Tuesday, 13 December 2016

5 ways to stay looking, and feeling fabulous this Christmas

Christmas festivities have begun – and between work parties, family lunches, and drink catch ups with friends, it’s easy to see why, come January – our clothes are a little tight and we feel more sluggish than hoped. It’s hard to balance looking fabulous in your summer dresses, sandals and statement jewellery, with making smart choices around food and alcohol consumption. So I’ve put together a cheat sheet for you, because I am a strong believer in moderation and if I asked you to cut out everything this Christmas, I know exactly where you would tell me to go!  The key to continue looking fabulous this party season is to adopt the mantra, “swap it; don’t stop it!” By making some simple swaps and choosing healthier options, you won’t have to fear fitting into those skinny jeans come 1 January 2017.   
1. Switch it up when your hosting a party
Instead of having chocolates, lollies and potato chips for guests this holiday season, try substituting them for some simple, yummy and healthy canapés! They are better for your waistline and are sure to increase your “host with the most” status. Some examples include:
Silverside, ricotta and dill canapés
Thickly slice and de-seed a Lebanese cucumber, sliced beef silverside from the deli is great to use, and goes a long way! Cut silverside into 2x2cm squares, place on top of cucumber slices, then add your ricotta mixture on top, consisting of low fat ricotta, a squeeze of lemon juice and a clove of crushed garlic mixed together. Top with a sprig of dill.   

Spiced chickpeas
Rinse and strain a can of chickpeas. Coat them in a combination of your favourite spices, and bake in a moderately hot (180°c) oven for 30-40 minutes. My favourite mix is ground cumin and coriander, nutmeg, a pinch of salt and garam masala. If you don’t like chickpeas, try this exact recipe with cubed sweet potato! When you take the sweet potato out of the oven, stick a tooth pick in each – and you have yourself another delicious canape!
Tomato, Haloumi and basil skewers
Fry haloumi and cut to squares to fit nicely inside halved cherry tomatoes, stick a tooth pick and top with basil.  
Get creative and play around with fruit and vegetables, a little goes a long way and they are colourful, flavoursome and healthier options than traditional canapes and snacks.  
2. Swap your alcoholic drinks
Overindulging is never a good idea when it comes to alcohol, but if you are going to drink, making some simple changes to the drinks you consume can save you between 200-400 kilojoules (50-100 calories) per drink!  Try swapping your sugar laden cocktails for a mimosa or a sparkling wine, ciders for a rosé or gin (or vodka!) and soda with fresh lime, and if you’re really daring try a whiskey or scotch on the rocks – cutting out mixers altogether helps you pace your drinking a bit better. Remember to always have a glass of water in between drinks.  
3. Choose healthier options when eating out
When you eat out, opt for the meat or fish with vegetables or salad option as opposed to the pasta, risotto, pizza, or noodle dish.  Serving sizes in your favourite brunch spots, cafes and eateries can sometimes be almost twice the size they should be. If there are small dishes, or light meals opt for those instead. 
4. Make time to move 
It’s the perfect time of year to swap that extra sleep in and get up 20-30 minutes earlier to move. Whether it’s for a run, walk, swim or HIIT session, keeping active actually makes you more inclined to behave when eating out.
5. Eat slowly, and listen to your body
It’s easy to forget how hungry you actually are when you’re catching up with family and friends. Try to stay mindful, eat slowly and listen to your body. The slower you eat, the more likely you are to recognise when your body sending you signals that you’re full.  
Remember that when you feel fabulous from the inside, you look fabulous on the outside. 
By Ashley Cox from www.bodymindfull.com @bodymindfull
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