For Christmas music and one too many hangovers! This is the time we all tend to let loose and press pause on watching what we eat only to restart on New Years. But what if we didn't have to? What if we eat oh so heavenly food that didn't feel like rocks in our bellies? There are a few tricks to not feeling heavy and bloated at Christmas.
It's so obvious and yet at times so difficult to achieve! Remember that it's much easier to eat a little more at a time than feel ill for the rest of the night because we've eaten one too many pigs in a blanket.
Rich and fatty food.
This is helpful to know if you're one of the people doing the cooking. Foods rich in fat, oil and sugar cause the stomach to feel heavy so adding a little less fat when cooking, using lighter or more nutritional oils and easing up on the salty, sugary seasoning can all help a little when it comes to your digestion.
Drink more water.
We've all heard this before but water is essential to your digestion. Drinking a glass of water before your meals will also have you feeling fuller without eating so much food which equals less calorie intake. Water will also help the food move through your digestive system easier too. It's also beneficial to remember to drink water when drinking alcohol too - up your water consumption when drinking. Alcohol is dehydrating.
I know I've said it every month for the past year now but more fruits and veggies in your holiday meals will help you out too. Veggies and fruit are far more easy to digest than meats, especially red meats, leaving you feeling lighter in the tummy with far less discomfort.
Here's a helping hand with getting lighter foods into your meals these upcoming holidays.
Roasted Christmas Veg
So simple! This is a must on an English Christmas table, pretty much any Sunday roast dinner table actually. I'm looking forward to making this at home with my Mum this year.
3lb of red or white potatoes, peeled and halved
½ bulb garlic, separated into cloves
1 small handful of fresh rosemary, separated into sprigs
freshly ground black pepper
6 tbsp of cold pressed olive oil
4lb of parsnips, cut lengthways
2 tbsp of honey
1 small handful of fresh thyme, leaves picked
2lb of carrots, cut at an angle into 2 inch pieces
Preheat the oven to 425°. Parboil the parsnips and potatoes separately for 10 minutes or until soft (not too soft, you don't want them to fall apart). In a bowl, toss the potatoes with the garlic cloves, half of the rosemary, 5 tbsp of olive oil. Pour the potatoes onto a baking tray and roast for 45 minutes or until golden brown. In another bowl, take the parboiled parsnips and toss in the honey, thyme, salt and pepper. Place on a baking tray and roast for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Before prepping the carrots, finely chop the remaining rosemary. Put your carrots in a pan and cover with water and a pinch of salt. Boil for 10 - 15 minutes or until cooked. Once cooked and before serving, finely chop the remaining rosemary and toss with a tbsp of olive oil with a pinch of salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy!
Lemon Massaged Kale
I thought about whether or not to use this next recipe because I've overlooked it for so long. While at a family dinner over Thanksgiving this year my cousin requested it and I enjoyed it so much I'll be making sure it's on the Christmas dinner table too. It's so incredibly simple I can hardly call this a recipe.
1 organic bunch of green kale (black kale can be used but it has a much stronger taste than green kale)
The juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp of cold pressed olive oil
1/2 tsp crushed rock salt
Wash the kale thoroughly and break into bite-sized pieces with your hands. Pour the olive oil and lemon juice (start off with half and use more if needed) over the kale and massage the kale, do this for about 10 minutes or so, you will see the difference in the kale. The kale softens as it is being massaged which not only makes for less chewing but it's easier to digest as well. Once massaged and softened, add the rock salt. Toss the kale so it is evenly covered and voila! It makes for a fresh side, with far more nutrients than lettuce, Once portion of this kale is one serving of veggies! Feel free to add other salad components like nuts, bacon bits, chopped green apples if you'd like to shake things up. This could also be the base for a salad. There is so much you can do with this!!!
Enjoy and here's to feeling lighter and a little less like a stuffed turkey over Christmas! Have a beautiful holiday season!!
Hope it's one filled with love and laughter!