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Deck the halls with healthy options

23 Dec 2019


With the festive season upon us, our plates piled high and temptation to indulge great, can you have your Christmas cake and eat it too, and still stay healthy this summer?

If you ask Nepean Blue Mountains Family Metabolic Health Service Senior Dietitian, Sally Badorrek the simple answer is ‘yes’.

“People shouldn’t feel guilty about spoiling themselves over the Christmas break, it’s only one day in a year and it doesn’t need to turn into a season of regret,” says Ms Badorrek. 

“Thankfully you have the whole year ahead to make small changes to your lifestyle that can help lead to a happier and healthier you.”

To survive the festive season and prepare yourself for a healthy new year Ms Badorrek encourages people to:

Stay hydrated - drink plenty of water to keep you cool, hydrated and healthy. Why not be more inventive with water, soda water and plain mineral water, try adding fruit for flavour.

Drink responsibly – health guidelines recommend no more than two standard alcoholic drinks per day. Avoid sugary drinks which boost your calorie intake but don’t make you feel full. 

Know your limits – it’s important to listen to your body. When eating, pace yourself and let your food settle. Socialise with family and friends before reaching for that second plate of food.

Store food safely – particularly for people with low immunity or who are pregnant make sure food is stored correctly once opened to avoid risks of contamination. Pre-packaged salads, cold meats and dairy don’t travel well and should be consumed soon after opening.

Healthy Food Swaps – it’s ok to indulge in Christmas classics such as ham, turkey or pudding but you may also want to try some healthier options. Tropical fruits, smoked salmon and nuts are great alternatives to consider.

Exercise regularly – be it physical or mental, exercising is a great way to keep your body in check. Go for a lap or two at your local swimming pool, take a walk at your local park and get plenty of sleep. These are great activities that will help you unwind and feel refreshed for the year ahead.