Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock
Jingle bells swing and jingle bells ring
Snowin' and blowin' up bushels of fun
Now the jingle hop has begun
Yes, that’s right! Christmas is upon us and with it brings all the usual excesses of the festive period, also lovingly known as the ‘silly season’.
Christmas is a time when we are expected to - and tend to - let our hair down more than usual and often we end up burning the candle at both ends. Not to mention indulging in all sorts of naughty (but nice) treats.
This year, to save you from tears, we are giving you our top tips for staying well during the party season.
Diet Essentials to Keep You Healthy Over Christmas
Chances are that you are going to overindulge in foods that aren’t too great for your waistline and your system in general. And we won’t tell you not to. However, there are some things you can do to make sure your body is getting everything it needs to stay strong, balanced and healthy.
- Blood-sugar levels
Eating too much sugar and refined carbohydrates will lead to blood sugar levels that fluctuate throughout the day. This can make some people feel ‘hangry’, and others just generally off-keel. Obviously, eating too many sugar-rich treats will also help develop your belly!
If you know you’re going out for an evening, be good to yourself during the day. This means having plenty of fruit and vegetables, a light lunch, and loads of water.
During the day, it’s important to keep sugar refined foods to a minimum - things such as salad dressing, condiments, spreads, cookies and cakes should be off limits. That way, in the evening you can treat yourself to the ‘good’ stuff without feeling overly guilty, as well as keeping your blood-sugar levels steady.
No doubt you will be reaching for the chocolates, savoury Christmas snacks and glass of bubbly during social gatherings and dinners. To make sure you are balancing that enforced and irresistible luxury, a good idea is to ‘eat the rainbow’ too. This means that you eat fruits and vegetables of different colours during meals and when snacking which help produce antioxidants.
Antioxidants are compounds produced in your body and found in foods. They help defend your cells from damage caused by potentially harmful molecules known as free radicals. Unfortunately, the food and drinks associated with Christmas are great producers of free radicals.
These free radicals can lead to some serious health issues such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes - so it is important that you feed your body plenty of varying fruits and vegetables daily which will keep them well under control.
- Vitamins for immunity
“Oh, the weather outside is frightful” sings Frank Sinatra, and as we tend to be out and about a lot more over the Christmas period, our immune system is really put to the test. This year, thanks to Covid, it is even more important than usual to make sure that your immune system is as strong as it can be.
Vitamin C and vitamin D are the major players for keeping your immune system running efficiently.
You can either increase your vitamin C via rich foods such as pineapple, mango, spinach and kale OR supplement up to 1-2 grams per day. The Good Guru Organic Vitamin C capsules we offer are also a super-simple way of having the right level of vitamin C: Just two capsules provide you with 1200mg of vitamin C.
Vitamin D can be found in tuna, mackerel and salmon, egg yolks and red meat. However, we also suggest supplementing with our vegan vitamin D3 & K2 drops.
Our blog gives a nutritionist’s tips for boosting your immunity over the winter months.
- Liver-friendly food and drinks
Self-explanatory really. As alcohol intake increases over the festive period, it is key to give your liver what it needs to remain healthy.
Surprisingly, coffee is a great way of burning fat build-up in the liver and produces antioxidants which help the liver to work efficiently. Other good sources to boost liver function are oatmeal, green tea, berries, avocado, fatty fish, nuts and plant foods in general.
Furthermore, it is a good idea to alternate drinks on a night out. Try having a soft drink or glass of water between alcoholic beverages.
It's Important to Get Enough Sleep During the Party Season
Generally speaking, we need between 7 and 8 hours of sleep a day. As the party season gets under way, we may find ourselves getting home later and losing an hour or two of the sleep we would normally have.
A lack of sleep creates a lot of issues but the main two are decision-making and poor immunity.
If you wake up tired, you are more likely to choose foods which are high in sugar content as your body craves energy. Moreover, your concentration will be inhibited and getting work done will take longer, which can lead to unwanted stress.
Not getting enough sleep will also reduce your body’s immune system. Over the winter, this is not the time for your immunity system to be in a poor state. To counteract a lack of sleep, be sure to have a good source of vitamin C and vitamin D to hand, supplements being a great way of controlling this.
However, making sure you recuperate sleep debt is essential. So you should try to get home at a decent hour, or use the weekends to rest up properly. When you don’t have a social gathering to go to, be good to yourself and have an early night!
How Much Should You Exercise Over Christmas?
Last but not least, don’t skip the exercise.
A brisk winter walk, a 20 minute run, or an hour at the gym will be hugely beneficial for your overall well being. As it gets darker and colder, the temptation is to stay indoors and forget all about exercise. However, as we indulge more over Christmas, it is important to burn off the calories and get some cardio in.
Regular exercise will also boost your mental health, and even though ‘tis the season to be jolly, the dark winter months can have a hard impact on our mental state and allow depression and anxiety to seep in easier.
Home workouts, going to the gym, or a couple of runs a week will do wonders for your overall well being. In terms of mental health, regular exercise will boost self-esteem, get you sleeping better, improve brain sharpness and, conversely, increase your energy levels.
Our blog on tips for mental health gives some useful insights into ways of staying well over the winter months.
The bottom line is that you can allow yourself to indulge, but be good to yourself during the day and on your days off. Get plenty of sleep when you can, eat the rainbow, and take regular exercise. If you do so, there’s no reason why it can’t be the most wonderful time of the year!