Whilst this blog is about surviving Christmas. I want to begin with some thoughts around being kind at this time of year. Being kind covers so many areas whether it’s towards our partners, family, fellow man or our furry friends. It’s the simple things or gestures that mean so much and keeping things in perspective around the silly season is so important.
I recently heard that a good friend of mine is going through some serious stress and worry over their very ill son. He is suffering from Hodgkin’s Abdominal Lymphoma. I cannot imagine the pain and worry that he and his family are going through right now.
I bumped into another friend who told me about their family business closing after 60 years, leaving many people out of work.
Both of these stressful situations have made me stop and realize that whilst we can get caught up in the craziness of the holiday season its worth remembering that there are people out there going through much tougher times. There are also many organizations stretched, trying to provide food parcels and gifts for less fortunate families.
I went into the city this morning to do some errands and could see many people rushing around getting last minute presents, stressed and losing their temper with kids or other drivers on the road. It’s a very stressful time with so many expectations not to disappoint, rushing to get deadlines completed before Christmas or facing the arduous road trip with bored kids asking “are we there yet?”
It’s through these times that we should all stop and take a moment to breathe, remember that its just one day out of 365 and to practice tolerance, kindness and generosity towards others instead of allowing the anger or frustration get on top of us. Take a moment to remember all the wonderful things you have to be grateful for - your health, family, job, the house you live in and all the things that have made your year what it is - these are the important things.
Christmas is a time to celebrate and be with friends and family but don’t let it become the Tiger in the room. Take a moment, relax, breathe and let things happen in their own time. It’s not worth the stress.
From a practical point of view it always pays to budget and plan. This doesn’t always come easy for most, myself included, but putting a little aside each week or setting up Xmas clubs is a great idea. Plus take advantage of online shopping and stick to a list - you’re less likely to be sucked into last minute sales or impulse buying in the shops.
On the big day have fun, but in moderation. I recommend using a smaller plate, which will cut down on the portion sizes. Include lots of salads and fruit - they are healthy and fill up the plate.
When it comes to snacks a great idea is an anti pasto platter. You can create interesting platters with almonds, hummus, carrot sticks, celery sticks, some lean crackers, olives and assortment of lean cold cuts.
Spreading out the meals can help with the overindulgent gut ache. If you have snacks say at 12, Lunch around 2, then go for a nice brief walk if it’s nice or play a bit of beach cricket for example it can really help with digestion. Then you’ll be ready for the pav!
Having a few cold ones is part of the festivities, but again remember that a glass of wine is 150 calories and each beer is 120-150 calories so everything in moderation. Here’s a tip, after each drink have a glass of water, it’ll help with the following day pain and keep you hydrated. If you have a lot of fun and wake the next day feeling pretty seedy try this.
250ml coconut water
1 x berrocca
2 grams of sea salt
Mix together then follow-up with a 1.5 litre of water sipped over the rest of the day plus two paracetamols. Of course following the first part of moderation can avoid this and remember the number one rule if you have a few drinks - DON’T DRIVE!!!!
Hydration is very important especially if it a hot day. So remember a couple of rules.
Rule #1 If you feel thirsty you’re already dehydrated - so have water.
Rule #2 If you urine is dark in colour you’re dehydrated - so have water.
Rule #3 The average adult needs 1.5-2 litres of water per day, more if it’s hot or you’ve been exercising - so have water
Rule #4 Drinking alcohol dehydrates you faster - so have water.
By now you’re seeing a common theme. Drink water! . But please please avoid so called “sports” drinks like Powerade - they are full of sugar, will add calories and make you more thirsty. So guess what? Drink water.
Exercise can sometimes seem the last thing on peoples minds until around about the 1st or 2nd of January. However I would encourage you to get outside and do something to keep active over the break. It doesn’t have to be in a gym. It can simply be a walk along the beach or bike ride. We offer some great holiday workouts and our boot camps and packages will be available over the break. You can click on the link here www.bodiesalivetraining.co.nz to find out more and sign up for the classes.
Remember that Christmas is a time for family and friends and enjoying the festive season, but remember to relax and most of all be kind.
Finally from all of us at Bodies Alive Training we would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.