Well, it’s December again – a time of year when all the partying and celebrating can really take its toll and wreak havoc with our productivity and wellbeing at work. So this month our blog is written by the very knowledgeable nutritional therapist, Claire Stone to help us to eat well for productivity. Claire’s approach is to help us all figure out what works for us as individuals, making it easier to eat better (and I think we could all do with a bit of help with that at this time of year). Over to you Claire…
So, unless you live in a different dimension you’ll have noticed that the festive feasting season has already started. The evening meet-ups, the ‘let’s go out for a drinkie’ invites are coming thick and fast, and the temptation to treat yourself because ‘it’s Christmas’ becomes hard to resist.
Balancing the desire to enjoy all the food with the desire to eat well and look after ourselves is tricky. Especially when we focus on the wrong things. At this time of year, we need to keep our bodies warm and our brains fuelled – being a quick-thinking, talented person in the Winter definitely requires more than a cold salad or a chilled smoothie. Brrrrr.
So what can you do? How can you enjoy the festive feasting while looking after yourself? Here are my three key tips to help you enjoy Christmas and get to January in flying colours with your energy, motivation and talents intact!
Water, that is. During the festive period, it’s very easy to head straight to the bubbly, and forget about the key commodity of life. Yes, absolutely, enjoy the prosecco or espresso martinis, but do remember that everything that happens inside of you relies on water to function efficiently. When you become even slightly dehydrated, things slow down, including your ability to process the foods that you eat.
Let’s make this hydration business easy though. The very best time to have a glass of water is when you wake up in the morning – starting the day by being well hydrated means you’ll be less likely to get confused later on about whether or not you are hungry. Which in turn means you won’t stand there cramming eclairs when nobody is watching. Bonus points if you also manage a glass of water around 20 minutes before each meal too! If you remember only one thing this Christmas, let it be hydration.
Eat something green every day
The main reason for doing this is that green foods (I’m not talking peppermint creams here) contain magnesium which is the mineral your body needs to process, relax and keep your digestion moving. Alcohol and stress reduce your magnesium levels, so adding some watercress to your sandwiches, opting for broccoli and stilton soup, or choosing the parsley sauce to go with your salmon are all handy ways of boosting this key nutrient.
(If you really can’t manage something green every day, make sure that the chocolate you eat is the very best you can find. Real chocolate, as opposed to the cheap version, contains plenty of magnesium, giving you a nice hit each time you nibble!)
Sleep it off
One of the ‘problems’ with the festive season is that it very easily becomes a month long session of eating, drinking and staying up late. Which means not only do you feel tired, but all those systems in your body which rely on sleep to get done – such as processing all the sugary foods you’ve been eating – don’t get much of a chance to do their thing. So, unless you are actually out partying, or staying up to wrap presents, giving yourself the gift of an early night will do wonders.
So, there you go, a few tips to help you survive the festive period without leaving you stuffed! My blog at claire-stone.com is a handy source of tips for eating better without wallowing in guilt. I’m also doing an early bird deal on my Post-Christmas Five Day Reboot so do head over and join the Christmas fun.