Psychologies Magazine

From festive food and booze to shopping trips, fayres and parties aplenty – it’s almost a given you’ll overdo it at this time of year. But there are ways to have a healthier Christmas without compromising on taste, indulgence and festive frivolity. Pace yourself with my tips for a healthier Christmas – and a merrier aftermath!

PIMP YOUR VEGGIES – make them as prominent on your plate as meat by using spices like nutmeg and cinnamon to enhance the flavour. Parsnips and carrots roasted with thyme and cumin is a match made in heaven. Try to make one day a week meat-free to give digestion a rest and increase plant-based foods in your diet to counterbalance acidic foods such as meat, dairy and alcohol.

HEALTHY SNACKS – Christmas means ever-available snacks, but it’s best to minimise grazing and enjoy three meals instead. When people come over, forget the processed stuff and bake kale chips, make quick raw-chocolate truffles (using healthy cacao powder) and put out olives, almonds, crudities and vegetable dips.

VIRGIN COCKTAILS – get creative with non-alcoholic versions of your favourite tipple. Whizz up cucumber, mint and sparkling water, topped with Pimm’s, and try kombucja over ice – a fruity, fizzy, fermented tea that’s a nice alternative to Champagne.

HANGOVER CURE – if you’ve had a heavy night, replenish the body’s nutrients with easily digestible smoothies. Green apple, ginger, celery, and a spoonful of maca or acai powder is great – or smash some avocado onto buckwheat toast with a sprinkling of paprika, both of which will pack in lots of antioxidants to help counterbalance the effects.

SUPPLEMENT – we know reserves run low in this period so it’s worthwhile taking a supplement to see you through. I like Terra Nova Living Multinutrient Complex, £25.75 for 100 capsules.