If you’ve worked hard all year to keep fit and maintain a healthy lifestyle, Christmas can be a stressful time. As you navigate the glasses of prosecco, indulgent desserts and the endless boxes of chocolates – it can sometimes feel like there is no way to keep on the straight and narrow. Fortunately, Harley Street at Queens have some tips to prove there are plenty of ways to avoid the comfort food this festive period, and there are some surprisingly nutritious foods lurking in that much anticipated Christmas dinner!
Christmas day is synonymous with a big slap up roast dinner which doesn’t immediately seem like a superfood meal but, with a few tweaks it doesn’t have to be unhealthy. For a start, Turkey is a fantastic meat for protein and if you remove the skin from your Turkey it is also very low in fat. It’s also great from lowering cholesterol and it packed full of vitamins like iron and B vitamins which are vital for energy production. Turkey can even help to boost your immune system. It’s a fantastic meat to eat all year round, no need to save it for Christmas!
A roast dinner wouldn’t be the same without all of the trimmings but this can also be where the meal falls down. Pigs in blankets are one to avoid if you’re watching your weight as these little pork treats contain 65 calories each. They are also high in salt and saturated fat which is certainly not healthy in large quantities!
Load up on the veggies for a better alternative which will leave you feeling satisfied and not sluggish. If they are steamed instead of boiled, Brussel Sprouts can be one of the healthiest vegetables on your dinner plate. These leafy greens are bursting with goodness such as vitamin K, C, B6, B1, B2, A and B3 – and they can help to protect the body from cancer if eaten regularly. Go for a carvery style dinner at home and fill your table with carrots, broccoli, peas, cauliflower and parsnips and you’ll be well on your way to 5 a day. Lots of other decadent trimmings can we switched for healthier alternatives. Sausage meat stuffing is very calorific and high in saturated fats but this can also be swapped out for a perfectly Christmassy Chestnut and Orange based stuffing. Even your golden roast potatoes can have a nutritious makeover by roasting in coconut oil rather than goose fat or oil.
Once dinner is done and it’s time to lounge in front of the tv and watch that guilty pleasure Christmas film that you’ve been dying to watch all year. Surely the food fest is over but no festive feast is finished without a sweet treat. Luckily, Christmas Pudding isn’t too unhealthy as it is high in fibre and vitamins plus low in fat. You can swap the full fat custard for semi skimmed, lower fat custard or use a fat-free greek yogurt to dollop on the side. If you’re not a fan of the Christmas pudding and good in the kitchen there are plenty of ways to make your favourite desserts healthy. Try whipping up a sticky toffee pudding packed with dates and maple syrup or something a little different like this chocolate avocado cake.