It’s that time of year again and, despite our best intentions, we’ve overindulged on chocolate and alcohol. We’ve had a competition on Christmas Day with Uncle Dave on who can cram the most mince pies in their mouth and eaten far too much Christmas pudding.
Now we feel sluggish, lethargic, bloated, much heavier than we did before – and most of all, guilty! But, how can we put this behind us and get back on track?
Well, first of all stop feeling guilty. It’s Christmas, a time for relaxation, enjoyment and spoiling yourself with everyone around you. Remember the 80:20 rule, which means spending 80% of the time eating healthily and 20% of the time relaxing our eating habits.
Putting pressure on yourself to eat healthily all the time can leave you feeling frustrated and demotivated, so don’t. You enjoyed the festive period, you were able to let your hair down and now it’s back to healthy eating.
Healthy eating doesn’t have to mean boring, either. Get all of your recipe books out, or go and buy some new ones with your Christmas vouchers and try out some new meals and buy as many new, exciting ingredients as you can afford. Start as you mean to go on and make your diet as interesting as possible, ensuring that you’re eating a variety of foods, so that you’re less likely to get bored.
Plan your meals so you know every day, what you’re going to be eating and can buy food accordingly. There’s nothing worse and more likely to demotivate you to eat well, than getting home from work or the school run and realising you haven’t got a clue what you’re going to eat. Instead, you’re tempted to grab whatever’s easiest, which may be a bag of crisps or a packet of biscuits! Write a meal planner at the beginning of every week and buy the necessary ingredients so that you don’t have to think about what you can eat.
Get into the habit of eating well. The more we do something, the more it becomes a part of our daily routine and the less willpower we need to use. Don’t think of this as a long-term effort, it’s just something you’re going to do, day by day, until it becomes a habit and as easy as pie – not that you’ll be eating much of that by the end of your quest to get back into healthy eating! In fact, try this salad instead; it’s a perfect accompaniment to that leftover turkey.
- 1 head broccoli
- 3 carrots
- 1 bag sugar snap peas
- 1 lime
- Sherry vinegar
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Maple syrup
- Sesame seeds
Chop up sugar snaps into small pieces (about half a centimetre thick) and place into mixing bowl. Next, chop up the broccoli heads into thin slices, add to mixing bowl. Grate the carrots into the bowl and zest the lime.
Juice the lime into a jar and add an equal measure of sherry vinegar and olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and a squirt of maple syrup. Shake together to make the dressing.
Taste and add maple syrup until the mixture is less sharp and pour over the salad. Mix well, serving with a sprinkling of sesame seeds.