On writing this post there are only 8 days to go until Christmas Day arrives and in the healthpro office we are getting very excited. Christmas is a time to celebrate those around us and to enjoy everybody’s company (if possible). Loved ones friends and family travel far and wide to be with somebody close to them over the festive season. But despite all our good intentions we do tend to socialise more than usual which can leave us feeling tired and run down.

As the director of healthpro I am pleased to announce that over the last five years the majority of our clients came back to training in January after their Christmas break feeling energised and ready for the new year. There is no need to pack on the pounds over the Christmas period by following these five easy to follow steps you to could be like one of our clients energised and ready to capture 2014.

5. Boost your vegetable intake – Christmas is a great time to boost your vegetable intake. At your Christmas dinner serve vegetables like, purple cabbage, brussels sprouts, carrots or kale. Remember, that by steaming your vegetables you will retain more of the great essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals that our immune system adores.

4. Serve vegetable crudites instead of processed foods – This Christmas focus on reducing the amount of processed foods served such as crisps, sausage rolls and sweets etc. Replace them with hydrating vegetable crudities. Serve these chopped raw vegetables with dips like hummus, mango or tomato salsa, cucumber dip, butternut squash dip or avocado dip. Go on and try one thing different this year.

3. Dine in a restaurant or food outlet that is as passionate or more passionate about your health – If eating out or just having a catch up with old or new friends we strongly recommend dining in a healthpro endorsed food outlet. A healthpro endorsed food outlet is a food outlet that is passionate about telling you what is in their food so this will give you the power to make an informed decision. All dishes are analysed by a healthpro dietitian and symbols are donated to each dish if they are low fat, low salt or low in sugar to name a few. Click here and take a look at The Bagel Bar’s nutrition page and learn all about their bagels and find out the best bagel suited to your requirements.

2. Be Active – Christmas is a great time to catch up with missed movies but it is also a great time to spend time out walking and engaging with friends. We strongly recommend that perhaps one day over the Christmas focus on getting everybody out to be active. We would suggest organising a walk or a fun run on your road or estate and get everybody involved. Remember, it is recommended that we all complete at least 60 minutes of moderate exercise daily e.g. walking, gardening, swimming, cycling, jogging are a few suggestions. So let’s be active together and take your activity outside.

1. Watch your portion size – Always remember no matter what you are celebrating your body can only process a certain amount of carbohydrate, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals at any one time. So this year, focus on eating regularly during the day so you will maintain your blood sugars and reduce any spikes and troughs of energy. This means when it comes to eating your Christmas dinner you will only feel like a regular portion size meal of 150g meat, 100 – 150g of cooked carbohydrate (depending on what type of carbohydrate is being consumed), 300g vegetables. Of course, these portion sizes will depend on your typical energy expenditure.

On behalf of the Bagel Bar and the healthpro Team we would like to wish you all a very Merry and Healthful Christmas and we will look forward to celebrating a great 2014 with you.

Yours in health and wellbeing,

Harriette

Consultant Dietitian and Exercise Specialist

healthpro

www.healthpro.ie

Ph: 086 4119222

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