Make christmas work for you!!!

So the festival is upon us. How much fun we will have. What I like to do is make the fun work for me, making me healthier not heavier. It took a long time to learn but now it has just become part of the normal day.

I’m no expert I just do it for fun. I’ve learnt most things for other people. It’s always amazing how many fun ideas you can learn. So I just thought I would pay it forward, share some simple tips, see if they help anyone.

Quality over quantity

Since there is so much food around I often start getting picky. Most of the year I’m a gannet. That’s still true at christmas but I get a lot more tactical. I could just eat a lot. That’s easy to do but I have learnt that when I eat a lot then I don’t really appreciate the actual food as it goes down. I don’t really enjoy the process.

If I am going to get fatter that’s fine I know plenty about losing it later on but I’d rather enjoy the process. Be able to look at each extra inch and remember the fun it represents. My answer is to make each mouthful special. Sometimes by choosing the most expensive or indulgent food but most often its about keeping things interesting and responding to the spur of the moment and embracing variety.

This is the theme running through these tips. Being healthy should be fun. This is how I make it so.

Combinations

This time of year there are so many different types of food around I play with combining them it is much more fun to eat the same food in different ways. A simple example is mince pies. I love them but having three in a row is enough. I lose the taste for them. But if I vary what I have with them then each time its a different taste and exciting and interesting again. So I have one pie with cream, the other creme fraiche, the next yoghurt, then custard. I might add herbs and spices as well like mint or cinnamon and finally I might even pair it simply with a little fruit like a satsuma or apple.

It totally depends how I feel but each time I can match the food with my mood.  Making a simple pie into something wholly indulgent or light and satisfying or whatever I really feel like. Finding food combinations is easy. I just experiment, google and try all sorts of ideas from the cooking books and sites out there. It’s work but it’s fun too once you get the hang of it.

Inspiration:
There are lots of ideas out there. for a little inspiration here are some recipes to give you ideas. don’t get hung up on the whole recipe, the concept what makes it fun is what is important

Fruit

I wasn’t raised to combine fruit with meat. The one exception was apple sauce for lamb but I’ve noticed more and more cultures happily mix the two. This is a great option because you can mix the indulgence of the meat with the fruit making the whole essentially lighter and better for you. At the same time the flavour combinations can be quite simply divine. So you can focus on taste and quality while reducing your calories so it’s a win win situation. 
Obvious combinations are pork and either orange or apple along with duck and orange but as I investigated I found a lot more combinations are used. I’ve seen banana, obviously pineapple works with ham or cheese, in fact cheese is perfect with fruit, I mentioned mince pies before and I find it cuts through lots of indulgent desserts. There is also fish. Lemon and orange can work with various seafood. 
The point being that these are natural culinary combinations which really bring out the flavours of food. The fruit juices are great on their own with food or as part of sauces like gravies, custards or creams. Once I got thinking of this I started having loads of fun.

Breaks

Rather than eat all the time I start to pace myself. I might skip breakfast or lunch. Not something I normally do christmas is the peak of the food year. So now it makes the most sense. Since I often eat double in one meal I then miss the next to balance it out. It’s always a personal decision. I just find that I feel much less bloated. I’m ready for each meal instead of full before I even start. 
I judge when to skip a meal often when I start to feel the fat running through my veins. Everything starts to feel slow.It’s been a while so I forget the exact feeling but I can tell my body has fed so well that it doesn’t need any food for a while. 
There you have it. I haven’t shared everything. There hasn’t been time. Like I say I’ve learnt it all from others who were having fun. I hope it helps you get even more out of christmas too. 
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