I know it's November still, and you might be thinking it's a bit early to start talking about Christmas, but soon December will arrive and the hectic-ness of the festive season will hit. So best be prepared and jump into December knowing you can remain centered, healthy and happy.
Here are my tips to help you stay healthy during the festive season:
1. The 6 Day Rule
Now I'm not usually keen on restrictive rules when it comes to food, but I've found that this little 6 day rule really helps people during the Christmas season. Firstly, Christmas is one day, perhaps you could stretch it out to 2 days. It is NOT a whole month where you have to eat everything festive and drink copious amounts of alcohol.
I recommend giving yourself a 6 day period (23rd December to 28th December) where you can enjoy the festive foods you like (guilt free) and then get back to healthy living.
Keep eating your usually healthy way prior to the lead up to the 23rd and feel empowered by saying "no thank you" to unhealthy festive food and drink, knowing that you can enjoy things like fruit mince pies during those 6 days and it's no going to send you into a downward spiral of guilt or over eating.
2. Make Healthier Versions of Your Festive Favourites
Eating a healthier version of festive treats means you're less likely to undo any healthy habits you've gained. Eat these during your 6 days or if they are especially healthy enjoy them throughout the month and share them with your friends and family.
I have a yummy vegan mince pie recipe that uses little pastry and tastes delicious topped with coconut yoghurt. It makes a great warm dessert or just as a mince pie.
I'll also be sharing some christmas recipes throughout December, so keep an eye out.
3. Keep Moving
Even if it's just for 15 minutes! Try to keep up with your regular exercise, if things get super busy and you're short on time do a quick workout at home. I love the Tone It Up girls with their free YouTube videos.
Likewise if you're feeling overwhelmed with all your commitments, opt for exercise that is going to ground you and bring you back to your centre, such as yoga.
Lastly, encourage the whole family to get involved in something active after all the usual indulging; go for a walk, swim, bike ride or put some good music on and dance your little heart out!
Maintaining consistency with exercise over the holiday period is going to feed into healthier food choices, help you manage any christmas stress, but also see you flow into the New Year without that dread of having to get back into exercise.
4. Say NO!
You don't have to go to every celebration, family gathering or social event, particularly those that are optional. Go to the gatherings you really want to go to, and enjoy being present in the moment with the people you love. Yes you might have to attend some obligatory extended family or work events, but if you don't have to and would rather schedule in some "me" time, or husband time - I say do that!
Learning to say no, and not be guilted into things is going to help you feel rejuvenated after the Christmas break, as apposed to frazzled and drained.
5. Don't Spend Too Much
Getting into any finical debt really isn't worth it for just one day, but with all the socialising and gift giving it's easy to over spend and feel overwhelmed. Be mindful where your money goes, and don't be ashamed to let people know if you can't afford to get involved with all the socialising and present giving.
Some budget friendly tips are:
- DIY gifts - I have some foodie suggestions here
- Secret Santa amongst family, friends and colleagues
- Set a price limit
- Suggest low cost/ free meet ups
- Offer a small donation to a charity of their choice and request the same
- Make something to share with with the whole group - like these
6. Embrace the Festive Buzz
Christmas is such a wonderfully time of year, it brings people together and the whole community shares a little christmas spirit with each other. Just embrace it for what it is, connect with those you love, let bygones be bygones, but most of all sing along to Mariah Carey's 'All I want for Christmas is you' as loud as you can!
I also highly recommend watching Elf, The Holiday and Love Actually, to get you into the Christmas spirit!
Remember to stop by to see all the yummy healthy vegan Christmas food I'll be making - recipes will start in December!