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We know that Christmas can be stressful in the best of times, but this season many of us have already had quite a stressful year dealing with Covid and having to work from home. For some this meant dealing with challenging circumstances, like no accessibility to work from home, a less than ideal work setup, or home-schooling children while working.

But Christmas is also one of the best and happier times of the year because you get to spend quality time with the family, play games, let your hair down and generally enjoy a work break, at least for part of the 12 days of Christmas.

During Christmas, we always feel the extra pounds we put on due to overeating, come January, we want to get rid of the excess pounds around the waistline. With Christmas just 12 days away, I will be giving you some tips on:

  • Sleep. We know that over these festive times, we don’t get enough quality sleep, because hosting Christmas dinners can be exhausting, including all the rushing to buy last minute things
  • Healthier alternatives for Christmas dinner. There are healthy alternatives you could consider doing to make this Christmas healthier, as I’m sure Covid contributed to some weight gain.
  • How not to feel overwhelmed with food and drink.

So why not eat healthily coming up to the 12 days of Christmas, to give you room for those three days you may want to indulge a little more.

Getting Ready

By December 1st, we usually start the countdown for Christmas Day. Kids are getting excited because Santa’s coming to Town. A time they know they must be on their best behaviour for Santa to come and bring them a gift. Sometimes there is nothing wrong in playing the good behaviour card, especially if you are working from home and need a few hours to focus on work-related issues before the Christmas holiday office shutdown. Make sure you keep the sugary cakes and snacks to a minimum, which will help keep the kids calmer before bedtime.

Eating healthier to the run up to Christmas

Create healthier lunches, dinners, or snacks to the run up to Christmas should help keep your weight down, especially during Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day.

I have created an e-book for Healthy eating to the lead up to Christmas to help you eat more healthy foods. With these pre-Christmas recipes you won’t feel as if you’re depriving yourself during the holiday season. These recipes will help you get organise in the kitchen, so you won’t have to worry about what you’re going to cook each day!

You can download this wonderful booklet of great healthy recipes for a family of four, including a shopping list and nutritional information about each meal. Please click here if you wish to download this. Let help you achieve a stress-free Christmas.

Getting quality sleep and relaxation before these big days

Workday normally wraps up on Christmas Eve, here are some ways you can start to relax:

  • Put on your favourite Christmas Carol playlist or watch those classic Christmas movies you remember watching as a child.
  • Have some eggnog, and for those who are vegan there is a recipe on my site you can use, which only takes 10 minutes to make.
  • Wrap some pressies and put them under the Christmas tree.
  • Take some magnesium an hour before you go to bed. I have a great food sourced vegetarian magnesium you can take click here to order a bottle.
  • Make sure if your cooking, you don’t go to bed too late in the evening. I would recommend pre-preparing the veggies the day before Christmas Day, this way it is one less thing you need to worry about and give you more time with your guests.

Giving your Christmas meal a healthier twist

Remove the skin from the turkey to lower the fat intake and make sure you prick the skin so that more of the fat is released.

If you love stuffing, try a chestnut version. Try making your roasties, or parsnips larger to promote less fat absorption. If you are making bread sauce, use either a vegan milk or semi skimmed and season it with garlic and herbs for extra flavour.

When making the gravy sieve it through a napkin, as this removes most of the oily residue before making the gravy. When it comes to eating those Christmas dessert, use crème fraiche instead of double/single cream.

With all the celebrations and happy cheery family time, make sure you drink enough fresh water each day, as alcohol can cause dehydration and bad headaches. You don’t want to turn into the family Grinch.

Time for me to start my own preparations. In the meantime, I’d like to wish you and your family a very Merry and healthy Christmas. See you in January