Blog post by Lucia Glover, Registered Nutritional Therapist and BANT Practitioner, Founder at Lucia Glover Nutrition
'Tis the season to be jolly, deck the halls, and indulge in merriment! However, with the winter weather and the aftermath of Christmas feasts, some of us might find ourselves feeling low on energy.
Seasonal Christmas food including sugar-laden treats, which, though delightful, often leave us feeling like we've hit a wall can send our blood sugar levels for a wild ride. But, fear not – the solution isn't to abandon Christmas pudding! You can maintain your energy levels and enjoy every holiday moment.
As a nutritional therapist, I'm here to guide you through a journey toward renewed vitality this festive season. So, wrap your hands around a cup of cocoa, snuggle up, and join me as we explore my top nutrition tips for savouring holiday delights while keeping your energy levels soaring.
Fuel Your Festive Vitality by Balancing Carbs with Protein for Lasting Energy
During the Christmas period, as you navigate festive gatherings and celebratory meals, consider the impact of the carbohydrates you consume on your mood and energy levels. Simple carbohydrates, found in processed foods and "white foods" like pastries, cakes, and white bread, are big culprits. To counteract potential blood sugar spikes from those inevitable mince pies and other seasonal Christmas food you know you’ll want to indulge in and to ensure a more stable and sustained release of energy, make a conscious effort to pair your carbohydrates with a quality protein source.
'Tis the season to make delicious, energy-boosting choices!
Think of a protein-packed festive nut mix, a yogurt parfait, and delectable pates and dips like hummus and tzatziki—perfectly complemented by vegetable crudités and seeded crackers. Alternatively, enjoy sausages and cheeses - Christmas food favourites that are packed with protein to keep your energy levels balanced.
Prioritise Regular Meals for a Consistent Energy Feast
Skipping meals can disrupt your blood sugars, potentially putting a damper on the holiday cheer. Maintain a festive spirit by adhering to a consistent meal schedule. Aim for three well-balanced meals each day, incorporating the following guidelines:
- Allocate one-quarter of your plate to lean protein, such as poultry, lean beef, turkey, fish, or plant-based protein like tofu, beans, and pulses. This serves as the foundation for sustained energy.
- Designate another quarter for starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes or whole grains; providing complex carbohydrates that release sugars more slowly than simple carbohydrates like white potatoes.
- Reserve half your plate for non-starchy vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and bell peppers, offering a diverse array of nutrients.
- To further enhance your nutritional balance, add a touch of healthy fat through extra virgin olive oil drizzled over your vegetables or a few slices of avocado.
Sip Your Way to Festive Vitality
Dehydration, akin to the Grinch, can steal your energy, affecting concentration and holiday cheer. The remedy? Hydration! Amidst the holiday whirlwind, it's crucial to prioritise hydration for soaring spirits and elevated energy.
Aim for eight glasses a day, adding herbal teas to the mix if you find it difficult to drink lots of plain water. It's not just about quenching thirst; it's giving your cells the jingle juice to perform their tasks properly. Well-hydrated cells are necessary for nutrients to be transported around the body, preserving energy, and helping your metabolism.
So, this festive season, remember to add mood-boosting foods, meals and drinks to your diet— a quality protein source to your snacks and meals, staying hydrated, and prioritising balanced regular meals. Follow the above nutrition advice, and you'll bid farewell to any hint of sluggishness, welcoming a healthier, more energised version of yourself to the New Year's celebration. Here's to a season filled with joy, laughter, and the boundless energy to embrace every moment!
This year, consider moving through the Christmas season (and the new year) with
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