Keeping your summer holiday healthy and nutritious may not be as hard as it sounds! A dash of turmeric here, an extra gulp of water there and a garnishing of herbs & spices might be all it takes.
While it is a great time of year to be a little more lenient on how you eat, drink and move, there’s also no better time to keep your health in check and we’ve got some easy tips & tricks for sneaking a little extra nutrition into your day even throughout this fun, festive time of the year!
With a few extra drink options available around this time, it’s easy to forget to keep your water consumption up. Keep a drink bottle at your desk, in your car, next to your dinner plate or on your bedside table as a reminder to sip away constantly throughout the day. If you are drinking more coffee and/or alcohol around this time, drink even more water to compensate for their diuretic properties. A key tip it comes to drinks in the silly season; try and opt for low or NO refined sugar options.
Your classic holiday dishes tend to be filled with refined flours and starches, which may not be the best way to go particularly with such a huge amount of intolerances and allergies to these foods nowadays. There are some awesome, easy, gluten-free alternatives to your classic pastas, breads and crackers that might just be your ticket these holidays! Cauliflower rice has an amazing rice-like consistency, it’s delicious AND it’s nourishing. Flavour it any way you like, as you would with a normal rice dish, or use it as a “potato mash”. Gluten-free breads and crackers are abundant on supermarket shelves and with a high content of nuts and seeds, they provide great sources of protein, fibre and healthy fats.
Herbs & Spices
Herbs and spices are one of the tastiest, most nourishing avenues for boosting the nutritional value of any meal, any time. Parsley, coriander, thyme, sage, oregano, turmeric, ginger root… All detoxifying, nourishing and anti-inflammatory AND you can add them to almost anything. They will truly brighten up your holiday table in so many ways.
Let’s take turmeric, for example; a powerful anti-inflammatory that is rich in antioxidants to help protect the liver and stave off illness… Something we could all do with in the festive season! It can be added to soups, marinades, salad dressings, vege stir-fries, mashed potatoes, dips or even whip yourself up a warming Turmeric Latte. As it does have a rather potent taste, start by adding a small amount of turmeric to your festive dish and you can ramp it up based on taste.
The holiday season is one of, if not THE favourite time of year to sneak in some sweet treats here and there, with Christmas pudding, pavlova and other tantalising treats in abundance. Refined sugar is strongly linked to a host of adverse health conditions when consumed in excess so forgoing this from your holiday diet is recommended. Don’t worry, there is certainly still room for treats! When doing your own Christmas baking, opt for natural sweeteners in your baking/unbaking, such as coconut nectar, dates, honey, coconut sugar and maple syrup, to name a few. If you don’t have a choice and Aunty Jean has whipped up a Christmas pud that you just MUST try, grab yourself a slither and load it up with goodies from the fruit platter instead of that extra dollop of cream or custard.
Move Your Bod
Yes, it is a mad busy time of year for all of us and seemingly even more impossible to squeeze in your daily workout. If your morning and/or evening workouts have become a stress on your timetable and are just not a priority, work in body movement into other times of day. Take a 20-30 minute walk in your lunch break, walk to work, walk home from work, roll out your mat in your lounge and do a quick home workout (there is lots of inspo at your fingertips on YouTube or the NTC app). Most importantly, don’t stress about it as this will only be detrimental to your health. Accept that being a busy time of year, your usual routine may have slipped to the wayside but that it will all fall back into place when things calm down again.
Greens Greens Greens!
There’s no easier way to sneak some nutrition into your holiday meals than with some extra greens! Stir them through your vege stir fry or stew, make them a base to your salad or whip up a green smoothie for breakfast or to tide you over between meals. You can never have too many greens!
Christmas, after all, only comes around once a year so remember not to be too hard on yourself if your daily rituals are shifted onto the backburner a little. It’s all about balance and when it cones to being ‘healthy’, it is what you are doing MOST of the time that will determine your overall health. So cut yourself a bit of slack this holiday season and most of all, enjoy it!
How do you keep healthy at this busy, festive time of year? We’d love to hear even more tips & tricks. Let us know in the comments below xo