A Happier, Healthier Christmas by Tania Logan, Dietitian & Diabetes Educator

Ilze GroblerDietetics

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and I am looking forward to slowing down, spending time with my family and friends, and enjoying the special foods that we associate with Christmas.  For many people it can be a time filled with socialising, but it doesn’t have to be associated with overeating or drinking too much.  If you are working toward a healthier lifestyle or more comfortable weight, you can continue this momentum with some helpful hints and forward planning over the coming weeks.  Here are my 5 tips for a healthier festive season.

  1. Start your day in a healthy way

Enjoy a nutritious breakfast by including fruit, vegetables and wholegrains. Top your wholegrain toast with avocado, sliced tomato, baby spinach and finish off with your poached egg.  You can even add veggies to your bacon and egg breakfast.  Try pan fried mushrooms, grilled tomato or asparagus, and wilted spinach.  

For something lighter, why not consider a fruit platter filled with fresh, seasonal fruit, good quality yoghurt and topped with crunchy muesli.  This breakfast platter from taste.com.au might give you some inspiration.

2. Choose nourishing nibbles

Finger food is often a feature of socialising.  If you are entertaining or taking a plate to an event, you can easily add some vegetables for a healthier option.  Instead of a cheese platter or chips and dip, include vegetable crudités and homemade vegetable dips. My quick easy tzatziki and hummus recipes are delicious additions to your snack repertoire.  For a change from crackers, top thick slices of cucumber with your favourite cheese or dip, or try these cucumber bites from taste.com.au.

3. Include lots of vegetables with your celebration meals

Christmas in Queensland is perfect for seafood and salad so why not experiment with a variety of new salad combinations.  

If you prefer a traditional celebration, include plenty of roast vegetables with your baked dinner.  I love roast potatoes, and pride myself on getting mine crisp on the outside, but tender in the middle.  If you would like something different, you could try hasselback potatoes.  We also routinely roast pumpkin, sweet potato, parsnip, beetroot and carrot, but you can also experiment with zucchini, asparagus, choko, capsicum and Brussels sprouts. 

4. Make dessert fun, fresh and festive with fruit

Make the most of summer fruit and feature them in your desserts.  Top your pavlova or Eton’s mess with Greek style yoghurt and plenty of your favourite fresh, seasonal fruit.  

I really like the idea of a grazing platter for easy entertaining.  It allows people to choose as much or as little of whatever they like.  You might find more inspiration with this pavlova platter from taste.com.au or a dessert platter from Healthy Food Guide. 

5. Drink less alcohol

The festive season often sees many people drinking more alcohol than usual. This year explore reducing your alcohol intake and experiment with a variety of other options including:

  • Non alcoholic wine or spritzer with sparkling water and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
  • Homemade iced tea from fruit or herbal tea, plenty of ice and sparkling water if desired.
  • Festive mocktails like this cranberry spritz or pear and rose punch from BBC goodfood.

If you would like help with developing healthy eating or lifestyle behaviours, or if you would like practical assistance for making changes to improve your health, please contact me. You can find my contact details and how to book an appointment on our website at www.zestinfusion.com.au

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