It’s terrifyingly close to Christmas. Late November to January is an endless round of social occasions, gorging yourself silly on turkey and ham, and drinking far more than responsible you would.
Those of you in the Northern Hemisphere are blessed with being able to combine gluttony with Winter – all the extra stodge you’re consuming can be covered up by enormous jerseys, scarves and ample sized coats. Sadly in the Southern Hemisphere, Christmas means Summer. We still eat and drink as much, but it’s hot. We’re wearing less. We really don’t want to be increasing our bulk at this time of the year. And most of us combine the Christmas period with a beach holiday. Unfair.
Let’s be honest, it’s virtually impossible to be completely responsible between now and Christmas. My annual foray into doubling my size starts with Birthday Week in early November and just keeps going. This year, I’m aiming for more balance in my life. Enough good times, but less of the indulgence and resulting self flagellation.
That is to say, go to the parties. Eat the food. Drink the champagne. Then avoid alcohol and eat clean on non-party days. Find a good vitamin B complex to replace what booze has depleted. Go for a walk. Don’t beat yourself up. Everything in moderation, including moderation.
Just eating clean, light and healthy on the in between days will balance up much of the damage. The extra vitamins and minerals you get from vegetables and lean protein is amazingly restorative. The downside is that steamed white meat and rabbit food gets mighty boring, mighty fast. Which is a fast road to falling off the wagon prior to your next party. So my tips for making clean food delicious and moreish are:
- Add herbs. As many as you can handle. Parsley, mint, coriander are all wonderful additions to salads, along with being great tasting.
- Add spice. Chilli, garlic and ginger are accessible ways to add flavour to protein or vegetables. The added heat from chilli has the added benefit of making you feel full faster.
- Add crunch. Nuts and seeds are great for adding texture to a salad. They’re also high in healthy fats, protein and fibre.
- Add dressing. Olive oil, vinegars and soy sauce add flavour to any salad. Olive oil is recognised as reducing the risks of cardiovascular disease, while many vinegars are good for gut health.
- Add variety. Mix it up. Don’t eat the same thing every day. Try different proteins, different vegetables, get inspiration from different countries.
If you’re still stuck for ideas, try a few recipes I’ve already posted: