The greatest gift we possess is our health... and this year has really highlighted the fact that we cannot take our health for granted. But it’s equally empowering to know that there’s so much we can do to support longevity, wellbeing and health… from the inside out. It’s down to us to do the best we can for our bodies and minds. Unfortunately in the busy-ness and overwhelm of life, self-care can end up on the bottom of the pile. But it’s really important not to take an all or nothing approach to our wellness. There’s still so much we can do, even when we’re short of time. So here are my top tips for having a healthy Christmas and beyond… there’s something for everyone here, I promise! (And a few indulgent treats too!)
As so many of you know, I’m a big believer in small, life-long changes that can generate big results. So why not use this Christmas to plan out your changes and take a step towards a new improved you… for a healthy Christmas and beyond.
Here are my top tips for a happy, healthy Christmas, inspired by a well-known seasonal song.
1. Partridge in a Pear Tree: up your Vegetables and fruit. There are too many reasons to list why you should get at least 5 a day, preferably more: they support immunity, contain plenty of fibre to help those guts to keep doing the amazing jobs they do, they are rich in vitamins and minerals and there’s a huge variety, so it always keeps your plate varied fresh and colourful. Vegetable and fruit eaters live longer. So just add one more every time you cook!
2. Turtle Doves. A pairing for life symbolising friendship and love. Love in all forms encourages the production of endorphins, so over the holiday season give some extra cuddles to those in your immediate bubble. And if you can’t hug your loved ones, send them some virtual love in the form of an old-fashioned hand written letter, a delicious foodie present or just tell them I love you.
3. French Hens. Eggs: yummy, nutritious and so versatile. Encourage your family to try a meat free day in the week and rustle up some of my yummy egg recipes HERE
4. Calling Birds. This time of year isn’t joyous for everyone. Be aware of those around you, pick up the phone to someone who might be lonely, volunteer, promote the Samaritans on your social media. You never know, you could make an enormous difference to someone’s life.
5. Gold rings. Why wait until New Year? Make a list of 5 changes you want to make from today. I’m starting with some deep belly breaths before I get out of bed every morning. I find it’s such a great way to start my day. Plus I’m going to get my phone out of my bedroom and avoid checking my emails for at least the first hour of waking. How about you? What 5 things can you start today… the simple things do add up!
6. Geese-a-Laying. Lie down, rest, take some time for yourself. So many of us undervalue this health benefit. Rest and recuperation is good for the adrenals, our mental health and helps us to better manage everyday, stressful situations. Lay on the floor and let out some big breaths. Belly breath. Laugh out loud. Whatever helps you feel more grounded.
7. Swans-a -Swimming. Exercise! Get moving, get outside and enjoy what your body can do! Gentle stretching, sex! Walking, running, weight lifting, yoga, Pilates, star jumps in front of the tv. There’s an exercise for everyone. Not only will it benefit you physically but mentally. Exercise releases those good old endorphin’s so move and make the most of them.
8. Maids-a-Milking – Thinking of swapping to a non-dairy alternative? I recommend Oat-ly all the way (they don’t pay me to say this) it’s delicious, not full of sugar, better for the planet and perfect with my morning cup of matcha.
9. Ladies Dancing. Let your hair down and move like Beyoncé. Have some fizz and burn off some Christmas pudding on the dance floor… even if you have to create your dance floor at home this year. Good for the soul and toning those legs!
10. Lords-a-leaping. Leap into the new year with a big change. Why not try one of my courses and change your eating habits for life HERE
11. Pipers Piping. Look after those lungs… I’m such a believer in proper breathing, and I know it can do so much for our health. Most of us don’t breath properly… either shallow breathing or too much through the mouth and upper chest. Take a moment to notice how you breath… are you a belly breather or chest breather? Deep breaths into the belly help to support optimal digestion… as you breathe in, your belly should expand. Really let it go, don’t hold it in.
12. Drummers Drumming. It’s a tenuous one but drumming, drums, ear drums. Look after your ears by being mindful of your minerals, promote good hearing into old age by feasting on foods rich in potassium, folic acid, magnesium and zinc. Your dark green leafy vegetables, your nuts and seeds, pulses and wholegrain.
What changes do you think you’ll make this Christmas and New Year? Have a good one everyone… stay well, take care.