These recipes have been popular with Hopeland for many years so we thought we’d bring them back out again this year, just in time for the final Christmas grocery shop!
And while the summer holiday is the easiest time of year to break all our healthy habits, there are a few simple things we can do to help maintain our health throughout the festive season.
As recommended by Nutritionist and Dietitian Cindy Williams, it’s important not to go to parties hungry. Instead, eat some protein before you arrive to ward off any cravings.
Choosing your drinks wisely is another way to help yourself make good food choices.
“Alcohol loosens you up, relaxes you a little bit, and if you’re at a Christmas party and trying to not eat too much, it can loosen your resolve.”
Another ideas is to physically move away from the food table. “You can often be chatting with a drink in one hand, and the other hand, without you even realising, going back and forward to the nut bowl or the chip bowl,” Cindy said. “Get a little bit of food and step away from the food table so you’re not unconsciously grabbing food.”
Speaking of having a good conversation, this can be another way to distract yourself from food. If you’re deep in conversation, you’re not thinking about your stomach.
“If you’re not starving hungry, you’re not focused on getting something to eat. You can become so immersed in your chatting and talking, that you don’t want to eat so much. Plan to engage with other people, not to try out all the food.”
When planning the family Christmas, Cindy says it’s best to fill up tummies with something healthy in the morning, so that people aren’t grazing on fatty nibbles until lunch time.
For lunch itself, offer healthy, appealing salads so that it’s not all about roasted, baked, fat-rich foods. Salads done well, look colourful and festive, and are both healthy and filling.
“I do a light breakfast or oatmeal pancakes, and then we usually do a late lunch with quite a range of different salads, a ham, poached salmon.”
Three Great Christmas Salad Recipes
Festive Green Salad
A simple green salad, but with festive extras thrown in.
Prepare a garden salad as you normally would, with ingredients like lettuce, rocket, baby spinach, cucumber, capsicum. Then add extra tasty bits such as pomegranate seeds, sliced pear, snow peas, asparagus and herbs.
Quinoa salads aren’t just light and tasty, but also filling, due to the protein content of the quinoa.
Boil your quinoa just like you boil pasta, and drain. Once cooled, squeeze fresh orange juice into the quinoa, add chopped mint and currants for sweetness and flavour, and toasted chopped almonds for texture and crunch.
Roast Veggie Salad
A summer party classic, roast veggie salad is colourful, nutritious and delicious.
Toss ingredients such as capsicum, chopped pumpkin, halves of red onion, baby carrots and small beetroots in oil, then roast in the oven at 200 C for about 30 minutes. In the last five minutes before bringing them out of the oven, toss some balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar over the veggies, and in the final two or three minutes, add some spinach leaves into the mix, allowing them to wilt. Lastly, tip all the roasted ingredients into a salad bowl and crumble feta cheese over the top.
Cindy Williams is a nutritionist and dietitian whose life passions are summed up in the three words “Eat, Pray, Write”.
Feature image: Photo by Canva Pro