by Dr. Sarah Brewer
A Nutritionist and Doctor
The festive season is a time of celebration, thanks-giving and fun. But all too often the physical and emotional stresses it brings can curb your festive enjoyment. Seasonal overeating can trigger indigestion, shopping for presents may leave you drained, and then there's those pesky hangovers from attending one party too many.
Plan to graze rather than gorge. Eat little and often throughout the day, rather than having three large meals; wait a couple of hours after your Christmas main course before having dessert to help avoid indigestion, heartburn and weight gain.
Stock up on healthy versions of your favourites, too, to reduce your fat intake. Instead of figgy pudding have a fresh fig compote. Instead of milk or white chocolate goodies, fill your stocking with dark chocolate treats – at least 70% cocoa solids – and indulge in this antioxidant-rich super food knowing that it will help to bring down your blood pressure.
Drink on a full stomach to slow alcohol absorption so more is metabolised before it reaches your brain. Alternate alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks and drink according to your size. Someone weighing 8-stone can only handle half as much alcohol as someone weighing 18-stone so don't even try to keep up with heftier heavy drinkers.
Stock up on hangover supplies - globe artichoke and milk thistle are good for the liver (and lower cholesterol too).
Finally, drop loud hints about your ideal present - a pampering day or two at a Spa to help you relax after the hectic season is over. You could even request a Health and Fitness break!