5 ways to switch off and stay healthy over the Christmas period…

Christmas can often be such a busy and overwhelming period. It seems as though the build up to the festive day is so huge, then all of a sudden it’s over. To make the most of your Christmas break, or in my case, the couple of days I have off here and there, have a read of my 5 tips in order to switch off whilst keeping healthy. After all, the less you totally let go of your healthy eating and fitness regime, the easier it’ll be to kick start back into the New Year!

*SWITCH OFF*… A perfect way to move your body and take a break from a buzzing phone and that habitual scroll through Instagram… layer up, wrap up warm and head outside to breathe in some fresh air and take a long walk. It’s a great opportunity to add easy exercise into your day and spend quality time with family, without the distraction of everything festive and phone related. Surprisingly, the Christmas season doesn’t have to only exist of food comas and copious amounts of mulled wine, but rather, crispy winter walks and the occasional bit of exercise to make up for the (potential) few too many indulgences.
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♦ Christmas can be a healthy eaters nightmare, or on the flip side, a nightmare for healthy eaters with really bad will power! Inevitably, Christmas brings plenty of social gatherings with almost unavoidable high fat/sugar food combinations, as well as the free flowing top ups of bubbly and mulled wine, but fear not, Christmas doesn’t have to be full of indulgences. Filling your Christmas plate with more goodness than bad is an easy task, particularly as some of our festive favorites are considerably low in fat, gluten free and guilt free…
Turkey- It’s a meat eater’s time to celebrate, and a vegan’s time to skip this and read on! Turkey is a necessity and centerpiece to a table on Christmas day. It’s safe to say, and I hope you agree, it seems near impossible to buy and cook the perfect size Turkey for the table. Instead, there are nearly always days and days worth of left overs, so I hope you like Turkey sandwiches! Good news, free-range turkey is a lean source of protein, low in fat, rich in minerals such as selenium; which plays a vital role in our metabolism.
Cranberries- An excellent source of vitamin C and full of antioxidants, however try and steer away from the ready-made versions as they can be absolutely packed with sugar. A great option is to make your own; I know what you’re thinking, ‘I have no time to complete my scroll of a to do list, let alone make fresh cranberry sauce!’ Don’t panic, you just need cranberries, honey, cinnamon, orange zest, and water, and it’ll take less than 10! Watch out for the recipe coming soon!
Brussels Sprouts- Brussel Sprouts are like the vegetable version of marmite; you either love or hate them. Either way, as the veggies get passed down the table, at least tuck into a few sprouts. They are similar in nutritional value to broccoli, packed full of vitamin C and K as well as providing high levels of potassium, iron and fiber. If you REALLY aren’t a fan, then at least think to fill your Christmas plate with well over a quarter of vegetables!
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♦ Christmas is a time for sharing, right? So, when you open that 3rd box of Christmas chocolates, why not think about offering some out to guests and visitors rather than demolishing the whole thing yourself and immediately regretting it. The gift of sharing will do wonders for your waistline. A taste of a few is certainly enough for one serving, and if you aren’t up for sharing, then try and ration the chocolates out till at least the end of February- now there’s a challenge!

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♦ Try a quick 30-minute workout. Christmas is a time for resting, seeing family and doing all things festive, rather than busting a gut everyday to get a workout in. It’s inevitable that your workout regime might decrease over the Christmas period; which is totally okay, however finding time to fit in two 30 minute workouts a week is totally possible. Luckily, through working at LDM®, I’ve got you covered! You can buy and access workout videos via our website; www.louisadrake.com, giving you a quick and effective, total body workout! Plus, as a mini gift from the LDM team over Christmas, you can access 3 free workout videos via the website and YouTube channel. To make the most of an workout you will need:
-A mat -Light weights (1.5-2kg) or if not, then grab two water bottles! -LDM stability ball or a towel rolled up -LDM resistance band -Ankle weights if you want to challenge your workout
*You can buy some of our LDM equipment on the website!
Alternatively, wrap up warm and take a light run outside. I’m totally with you; the thought of getting up on boxing day with a full tummy and a potentially heavy head, may seem like an absolute no go, however I can assure you that actually a short run/even a brisk walk, you will feel SO much better!

♦  Sleep is one of the hardest things to come by during the holidays. Our bodies crave that extra time in bed, and chance to de-load after a pretty heavy build up to the Christmas break. Most of our days over the festive period seem to consist of waking up early with little ones, getting up to cook the day’s meals for guests (not forgetting the cranberry sauce!!) and staying up late to entertain the ever-growing number of guests! It seems easier said than done, but try and make sure that you are getting enough sleep, and if long sleeps aren’t possible, the make sure you’re getting quality sleep to try and recharge your batteries. Do something that relaxes you before settling down to your pillow, whether that be taking a small stretch and yoga flow, a nice warm bath, or simply sipping a cup of tea and having a read in bed in order to clear the mind of any stress! I hardly ever take a bath as I don’t have one at my place in London! So, I reckon my set up for an hour of relaxation before bed whilst I’m at home in Oxfordshire will include, a lot of candles, relaxing music, and an overflowing warm bubble bath- complete overkill! Why not eh, it’s Christmas!!

Find your shine over Christmas! 
Lots of love,
Sopha x

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