12 days of Christmas Healthy Eating Tips from Help2health Nutrition…………
Forget turtle doves, French hens, or even golden rings; the best gift you can give yourself and your true love this Christmas is the gift of good health. Helen @ Help2health Nutrition is making this even easier with 12 simple tips to help you survive the silly season with your health intact. A tip a day for the next 12 days which will bring you right up to Christmas Eve…your tool kit for surviving Christmas and beyond…
On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me: a partridge in a pear tree…
Forget the pear for now and think of apples in particular apple cider vinegar…..Begin each day with a glass of warm water and 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.
Health benefits :-Apple cider vinegar can support a healthy blood sugar balance. Modern day diets high in processed foods, refined sugars, saturated fats, stimulants, stress and lack of exercise amongst other factors can contribute to imbalanced blood sugars, which is a risk factor for diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Also given that apple cider vinegar lowers blood sugar and insulin levels, it makes sense that it could also help with weight loss.
On the second day of Christmas tip tomorrow……
On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me: 2 turtle doves…….
Doves or no doves remember to break your overnight fast and eat a healthy breakfast. To save calories after over indulging the day before, I often see clients skipping breakfast and sipping instead on a skinny latte. The sugar and the caffeine plays havoc on blood sugar levels and stress hormones especially first thing in the morning and this will set you for potential disaster later on in the day.
Health benefits:- Eating a proper breakfast that includes complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and proteins brings your blood sugar levels back to normal and kick starts your metabolism. This will boost your nutrient intake and boost your health and energy levels. Setting a healthy intention each morning by eating a nutritious breakfast will set you off in the right direction of making healthier choices throughout the day. So eat a healthy breakfast, within one hour of rising and break that overnight fast.
On the third day of Christmas tip tomorrow……
On the third day of Christmas my true love sent to me: 3 french hens…..
More than likely this Christmas day and for some days after you will be eating turkey.
Health Benefits: This is great news as turkey is rated a quality source of protein. A 4 ounce serving provides us with 34g of protein or 70% of the protein requirements for a 64 kg woman. All the B vitamins are present in turkey. Incidentally the B vitamins are often found together in nature and it is believed that this is no accident as they often work together and can help increase absorption, utilisation and the therapeutic effects of each other. The B vitamins are commonly known as the energy vitamins however they are also used for the prevention and treatment of blood sugar imbalances, stress and PMS. Turkey Meat is also a good source of selenium, phosphorous and the essential Omega 3’s fatty acids. When buying a turkey organic is best, followed next by free range.
On the fourth of Christmas my true love sent to me: four calling birds
Do you feel like all those boxes of chocolates and sweets are calling out to you “eat me”? Do you find it really hard not to be tempted and once you start you can’t stop? Are you wondering how you will get through Xmas without weight gain. It is not just a matter of will power. Eating refined sugar creates a physiological response in the body, similar to how our bodies respond to drugs and it is a habit not easily broken. However if you armour yourself with healthy and tasty snacks you have a better chance of staying in control when the sugar cravings strike over the festive period
I came across this website which has some delicious recipes and extra special treats……
On the fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: five golden rings
Instead of golden rings have you heard of golden milk? The main ingredient is turmeric, which is known for it’s powerful health benefits due to curcumin, a powerful polyphenol antioxidant that also gives turmeric its beautiful golden colour. One of its many benefits is to detox the liver…might be useful this time of year.
On the sixth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: 6 geese a laying
While those 6 Geese are busy laying, make sure you get busy having at least 6 large glasses of water spread evenly throughout the day. By simply drinking enough water you can boost your energy levels, improve your mood and concentration and prevent headaches and relieve constipation. Water is also great for preventing the festive hangovers. Drinking water aids weight loss by boosting metabolism and increasing satiety. Drink a little extra if you’re very active, or if you work in an air conditioned environment.
On the seventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me: 7 swans a swimming……
Many heads were probably swimming today with the onset of the festive hangovers. The liver uses up the b vitamins to process alcohol related toxicity and these are critical for being able to sleep and relax. Have a bowl of porridge. It is kind and gentle on the stomach. Have it with cinnamon, which helps to stabilise blood sugars. Drink water as many of the symptoms are due to dehydration. Add rock salt, lemon and honey to your water to support your liver.
Our complete hangover smoothie to restore b vitamins and magnesium is:
350ml coconut water
handful of oats
handful of spinnach
1 tsp of pumpkin seeds
Whizz everything up until blended and smooth and down the hatch! Coconut water restores electrolytes. A few squares of dark chocolate and sips of ginger infused warm water would help too.
On the eight day of Christmas my true love sent to me: 8 maids a milking….
If you are going to indulge in chocolate this Xmas, do it in style, forget the milk chocolate varieties typically 20 – 21% cocoa solids and spend money on a good quality dark chocolate. Choose a chocolate with at least 70% cocoa solids as this is considered a minimum for quality. Naturally occurring antioxidants found in most plants including fruit, vegetables and cocoa, can help protect us against free radical damage that is implicated in heart disease, certain cancers and other life threatening ailments. Dark Chocolate is rich in antioxidants, specifically cocoa polyphenols and it’s consumption has been linked to reduced blood pressure and increased insulin sensitivity. Eating dark chocolate also provides you with a variety of minerals including iron, magnesium, copper and manganese. So do yourself a favour, ditch the tin of roses and go out and treat yourself to some quality dark chocolate and savour and enjoy the moment and the taste. Because you are worth it……….
On the ninth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: 9 ladies dancing
Use some of your time with friends and family to engage in fun and social activities that involve exercise. Get off the couch and get out for a walk in the fresh air, dance, play with your kids, bring them for a cycle. It doesn’t have to be all about food. Regular exercise improves mood, promotes better sleep, controls weight and combats health conditions. Exercise improves the passage of food through the gastrointestinal tract. It also promotes efficient passage of food out of stomach reducing risk of digestive problems. As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. If you want to lose weight or meet specific fitness goals, you may need to exercise more. Remember to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially if you haven’t exercised for a long time, have chronic health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes or arthritis.
On the tenth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: 10 lords a leaping…
Leap into the New Year with a positive health and fitness goal. Start thinking about one or two small changes that can make a big difference over time, such as eating more whole foods, cooking meals from scratch, engaging with a healthy eating plan, eating a healthy breakfast, eating more fresh fruit and vegetables. New Year… New Opportunities….. New U…………….
On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me: 11 pipers pipping…
Musical pipes aren’t so bad, but the smoke from tobacco pipes and cigarettes is enough to make Santa run in the opposite direction. Be aware of the dangers of passive smoke, and do your best to avoid it while out celebrating. Choosing foods high in Vitamin B, E & C in addition to those enriched with antioxidants help to minimize the harmful effects of smoking.
On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me: 12 drummers drumming…..
If you wake up after a few too many with the sound of 12 drummers drumming in your head, drink plenty of water and make yourself a healthy breakfast. Avoid bingeing on junk food when you have a hangover. Refer back to day 7 for a great hangover smoothie.