Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Lifestyle: Six Tips On Staying Mindful Over The Festive Season

Ah Christmas - love it or loathe it, it still comes around every year so you may as well embrace it. But what also comes around with the festive season is 'overeating', I'm talking boxes of chocolates, tins of quality street/roses/celebrations, biscuits, shortbread, not to mention Christmas parties full of mince pies, sausage rolls and pastries (phew) then there are roast dinners, Christmas pudding, cakes, Boxing day buffets and leftover turkey and stuffing sandwiches to name but a few. It is definitely the season to stuff your face, and of course we all relish it as it's the time of year to kick back, relax and celebrate the season with your loved ones. But as a person who loves to eat healthy, nutritious foods it's also the time of year where I tend to go a bit overboard on the festive treats and end up feeling sluggish and rather bloated. So I thought I would share with you some of my tips for staying healthy-ish over the festive period, and of course indulging in whatever you fancy, but in moderation.
It's all about that healthy balance!

*Quick disclaimer: I'm not a nutritionist, dietitian, personal trainer or healthy eating expert, I am simply sharing tips that have worked for me personally, with you lovelies.*

1. Pick your poison
I'm not a big drinker, I usually have a couple of cocktails and I'm feeling merry - but of course as Christmas and New Year are coming up the drinks will most certainly be flowing.
My advice is to stick to clear spirits such as vodka and mix with soda water and a splash of lime, or enjoy a glass or two of Prosecco. Try not to mix your drinks as it'll make for a sore head in the morning. If you are teetotal there are so many tasty mocktails around, cranberry juice, soda water and lime is a winner, or try whipping up a delicious fruit smoothie.

2. Stay hydrated 
This tip goes hand in hand with the previous one - it is so important to stay hydrated, especially if you are drinking alcohol as it dehydrates you. I drink at least four litres of water every day, try and aim for a minimum of two litres per day. Remember tea, coffee and even fruits and vegetables such as melon, cucumber and celery all count towards your daily water intake.
Drink up!

3. Get up and go
Being active is important for your general health and wellbeing, but even more so in the winter months and over the festive season. It's hard to get motivated when it's cold/wet/windy/miserable outside (well if you live in the UK anyway) as all you really want to do is curl up on the sofa with a big mug of tea, a cosy blanket and watch Christmas films - the last thing on your mind is going for a run. (me in a nutshell, bring on the hot chocolates)
But exercise is an important part of living a healthy, happy and balanced lifestyle, so try to incorporate at least twenty minutes of exercise around four days a week.
This could be going for a swim, run or walk, going to the gym or if you are like me and love to workout at home, then pop a YouTube workout video on and get your twenty minutes in.
You can of course work out more or less than I have suggested, but I find that staying active for twenty minutes, four days per week is an attainable goal to stick to over the festive period. It's also the perfect time of year to go out for country walks, as the air is crisp and fresh and you can even take your camera along and get some pretty scenery shots.

4. Indulge wisely
I love to indulge from time to time, I mean who doesn't? But there is a big difference between 'indulging' and a 'free for all'. For example if I am going out for a date night dinner with my boyfriend I always skip the starter, ditch the bread basket and order a reasonably healthy main course, such as chicken or fish with vegetables or a salad dish. I save my indulgence for dessert as I have a major sweet tooth; I love anything with chocolate, especially dark chocolate. I usually go for my favourite chocolate fondant, an ooey gooey brownie or a winter warming fruit crumble with ice cream. So if you are off out with friends for a big meal, then opting for a lighter main course means you can really indulge with your favourite dessert, or vice versa if you have savoury tooth then bring on the cheeseboard. It's all about finding a healthy balance that works for you.

5. Take your time
When I have a treat or tuck in to a dessert, I always take my time to savour every last mouthful. If you just chomp it down in four bites, you'll only be left feeling hungry and unsatisfied afterwards as it takes our brains around twenty minutes after eating a meal to register that we are full.
Slow down, savour your food and chew slowly, you will appreciate that slice of cake so much more I promise.

6. Don't worry!
My most important tip is not to worry so much. If you have overindulged on the mince pies or skipped a workout as you just weren't feeling it - don't feel guilty or beat yourself up about it. We are all human, from time to time we all feel unmotivated or we just fancy a cup of tea and a big slice of cake (me everyday... I jest) Just tell yourself this: It's already happened, I can't change it, I enjoyed myself, that cake was delicious, I had such a lovely time with my friends because I skipped that workout, draw a line under it and move on! Tomorrow is a new day, and perhaps I won't have a slice of cake today and I will go out for a little walk or do twenty minutes of yoga. It's the festive season after all, a time for friends, family and loved ones to get together. have fun and enjoy good food. I for one will be eating whatever I fancy on Christmas day, that may be a chocolate affair or a fruits and vegetables kinda day, I just listen to my body and eat whatever it's craving.

I hope you enjoyed this 'Six Tips On Staying Mindful' post, and that my suggestions were of help to you. Are you a bit of an 'overindulger' at this time of year like me? What is your favourite treat to indulge in? Do you have any tips on staying healthy over Christmas?

I'd love to know, leave me a lovely comment below.

Let's be friends!

Love Laurenx

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Lauren xx