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Christmas is a time for celebration with family and friends, often associated with an over-indulgence in food and drinks followed by a New-Years resolution to lose weight. Don’t lose track of your goals this season by following these tips!

  • Honour your hunger cues: Surrounded by advertising and indulgent foods it is hard to keep track if you are actually hungry. Your body is a wonderful self-regulator. If you learn to listen to your natural start and stop mechanisms, it will tell you when and how much to eat. Before eating practice rating your hunger on a scale of 1 to 10. (0 = starving, 10 = stuffed). Aim to cease eating when you’re not hungry and practice stopping eating when you are just full (rather then overfull).
  • Eat slowly and mindfully: Treat Christmas as a time for enjoyment. Be present when you eat – chew every mouthful slowly, pay attention to the colour, smell, texture, flavour and temperature of your food. Take away distractions such as TV and turn off your phone! Eat foods that make you feel fresh, empowered and energized.
  • Don’t skip meals! Eating regularly is the first step to prevent overeating later and unwanted weight gain.
  • Alcohol – Alcohol is packed with excess kilojoules. Dilute wine and spirits with ice and mineral water, interspace with waters or a diet-soft drink. See below a mocktail recipe to try this season.
  • What to serve up? Base this seasons menu around seasonal fruit and vegetables, fresh seafood and lean meats like turkey and chicken breast. Fill the table with colourful salads.
  • Plate portions. Aim for ½ a plate of non-starchy vegetables or salad, ¼ plate of lean proteins such as ham off the bone, turkey, skinless chicken, seafood, and ¼ plate of low GI carbohydrates or starchy veg such as potato or pasta salad, baked potato or sweet potato, corn, wholegrain bread. Make sure the these starchy carbohydrate foods are limited to 1/4 of your plate by filling up with lots of colourful salads!
  • Physical activity. Plan your holiday activities around getting moving! For example, bike riding along the beach, playing games like cricket and tennis and walking to the shops rather then driving. Take the time to relax and enjoy these activities.
  • Enjoy your meal! If you don’t enjoy what you are eating, you will never be satisfied.

 

Winning Platter Recipe

Ingredients:

Vegetables of choice (e.g.

2 carrots, 1 cucumber,

snow peas, small red capsicum)

Seasonal fruit of choice (e.g. Grapes, Watermelon, Stone fruit)

Rice or water crackers

Hummus

Tzatziki dip

Pumpkin dip (See recipe)

200g Cheese of choice

Method:

1.       Slice all vegetables into sticks for dipping.

2.       Slice fruit into bite sized pieces.

3.       Arrange everything nicely on a chopping board or platter tray and serve!

 

Pumpkin Dip

Ingredients

600g pumpkin

1 tbls olive oil

100g feta

1 tsp ground cumin  

20ml balsamic vinegar

Cracked pepper

Method

1.       Chop pumpkin into 2cm cubes. Toss well with Olive oil, cumin and balsamic vinegar.

2.       Place in preheated oven at 200degrees and roast until tender for 20-25 minutes.

3.       Mash or blend until smooth. Crumble feta through mixture.

4.       Add pepper to taste. Serve.

Roast Veggie and Lentil Salad 

Ingredients

2 red capsicums, thickly sliced

2 zucchinis, thickly sliced

1 red onion, cut into wedges

500g pumpkin, cut into 2cm cubes

Can of brown lentils

100g Feta

120g baby spinach

Olive Oil

Cumin

Method:

1.       Preheat oven to 200degrees.

2.       Place capsicum, zucchinis, red onion and pumpkin on a baking tray, lined with baking paper. Spray with olive oil, lightly sprinkle with cumin and roast for 25 minutes, or until tender. Toss halfway through cooking.

3.       Combine cooled, roasted vegetables with lentils (drained and rinsed), feta and spinach. Toss lightly and serve.

 

 Mocktail Recipe

Ingredients

3 Fresh Passionfruit

1 Cucumber

15 Mint Leaves

2 Limes

1L Soda water

1L Water

Method

1.       Mix pulp of passionfruit, sliced cucumber, lime slices, mint leaves.

2.       Muddle together

3.       Mix with soda water, water and ice to make a jug.

4.       Serve for the whole family to enjoy!

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