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It is that magical time of year again when gluttony and overindulgence rear their ornery heads. With all the great food spreads and social nibbles that are bound to present themselves, it is challenging to keep one’s health and diet on track. Whether weight loss is a must or not, everyone could use a few Christmas day survival tips.
Christmas day has always spurred favored memories of crispy-baked goose, free-pouring wine, and baked brie with cranberries. All yummy food but scary-high in the calorie pack. If there is a decision between having turkey or goose this year, rest assured that both are loaded with nutrition. For those who are not watching their weight, and can stand to put on a few pounds, a goose is a lovely alternative to turkey. It does, however, provide 68 more calories than a 3.5-ounce serving of turkey without the skin. Since Goose does not have white meat, it may not appeal to those who are breast fans. Overall, turkey is the healthier meat of choice. It has fewer calories and saturated fat, as well as offers more vitamin B3 and selenium.
As far as not overindulging, Women’s Health and Fitness Magazine suggests a few Christmas day survival tips for keeping the appetite in check. Eating an early dinner, it gives the body time to digest the food. When loading the holiday plate, make sure most of the real estate is reserved for veggies. Also, grazing before having dinner, will reduce the likelihood of overeating during the meal.
It is easy to overdo the wine and beer as well, a good rule to follow is to drink two glasses of water for every glass of wine or beer consumed. This will help fill the belly and will enable the body to process the alcohol with fewer effects.
If blessed with hosting the dinner, try incorporating a few untraditional dishes, such as Brussels sprouts. Now, before judging these tasty clusters of green, take a look at what they offer. Like their cousins, cabbage and broccoli, sprouts have high amounts of isothiocyanates, a group of chemicals that help cells metabolize compounds correctly. Thus. preventing mutations that can lead to cancer.
Red cabbage cooked with a spicy balsamic sauce is also an excellent alternative to heavier foods, such as potatoes. In place of rice, try grating cauliflower and broccoli and cooking them in a splash of water for about 10 minutes. If feeling particularly adventurous, try frying the mix with a bit of bacon, avocado oil, and onions for a dish that resembles fried rice but without all the calories. The guests will never know.
It is difficult to cook an amazing Christmas dinner without accruing a few burns in the process. For that, it is recommended to have pure lavender essential oil close at hand. If someone’s skin does get a bit singed, dab a drop or two of lavender oil on the burn and be amazed as the pain vanishes, as well as any chances of blistering. Caution, some people are allergic to lavender oil. If a reaction does occur, counter it by applying coconut or extra-virgin olive oil on the treated skin.
The best survival tip of all, of course, is to enjoy Christmas day and not worry too much about consuming too much food. Moderation is the key, but having fun with family and friends not only lowers stress, but it is a reminder of what is truly important in life.
Opinion by Rowena Portch
Edited by Cathy Milne
Future Fit Training: Food Fight: Turkey v. Goose
Women’s Health and Fitness Magazine: How to Avoid Overeating on Christmas Day
The Telegraph: The Surprising Nutritional Benefits of Christmas Day Lunch
Featured Image Courtesy of Mats Hagwell’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License