Ah we all do it, constantly picking through the tin of Quality Street until the favourites are gone and the pickings slim, making our coffee’s that little bit more Irish with that bottle of Baileys, eating the leftover turkey after a night out on the town after a good session singing Fairy-Tale of New York and lining the fridge with beer, prosecco or some form of alcohol first and foremost. Sound familiar? Bloody right it does! I even managed to mix up yoghurt for mayonnaise in a sandwich after a Boxing night out and ate it, next day seen the knife in the yoghurt pot (cue wreck).
Fast forward to 2017 and at Christmas, I had a 10-week-old baby and a bit of weight to get rid of and wondering how I was going to manage this over the festive period with all the traditions etc. Now my only saving grace was that I was breastfeeding and so drinking and ‘drunk eating’ was out the window. I look to this Christmas and I’m not breastfeeding but I’m planning ahead now that I have well and truly become a lot more health conscious. Of course, it’s not all about cutting back on drinking and eating, and who says we have to sacrifice those things we enjoy so much, so here’s what I plan to do…
Rule of thumb, don’t go back for seconds! Think about what you are eating, enjoy your meals but when you’ve eaten it and are full there is no need to stuff yourself more. Remember you are not the turkey.
When it comes to breakfast and lunch these meals don’t usually occur as a social event around this time and so is an opportunity to eat as normal or even a little bit healthier than usual if you know you have a family dinner coming or a boozy dinner with the ladies/lads. Keep it clean with a nice festive breakfast – try porridge with apple and cinnamon. Why not a festive lunch as well – try a ham and cranberry sandwich with seeded bread.
Now we all know how exhausting this time of year is as well with the shopping, meeting everyone who’s returned home from abroad or if you’re like me, although I’m not returning from abroad, I am 2.5hours drive from my hometown and general running around like a mad eejit has us strapped for time and snacking a lot. You need to snack smart at this time of year, thank goodness I have Rucksnacks around me, I highly recommend keeping packs in your handbag or in the car guys. It even makes for a great pub snack instead of crisps and after the pub instead of chips.
Last year I went a little bit batshit crazy on the food end of things with all the weight I gained during pregnancy and it is just depressing (I ate so clean and only let myself indulge in Christmas day dinner and pudding), don’t do it. Everything in moderation and tips like the above mean you can enjoy the festivities and not overdo it.
This next comment is easier said than done for a few but do give it a go. Unfortunately, alcohol is a diuretic and so means you pee more on a night out causing dehydration and ultimately a terrible hangover. No-one wants this over the festive period, that dry mouth and headache that won’t disappear (your brain tissue is mainly water and so drinking alcohol has the ability to shrink this tissue through dehydration and cause a painful pressure aka a headache). This year at the age of 30 I’m finally hoping to have a great night out and not suffer then next day by drinking water in between every couple of alcoholic drinks, have a pint of water waiting for me before bed and drink a good pint before drinking alcohol.
Most people who exercise regularly suddenly decide its Christmas, goodbye exercise routine hello lounging and whilst that all sounds great, you won’t feel good for it trust me!
The main thing to do is have in your head timing for workouts etc., the thing being that when you are home your classes that you usually attend may not be happening during this period or you are too far away to attend since you have just flown home for the holidays. Pick a time each of your workout days that you know will be quiet and nothing on, usually the morning. Keep that time in your mind and stick to it.
My favourite workouts that I could do at home and how I started getting back in shape properly was The Bodycoach HIIT workouts on YouTube which are usually 20mins long, 30mins being the longest (so that’s really not a whole lot of time to set aside), you will be sweating from head to toe and feel good for doing it. I’ve added the link to my favourite advanced workout, give it a go!
You could make things interesting and make the whole family do a workout for the craic, doesn’t have to be YouTube videos, you can buy a celebrity of their choices workout DVD and all give it a go. Christ, we know around this time there’s an abundance of celebrity workout DVD’s, I’m sure there will be one that tickles your fancy. Or if not the family what about your friends, get them involved, doesn’t have to be an exercise DVD in the house, just a brisk walk/run followed by a nice coffee/tea.
Last year I didn’t employ the help of friends and family instead I went running with Max our German Shepherd. He was great company and me with my headlight and him with his ridiculously good eyesight ran. I know I know, you think how did she do that in the freezing cold, well run for 5mins and you most certainly won’t feel cold the rest of your run!
- Keep a healthy mind
Christmas is the perfect time of year to stress, stress and stress again. You see family members that you aren’t that close to or you see family members you’d rather send a Christmas card to and be done. Make time for those you wish to and keep yourself sane and if you have to see them make it hilarious with a quirky Christmas jumper (they might not invite you back which is a bonus).
If you are really stressing over something to get someone, try something new and quirky like our Rucksnacks hampers which are suited to all, you will be able to order online: www.rucksnacks.com or email us if interested in one via social media or the email link on the webpage.
You could do something for others and make your soul feel good, why not cook a little dinner for an elderly neighbour or volunteer if you have the time in a dog shelter taking cute pooches out for walks. You can be assured all that you help will be so appreciative.
I hope enjoyed these tips and hope this festive season is a good one for everyone. Now how do I manage to get Colm into the matching Christmas sweater I bought him!?