Smart Choices in the Silliest of Seasons

As the sun heats up as 2016 draws to an end, the New Year is just around the corner, calling for lots of celebrations filled with booze and the dreaded word ‘binging’.

When one hand at breakfast is filled with a glass of champagne and orange and the other is preoccupied with a French pastry, it’s easy to completely rule the day out of consuming anything ‘healthy’’, I mean “what’s the point”, is the question so many ask. Why is it we can’t just stop at gobbling down just one Lindt ball? Why is it, if we start the day off on a ‘bad’ note, the rest of the day has to follow in the same path?

For years INSIDE I was a Christmas Grinch. I absolutely LOVE Christmas, anyone who knows me, knows that I love entertaining guests, I love decorating and making gifts from the heart, I love spending time with my family and could live in summer all year round. So what made me despise Christmas deep down? The thought of being tempted with ‘naughty’ foods all month long that would UNDO my hard work in the gym, would make my heart race.

Be the person who brings the HEALTH to the table. Now is the time to make those raw treats, drop by the store to enjoy a fresh juice and recreate one of Elsa’s Wholesome Life’s recipes. I like to SHARE the health when going to a social event, yes I’m the person who makes their own dips and crackers from scratch and brings an assortment of green things to add to the water. Believe it or not, yes I will admit they are hesitant at first, but after one bite they are back for more and if I’m feeling generous I will share the recipe around the table.

Here are my top tips for making SMART choices this ‘silly’ season, to allow you to EMBRACE the festivities.

  1. Change your mindset

Take the opportunity to relish the time with family and friends, rather than focusing on all of the food and drink accompanying their presence.

  1. Concentrate on the NICE before the NAUGHTY

This year my aim is to start Christmas morning with a nutrient dense green smoothie and a handful of activated mixed nuts. Why? Firstly because these are two of my favourite foods to start the day AND it gives me fuel for the day, to avoid excess over eating and OVER indulging.

 

  1. Fill your table with an ABUNDANCE of summer produce

Take the opportunity to make the most of summer produce at its finest, I’m thinking mango and coconut milk smoothies, cherries, lychees, seafood and an abundance of fresh greens. Taking advantage of foods such as these, ensures I can be filled to the brim with all the good stuff before I ‘indulge’ on the other ‘good’ stuff.

 

  1. Eat mindfully

What better way to practice your daily mindfulness than enjoying every last mouthful of your mums Christmas baking or crispy duck fat roasted potatoes. Connect with the present, concentrate on the texture of the food, the temperature, the smell and of course the taste. Slow down the rate you eat your food, the moment will last longer and you will appreciate the indulgence so much more.

  1. Drink Smart

This doesn’t mean alcohol is a NO GO, personally I choose not to drink alcohol as my liver needs a little extra love, but balancing out the way you enjoy your alcohol is always a good idea. I like to keep it simple, steer away from the pre made mixes and make your own instead. See the recipe below for my favourite festive beverage.

  1. Fill your table with nourishing nibbles

Ditch the potato chips drenched in saturated fat, the refined sugar filled dips and gluten everywhere in site and SWAP them for;

  • Organic tamari almonds
  • Organic mixed nuts
  • Homemade dips (pesto, cashew lemon and pea, beetroot and orange hummus)
  • Make your own quinoa and pumpkin seed crackers
  • Organic dried fruits, I’m thinking goji berries, medjool dates, organic dried papaya, pineapple and apple rings
  1. Overcoming the fear of cocktail parties
  • Stand next to the healthiest person you know that way you won’t be tempted to reach for another spring roll. Watch the foods that they will reach their arm out for such as prawns, grilled chicken and vegetable dishes
  • I like to have a little something before I go such as a handful of mixed nuts, a protein ball or a smoothie made with almond milk, cacao and brown rice protein. Why? Eating a good source of protein and fats before you head out will reduce your urge to scoff your face full of canapes and alcohol during the event.

I am a HUGE believer in the power of your own energy, when you embrace life and exude positive energy, it simply becomes infectious, sit back and watch the limitless flow of positive people and opportunities come your way. Embracing these tips will help you to relax, unwind and enjoy Christmas the way it should be.

Stay tuned this month on our social media pages where I will be sharing my silly season seed crackers and Sparkling Grapefruit and Lemongrass Coupe Cocktail Recipes.

 

Silly Season Seed Crackers

Ingredients

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

200g sunflower seeds

100g peptias (pumpkin seeds)

60g flax seeds

100g sesame seeds

2 Tbsp. Psyllium Husk

500ml water

1 tsp. Himalayan sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Line 2 baking sheets with lightly oiled parchment paper or a silicone sheet.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and leave the mixture to stand until thick and pliable (about 10 minutes).
  3. Spread the mixture as thinly as possible on the lined baking sheet (may require 2). The mixture should have no holes or gaps.
  4. Bake for 1 hour, turning trays after 30 minutes if browning more on one side. They may need another 15 to 20 minutes until they are nice and really crispy.
  5. Remove from oven and leave to cool.
  6. Once cool, break into any size you like and store in an airtight container.

 

Sparkling Grapefruit and Lemongrass Coupe Cocktail

Ingredientsuntitled

Serves 1

1/2 a ripe grapefruit

1/2 a lime

½ stem of lemongrass crushed

1/2 cup soda water

1/2 cup crushed ice

1 shot vodka

Edible flowers (available from Ashgrove Fresh Fruit Market) -optional

 

Method

  1. Pour ice, soda water and vodka into glass
  2. Juice grapefruit and lime then pour into glass
  3. Add the mint and ginger
  4. Stir together well, top with edible flowers, enjoy!

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Name: Laura Saunders

Profession: Director

Company: NOURISHED. Nutrition. Fitness. Wellness

Facebook: nourishednfw

Instagram: nourished_n.f.w

Laura began NOURISHED. N.F.W to love life; Continue a process of self-discovery; and unite like-minded women to live by the maxim: “a community of women who acknowledge another woman’s beauty, without questioning their own”.

Laura’s own health journey has been long and tortuous, she is able help and assist no matter what health, fitness or wellness goals you may have. Laura says: “After experiencing my own battles with health along the way, I can honestly say I have tried EVERYTHING from low carb high fat to vegetarian diet, CrossFit to Bikram Yoga, and finally Acupuncture to Hard Core Spartan Training

As a direct result, Laura knows know first- hand how it feels to be constantly tired, having poor self- esteem in regards to body image and an extremely negative outlook on life.