Tuesday, 17 December 2013

How to not get fat this silly season

Do you drink? Oh my god, you do? Why are you reading this blog then. You clearly don't care about your health! Kidding. I'm kidding. Keep your panties on! 

I'm not here to tell you not to drink, that would be incredibly hypocritical and grinch-like of me. However, with just one week until Santa comes, we are well and truly into the silly season. And unless you want a load of stored joy (aka fat) to deal with in the new year, it might be worth considering what you are putting down your grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free pie-hole. What?! I'm sure such a thing would exist somewhere!

Now I am fully aware that you are probably not going to be squeaky-clean on the diet front until detox time comes around, and I am not one to say you shouldn't indulge in a little Christmas cheer. But at the same time, you don't want to treat your body like a rubbish bin. I know what you're thinking - whatever, I'll deal with it in the new year. You could, or you could just manage it a little better now and spend more time in January flaunting your hot ass on the beach (sorry northern hemisphere folks) rather than hiding it under your moo moo while you struggle through yet another juice cleanse. The choice is yours.

So, let's talk alcohol. I'm not going to lie - it's not exactly a "superfood". Yes, there are some antioxidants in red wine, but for the most part, alcohol kind of kicks your liver in the guts. Given that the liver is the body's detoxification hub, if you give it too much to do, and too many toxins to get rid of, it is eventually going to go on strike, resulting in a build up of toxins in your body. Not only will you look and feel like crap, but your whole hormonal system will be thrown out of whack (as it is the liver's job to metabolise hormones), which could take quite a while to fix. 

Alright, now that I have given my responsible service if alcohol spiel, let's be realistic. You know it's not a health food. And you're probably going to have a few drinks anyway. So....what are the best choices if you are going to partake in such festivities?

1. The Jesus Drink

The what now? This is basically vodka with water and a squeeze of fresh lime or lemon. Not exactly sure why, but my friend coined it "the Jesus drink" - I have to admit though, it is pretty good for minimising a hangover. Possibly because you are upping your water intake and avoiding all of the added nasties and extra sugar that usually come with mixers. Be even better behaved by having a plain water in between - just be wary though....too many of these and you will forget which is vodka and which is water….or so I have heard…

Vodka with soda water and lime is also good, especially if the bubbles make you feel a little bit fancy. What?! Don't pretend they don't! 

2. The Vod-Bucha

I just made that name up then. Pretty clever eh? This one is a new favourite - vodka mixed with kombucha, a fantastic probiotic-rich drink. The good bacteria in the kombucha work to negate the bacteria-killing effects of the alcohol. Note: this may or may not be true. It's quite possible I made it up to justify my behaviours. Either way, it's better than other mixers

3. Paleo vodka
Are you seeing a trend yet? That maybe vodka is your safest bet?!

So what is Paleo vodka? Well, to be honest, I don't think Paleo man made vodka. I could be wrong, but that's my guess. Paleo vodka, unofficially, is Ciroc vodka, which is made from grapes, rather than grains. So, if you are following a Paleo diet, and you want to avoid grains on principal (as most of the negative effects of grains are pretty much non-existent in alcohol), Ciroc might be the way to go. In my experience, I get less adverse side effects from Ciroc. Mix it with some coconut water to up the au-natural ante! Or maybe you could take a leaf out of P.Diddy's books and enjoy a few bottles while having a bubble bath. Cos that's completely normal….

Image via thehiphopupdate.com 
4. NorCal margarita

Wok hoo! Now we have a non-vodka drink. Check out the recipe (and info on why this drink is superior) HERE

5. Wine

Red is probably best, due to the small amounts of resveratrol. If possible, drink organic in order to dodge the nasty preservatives. Motto to minimise damage: waters between wines

What to avoid as much as possible:

1. Pre-mixed drinks

Full of crap, especially sugar. End of story. 

2. Cocktails

The occasional cocktail isn't going to  kill you, but if it is your drink of choice, and you're somewhat of a social butterfly, you're probably going to put on a bit of Christmas cheer. These are often loaded with extra sugar syrup, juices and liqueurs. I should know - I used to work in a bar! Sorry.

3. Beer

Mainly because it contains gluten. Yes, I am one of those "nut-jobs" who thinks most people do better without gluten. In my experience (personal and with clients), people DO notice a real difference when they give gluten the boot. Beer is also quite calorically dense - expect a Santa-belly come January.

What about food???

Do the best you can and prepare well. This means:

1. If you can pack your own lunch, do it.
2. If you can have breakfast and or dinner at home, do it. Maybe this also means inviting friends over to your place for a dinner party. That way you will know EXACTLY what you are eating and you can dazzle your guests with your healthy culinary skills - they won't even know that the usual suspects are missing. Tip: slow-cook your meats (oven or slow cooker) - you can't go wrong. Tip 2: make a "raw vegan" dessert. I'm far from pro-vegan or even pro-raw, but when it comes to desserts, these folk have got it sorted! Check out my "Paleo-ish Cheesecake" - raw AND vegan! 
3. If you are going out for dinner, eat a regular-sized meal. This probably won't be your final feast ever, so no need to behave like it will be. If you feel like you want to eat loads, get an extra side of veggies. And don't eat pasta. Aside from being against grain consumption, I feel that pasta is such as waste of going out for dinner. Instead of dessert, opt for a cheese platter to avoid a big sugar hit. 
4. If you have a Christmas party, eat before you go. Chances are the canapés are going to be party pies and sausage rolls. No bueno. 
5. Start your day off with a big, protein-filled breakfast, such as eggs and greens (see recipe below), to help keep your blood sugar levels stable, minimise cravings, and lessen the chance of binging on a box of Ferrero Rochers come 3pm. 

Eggs & Greens (serves 1 hungry hippo)

1. Chop about 1 cup of veggies (zucchini, capsicum, silver beet, spring onion - whatever you have, but the spring onion is a must) 
2. Sauté in 1 tbspn of coconut oil and a splash of apple cider vinegar
3. Stir in 2-3 eggs until just cooked (low heat)
4. Sprinkle with sea salt

Add a nutritional boost: 
Add in 1 tsp of savoury (nutritional) yeast flakes, rich in B vitamins to give you an energy boost, while adding a delicious cheesy flavour to the eggs, completely dairy free!

Serving options:
1. 1/2 an avocado OR
2. A little smoothie OR
3. A mug of bone broth OR
4. A slice of sprouted, gluten-free bread. Try THIS ONE

Eat slowly, savour the flavour and enjoy your day! 

That's it for now, friends! Next you hear from me, I'll be in New Zealand! Yes, I will still be continuing my inconsistent (I'm working on it) blog posts with my usual rant. Have a very merry Christmas! Stay safe and be sure to spend lots of quality time with loved ones! x

Oh, and just one more thing….
Image by Andrew Mitchell via pinterest
How's that for awkward!!