Dec 15, 2015


If you hadn't noticed (or perhaps you like to bury your head down a bit this time of year), Christmas is literally around the corner. With that comes many mixed emotions and they are different for everybody.

I love Christmas time. I love present shopping. I love planning and prepping (and eating of course) all the meals, treats, and food we have this time of year. I love decorating the (real) tree. I love laughing til my abs, my cheeks, and my brain hurts with my sisters at mums place. I love the travel to get to mums. I love making rum balls. I love beach swims. I love lazy snoozy afternoons.

However... I'd be lying if I said I didn't get stressed at some point by everything going on.

Other people, dislike the whole lot.

Some people love it and hate it ~ typically people trying to lose weight, improve their health, and know they succumb to temptations and alcohol far too easily.

So, I've thought of a few little 'hacks' (common term these days I know, but couldn't think of another) for you that will ensure you're going into the festive season looking after yourself. You feel calm. Happy. Energised. You feel confident with food choices. But also that after a little indulgence, you know how to help your body handle it better. So here we go.

// A morning routine. I've spoken about this before, but if you are still yet to actually create one of your own, START NOW! This has got to be the number one secret to staying sane this time of year (and in life in general). By starting your day exactly how you choose too, you set the tone for the remainder of the day. Think about it ~ wake up late, panic sets in, no time to shower, get dressed, no lunch made, coffee on the way to work, and you get there feeling crap, guilty, stressed and anxious. Or... wake up when your alarm sounds and get into what you've chosen to do...
>> 5 minute meditation, 10 minutes of stretching, maybe a half hour walk, your fav quick brekkie, cuppa tea, hot shower... whatever it is.
I always move my body (workout in the living room to a DVD, a beach walk, swim or bike ride) coz I know I go mental if I don't. And a good brekkie. They are my only non-negotiables.

Action Tip: Set an ongoing alarm now. Or sleep with your blinds open if you get the morning sun.  Choose 1-3 things you'd like to do that you know will make you start your day excited, smiling and feeling good. Commit to actually DOING these!

// Avoid sugars everywhere you can (for the most part). Sugars are inflammatory so if you're dealing with any skin condition, gut condition, joint condition... it's your worst enemy. Sugars are also extremely addictive so one little bite leads to a few more and before you know it, you've been snacking on the stuff all day and go to bed feeling shit - both physically and mentally. Aim to eat mainly vegetables, protein and fats to keep you (properly) nourished and satiated, level-headed and calm. The same goes for children; if not more so as they don't seem to have an off switch for sugar.

Action tip: Save the sugar eating til the pudding and custard comes out. Don't be tempted towards it during your main meals when you have the perfect opportunity to really nurture your health and body with good quality clean veggies, salads, meats, beans, eggs, etc... Whatever your family typically cooks up. And when you do eat the pudding, eat is  s l o w l y  and savour every little delicious bite!

// Know your Liver Lovers + Liver Loaders. 
This time of year it's our liver that often takes a beating. Stress, alcohol, sugary foods, over eating, less movement... these all stress our liver and that means our health suffers. If we are looking after our liver however, we are better equipped to digest fat and support our gallbladder.
Liver Lovers are green vegetables (especially broccoli, cauliflower, onion, garlic, cabbage, artichoke), herbal teas over coffee (dandelion, fennel, licorice, and ginger are all fab), movement, fresh air, filtered water, laughter...

Action Tip: Jot those lists down and stick them on your fridge as a reminder. Aim for less liver loaders and more liver lovers. Check out my other blogs on how to lighten your liver load here.

// Movement before eating.
For me, I don't need the science to tell me why this may be good, as I know from practicing it, that it feels darn good and that's good enough for me! There can be a lot of sitting around, chatting, eating, snoozing and watching movies this time of year so making movement a daily priority of yours is an excellent aim. Sluggishness = gone. Food guilt = gone. Metabolism boosted = yes. Oxygen to the blood and heart = yes.

Action tip: Schedule it in! Make it a non-negotiable. You and your health is worth it!

// Lighter meals outside of the festive feasts. This is a super easy and effective tip. If you know Xmas Lunch is always a BIG one and full of your childhood fav's that your mum only cooks this time of year, then you're gonna wanna have them and who am I to stop you? So, have a light breakfast like a smoothie or one egg with some asparagus and avocado. This will keep your metabolism still ticking along and help that you are less likely to really over eat... Coz let's face it. We all over eat at xmas!

Action Tip: Know what you'd like to eat before you get into the kitchen and find your eyes wandering off to all the treats and yummy goodies that may have you piling up your plate again.

// Take digestive enzymes with main meals. These assist the breakdown of foods in your stomach and given that we often combine every delicious morsel of food we see, from cakes and cheeses, to seafoods and salads, then hot meats and veggies or grains... the added support of a digestive enzympe capsule is something I often recommend.

Action tip: Go to your local health food store and ask for a really good digestive enzyme supplement that has a range of enzymes in it (as certain enzymes only break down certain macronutrients). Depending on the one you get, either pop them before a meal, or pop them during your meal.

// Use doTerra DigestZen and Smart and Sassy oils. DigestZen mixed with a little coconut or almond oil and rubbed on your belly is brilliant at dissipating crampy bellies, bloating, gas, wind, constipation and also headaches from food via the gut-brain connection. A drop of Smart and Sassy on the tip of your tongue greatly helps with food cravings, metabolism and supporting your liver.

Action tip: Use these as above if you have these oils

// Aim for more salads and veg.
Another easy tip. But practicing it can be trickier when presented with pork and lobster and cray fish and prawns and smoked salmon and hot turkey and cheeses...

Action tip: Start with loading your plate up with salad. Then some cooked veg. And only after that add your meats or fats of choice. You only really need a little bit anyway and as tempting as it may be, you know you'll feel much better in a couple of hours if you eat more salads and veg than you do heavier bulkier meats.

// Sip alcohol if you choose to drink it. And get the best versions of grog you can. I rarely drink alcohol but if I feel like it, I occasionally drink a glass of organic preservative free red wine. At Xmas time tho, in the hot Aussie summer, I am known to pop open an ice cold berrio too. It's very difficult for me to over indulge in alcohol but for many people, it's perhaps too easy. If that's you, listen up.

Action tip: Sip your grog. If you want to scull it down because you're super thirsty, go and scull a tall glass of water instead. You're body is obviously dehydrated and alcohol only makes that worse. Then get to your beer. Sip it slowly. Appreciate the taste of it. Enjoy conversation with it. And when you're done, pour a sparkling water for your next bevvie and alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

// Charcoal in the evening (or clay). This will do wonders. If you've eaten a little too much, had a whole host of different foods together at the same meal, eaten foods you don't usually eat often, had too much grog, or just feel a little off, this will change your life. Charcoal and (food grade) clay mixed in water may not be the most pleasant of things to drink (although my body craves it sometimes and enjoys it a lot) but they essentially go in and mop up all the nasty stuff in our guts that we don't want there - toxins and gas are the biggies at Xmas. Taken daily you'll wake feeling much better drinking this stuff.

Action tip: Mix 1 tsp of either charcoal or clay into a tall glass of water and drink right before bed. Do not take any supplements or medications within an hour of drinking charcoal or clay as it can also bind to these and your body will not receive the nutrients or med's it needs. Wake up feeling much better!

// Stress Less. This can be easier said than done for some but it isn't impossible. A few added things to help you relax include a good daily dose of magnesium, morning B complex vitamins, Rescue Remedy or the Bush Flower remedies; Calm + Clear or Emergency Essence, deep diaphragmatic breathing in and out of your belly (the quickest way to calm yourself down), and of course, a daily combination of all the above.


All theses suggestions can be done over time. But they can all also be done on the Big Eating Day (whether that's Xmas Eve, Xmas Day or Boxing Day for you):

> Wake up and start your daily routine
> Move your body
> Start with a great brekkie
> Eat more salads and veg at main meals, with a little protein and fats so you're less likely to over eat
> Take digestive enzymes with your meals
> Ease up on the alcohol, and swap every second drink with a sparkling water. Sip slowly
> Charcoal before bed

There you go. I hope these suggestions serve you well and that your holiday season is filled with laughter, happiness, great food, great company, and that you are as good to your health and body as it is to you.

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