Ready For Battle?

I don’t know about you but I find Christmas very stressful. But not stressful in a bad way; more in an exciting way! I can cope with the whole thing and really enjoy myself as long as I don’t come across any of the ‘super-organised’! You know the ones. They have got the cards written, the presents bought and wrapped, the Christmas lunch pre-ordered, the tree up and beautifully decorated during the first week of December, the children’s presents bought months before to avoid the ‘rush’, their desks are clear long before Christmas Eve and they turn up at the office Christmas party looking fabulous in a little designer something they picked up in T K Max ‘for a song’ – and their hair and nails are perfect!! If even one of them drifts elegantly through my life in the run up to Christmas I can guarantee stress!

Christmas is all about overload. An overload of food, drink, kids, relatives, shopping (and spending!), partying and most of us muddle through it each year somehow or other. But how do you usually feel when you come out the other end? Once you slow the pace down just a fraction do you find you pick up the first virus that’s going around and end up with a stinking cold which develops into a secondary infection and the first couple of months of the New Year become a real struggle?

If that’s you, you’ve got to prepare yourself for battle right now – today! The stronger your immune system is in the run up to Christmas, the better you are likely to cope with the overload and hopefully swing into the New Year feeling exhausted but otherwise good.

Here are a few things you can do now:-

  • Your body needs to sleep in order to rest and repair – try to get at least 6 hours sleep every night (8 is better).
  • Have a mug of hot water with a squeeze of lemon, some grated ginger and a swirl of honey every morning before you do anything else to cleanse and refresh your system – your digestion will certainly thank you for it.
  • Get a bottle of Echinacea and follow the instructions every day to provide a shield against viral attack.
  • Plenty of protein is essential. Whatever stress your body is under has to be dealt with and protein provides the building blocks for repair and regeneration. Make sure you have some protein with every meal and snack throughout the day. Lean meats, especially game, chicken and turkey and fish, fish, fish (cheap, quick, tasty and there’s such a huge variety so you will never be bored).
  • Submerge yourself! Everything, and I mean everything in your body works better when you are hydrated so make sure you always have a little or large bottle of water to hand and sip throughout the day. If you have coffee or tea, have a glass of water alongside. For every alcoholic drink, match it with a glass of water. Yes, you have to go to the ladies/gents more often, but you tend to feel pretty good the morning after the night before! Divide your weight by 2 to get a rough idea of how many ounces of water you should be aiming for in a day.
  • There are always loads of fresh nuts in the shops around this time of year. Eat them! A handful of fresh (not salted) nuts, a chunk of hard cheese and a piece of fruit provide a great, balanced snack mid morning, mid afternoon or late evening if you find you wake up in the night and cant get back to sleep.
  • You are probably tired of hearing about antioxidants but if there ever was a good time of the year to build up your antioxidant ‘shield’ its now! Fill a fruit bowl with a huge selection of fresh fruit and graze your way through them then fill it up and start again. Buy bags of baby vegetables and have them with dips (hummus, tzatziki, salsa), buy bags of ready chopped vegetables, steam them quickly, drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil and have a large plate before you have your main meal of the day or before you go out. That way you wont be so tempted by salty, sugary snacks or puddings.
  • Oh, and one other thing.  Don’t read any of those articles or listen to any of those programmes dedicated to leading you down the path to a ‘healthy’ Christmas Day!  Its only one day for goodness sake and it’s a celebration – what’s a celebration without a feast and copious amounts of drink with friends and family intent on having a good time! I say “eat it, enjoy it, forget it and move on”.  There are 364 other days to focus on the healthier options!

Keep an eye out for my daily tips here at CityConnect starting 1st December right through to Christmas Eve to ensure the party season is fun all the way but still allows you to look good, feel good and keep your waistline intact.

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About Fiona Kirk

When it comes to healthy eating, dieting and finding a route that works, confusion reigns! Nutritionist and best selling author Fiona Kirk’s ability to cut through the ‘noise’ that is being hurled at us from all sides, enables us to make a few small changes that can reap big rewards in minimum time. By writing articles for the press, books (4 to date), giving talks, blogging and contributing to numerous diet and health websites, Fiona has discovered that her somewhat cynical (but always honest) take on some of the nonsense being touted has struck a chord with her ‘followers’ - putting them back in the driving seat of their diet and long term health. After all, she knows good nutrition... and isn't afraid to talk about it! For more from Fiona, check out
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