How to Not Quit at Christmas

I wrote an article a couple of years ago about how I was planning on not stuffing up my healthy eating at Christmas, after a re-read I thought I should drag it out of the archives, refresh my memory and take some of my own advice during the next week or so.

Regent Street Christmas 1960
Regent Street, London. Christmas 1960. (source)

As I don't follow a particular 'diet' structure any more (at the time of writing that post I followed Weight Watchers) now I just eat mindfully and keep a food diary, so it's still easy to make sure I'm eating balanced but with party season underway it's so easy to slip up. I find doing some bulk cooking helps at this time of year; so batch baking sweet potatoes big batches of soups, slow cooker bolognese and chilli made up, portioned up and frozen is great for quick and lazy meals - that way you still get to relax thanks to minimal cooking time, eat something warm and comforting but still eat healthily.

Laziest & easiest slow cooker bolognese ever. Throw these in for 4 hours. Done
Laziest & easiest slow cooker 2 bean chilli ever. Throw these in for 4 hours. Done. 

The feeling I have behind Christmas diet is the same as it was in that old post; that everything within moderation is fine but I know where my limits are and I try to stick to them. When it comes to Christmas social events I have had drinks, two lunch events and a party night out  - and that's just for work! (the perils of working in a very social industry). These have all been scattered over the last few weeks and as much as I have to go to all these functions, I can go and enjoy myself as long as I make good choices around them.

4 shots for you Glen Coco, YOU GO GLEN COCO! (source)

Also this past year, I've kicked the majority of dairy out of my diet and this is something I need to adhere to over the Christmas period too as I don't want to have another skin outbreak like this :

3rd January 2014. Dairy is not kind to my complexion or my insides.

Which means there will be no cheese consumed with my Christmas cake (boo!) but it'll be better for me in many other ways to go without. 

My plan is to fill my house with other foods, that aren't just seasonal, my Vitamix will be getting a lot of use and as I have mentioned in an earlier post, I will be doing my traditional post-Christmas trip to Whole Foods to make sure I kick-start the better eating after my enormous Christmas lunch and put nice things in my kitchen. The good thing is that body always dictates when my eating has to change if I listen to it, post-Christmas indulgence syndrome kicks in and I start to crave cleaner foods and less mince pies.

I've been reading a few different diet books over the last month too; like Clean & Lean and South Beach, all which have some great recipes in that I'm going to try and incorporate into my meal plans over the period.

A lazy brunch can be delicious and healthy 
I do love an almond milk latte 

Just don't think about it as a period to write-off eating well, just put the parties around your usual routine, listen to your body, don't overfeed it if it's not hungry and stay active. My Fitbit is still my best motivator, I'm still aiming to get my 10,000 daily step minimum in on most days of the Christmas period.

A well used Fitbit is a happy Fitbit

What's most important is that you enjoy your break from your usual routine. We all work so hard all year round, time off is precious so make the most of it. Personally, I'm looking forward to lie ins and Netflix binges as much as I am Stollen cake and Chocolate Oranges.

Whatever your plans, enjoy the break. Merry Christmas!

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