do something. The internet and blogging is an incredibly democratic, exciting space to be in, so whatever your field, use it your benefit, be yourself, work hard, connect with others, reach out and great things will come!
For those feeling alone, depressed and in need to talk, please know you are not alone and contact the Samaritans who are here 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
- 08457 90 90 90 * (UK)
- Calling from ROI?
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas x