I thought this might make me find time to blog, I’m getting very slack with it these days and I’m not so bothered about writing but when I don’t blog I read less too and I really love to read what other people write, I learn so much from it.
So A – Z, not many days to go before Santa comes so I’ll have to go right over into the 12 days of Christmas thing no doubt and I want to blog over Christmas because I know I might falter and blogging helps keep me on the right path. I’m going to think about the things I’m going to be doing to keep me healthy and to stop me gaining twenty pounds.
A is for Allicin. This is an important element found in Garlic, it’s one of the things which makes garlic so good for us. This is so much more effective in terms of the good it can do our bodies and the way it carries on being ‘alive’ if you like, or useful in terms of what it does to us as it’s passing through our digestive system. Read this little article in The World’s Healthiest Foods for some interesting info on the properties of Allicin and garlic in general. I crush and chop 4 garlic cloves each morning and neck them like tablets glugged down with some liquid or other for this very reason that Allicin is more potent if consumed like this.
So what’s this got to do with Christmas? I’m not going to let Christmas rob me of my routines that’s what. One of the top tips for continued health at Christmas is to keep on doing those things which are doing you good, don’t break habits that have taken ages for you to get into as those habits will be harder to get back into after Christmas has been and gone.
Think about what are the most beneficial of your new lifestyle habits and make a promise to yourself that you will keep them up no matter what.
B is for Butter. Do not make the mistake I made for so long and bypass butter for the alternative low fat spreads and margarines. There is mounting evidence that butter is actually better for us and helps us to digest foods and manage our weight. I try to buy a good quality, unsalted variety if I can. Do use it sparingly though, just because it is perhaps better for you than spreads and margarines doesn’t mean you can put it on your door step bread in slices or that you can throw it into every sauce and soup you make to get a nice creamy consistency oh no. I only use it when essential as in on my weekly scone and I consider it as part of my daily dairy allowance so if I do use butter I will balance that out by not using cheese that day or as much milk.
At Christmas when there is greater temptation try making yourself feel a little bit more normal by adding that little nob of butter to a sauce or rubbing some into your meat or adding some to roast or mashed potatoes. Give yourself a treat, use it sparingly and think of the health benefits and harm that some substitute synthetic foods could be doing not just weight loss. I only use butter, we no longer have spreads in the house and I’m losing weight and getting healthier and have no cholesterol problems so it doesn’t make you explode into a heap of fatness, just be moderate as you would with your full fat dairy cheeses and creams, which I also use as part of my diet very, very sparingly. Here’s some evidence to get you started on finding out all about butter from Dr Axe – Food is Medicine. Always have a good read don’t just take one word for it.
C is for Christmas Carols. Get out and about where you can’t stuff your face. I’ve been to several already and have several more planned and it’s working. If you are visiting family for Christmas or you are having guests and have filled your pantry with goodies get away from them as much as possible. Balance out eating events (and there are many of them at Christmas) with doing events. A really easy one is to find local carol concerts, doesn’t matter what religion you are or if you’re religious at all, there is nothing more bracing than belting out some carols, especially if it’s in a cold church or church hall or out in the cold dark night air. It makes you feel happy, it gets air to your lungs which then cleverly disperse it around the rest of your body making everything function well, including your brain, lifting your mood and making you want food less. If you’re having Christmas somewhere warm and sunny still get out and sing your heart out and then go for a nice walk as you’re out anyway… all better than sitting at home with all of the smells and temptations of Christmas food everywhere.
D is for Decking the Halls. Instead of spending time in the run up to Christmas making food, doing the mammoth mince pie bake, building a ginger bread house the size of a small shed, producing tray upon tray of rich buttery shortbread, put those creative skills to use making decorations. Dig out your craft stuff, buy a few packs of paper and some glitter, some string and polystyrene balls (all ridiculously cheap) and get your kids or the cat and just make stuff, even if no one else is going to see it. It takes your mind off food, it keeps your hands occupied and it saves you from baking to feed the 5,000. Myself and a couple of friends had a Christmas making session in my studio the other night and it was great fun and we made lots of mess and lots of items which one of my friends sold at a school charity fayre or you could just drop off at a homeless centre for them to add to what they have or don’t have. We made some mulled wine and we chatted and laughed and it was a fab evening of friendship and festive fun which saved us from baking duty. If you really must bake… give it away. Make cute boxes and bags and gift your wonderful baking to get the need to create out of your system and pass on the goodwill. Keep just one or two for you.
Onto E next time… Effervescence