It’s that time of year when for the vast majority of us food plays a pivotal role in our festive celebrations. Friends and families come together and it’s all too easy to indulge in that bit more food than usual.
Be it drinks and nibbles before meals, a few extra glasses of your favourite tipple, the lure of the buffet, endless parties or just lingering over Christmas dinner and being less active, it’s all too easy to end up breaking good habits and worrying about piling on the pounds.
But stop, hang on a second…a few days of over indulgence isn’t going to break a normally healthy fitness and nutrition routine.
Here at the Academy of Fitness Professionals we’re firm believers in the benefits of giving the body and mind a treat. A few days of festive goodies enjoyed with loved ones does the body and soul the power of good, and in our opinion the health benefits of this outweigh what’s to be gained from assessing every morsel.
So in this blog you won’t find a long list of things to avoid. Instead we advocate enjoying yourself, and if that means letting things go for a day or two, so be it. Afterwards you’ll feel like you had a treat, relaxed and ready to resume (or in some cases start) great lifestyle habits.
Along the way check out our pick of fantastic produce, abundant in supply at this time of year that you just might want to know a little more about.
1 – Traditional Turkey
A protein power house that’s low in cholesterol, low in fat and high in folic acid. An extra slice will help curb your appetite and leave you satisfied and help resist cravings.
2 – Salmon
Jammed with omega 3 fatty acids, this heart friendly fish can help naturally lower blood pressure and is high in protein and vitamins A and B.
Choose as natural a source as possible – preferably wild rather than farmed if your budget allows.
3 – Nuts Galore
Enjoy a variety of fresh nuts this Christmas and you’ll be giving your body the gift of great nutrition.
Packed with protein, fibre, iron, magnesium, iron, calcium, selenium and vitamin E alongside heart friendly fats they’re long lasting and great value at this time of year.
4 – Cranberries
High in antioxidants which help fight harmful free radicals and great at keeping the urinary tract and stomach feeling tip top, these festive berries are a nutritional power house that’s loaded with vitamin C.
Served best so they have a natural sharpness, cranberries work well with squeezed orange to naturally sweeten or a little honey or sugar, just to taste.
5 – A Little of What You Fancy!
We’re ending advocating where we started. Indulge in a few treats and submerse yourself in the joy this brings. My guilty pleasure at this time of year? A long winter’s walk followed by the warmth of my favourite café and a huge mug of hot chocolate – bring it on….
Anita Lemon is Business Director here at the Academy of Fitness Professionals. She has accumulated nearly 20 years’ experience in business, finance and sales together with a particular interest in nutrition and kids’ nutrition.
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