As Christmas Day approaches we think about family, gift giving, fun, food and those flavoursome beverages we love to sure with our loved ones.
The day starts with waking up to children whispering near the Christmas tree touching and feeling the presents that don their name, the cheer due to the discovery of the milk, biscuits and carrot that were put out the night before are all but gone - only crumbs and carrot stalk remain on the dish.
Champagne Breakfast - because it's 12 o'clock somewhere in the world
Festive Lunch - so much food the fridge is still full with leftovers
Afternoon Siesta - to recover from all the food
Evening Supper - just because you can
Apart from the fun family festivities full of laughter and joy, there is food, alcohol, more food, more alcohol and lazy hours chatting and looking back on the year gone by.
Try these 5 tips to keep a festive day healthy and active so you can last the distance.
1. Size Does Matter
Over time, for some reason the size of our dinner plates has increased from 8 inches to 12 inches so let's be honest, we are not going to stop at one serving at our Christmas lunch or dinner. If we start with a smaller plate that isn't loaded up to compete with Everest, we enjoy the dining experience at a slower rate but also at a smaller rate.Reach for the bread and butter plate instead of the dinner plate as you pass by the buffet.
Sometimes tricky to know what to substitute a not-so-healthy item to a healthy version. Instead of pouring sugary custard over that homemade Christmas Pudding full of delicous fruit and nuts packed with good fats, substitute it with yoghurt or coconut cream.
Why tarnish the flavour of freshly steamed vegetrables with metled oily cheese when you can toss a splash of coconut or olive oil over instead?
Think outside the box and start a new way of Christmas dining.
3. Plan Ahead
You know the day will be busy so plan ahead. This doesn't just mean writing out a schedule and timing of when to baste the turkey; put it in the oven; then the roast vegetables; take them out; rest;serve .... what about how you will run your day in terms of your body?
Factor in when you will exercise; when you will start and stop eating; what utensils and glassware will be on the table (small/big plate, wine/water glass, etc); when to open gifts (half after breakfast while the other half after lunch giving your body time to rest and digest the food intake).
When you plan, things do pop up but at least there is some sort of order where you can always go back to if you stray from the plan path.
4. Get Active
Nothing beats a leisurely walk after a big meal. Better stick - a game of backyard or beach cricket. these 2 options, and there are many, get family and friends together in an active environment and breaks up the day of food and booze.
Even a friendly board game will increase the heart rate a little when that competitive spirit gets hold.
5. How about another drink?
Saved the best tip until last - the M word.....Moderation. I know I know, I can hear you laughing already but hear me out. It's the same old story...one glass of alcohol, one glass of water. If you have planned well (point 3), then you will always have a glass of water nearby so there are no excuses really. Water is the best option to keep your body hydrated and yes I'm aware there is water in alcohol but nothing beats a cold glass of filtered water to replenish the body. Not to mention, it will allow you to bat well during that afternoon cricket match, give you energy to last the day without a nanna nap after lunch and you won't waste Boxing Day by sleeping the day away.
Most importantly enjoy your Christmas day, whatever you do, and stay Active in the Season you are in.