Eat, drink and be merry this festive season without neglecting your health

East healthier over the festive period.
East healthier over the festive period.

T’is the season to be jolly... and eat, drink and watch endless repeats on the telly!

Being restrained is probably the last thing on your mind but, if you want to enjoy a slightly healthier Christmas, then here’s some simple tips to keep you on the right track.

If you’re heading to a restaurant for your Christmas party there’s lots of ways of making it less stodgy and more social. Tips include:

• Try to share starters or desserts with a willing friend;

• Eat regular meals and snacks before heading out. That way you won’t arrive starving and you’re less likely to overindulge;

• Focus on socialising. Move the conversation away from the food table so you’re less likely to nibble;

• Alternate alcoholic drinks with water or a low calorie soft drink – this reduces your calorie intake.

When Christmas Day arrives, it will be a frenzy of food, drink and nibbles. But if you’d like to make the main event a little more virtuous here’s a few ideas that don’t scrimp on taste:

• Serve plenty of vegetables - cut potatoes or parsnips into large pieces for roasting as they’ll absorb less fat;

• Swop some of your roast potatoes for sweet potatoes – more fibre and very tasty;

• Swop some of your roast potatoes for sweet potatoes – more fibre and very tasty;

• Brussel sprouts contain more vitamin C than oranges. Lightly steaming them will preserve and give a sweeter taste;

• Before you cook your turkey or goose, prick the skin to allow the fat to drain out.

Removing the skin once cooked will also cut down considerably on fat;

• Make bread sauce healthier by using semi-skimmed milk and add a clove of garlic to the milk to add flavour you cook your turkey or goose, prick the skin to allow the fat to drain out;

• Make open top mince pies. Using less pastry cuts down on calories and fat.

Alternatively, use filo pastry, which is thinner and lower in calories than traditional pastry.

Don’t forget to try and make time to get active too. A walk on Christmas Day or Boxing Day helps prevent the post-lunch slump and will give you a much needed boost of energy.

If you’re in the mood to make some changes in the New Year then take a look at Live Life Better Derbyshire.

It’s a free service that helps with things like weight management, active lifestyles and stop smoking support. Find out more at www.livelifebetterderbyshire.org.uk