Christmas-weight-gain

How To Stay Fit And Healthy During The Silly Season

There’s a lot of hype from leading nutritionists and personal trainers alike right now about the extreme importance of eating clean and raw foods all-year round, but how do we mere mortals battle the bulge – and resist temptation – over the festive season?

Husband-and-wife team Scott and Jodie McKay at Jungle Fit Health and Fitness, based on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, via www.facebook.com/JungleFitPT, which services clients both locally and nationally, has this advice for SHESAID readers: there’s no shortcuts, you’ve got to eat clean and exercise regularly to stay trim and healthy over the holidays (bugger).

Related: Get Raw For The Christmas Party Season

Jungle Fit Health and Fitness offers personal and group training, massage, health and wellness coaching and nutritional therapies both in person and online. Fuelled by a passion for health and wellness, and each other, the couple is striving to secure clients all over the globe. 

Scott (pictured), who’s the PT side of the business, is Australian Institute of Fitness-qualified and brings a unique style of training to Jungle Fit Health and Fitness, which he also co-owns, having served more than eight years in a combat role in the army.

He says remaining active during the festive season is a must, especially if you overindulge. “Get straight back into exercising now. I highly recommend people don’t put it off for the New Year resolution of: ‘I’ll get back into it next year’ because January 1 turns into February 1.

“Keep active. The weather is so good this time of year, so there are no excuses not to train, even if it’s not at the same intensity as you normally would during that Christmas/NY week. Go for a walk, or play in the park with the kids. It’s all about keeping your motivation going so you don’t lose all the gains you’ve made pre-Christmas.”

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Meanwhile, Jodie is a health and wellness coach and co-owner at Jungle Fit Health and Fitness, having studied nutritional medicine, remedial massage, nutritional therapies and health and wellness coaching. So, what simple steps can we all take to eat clean? It’s all about small, sustainable steps, says Jodie.

“Look at substituting your favourite things for a cleaner version or recipe,” she says. “There is so much online these days, it is super simple. Start looking at the labels of things you are eating, make sure that you look at the first four ingredients in that label – if its sugar, canola oil, wheat etc., that is what the product has most of.

“Stick to the outer areas of the supermarket. Don’t go into the other aisles (except the health foods). Many people go straight for the “bad” aisles and are eating processed food that’s masquerading as real food.”

And as to why eating raw food/clean is important, especially in the lead-up to Christmas, Jodie says a clean, healthy diet is the key to optimal health and nutrition.
“Wholefoods will always make you feel vibrant and energised. A healthy body can ward off sickness and is less susceptible to certain cancers or obesity-related diseases,” she says. “Processed foods and acidic foods make us feel sluggish and miserable while also bringing on more illness.”

fruitsalad
Jodie’s top holiday tip is to eat more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, unprocessed (lean) meats, fish (salmon), non-homogenized dairy, legumes and eggs. “Clean eating with wholefoods does not have to be boring, there are many recipes easily available that you can whip up, such as our Raw Peppermint Slice (see below).

“And you can replicate the Christmas food for healthier clean recipes – you don’t have to go without. For example, with rum balls you can make a healthier clean version.

“And a lot of people eat seafood at Christmas, so make sure that you fill your plate with it. There are also some amazing mango, avocado, prosciutto salad recipes around, which are all clean.

“So, you can still have nibbles and enjoy the Christmas period, while still remaining nutritious and clean!”

Raw Peppermint Slice

fitness, eat raw, eat clean

Ingredients

Base

1 cup of almonds and hazelnuts

1/3 cup of cacao powder

3 tblsps melted coconut oil

1 cup of pitted dates (Medjool, if possible)

Middle layer

1 and 1/2 cups raw cashews, preferably soaked

1/2 cup of desiccated coconut

Pinch of salt (Himalayan, if possible)

1/2 cup of organic maple syrup

5 drops of peppermint oil

Top layer

1/2 cup of melted coconut oil

1/2 cup of cacao powder

1/4 cup of organic maple syrup

Method

  1. To make the base: Add the base ingredients to a food processor and blend until it resembles fine crumbs and sticks together when pressed. Place mixture into a lined slice tin and press down. Place it in the freezer.
  2. To make the peppermint layer: Add cashews and desiccated coconut to a food processor blend until nice and smooth. Add the remaining peppermint layer ingredients to the mixture and blend until creamy. Add to the base and smooth over with a spatula and place into the freezer.
  3. To make the chocolate layer: Melt the coconut oil in saucepan or microwave. Once melted, add the maple syrup. Then add the cacao powder, stirring until well mixed through. Pour the chocolate on top of the peppermint layer. Put back into the freezer.
  4. Yum – it is now ready to slice and eat! Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

fitness, eat raw, eat clean

First recipe image via plantbasedmunchies.wordpress.com and secondary image via livingonpulse.blogspot.com.

November 21, 2014

How to Avoid Christmas Weight Gain

From choosing the right party food to committing to a regular exercise plan, Michele Chevalley Hedge, author of Beating Sugar Addiction For Dummies, shows us how to enjoy the silly season without the inevitable Christmas weight gain.

Christmasitis, noun: The inflammation, bloating and self-sabotaging that often begins on December 1st of a year and ends just after Australia Day at the end of the next year’s January.

Many people will gain one to two kilos over the holidays. The combination of summer and the festive season can catapult many of us into an eating frenzy. Christmas parties, end-of-the-year parties, welcome-to-summer parties, New Year’s Eve parties, and a host of other celebrations can bring out the Sugar Monster in the healthiest of us. You don’t have to be a Scrooge and not enjoy the celebrations, but consider some ways to keep yourself from feeling miserable about how you indulged once the fun dies down. If you take heed of the following tips, you should feel delighted and encouraged from all the possibilities that come with the fresh start of a new year.

Don’t go to a party hungry
Eat before you go to an event if you don’t believe there will be healthy food choices available. You’ll have more time to socialise and you won’t be obsessed with hunger and wondering where the food is and when the next tray is coming out.

Try to have a glass of water between alcohol
Alcohol will add to weight gain, slow down your liver function, and may dehydrate you. Consume and enjoy but be moderate. Have a hydrating glass of sparkling mineral water between each alcoholic drink and in the morning you’ll be happy you did.

Choose the ‘right’ nibble
Tasty treats are abundant at holiday parties. Look for nibbles that are high protein and low in sugar.  Seek out the chicken or prawn skewers. Crustless quiche, smoked salmon, bun-less sausage or even a bowl of nuts can dampen hunger without adding sugary kilojoules.

Get over it
If you do indulge in one too many wines or party pies, don’t carry on with guilt and self-abuse the following day.  Get up and exercise and commit your new day to low-sugar, whole and fresh foods. People who beat themselves up mentally often begin the following day by skipping breakfast. By midday or the afternoon, they then become so hungry that they roller-coaster off into indulging in convenient junk food.

Burn it
Celebrations and holidays are meant to be enjoyed and you will most likely over indulge at some point. Commit to a regular exercise plan to keep your metabolism fired up, your endorphins stimulated, and your mind off your next meal!

How do you keep the weight off during the holidays?

December 8, 2013