Loving your tummy this Christmas
Christmas and New Year are a time for treating ourselves and for relaxing and letting our hair down and this can easily lead to us feeling like the proverbial stuffed turkey. Many of us feel the consequences of overindulgence either during or after their Christmas break. So here a few things for you to chew on!
Love your tummy
Sad but true, constipation is an occupational hazard at Christmas! An estimated 10% of the UK population regularly suffer from constipation and with the change in dietary habits and the risk of getting dehydrated from not drinking enough fluids or from drinking too much alcohol it’s a time when many of us might feel the ‘strain’!
Constipation is not a problem that you should feel embarrassed to talk to your GP about. If you do experience constipation this festive season then your GP will be able to advise you on over-the-counter remedies or prescribe something to alleviate the problem. Have a look at our dossier on constipation for more information. And remember, prevention is always better than cure!
Here are some useful tips to avoid tummy troubles over Christmas:
- Drink lots and lots of water - It’s always challenging to drink plenty of water on cold winter months but it is so vital for preventing constipation and for keeping a clear head.
- Less is best - If you must have a mince pie or a couple of Florentines then have one or two and feel rewarded, savour the taste and walk away from the table! Keep yourself busy over Christmas so that you won’t be so tempted to go back for more.
- Keep a food journal - This is a little serious but if you really can’t keep track of what you have already eaten, make a note of it. Then, when you think you need a Christmas snack, have a look at what you’ve already eaten and you’ll probably realise that you’re not actually that hungry.
- Eat plenty of fibre rich foods - Not a fan of Brussels sprouts? Well then make up for it by eating plenty of root vegetables and fresh fruits. Satsumas are particularly wonderful at this time of year!
And last but not least – relax!! Stress is a major contributor to tummy trouble, so try to get your normal number of hours sleep around Christmas and take it easy (as much as possible) on the big day.
Cut down on food waste this Christmas
We’d all like to be a bit greener this Christmas and it's easier than you think. Families increase their spend over the Christmas period by up to 20% so can you really afford for 1/3 of it to be thrown out? As a nation we waste up to £12bn worth of food and drink each year – an astonishing amount – and Christmas is the period of ‘our eyes are bigger than our tummies’ syndrome!
In most households there will be a large amount of household waste over Christmas so consider what you really need to buy and in what formats, packaging etc. Below are a few tips for saving on food and what to do when you're face to face with a cold roast turkey dinner and veg leftovers:
- Planning – Before going shopping check what’s in your cupboards and be realistic about what your family will actually eat... write a shopping list, and re-write it if necessary. And as always do not do your Christmas food shop when you are feeling hungry!
- Leftovers – search the internet for Christmas leftover recipes – there are hundreds to choose from depending on what your leftovers are.
- Freezer etiquette – Plan meals based on what you already have in your freezer. Arrange your freezer in a logical way so that things are easier to find and use the freezer to prepare in advance.
- Transform leftover Brussels sprouts and roast or boiled potatoes into that super easy-to-cook dish: bubble and squeak!
- To freeze a whole cake (like the extra Christmas cake that your granny made for you), wrap it in a double layer of cling film and foil – it’ll keep for up to a month.
For more information on how to cut down on your waste visit Love Food Hate Waste