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Top tips for a mindful and nutritious Christmas


How to eat and drink healthy over Christmas and still enjoy the festivities to the full? Mesi Balog, Workplace Wellness Consultant and Founder of TreatYourStaff  discusses tips and advice for a mindful and nutritious Christmas with Amy Cottrell Registered Nutritionist mBANT, rCNHC.

The festive season is a time for enjoyment, celebration, and quality time with family and friends. However, let’s be honest, during this time of year, amidst all the festivities, it is easy to let healthy habits slip away – there is an abundance of tempting treats and that together with extra busy schedules, maintaining our well-being can become a challenge. Staying healthy during this time of year is possible, and just a few mindful choices can make a significant difference!

Mesi: Let’s look at some manageable nutrition and lifestyle tips that will see you sailing through the festive season without feeling overindulged and run down come January.

Amy: My top three tips for a mindful and nutritious Christmas

1. Balance and Moderation: we’re surrounded by tasty treats at every social occasion, and not only that, offices and homes are often packed full of festive goods. It’s great to enjoy some festive treats, but it’s also important to be mindful of portion sizes. Where you can, fill your plate with a variety of colourful fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains – this ensures you get a broad variety of nutrients, leaving less room to overindulge in calorie-dense options. Remember, it’s not about deprivation but about savouring any more indulgent food in moderation.

2. Hydration is key: In the midst of all the rich food and alcohol (and oftentimes we’re consuming more salt and sugar than on our usual day-to-day), it’s easy to forget the importance of staying hydrated. Water is crucial for digestion, nutrient absorption, concentration and energy levels, and overall well-being. Aim to drink plenty of water throughout the day, and make sure to alternate between alcoholic beverages and water to stay hydrated when attending all those festive gatherings.

3. Mindful eating: During the festive rush, it’s common to eat quickly and mindlessly, leading to overeating. Practice mindful eating by sitting down for meals away from distractions, taking your time to chew each bite, savouring the flavours, and appreciating any effort that has been put into the preparation of the meal. Being present at meals helps you to recognise when you are full, which not only helps to control portion sizes, but it also enhances your overall dining experience!

Mesi: While a focus on nutrition is key during this time of the year, it’s also important to pay attention to lifestyle factors such as movement and rest.

What should we all include in our routine during the festivities?

Amy: Prioritise physical activity: The festive season often brings with it a change in routine, making it easy to neglect regular exercise. However, staying active is crucial for both physical and mental well-being – it boosts your mood, reduces stress and anxiety, which is particularly important during the hectic festive period. Incorporate physical activity into your daily schedule, even if it’s a brisk walk, taking the stairs instead of the lift, or a short workout at home! There’s also no need to feel guilty for not sticking to your usual routines – it’s fine if things look a bit different for a few weeks of the year.

Ensure adequate rest: In the midst of festive preparations and celebrations, it is essential not to compromise on sleep. Lack of sleep can weaken the immune system, increase stress levels, and wreak havoc on our blood sugar levels too. Establish a consistent sleep routine, aiming for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. Take the time to create a calming bedtime ritual, limit screen time before sleep and ensure that your sleeping environment is comfortable and conducive to rest.

How easy is it to enjoy the festive period as well as stay healthy without overwhelming our body and mind?

Amy: Staying well during the festive season is not about strict diets or rigorous routines, but rather about making a few mindful choices that support your overall health and wellbeing. By practicing balance, moderation, hydration, mindfulness, physical activity, and adequate rest, you can embrace the festive spirit while ensuring your well-being remains a top priority – a healthy happy festive season begins with taking care of yourself!

For more advice on nutrition from Amy Cottrell

And for your Workplace Wellbeing needs see TreatYourStaff 


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