Healthy Tips for Christmas

Healthy Tips for Christmas
Healthy Tips for Christmas

Christmas season is upon us! We’ve got all kinds of fun activities planned for the month of December in the Gym, but we also know that your life outside the gym will be full of silly season stuff – which may, or may not, help you stay on track to your fitness goals.

If anything, holidays from work should give you more time to get in the gym and get as fit as you can, but often the heavy eating, drinking and breaks in routine will tend to give you more excuses to fall out of your good habits. We know you’ll come back in the new year – after you feel guilty enough – but let’s not put ourselves through that this year, right?

So here’s a few handy tips that will hopefully help you guys stay on track this Christmas season.

  1. If you’re going to be drinking alcohol, try to supplement your diet with a few key things:
    • Probiotics – Alcohol wreaks havoc on your gut bacteria, causing all kinds of uncomfortable and unhealthy imbalances which can give you worse hangovers, feelings of depression, cravings for unhealthy food, and in the long-term, damage to the gut lining. A great way to combat those things, is to take an oral probiotic supplement every day. The alcohol will kill your gut bacteria regardless, but if you’re consistently replenishing it, it will have less of an effect on your body. Click here to read a study on this topic.
    • Green Vegetables or a green superfood supplement like Vital Greens; something with Spirulina, Wheatgrass, broccoli, kale, or some combination of all of them. The vegetables in particular have a lot of nutrients but also Fibre which helps your body process sugars and replenishes any nutrients you might be missing from an unbalanced holiday diet. They also contain Probiotics!
    • Lots of water – Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it pulls water out of your body as you’re drinking, so make sure you replenish with heaps more water than you think you need. And if you’re struggling to get enough water, or are feeling particularly dehydrated you can also replenish your body’s salts with electrolytes. Most Powerades / Gatorades have electrolytes but they are also full of sugar, so some healthier alternatives are Coconut Water, Berocca, or Gastrolyte from the chemist.
    • Support your liver!  Alcohol also takes a toll on your liver, so you can give it a helping hand by adding in a Beetroot and Carrot juice any time – add ginger, apple, celery, whatever you want to make it tasty. Beetroot and Carrot both help rejuvenate your liver and will help you get back on track quicker.
    • Make smarter choices when you’re drinking – if you’re having a mixer with a spirit, change high sugar sodas like Coke to Soda Water. A Vodka Soda and lime is probably one of the better options for low-carb, low-sugar choices. If you’re drinking beer, choose a light beer or low-carb option. And if you’re drinking wine, try to pick a dry wine like Chardonnay to reduce your sugar intake.

 

2.  Substitute some of the traditional heavy or sugary holiday food with a healthier option:

    • If a recipe calls for Sugar, you can half the amount and swap it for Raw Honey, Maple Syrup, or Rice Malt Syrup, or even fruit like bananas and dates. Honey and fruit in particular have a lot of good nutrients and fibre which help to offset the sugar content.
    • If a cake recipe calls for butter or oil, you can replace it with apple puree or zucchini puree (who knew?!)
    • Banana Ice Cream!! If you like ice cream, chocolate in particular, you’ll love this… all you need is a bunch of bananas and a food processor (food processor works the best, but you can use a blender if you go slow)
      • Let your bananas get ripe (really ripe, brown is fine) and then peel them and chop them into approx 1-2cm sections. Put them in a ziplock bag and freeze them overnight.

      • The next day, put them in the food processor, and blend! It will look like it’s not going to work, just keep pushing the banana down the sides and you can add a little coconut milk or milk if you want to speed it up. If you’re using a blender, just put a little banana in at a time, and slowly work your way up.
      • While it’s blending, you can add whatever flavours you want!
        • I use Cacao or cocoa powder to make chocolate ice cream, and add Dark Chocolate chips at the end. But you can add peanut butter, vanilla essence, mixed berries, cacao nibs, coconut flakes, up to you!
        • Eat it straight away or freeze it – make sure your freezer isn’t up too high (it goes rock hard) and that the container is sealed and it will freeze well. Best eaten ASAP 🙂

3. Set yourself a training goal

    • It’s hard to stay in your routine when you’ve got work parties, days off, and family obligations but that’s no reason to stop taking care of yourself. Set yourself a weekly target of hours at the gym or classes attended, and write it up somewhere you can see it every day. Then TELL SOMEONE your goal and we’ll keep you to it.
    • Long term, remember we’ve got gradings coming up in the new year, we’ve got the Kickstart 2020 Challenge starting on the 23rd and we’ve got Nationals at the end of January for anyone who’s thinking about having a fight. How much is that extra beer going to help, or is it getting in the way?
    • Any time you think about excusing yourself from a class, remember the promise you made to yourself and get to the gym!