I wrote this post a couple of years ago. And I still stand by many of the points today. But my perspective has changed a little. This isn't mean to be a rant, it isn't mean to dictate to you how you should enjoy your Christmas. Christmas is a time for family, fun and having a great time. If you feel you would like to reduce the after effects a little then maybe read on. If not then have a great Christmas and see you on the other side!
I'm going to keep this quick and simple. But first a small small rant.
Christmas seems to be all about eating ridiculous amounts of rubbish food these days. Or this is what the food companies would have you believe.
It wasn't always like this! Christmas was a celebration, a time to be with the family, give thoughtful gifts and eat some great food prepared with love.
But food companies wanted a piece of the pie so they insidiously changed Christmas to mean eating obscene amounts of processed rubbish, I'm talking about those boxes of Celebrations, the bought Christmas pudding chocked full of vegetable oil and trans fats, as well as a good heap of fructose-glucose syrup.
Not to mention the fact that most people won't accept it's Christmas till they have seen the Coca-Cola advert on TV!
When did this all start? Probably before my time, but when I grew up it wasn't like this for me. Christmas was about all of the above, including GREAT food.
BUT WAIT!I hear you all shouting at this, Christmas is a time to relax, blow off some steam, drink a little mulled wine, I'm not going to worry about my waistline!
This ISN'T about your waistline, this is about the destruction in your body that happens when we do this, if Christmas came once a decade you could probably get away with it. But it seems Christmas now lasts from late November to early January, plenty of time to cram in all the junk food and set your body on a path for destruction.
Not to mention that, but due to the excess few (or 10) kilos we pile on we then struggle through the first part of the year trying to lose it. Losing weight is quite damaging for the body, it's very very stressful. The body would be so much happier if it only had to lose a kilo or two.
Ok, rant over, now on to the tips. If you follow these I promise you will A) not put on much weight B) Enjoy Christmas more than ever before C) feel less guilty post Christmas D) Return your body to it's previous state in a blink of an eye.
Tip 1 - Step away from the processed crap that some machine made and make it yourself!
Processed food has ONE goal, it is designed to make you eat as much of it as possible. All those chemicals? They are either flavour enhancers or in the case of MSG can actually damage parts of the brain that make you feel full.
IF you were to make that brownie yourself, with real ingredients (yes there is still a little flour in there), it will not only taste MUCH better, but it won't give you this hit of chemicals that leaves your body not knowing what is going on.
It's way more fun (see below), it will give you a greater sense of satisfaction and in most cases you WON'T eat anywhere near as much because you will feel like you don't want your hard work to go in a flash.
ANYONE can bake, that's what cookbooks were made for. It's easy!
Tip 2 - Make food fun!
Children about? How about you involve them in cooking. Not just the sweets, but the savory too. It gives you a great opportunity to help them learn how to cook, what it's like to use real ingredients and it ends up with a great result at the end, treats!
Children ALWAYS get bored on school holidays, trips to Legoland just don't last long enough. This gets them involved and enjoying different elements at Christmas.
Tip 3 - Make food AMAZING!
Not only content with making it from scratch, my Christmas is about making the very best food. Don't settle for anything less!
If you are off work use the more time you have to pop to the butcher, get some quality meat, I promise you won't regret it.
Learn some new recipes, try something different. Splash out on great ingredients, just for this year. You will be surprised how cheap food is when you stop getting processed rubbish and get some basic ingredients.
Tip 4 - Cook things they way they are supposed to be, not the way FLORA told you to.
Myth - Saturated fat will kill you. No it won't, it's the flora that will do that.
DO NOT cover your roast potatoes with 'Crisp N Dry' that trans fat nightmare. Use GOOSE FAT! It's what it was created for! Again, going back to the point above, make the best food you can.
Tip 5 - All chip in.
Allied with point 2, everyone can help with food at Christmas and everyone SHOULD. When one person is left to do it all corners are cut. Stuffing comes out of a packet and pudding comes in a foil tray. If you all chip in you can all have fun, help those you love and embrace cooking!
Tip 6 - Walk it off.
Studies have shown that small amount of light exercise after a big meal help reduce the blood sugar response and help the body deal with the large intake of food.
So, plan a nice stroll with the family after every meal, it will not only make you feel better but is a great excuse for getting out there and seeing a bit more of our fantastic world.
Tip 7 - Athlete? How about EARNING your dinner.
Your body is much more responsive to food when it has exercised. IF you are allowed out pre-meal then get out there and do a nice hard session, wake the body up, give it something to think about and your food will not only taste better but it will be better for the body too.
Tip 8 - Above all enjoy Christmas, your food and the celebration.
This may seem contradictory to the points above, but I promise if you follow these tips you will not feel a twinge of guilt. You will have eaten well, reset the system, enjoyed some quality time and be ready to go again come January.
IF, you have spent the holidays eating boxes of Quality Streets you may be left with a slight empty feeling that Christmas could have been so much more. You COULD have eaten a nice piece of fudgy brownie that just came out of the oven, or a moist homemade Christmas cake. But instead you went for the synthetic and tasteless bag of sugar that SEEMS so appetising but leaves you empty and wanting more.
Thanks for reading.
Have a fantastic Christmas!