1. Making Healthy Christmas Food Choices

      Holiday turkeyAs we all start to indulge over the festive season, it is good to know that there are some healthy choices out there. Many of the foods we eat at parties and on Christmas Day have significant nutritious value; it’s a question of knowing what to look for.

      Here are some healthy options to pick:

      Turkey –This Christmas staple is a highly nutritious choice of meat; a low fat source of protein, which is rich in the essential amino acid tryptophan; vital to create the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin.

       Isolated brussels sproutsBrussels sprouts –Love them or loath them, sprouts are a rich source of nutrients including Vitamin C and folate.  They also contain powerful phytonutrients, which support the body’s detoxification enzymes, helping to clear potentially carcinogenic substances from the liver more quickly. The trick is not not overcook them – and  try serving with almond flakes.

       Nuts – A great protein snack to help you manage your blood sugar levels, and packed full of the Pile from different nuts on white backgroundessential fats, missing from so many of our modern day diets.  They are also packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre so make an excellent snack at Christmas time, so long as they’re not the roasted or salted versions!

      Festive Fruits – Whether it is a bowl of juicy Clementine’s or some bright festive berries such as cranberries, blueberries and redcurrants; this is a perfect time to make sure your intake of immune-boosting nutrients, particularly vitamin C, is at an optimum level.  Brightly coloured fruits are packed full of antioxidants and so are an excellent addition to a festive diet.

       Juicy pomegranate and halfPomegranate – With their bright red, almost jewel-like seeds, pomegranates are fast becoming renowned as a superfood for their nutrient value too.  They score even higher then blueberries on the antioxidant scale, ORAC; in particular they are known to contain powerful polyphenols, which act in the body to protect against cell damage. Delicious added to salads or to blend into fruit juices.

      Red Wine –  Research has shown that red wine, when consumed in moderation, can offer significant health benefitsRed wine pouring down from a wine bottle (clipping path included) which can be attributed to the polyphenolic compounds present in grape skins; namely resveratrol.  Adding cinnamon, spices, cloves & orange juice to make a warming mulled wine is a lovely festive option!

      Root Vegetables – Roasted root vegetables are a recurring favourite on the festive plate.  A selection of carrots, Swede and parsnips provide a hearty supply of fibre and energy-rich carbohydrates to help support your digestion (and don’t forget to pile on the salad leaves with your leftovers!)

       chocolate nutrition diabetes fat BrightonDark Chocolate – Choose the intensely dark varieties and as well as your sweet treat, you’ll also get a powerful punch of antioxidant-rich compounds, magnesium and copper.  Ideally look out for a chocolate treat that contains at least 70% cocoa solids.

      hollyWishing you a Healthy and Happy Christmas and New Year!


      Surviving Christmas

      Christmas Mince Pies With HollyChristmas is a time when we are all faced with tempting foods and snacks we don’t regularly eat throughout the rest of the year; however there are ways of enjoying the festive fare, making tasty choices but without compromising your healthy eating intentions!

      Many of the choices available to us at this time of year can be intrinsically healthy – it’s all about knowing what to choose and what to side step.


      Before you go out, have a small nutritious snack such as an oak cake spread with hummus or a nut butter. This will help balance your blood sugar, line your stomach and encourage you to make better choices when presented with canapés and snacks.

      You can always say no – just because the food is being offered, you don’t need to feel obliged to eat it!

      Move away from the buffet! Too tempting to nibble unconsciously, so stay away and avoid grazing.


      Alternate your drinks with a glass of water. This will help you stay hydrated and satisfy your thirst. Lime soda can be a good option – in a tumbler it looks like a G&T so stops other nagging you for having a non alcoholic rest.

      Portion Sizes – Watch out for excessive portion sizes around Christmas; reduce the amount of food on your plate (or choose a smaller dinner plate to eat from) and eat more slowly. Remember; a mountain of food on your plate is very difficult for your body to digest.

      Increase protein and vegetable portions – Simply opting for more vegetables and turkey and less potatoes can significantly alter your calorie intake and increases the nutrient content of your plate too.

      Use olive oil as a healthier alternative to butter on your vegetables

      Go easy on creamy sauces with your meal; instead try a little home made Christmas chutney

      Make a delicious dessert or snack out of festive fruits instead of the high-fat calorie-laden options such as minceExotic fruits pies, Christmas pudding and trifle.

      Mix unsalted nuts with dried fruit such as cranberries for a healthy, nutrient-rich snack

      Choose a high quality, more expensive wine for your alcohol option and really savour every mouthful.  Wines that have been bio-dynamically produced will be more expensive, but equally more delicious and better for you.  Paying more for something also means you’re more likely to drink less and enjoy it more! If white wine is your drink of choice, opt for a white wine spritzer by mixing with half a glass of fizzy water.

      fruit juicesMake a fruit punch with a combination of nutrient rich fruit juices such as pomegranate, cranberry and red grape juice as a healthy alternative to an alcoholic drink.

      Make a conscious decision every time you choose to put food into your mouth; don’t eat simply because you’re surrounded by food.

      After the party is over…

      Drink a large glass of water before you go to bed, and leave another on your bedside table. The thumping head the morning after is largely due to dehydration, so the more fluid you can take on board the more likely you are to avoid the headache.

      Milk thistle is a herb which supports the liver against some of the damage fatty foods and alcohol can do. You can find milk thistle drops and supplements in most good health shops, so invest in some over the festive season and take before and after a big night out.

      Boiled egg brighton hove wellbeing nutritionThe morning after the night before…

      Vitamin C helps metabolise alcohol in the liver – take a Vitamin C supplement throughout the festivities, or drink orange juice with your breakfast.

      Don’t choose a fry up – the fat can irritate a delicate stomach.

      Choose eggs for breakfast – they have nutrients which also support the liver’s detoxification process.

      Bananas are also a great choice since they can help replace lost electrolytes.Bananas Brighton Hove nutrition wellbeing

      Eat small regular meals to re-balance your blood sugar.

      and finally…

      Give your liver the occasional break. It works hard day in day out to perform a number of roles vital to your health, so the more you stress it over the Christmas and New Year, the more likely you are to fall prey to ill health when the partying stops.