Boozy pies, cakes and creams, buttery potatoes and vegetables, sausage stuffing, cheesy cauliflower, gooey chocolate…yummy. Enjoyable for sure, but not exactly performance enhancing fuel.
Monk-like new year resolutions resulting from festive excesses, often seem unachievable, daunting and challenging. The guilt caused by food excess, results in unnecessary pressure and misery, causing some athletes’ to boycott the Christmas dining table all together.
It need not be so miserable or such an uphill struggle. Guilt is a stressor which can cause harm and really impact on our health. With some healthy swaps, we can still enjoy our Christmas indulgences and get back on track (without the guilt), sooner than we think.
Offset ‘food guilt’.
Try keeping the skin on vegetables and potatoes when roasting. Yes, they are still cooked in fat but at least you are ingesting the nutrients present in the skins necessary for good health.
Swap buttery mash potato for fat free sweet potato mash. (see recipe)
Drain the fat from the meat tray first, before making the gravy.
Try swapping prawn cocktail sauce for fat free yoghurt, flavoured with tabasco and tomato sauce.
Swap the Christmas Pudding full fat cream for creme fraiche flavoured with vanilla extract.
Make your own red cabbage. (see recipe and tips for adding a festive twist)
Swap salted peanuts (my particular weakness) for unsalted nuts and dried fruit.
Try soaking gammon joints before cooking to reduce the salt content. (see recipe)
The festive season is a time to share good times with those we love. Good times in ‘our’ household, both athlete and non-athlete, is the coming together over a shared food experience.
Merry Christmas and all the best for the new year, John and Alex xxx