Christmas survival guide 6



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Christmas seems to be a time when all common sense about food, diet and alcohol goes out the window. Food, drink and parties are plentiful and so are hangovers. Below are a few tips to help you survive with good health, lots of energy and without gaining too many kilos during this festive season!

1. Drink a glass of water between each alcoholic drink

If you’re drinking spirits, have them served with ice, water or soda water – the fizzy sugar drinks contribute to the hangover so stay away from them! Drink good bottled wine – not out of a cask – and if beer is your choice, choose the low alcohol beers. Stay away from all premixed drinks out of a can or bottle too. They are full of sugar and additives. And it would be wise not to mix high energy and caffeine drinks with any alcohol – this is a dangerous combination! Last of all, try not to mix your drink. Stick to one type, but remember the glass of water in between!

2. Avoid food hangovers

When you combine too many foods – chicken wings, meat balls, savoury tarts, chips, cheese selections, crackers and the like, it is very taxing on the digestive system. Food begins to putrefy in the stomach and releases toxic chemicals into the blood stream. You start to feel lousy, with no energy and most people after indulging in too much food the night before, wake up feeling like they have a hangover – in particular a food hangover. The best thing is the hair of dog, i.e. more food and drink but it must be fruit and water, as this will help you digest the food and clean any toxins out of the system. But rather then looking for a cure, let’s look at prevention…

3. Think before you eat

When you’re standing around drinking and talking, it’s hard to concentrate on the food coming around. Your hand just seems to go out and grab whatever is in front of you. An important part of surviving the Christmas cocktail party without ending up the next morning with a food hangover is to think before you grab.

4. Conscious consumption

Decide when you get to the party what you are going to eat and not going to eat. Decide on one type of meat, so when the chicken wings circle then decide that chicken will be the only meat you will be eating (but please, don’t touch the fake little red boys) and do not mix your proteins. This is a sure way to end up with a food hangover! Another good choice would be to have the vegetables and the non cheese dips. This will ensure that the chicken wings will be well digested and you’ll get a good night’s sleep. It is good to avoid the fried foods as well, as the fat slows down the digestive process. By making good choices you’ll avoid feeling horrible the next day. The key is to not mix too many of your food groups, keep it simple.

I know I know! It’s great to try everything, but face it, you have probably tried most of the food out there and it won’t be much different, so why suffer the next morning? It is your choice!

What is your Christmas food indulgence? Will you be making an effort to watch what you’re eating this year? What are your tips? Tell us below.

Cyndi O'Meara

Cyndi O'Meara wrote her bestselling book 'Changing Habits, Changing Lives' in 1997. Cyndi now writes diet protocols, cook books, does national tours, has a line of products and is prolific in the media as an expert on all things health. What makes Cyndi so interesting is her different perspective, she is by no means a typical nutritionist. She loves fat, butter and even chocolate and would never count a calorie or recommend anything low-fat. She's all about real foods that our ancestors, has never taken an antibiotic in her life and have been eating for thousands of years and is always on the hunt for new and exciting foods for the Australian consumer.

  1. I eat what I want…always do….I don’t drink and I am not over weight. Lots of fruit, meat, salads etc….

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