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Northampton Chronicle & Echo 13/12/18

Northampton Chronicle & Echo 13/12/18

Thursday 13th December 2018
By The Barefaced Eating Blogger

Shake Away The Winter Blues

It's the run up to Christmas and I am counting down the days left before the Man In Red comes to visit (we can only hope!). Each year I do try and think back to the previous Christmas and the chaos that descended upon me and wonder how I could have made it even better

Health. There are a number of things we can't avoid, such as endless shopping sprees (thank goodness for the internet), pantomimes, school events, a whole host of wrapping up, evenings out and unavoidable family show downs, but there is something you CAN do during the run up to Christmas. Look after yourself.

With the extra running about and change in weather, coughs and colds do seem to take over the festive season. If you are the main carer, taxi driver, chef and present buyer, you DO need to take some thought about keeping yourself smiling and strong and there are things you can do.

1) Keep up with regular sleep whenever possible
2) Drink plenty (of water!)
3) Up your Vitamin C and D intake
4) Eat lots of colourful vegetable and fruit to increase anti-oxidants in your diet
5) Wash, wash, wash your hands, it's important!
6) Don't take yourself to the doctors with a cold (unless you have other medical conditions, symptoms that we know are red flags, such as a rash, or a prolonged cold/flu), your GP cannot offer you any more than the chemist and you may pick up a worse illness from the waiting room!
7) Avoid stress, where possible.

Food. We over eat, over buy and overdo it all at Christmas but this can be avoided by planning a menu for the Christmas period and STICKING to it!
1) Sit down with a Christmas food magazine and get writing. Base your shopping around the menus.
2) Start emptying your cupboards and freezer. Stop buying as much food in, eat the meals already stored now and save yourself a bit of money.
3) If you have food nearing its best-before-date, take it to food banks and enjoy the extra space.
4) Keep lots of fresh fruit to hand to tempt you and family.
5) Try to drink a fresh juice or smoothie every morning for the whole of December (see recipe) to keep up vitamins.
6) Pre-make as much as possible (stuffing, sauces, pigs in blankets, puddings, biscuits).
7) Buy in ingredients that can make use of leftovers, like curry sauces, puff pastry (for pies), noodles and sauces (stir fries) and tortilla wraps for stuffing.

And Mental Health. Don't overdo this one. It's okay to say "no". Many of my clients tell my how they seem to fall into a season of hopeless eating, stress and exhaustion and forget that it's their Christmas too. Choose the important activities and brush the guilt aside for not attending everything.

Life is short, it's precious and it's here to be enjoyed. Make 2018 Christmas your Christmas.

Here's an Advent Calendar idea for YOU and try one every day in December.

The Advent Breakfast Shake
This aims to increase anti-oxidants, help with constipation, clear skin, improve energy and help to keep your Christmas healthy.
1 mug of liquid (juice, milk, dairy free milks, coconut water)
½ mug of ANY green vegetable or fruit
½ mug of ANY red/orange/yellow fruit or vegetable
1 measure of protein/vitamin powder (ask at the chemist)
Tip - Add a little ginger, turmeric or cinnamon for their anti-inflammatory properties
Handful of ice

Method - Process the lot in a blender and drink immediately.

Enjoy choosing an array of different ingredients and used frozen ones to keep costs down and waste minimal.