For most people Christmas brings a much-needed break from regular routine and replaces it instead with numerous feasts and activities. While for others it signifies a stressful time due to the cost, the temptation to overindulge and the ease with which you can lose sight of your eating or fitness goals. Staying on track and sticking to your routine is just down to simple forward planning.
Ultimately Christmas should be a time to relax, enjoy life and cherish all the good things and people around you. So, if you’re worried try to take some of the below tips on board and see if you can’t ease the burden a little. And remember, it’s your Christmas nobody else’s. Try not to get sucked into social media comparison. Enjoy and be grateful for what you have.
Ideas for diet
Christmas holidays are to be enjoyed. A time to catch up with family and friends. But the day can easily pass with you sitting by the fire, watching TV and grazing on a box of Roses. Not sticking to meal times can lead to rash decisions in the kitchen. Resulting in a quick snack or lots of time spent flapping around.
Instead try to stick to your normal meal times. Make portions smaller and meals lighter. Prepare lazy brunches instead of lunch and get creative with leftovers. Opt for salads or add leftovers to omelettes, frittatas and curries.
The holiday season can often mean long journeys; so whether you’re stuck in the car or on a stuffy plane, you’ll probably end up relying on overly priced convenience food.
Instead, plan ahead and pack snacks in the form of dried or fresh fruit and nuts. If you are on the road, toilet breaks are a necessity so again plan ahead. Research and stop off at your favourite restaurant for a meal along your route.
Ideas for socializing
Christmas is definitely party season! There’s your work Christmas party. The annual 12 pubs. And the legendary St Stephen’s Day celebrations. The nights out and drinks can all add up and lead to dehydration as you drink more and spend more time indoors. Dehydration can cause dry skin, irritability and reduced concentration. Absolutely not things you want when you’re trying to have fun.
- Carry a water bottle and refill regularly. Most transport centres have public water fountains. If you’re flying long-haul flight, ask the flight attendant to refill your bottle.
- Drink a glass of water between each alcoholic drink.
- Electrolytes are an effective way to maintain hydration both before and after a night out. Stock up and have them ready when you wake up.
Ideas for budgeting
Christmas is undoubtedly an expensive time of the year for all. Food plays a major role in traditional Christmas celebrations and many can be deterred by the cost involved.
- Talk to your local butcher. They will advise you on the type, quantity and best cooking method for your chosen bird and meat.
- Choose and make only the trimmings you know will be eaten.
- Divide meal preparation across the days leading up to the 25th. Vegetables can be peeled, chopped and frozen in preparation.
- Plan, make and freeze desserts ahead.
- Don’t be afraid to break tradition. If you or your family don’t eat turkey, cook chicken or another favourite protein.
- A large number of guest for Christmas dinner can be great fun but daunting for the cook. Divide the workload by asking guests to prepare one item or bring a dessert or beverage.
Ideas for exercising
I’m a big fan of exercise all year round. Your body does require a rest from your typical exercise regime but that doesn’t mean you still can’t keep active whilst the gyms are closed. You can also work up quite an appetite while out and about.
- Walking: a great family friendly activity. Christmas is the perfect time to go explore the local forest, trail or mountain pass. Wrap up warm, set-off early, pack some snacks and water and most importantly bring a mobile phone in case of any unforeseen event.
- Cycling: a great way to get the blood pumping fast. Go explore all the new cycling routes from Westport to Waterford to Carlingford.
- Dive In: Christmas morning wouldn’t be the same for many without a dive into the sea. Why not join in and see what the tradition is all about?
- The Goal Mile: run, walk or jog! This is a great way to kick-start your day and get a taste for a new exercise that you might continue in the New Year. It is also a brilliant way to celebrate with your local community and support charity.
Sinead Delahunty simply loves food! Not just the simple pleasure of eating good food, but food in all its contexts from growing fruit and vegetables at home, to tending to the hens and cattle on the family farm and now to sharing her own creations. For more information visit delalicious.com