Your Healthy 12 Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas my dietitian said to me….

Plan ahead for the festive season

This time of the year tends to get busy and it’s easy to let good habits slide.  Even if there’s plenty of festive eating over the next few weeks, you can still stay on track by making sure you are eating well the rest of the time and staying active.  Check out our tips for Surviving the Festive Feasting.

On the second day of Christmas my dietitian said to me….

Keep food safe!

Christmas is a time to get together with your family but it can also be a danger time for possible food poisoning.  Hot weather, an overloaded fridge and cooking for more people than we’re used to all add up to make perfect conditions for food poisoning bacteria.  Check out these tips on Christmas and holiday entertaining from the Food Safety Information Council to keep you and your guests safe.

On the third day of Christmas my dietitian said to me….

Give healthy gifts

A healthy cookbook or magazine subscription (such as Healthy Food Guide or Diabetic Living), gym memberships or exercise equipment, a healthy cooking class, massage vouchers, a collection of herbs and spices, veggie seeds or seedling….there are plenty of options.  Check out some of our favourite recommendations.

On the fourth day of Christmas my dietitian said to me….

Eat mindfully

Eating out is a great time to enjoy the company of friends and family so don’t rush through your meal – relax and take your time to eat and enjoy your food, listen to your appetite, and be selective about what you choose.

On the fifth day of Christmas my dietitian said to me….

Don’t overdo the Christmas Cheer!

The end of each year is a time when many people have one (or two) too many when it comes to alcohol.  So what can you do to still enjoy yourself without the negative effects of too much celebratory cheer?  Check out our seven tips to help avoid overindulging.

On the sixth day of Christmas my dietitian said to me….

Go for sustainable seafood

If seafood is on your Christmas menu, then give some thought to choosing species which are not overfished or are farmed using sustainable and low environmental impact practices.  These include Australian wild-caught salmon, crabs, flathead and whiting and Australian farmed barramundi, oysters, prawns and crabs.  Download the free Sustainable Seafood Pocket Guide or app to help you when you shop, and help protect our oceans from overfishing.

On the seventh day of Christmas my dietitian said to me….

Keep active

Don’t let your exercise habits fall apart as you head into the festive season.  Keeping active can help to manage stress and to balance out the effect of those extra eating indulgences. Even if time is short, there are plenty of ways to incorporate more activity and it all adds up.  Catch up with friends for a walk rather than a coffee, organise a game of cricket or touch football with friends and family rather than sitting around after a big lunch, park further from the shops and take the stairs rather than the escalators when shopping, take an evening walk with the kids to see the neighbourhood Christmas lights or put on your favourite music and get a good workout cleaning the house in preparation for visitors.

On the eighth day of Christmas my dietitian said to me….

Beware of nibbles!

It’s often not the main meals that are our undoing at this time of the year, but all the extra snacking that comes along with festive celebrations.  Many snack foods are high in saturated and trans fats, salt and added sugars so serve up some healthier options or offer to take them to a party or gathering.  Some good options include unsalted nuts, roasted chickpeas, vegetable or legume-based dips with vegetable crudites, fresh fruit platters and berries.

On the ninth day of Christmas my dietitian said to me….

Reduce food waste

While we all enjoy sharing a meal with friends and family over the festive season, food waste is particularly rife at this time of year.  Planet Ark’s 12 Do’s of Christmas campaign includes tips for reducing food waste and excess packaging, buying green gifts and recycling.

On the tenth day of Christmas my dietitian said to me….

Make a healthier version

Enjoying the festive fare doesn’t have to mean undoing all your good habits built throughout the year. There are plenty of nutritious tasty options available and many recipes can easily be modified to make them healthier.   Check out the recipes we have hand-picked in this Christmas book or visit our Christmas recipe collection on our new Pinterest page.

On the eleventh of Christmas my dietitian said to me….

Manage stress

Stress isn’t good for our health or our weight so remember to schedule in some relaxation time amongst all the business of Christmas and enjoy the opportunity to catch up with friends and family!  If the stress of the festive season is getting to you, check out this article from Health Direct for Beating Christmas Stress and Anxiety.

And on the twelfth day of Christmas my dietitian said to me…..

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!

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