Norwich nutritional therapist Catherine Jeans tells us how to avoid Christmas excesses
Balance – it’s one of my favourite words when it comes to the world of nutrition and wellbeing. Because we live in a world where there’s so much choice, and if we’re constantly trying to ‘be good’ or restrict the ‘naughty foods’, things can quickly get out of balance. I’m a huge believer in having a little bit of what we fancy, alongside packing our diet and self-care routines with lots of the good stuff. Then you’ll find that the things you probably shouldn’t be eating or doing just tend to fall by the wayside much easier.
I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite top tips for keeping your wellbeing in balance this Christmas.
- Have some chocolate.
But have some really GOOD chocolate! Chocolate is actually really good for you, especially if you choose higher cocoa solid varieties. The dark pigment in cocoa beans is packed with flavonoids that are great for your heart, and may even help to support your mood. If you’re having some chocolate over Christmas, invest some pennies in really good quality, higher cocoa solid chocolate. In my opinion, it’s better to spend a few more pounds on a slightly more expensive chocolate, but eat just a little bit at a time. Make a moment to really enjoy it, as if you were wine tasting, and allow the flavour to develop in your mouth. Better quality chocolate is likely to have less sugar, fewer artificial ingredients and more goodness.
- Match every glass of alcohol with a glass of water.
Keeping yourself hydrated when you’re drinking is a great way to help your liver and reduce the likelihood of a hangover. It will also help you to slow down and reduce the amount of alcohol you consume. Of course, avoid over-hydrating, but make sure you get in a few glasses of water on a day that includes more alcohol.
- Up your plant foods!
If you’re indulging over the Xmas period, a great way to support your liver and keep your digestive system happy is to eat a variety of different vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and other plant based foods. By incorporating a rainbow of different colours, this can help to support you from the inside out, including immune health, gut microbiome balance and also liver support (our liver is one of our main detoxification organs and sometimes it needs a bit of extra love!)