With only a handful of Fridays until Christmas the celebration season is well underway. A number of parties, catch-ups and get-togethers are already filling up my calendar. Not to mention our Contractor Christmas Party which is a highlight of the period for me.
All this carousing has got me trawling the internet for the best advice on keeping healthy without missing out on the festivities and fun altogether. It seems there are a number of common sense points that keep popping up, so I’m going to paraphrase to save us all some time.
- Pick and Choose events
You can’t make every night a cheat night, and not every function is a must-attend. Make sure you’ve allocated rest time over the celebration season and don’t keep your calendar too hectic.
- Eat some healthy snacks before heading out
Fill up before hand to avoid grabbing the first (and twentieth) canapé going past. Eat a banana, some Greek yogurt, a handful of nuts or a boiled egg to help fill you up with some healthy proteins. This will help you decide if you really need that extra mince pie.
Try some of these delicious healthy holiday smoothies for a quick and filling treat.
- Alternate alcoholic beverages with water
Sparkling water with lime will keep you feeling festive while staying hydrated. The extra water will also help you feel fuller and resist that extra trip to the chocolate fountain and the lolly bowl. Hopefully…
- Focus on the food
Think about your favourite holiday treats and selectively indulge. Chips and chocolates are available year round so don’t waste your daily calorie allowance on them. Actively saying no to certain treats will make the ones you choose even tastier!
- Remember what the event is about
Make sure you put the food and indulgences down long enough to engage with your friends, family and colleagues.
- Provide some healthy alternatives to the classic gut-busters:
Swap the chips for fresh popcorn, swap the biscuit and dips for corn chips with salsa and vegetable sticks with tzatziki.
Offer some non-alcoholic options for the Designated Drivers but also for all attendees. Add some sparkle to boring water options. See here for a selection of festive, alcohol-free alternatives.
- Arrange a Christmas catch-up around an activity:
Instead of just a food fest lawn bowls, park picnics and beach cricket are some great activities that keep everyone moving and having fun.
- Only provide small plates.
This has been proven to help people decrease portion sizes. It will also help prioritise people’s favourite foods instead of overloading on everything.
- Remember what the event is about.
Make sure you don’t run around the whole night and forget to talk to people. The reason for having a party is to get people together and catch-up – ensure that you make time to relax and chat with your friends and family. No one will be upset if the event isn’t perfect or you run out of ice.
With these simple tips you can get ready for the season in style without feeling deprived.
Have no idea what to get for your friend who has it all? Helping others is proven to increase happiness as well as boost social connections. These are fantastic reasons to find a cause that your friend, colleague or family member is passionate about and gift a donation on their behalf.
There are countless charities and organisations to choose from. The Smith Family is just one example: they have 75c in every $1 donated going to their community programs to help support disadvantaged young Australians through education.