By Jennifer Smallridge
‘Tis the season! Hopefully between the platters, parties and pressies, you’ve found time for your regular healthy habits… or not? Never fear, because here at PERKii we have compiled the gold-standard guide to help you to stay on the nice list this year.
1. But first, vegetables
After all these years, your mum was spot on about eating your greens! This Christmas, load up your plate with colorful veggies before hitting the potatoes. One 2014 study found that eating vegetables before carbohydrates reduces the fluctuations that we normally see in blood sugar after meal time – fluctuations which, in the long term, can lead to metabolic issues such as type 2 diabetes.
This might also prevent you from feeling super sluggish after a big meal, as there is less insulin required to brush away that blood sugar. Filling up on vegetables is also a great way to ensure you’re hitting your vitamin and mineral targets.
2. Walk and talk
So many Christmas celebrations are founded on food and friendships – but why not make it an active catch up instead? You could go for a beach walk, wander around some botanical gardens, pound the pavement and see some Christmas lights, or go to that dance class you’ve been meaning to try.
Exercise always goes faster with a friend, and getting out in the nice weather will ensure that your vitamin D levels are topped up too.
3. Merry and mindful
Mindfulness practices are grounded in the concept of “wherever you are, that’s where you’ll be” – challenging the idea that our mind needs to be constantly racing into the future or dwelling on the past. True satisfaction and enjoyment comes from being exactly in the present moment, taking on board all sensations and feelings that arise without judgment.
It’s a great time of year to try a mindfulness meditation app, read an insightful book, or check in to a meditation session to create some Christmas calm in your life. This could also make for a thoughtful gift!
4. Don’t drink your calories
Excess celebratory drinks are a surefire way to tip your healthy lifestyle out of balance! Consider spiking your own soda water with cucumber, mint and lime for a refreshing beverage, or pimping out your PERKii for some gut-loving goodness.
5. BYO if you’re on the go
Why not win guest of the year and bring a healthy salad or side with you to share? This helps you to stay on track and will also win you brownie points (gluten and dairy free, of course). There are so many colorful fruit and vegetable creations out there which you could easily recreate and share the joy!
It is easy for your goals to get derailed by the silly season, but with these healthy habits you won't just survive, but thrive, through the most wonderful time of the year! Most importantly, be safe and enjoy a well-earned break this festive season. Giving yourself the gift of health is the best thing you can do for yourself and those around you!
Imai, S., Fukui, M., Ozasa, N., Ozeki, T., Kurokawa, M., Komatsu, T. and Kajiyama, S., 2013. Eating vegetables before carbohydrates improves postprandial glucose excursions. Diabetic Medicine, 30(3), pp.370-372.