Your Festive Season Survival guide – Équilibre style

This Christmas card design from British venture Make-Do (found via Eat Drink Chic) made us giggle, but all too often its not too far from the reality!

We decided to come up with our own list of essential tips to help you navigate through the holidays with energy, vitality and most of all, enjoyment. A refreshingly different perspective on your food and activities that can easily be continued in to the New Year and beyond…

  • Its OK to indulge! Christmas and New Year are traditionally times of great celebration and feasting. Make up your mind to truly enjoy the celebratory food you decide to eat, and do so without any guilt attached. Learn to really savour the taste of every delicious morsel, and understand that you, and you alone are responsible for what goes in to your mouth. This is special occasion food, not standard everyday fare – trust your body enough to be able to enjoy all the wonderful tastes and textures, but also to know when enough is enough!
  • Be picky about what you decide to indulge in – use this time as a great excuse to try a favourite great quality gourmet treat. It might be a lovely artisan cheese with good sourdough bread, amazing dark chocolate truffles, panforte perfectly matched with a glass of dessert wine, a lemon mascarpone tart, a french potato dish oozing with cream and cheese… you get the idea! Whatever it is, make it GOOD and something to look forward to – share it with your loved ones and talk about what it is you love about it. Whatever you do, please ditch the highly processed, store bought lollies, chips and other salty or sugary snacks…its often those kind of foods, eaten mindlessly, that can do the most damage – leaving us feeling bloated and lethargic.
  • Similarly, use this time to experiment with different foods, drinks and flavours – try things you wouldn’t normally and challenge your taste buds. For example, if your drink of choice is a Semillion Sauvignon Blanc, why not try a crisp Riesling or buttery Chardonnay instead? Experiment with some food and wine matching while you have a little extra time up your sleeve, too! Take the time, and learn to really love your food.
  • Home Cooking Rules! Get in to the kitchen and cook from scratch…cakes, biscuits, pies and desserts…family recipes handed down… stuffings, trimmings, sides and marinades. When you are the one cooking you take control of the ingredients (making them as natural and unprocessed as possible). Set a great example for your kids and even get them to help out if you don’t normally get the chance. Its a win-win all round and can make a huge difference to the health of you and your family. Even think about making some gourmet gifts to give to friends and family (keep an eye out for more ideas and recipes later this week!)
  • Don’t let a few days turn in to a few weeks – a few days over Christmas shouldn’t become an excuse to continue indulging through to the end of January! Switch to a lighter summer-style eating pattern as soon as possible…
  • Which means you can take advantage of the season and its produce – we may not be able to enjoy a traditional northern hemisphere White Christmas, but we do have the advantage of our festive season falling in Summer. Al fresco eating, family barbecues using good quality meats and seafood, fresh salads of endless varieties, fruits – juicy mangoes, nectarines, peaches, cherries, watermelon, grapes- can all help to satisfy a sweet tooth.
  • Keep an eye out for the Équilibre Summer Menu Planner, due out in January – designed to provide you with plenty of inspiration for eating the best of what the season has to offer – with 4 weeks of simple, fresh recipes and ideas combined in a balanced way to nourish you and your family, all while saving you valuable time on planning and research.
  • Summer also means outdoor living – swimming, trips to the beach, cycling, or simply kicking the ball around with the kids – try to fit in as much ‘incidental’ exercise as you can, making it as fun and enjoyable as your imagination will let you!
  • Get out and walk whenever you can – preferably in the morning before the heat of the day kicks in, returning home to a healthy breakfast (something like our Granola recipe (coming soon) with fruit and yoghurt would be perfect). Alternatively, (for those of you without little people who need to be in bed) an after dinner stroll can be a great aid for digestion and a sound night’s sleep!
  • Use the down time to reflect on the year that’s been, and use it as motivation for your intentions for the New Year. Set them down on paper and make sure you put your own health and wellbeing near the top of that list. Resolve to change your attitude to food and fitness, gradually incorporating new habits in to your lifestyle, and checking the Équilibre website regularly for continuing inspiration and new programs to help you along on your journey.
  • We think everyone should resolve NOT to go on another diet! (EVER!)
  • Make exercise a priority – you can’t afford not to! AND don’t sit on your behind for all of January to wait until the kids go back to school before you start to do something about it! If you’re not sure where to start, contact us to talk about a personal or group program to suit your own particular circumstances. Take advantage of our special New Year, ‘Taste of Équilibre’ mini training packages.
  • Balance is the key – (but only in moderation!)

Wishing all our Équilibre readers and clients a very special, joyful and indulgent Christmas and good health and happiness for the coming year!

Gorgeous festive picnic basket image courtesy of the fabulous Sydney Picnic Co

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