Wow Brisbane has been treated to some amazing weather this weekend. It was the perfect start to Summer and my favourite time of year, the lead up to Christmas. To me, nothing evokes a sense of Summer more than the smell of gardenias and jasmine in the evening, frangipanis all day, and of course the aroma of coconut sunscreen at the beach.
Living in Queensland provides amazing opportunities for alfresco dining, both out and at home. It’s an ideal time to be creative with salads and seafood. Stone fruits such as apricots, plums, peaches and cherries are bursting from fruit shops and begging to be sampled. Don’t forget the humble mango, and the tea towel when eating as things can get messy!
With so much celebrating over Summer, it’s easy for the festive season to become the silly season. So how can we indulge minus the bulge?? Here are some tips to ensure you keep fresh and healthy during an overindulgent holiday period.
- Firstly, always try and keep hydrated. It’s often easy to forget to drink water when there are more exciting options available (Christmas punch anyone?). Try to alternate a glass of water for every alcoholic drink to prevent a hangover. You will thank me the next day, I promise.
- Remember to have a snack before you head out drinking or to a Christmas party. If you start drinking on an empty stomach the alcohol will be metabolised very quickly, this can spell disaster if you’re drinking quickly. A poached egg on wholegrain toast or multigrain crackers with a tin of tuna are snack options to help line your stomach before heading out.
- Be mindful of the type of finger food at functions. Anything deep fried is obviously going to have more calories, so try not to fill up on these. Enjoy a couple if you must, but look for fresh options such as sushi rolls, rice paper rolls and vegetable skewers that will fill you up with fibre, and have a lot less saturated fat.
- Watch out for cheeses and commercial dips as these can be calorie laden too. Go more for quality than quantity with serve sizes. Fresh cheeses such as ricotta, feta and cottage cheese have fewer calories and are perfect with vegetable sticks.
- When desserts are on offer it can be hard to say no. Unfortunately I have a major sweet tooth and find it difficult not to reach for Christmas pudding, shortbread and Mum’s homemade rocky road! But if I do I’ll try and fit in a run, or take a walk to work it off. Again, try and watch portion sizes with treats so you can still enjoy but not have the heavy calorie burden of huge servings.
So have fun this festive season and enjoy!