Humans consume between 3 and 7 tonnes of food in a lifetime. It certainly can feel like we make our biggest contribution to that number over the Christmas season! 😋
For me, the Christmas period comes with an overwhelming pressure to choose the “treat”. Because it’s Christmas. Because it’s dark and cold (here in Ireland). Because the last few weeks of the year always come with an extra helping of stress and rush (read about how to tackle this here). And of course because there’s selection boxes of chocolates, biscuits and booze EVERYWHERE you look - in billboard advertising, shop windows, supermarket promotions and countertops.
On the flip side, the fact that the “indulge, indulge” message is so in-your-face at Christmas is quite helpful in bringing our food choices to the forefront of our consciousness, more so than any other time of year in my opinion.
The food we eat is the most consistent way we impact our well-being. If we are eating foods that create inflammation in our bodies and brains (full of sugar, damaged fats, trans fats) without the balance of plants, good oils, quality meat and fish it doesn’t matter how many ‘anti-wrinkle’ creams, hours at the gym or detox smoothies [🤢] we use because the damage is occurring much faster and more effectively than any surface-level resolution can combat alone.
When we are conscious about treating wisely with something we truly savour about Christmas (oh, I do love a nice Christmas mince pie) and not just filling the gap in our bellies as we rush around, we can really make a difference to our feeling of well-being over this time and even out the highs and lows that inevitably come with trying to get to all the kids’ Christmas concerts, brave the shops for presents and untangle the Christmas tree lights which always seem to be in a knot regardless of how carefully you packed them away last year! 🤯 (I also throw the DIY Christmas pudding into the chaos, which I always intend to do in June but every year end up in a panic to make and mature in December!)
Let's take this time to remind ourselves that the most impactful tool we all have to support our good mood, great energy levels, the way we manage stress and how our hormones play together is our fork.
Here’s a quick prompt to help you to consider how you nourish your body and mind to keep yourself energetic and smiling over the Christmas season.
Reminder of what to get more of
To balance out the indulgences, try to get fresh, locally-sourced veggies on your plate at least twice a day, with as many different colours as you can manage and add fresh herbs as much as possible.
Slip in some salmon, mackerel, herring or anchovies for your nature-provided fish oils at least once a week and choose pasture-raised meat.
Start your day with an egg for breakfast. Drink plenty of water.
And remember to breathe, it’s only Christmas after all and the opportunity for a fresh start is just around the corner!
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