In the spirit of Christmas this week I am talking about the nurturing side of the festive season.
Isn’t it interesting that we hear the word “Christmas” and whether we are religious or not we all go into a state of panic that our 2018 to do lists are not complete?
Everyone gets busier in the lead up to Christmas and we normalise the idea of madness.
It can be difficult to keep your head above the chaos when you’re surrounded by it.
The story of Christmas is one that represents joy, love and peace.
At a time of year when we focus on the other end of the spectrum which includes stress, frustration and overwhelm - how can you shift your experience so that you feel nourished along the way?
In the story of Christmas Mother Mary prepares herself for the birth of her baby by getting ready in the manger. Being human she no doubt was feeling overwhelm, fear and doubt of how she was going to get through the event however in the essence that her baby was a divine miracle she also trusted that everything will work out.
Similar to any modern day mother - nourishment is the focus during pregnancy and creating optimal conditions for the growing little human. Yet once the child arrives nourishment of the mother slips right down the priority order and the needs of the baby come first.
It never really regains higher rank on the priority list until that woman is pregnant again. or the children are teens or leave home.
It is interesting that it has become human nature that we will only nurture ourselves if it is to benefit others or when life brings us to a stand still and we get sick, a condition or an illness.
So, as you feel exhausted (or maybe relieved) that this challenging year is nearly done it's dash, stop pause and take a breath for no one else but yourself.
It is naturally a time of year that we become more conscious of giving
It is a time of year we are thinking about everyone else besides ourself and what can often get forgotten is taking care of our basic needs like nourishment.
Of course, it is important to help others however just like any in flight safety video tells us we must put the oxygen mask on ourselves first before we can help the children.
We are no help to others if we can not breathe ourselves.
It is natural as a parent to fall into the routine of giving to everyone else before ourselves. Many of us feel it is a selfish act if we were to think of our own health and well being before others.
So why not do both!?!
Think of every person you are feeding this Christmas and how you could spread some healthy nourishment into their tummies as well as your own this Christmas.
The twelve days of Christmas was created as part of the story of the twelve days following Christmas.
Life will still carry on after the last egg nog, fruit mince pie, roast lamb or Christmas ham has been eaten.
So, as you plan your Christmas day, I have compiled twelve nourishing tips to help you balance your nourishment. So that you can enjoy eating and drinking without guilt not just on Christmas Day:
1. Start the day with a nourishing breakfast loaded with water content (or just use a guilt free recipe).
Guilt Free Breakfast’s help stablise your blood sugars so that you don’t get the after Christmas day lunch nap and will feel less bloated. Eating a breakfast that contains water content, fibre, vitamins and minerals will help your digestive system balance the bloat later in the day.
2. Be mindful of the types of carbohydrates you are eating at each meal – how many are there?
Having awareness about the type of carbohydrates you are eating means that you can then balance them with the appropriate foods so that you don’t feel bloated in the afternoon. Note that dry carbohydrates are foods like crackers, biscuits, cakes and bread and the wet carbohydrates are foods like root vegetables and grains like rice, quinoa etc. that absorbed fluid when they are cooked.
3. When you are preparing platters aim for a ratio of ¼ carbohydrate, ¼ protein, ¼ produce and ¼ flavours.
Balancing your platters with this ratio will help you with all the food groups you need to feel satisfied. The ratio of quarter carbohydrate includes foods like chips, crackers, breads. Then quarter of the platter can include protein foods like cold meats, nuts, hummus, cheese. The third quarter will include produce like fruit kebabs, vegetable dippers, veggie fritters, or bite sized produce like grapes and cherry tomatoes. Finally, the last quarter is flavours that include items like sundried tomatoes, gherkins, olives, chutneys and pates. When you use the guilt free formula your platters keep you satisfied for longer.
4. Stay hydrated throughout the day whatever the weather at your place
Whether the weather is winter or whether the weather is summer both require you stay hydrated. Heat will cause your body to lose fluid and your heart will have to use more energy to pump oxygen around your body. To stay you awake in the afternoon while it digests lunch focus on foods that will keep you awake and energized, and these contain more than 80% water. Eating foods that are high in water content like your guilt free recipes can help as well as complementing your wine with soda water and lime or nonalcoholic low sugar mocktails.
5. Keep awareness around drinks the stimulate and dehydrate
Caffeine might help to keep you awake if you got woken early by the little ones however keep in mind it also triggers your fight or flight response. This means you can run on the ‘empty energy cycle’ throughout the day and might need a nap in the afternoon. This process causes your body to store your Christmas lunch as body fat more easily. If you are drinking alcoholic drinks as well as caffeine on Christmas day be mindful of how many you have. When alcohol is in your system it delays your digestion while your body clears the toxin. It can result in a downward spiral with your eating and how you feel in the days that follow.
6. Adjust your portion sizes at your meals if you have more than one Christmas event in one day.
Your stomach is the size of your clenched fist when it is empty. You can use this as a gauge when you are eating and see how many times you are stretching your stomach size when you compare your fist size to the food on your plate. Fruit and vegetables are not ‘free’ food they do add up. However, they are a more balanced choice than other food groups because they give you vitamins, minerals and fibre to keep you fuller for longer.
7. Flavour your food so it is more satisfying
If you are someone that is very mindful of how you already eat remember that how you flavour your meals significantly help to stabilise your appetite throughout the day. Using fresh herbs and spices to enhance your meals will also give your body more nourishment between the fruit mince pies and delicious deserts.
8. Share a salad with your friends
Having a support system where everyone else is doing the same thing and eating the same way is a really easy way to eat guilt free permanently. You can share your knowledge about balancing your meals so that you are satisfied for longer with your friends and family. Teach them the four food groups they need to get more satisfaction from the meals that they eat. An easy way of the doing this is use your favourite guilt free salad recipe from the guilt free food school. There are ones in there for every type of season.
9. Texturise to your salad
Salads fill you faster when they have a variety of texture. Texture from your ingredients such as your hard produce like spring onion, raw carrots, cabbage, red onion, broccoli or including apple like a Waldorf salad increase the insoluble fibre (the type that mops up toxins and keeps you fuller for longer). Adding seeds to your salads also adds texture and gives you a magnesium boost to help balance out any stressful conversations you might experience with family you haven’t seen in a while (winky face).
10. Get moving with the younger generation
If you don’t exercise daily (or even if you do) get everyone involved in physical games like hide and seek, backyard cricket or create your own favorite game or challenge to get everyone moving in the afternoon. If you are on your own get out into nature where you haven’t been for a while and enjoy the peace and quiet, so you can recharge yourself.
11. Write a gratitude list of the things you are thankful for in 2018
Being thankful and appreciating the little things that you have experienced this year can help you put in perspective how lucky you are that you have a roof over your head, power to cook your meals and clean running water. So many around the world and even in your near by neighbourhood are not as fortunate. What you appreciate, appreciates. Being thankful nourishes your mind and can shift your stress response so you don’t feel as exhausted when you are operating in perceived survival mode.
12. Take a tech break and connect in reality
Throughout the year we can be in a codependent relationship with our mobile devices for work, connection and friendship. On Christmas day turn your mobile device off and leave it in another room for at least three hours or longer. If you find this difficult set it up as a challenge between family members to see how long you can last without it during the day. Play a game with your family members and see how long everyone can last without going on their devices. The person who wins could get a week off chores or some other prize.
Any NEW enrollment who pay in full for 2019 will receive a FREE personalised consultation via video call with me before the end of January 2019 (valued at $125 NZD) - JUMP ON THIS NOW CLICK HERE.
Snap it up before Christmas this offer ends when Santa hits the skies at midnight on 24th of December for present delivery.