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Eating Healthily Over Christmas

December 20, 2011

Phew – this week has been dragging really badly so far. I think it’s because I’ve lost motivation at work in the run up to Christmas, but I have to be there until Friday, so I have to try to find my mojo again, otherwise I’m going to die of boredom. Do you ever have that thing where you have loads to do but you’re still chronically bored? At least I have just over a week off after Friday when I can spend time with the people I love and catch up on sleep!

My food has been of the very comforting variety recently. For breakfast I had some delicious apple, raisin and cinnamon porridge.


I usually just chop an apple to go in my porridge, but this time I decided to grate it, which gave it a lovely smooth texture. It also made it much sweeter than usual, but I think that’s very welcome at this time of the year.

After my yoga class last night I threw together a mushroom and goats’ cheese omelette with lots of veggies on the side.


You can see the steam coming off it, which is probably because my kitchen is quite cold. I’ve never been much of a cheese eater, but I think the mild goats’ cheese I used really added something and made this omelette very tasty!

Yoga last night was awesome. As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been running a little bit less over the past couple of weeks and I really noticed the difference in my flexibility (much better!) during yoga. The poses were also much more comfortable and I was able to get much deeper into lunges etc. I was also in the mood for some calming yoga yesterday, so my heart was truly in it. I feel lovely and loose today, which hopefully will translate to an enjoyable run later on.

Yesterday I wrote about my fitness plan over Christmas. Today I want to talk about my thoughts about eating healthily and enjoying festive food. Erin at The Healthy Apron has been running a series about keeping healthy over the holidays which I’ve enjoyed, so I won’t repeat everything she’s written about.

We don’t actually make a huge fuss about Christmas dinner at our house and usually keep it basic with simple starter, turkey with trimmings, and Christmas pudding. We usually only have two meals – brunch in the morning and dinner in the evening. My parents don’t buy loads of extra treats, so there’s not lots of bowls full of tempting things around the house. My philosophy is to enjoy the special things that are available on the big day, for example I’m particularly looking forward to breakfast, Christmas pudding and nice wine. However, I try not to use the special occasion as an excuse to overeat on lots of stuff that I don’t even want.


Don’t be fooled, there are plenty of times that I overeat, but for some reason I usually manage to find some self-control over Christmas. Although I eat and enjoy some of the indulgent stuff, I try to eat as healthily as I can in between times. I will be travelling to various places and going to parties over the holiday where I’m sure to have a few mince pies, slices of Christmas cake and mulled wine, but I eat normally for the rest of the time.

Finally, now is not the time to stress out about the number on the scale. Sure, I don’t want to put on loads of weight, but a couple of pounds can easily be shifted in January. I’m always wary of the sentiment that over-indulgence can be made up for in January because I think it could be used as an excuse for a huge blow-out, but neither is Christmas a time to feel deprived. I guess what I’m saying is that I want to find that elusive “balance” that everyone’s looking for!

Do you try to eat healthily over Christmas?

What are you most looking forward to eating or drinking?

7 Comments leave one →
  1. December 20, 2011 6:12 pm

    It looks like you’ve got a fantastic idea of balance there. It’s not always about the food (in terms of richness/calorie density) anyway – most of the really in shape people I know have the same approach to you as xmas: enjoying the goodies but only having brunch/dinner as they’re too full otherwise.

    Sadly, I have no concept of ‘too full!’

    Glad you’re finding a balance with running and yoga too 🙂


  2. December 20, 2011 8:07 pm

    I think your mindset about the holidays is incredibly well-balanced and healthy. I try to eat my best throughout the holiday season, but definitely leave some wiggle room to include a few of my favorite holiday treats. Emphasizing healthy, high-fiber choices the majority of the time seems to especially help me keep my treats in check this time of year.

    Here’s to a happy (and healthy!) holiday. 🙂

  3. December 20, 2011 10:07 pm

    You’re my hero, Sarah for staying in control over Christmas. That’s my intention too. Hopefully we’ll both achieve it!

  4. December 20, 2011 10:31 pm

    So much respect to you for being able to enjoy the food but still having the self-control not to overdo it. My mum loves baking and cooking and always has a houseful so I know there’s going to be tins of chocolates, biscuits, crisps, the full works! And as I have breakfast early and dinner’s not till about 4pm, it’s so hard to resist them… I’m going to have to wish for your willpower 🙂

  5. December 20, 2011 11:04 pm

    I’m planning to make and buy lots of ‘snacky treats’ for the Christmas hols, but treats that are pretty healthy rather than those that are laden with sugar/fat and make you feel cxxp. There’s so much choice in the shops now and so many healthy treats available. Christmas definitely doesn’t have to be a time filled with bad eating followed by regret. I will be indulging, but in moderation.

  6. December 21, 2011 12:21 am

    I really appreciate you doing this post Sarah… like you wrote it’s all about moderation and BALANCE! It’s okay to have treats and it’s also perfectly fine to balance it with healthy eating. A simple concept but difficult sometimes of course… I am goign to work on being more “okay” with the idea of moderation!

  7. December 21, 2011 7:27 am

    I think it sounds like you have an excellent approach! I wish I could keep my eats ‘normal’ over the holidays but I will definitely be eating differently than I usually do for most meals – I think I use the holidays as an excuse to eat richer more calorie dense, albeit, still fairly healthy foods, but I do still try and make fruit and vegetables the centre of my meals. My main aim this Christmas is to enjoy my foods and not to binge. If I can get through Christmas without totally over doing it I’ll be very happy. I just try and keep focusing on how rubbish I feel when I over eat!

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