Christmas can be such a stressful time of year, where we are worried about the food being ready, have we bought enough presents, will the kids fight? However if we think about what Christmas is really about-spending time with our loved ones and having fun, does it really matter if the food is a disaster? Will the kids care if they don’t have ‘enough’ presents?
Everyone stresses a few days before, trying to get as much food as they can possibly fit into their fridge because, god forbid, the shops are closed for one day! I like to remember that Christmas is just another day of the year, and instead of worrying about whether we have made the ‘perfect’ meal or not, we should just spend time with the people we love, appreciating them, and enjoying their company. So what if all you have to eat is an endless supply of crackers, cheese and wine!
Here are my 5 tips for ensuring your Christmas is happy and healthy!
1. Be realistic about the meal. If you are horrible at cooking, its probably not the best time to get creative in the kitchen. Instead enroll the help of someone who can cook, and prepare something simple. A roast is actually pretty easy, and salads are a simple and healthy dish to serve with the traditional roast meal.
2. Be prepared. Find recipes of what you want to cook a week in advance, and gather what ingredients you can early. For the food that needs to be fresh, write a comprehensive list, and get to the shops early on Christmas eve. If you can, prepare food in the days leading up to Christmas. Be prepared with snacks, just in case the meal doesn’t turned out as planned.
3. Don’t overeat. I know I prepare way too much at Christmas, and that leads to portions that are insane. Then you get that really awful super full feeling, that leaves you tired, bloated and lethargic. this year, put out smaller plates, don’t make huge amounts, and wait 30 minutes before having seconds.
4. Give leftovers to family to take home. I’m sure that your family doesn’t need a 3/4 of a pasta salad, a whole uneaten chicken, and 50 sausage rolls to eat for the next week. Be generous and give it to others. That will give you space to get back on track with your normal eating habits.
5. Choose healthy options. This means whole wheat crackers, fruit and veggie platters with dips, fresh juice, dark chocolate, soda water, and if you can limiting the fat, sugar and salt from your dishes. Choose fresh, whole foods that give your family lots of nutrients and energy to enjoy the rest of the day playing sports and running around outside!
Have a happy and healthy Christmas!