And just like that the festive “silly season” is upon us - although it’s not particularly silly this year is it? More weird, different and even stressful. In my opinion I think that makes it all the more likely that we might overdo things at Christmas - we’ve already seen how the pandemic has encouraged our alcohol consumption to go up, but what about sugar, stress, sleep? - The knock on effects have been huge, and typically in these situations (because let’s face it, this year has been hard), we indulge.
I actually don’t think there’s much wrong with this attitude - Christmas should be about treating ourselves, enjoying delicious food with loved ones, and finding joy in the small things - but I also think that we all deserve to feel well, healthy and not let the good work we’ve done this year slide in the space of a few weeks.
For those of you with food allergies or intolerances, Christmas can be a really difficult time - constantly explaining to family members that you haven’t seen in a while why you can’t eat such and such, and feeling the pressure to just conform and ‘break the rules’ because it’s Christmas - knowing full well what the consequences might be for you.
If you fall into that category then my advice to you is this: stay strong! It’s never worth it to bring on a whole host of symptoms or an adverse reaction just because you wanted a mince pie. Get creative in the kitchen and take to Google - there are recipes for every festive favourite made allergen free.
If, on the other hand, you’re simply someone that holds their health in high regard (claps for you), and this year has made you realise more than ever just how important it is to keep your immune system in peak condition, then again you might be feeling anxious about all those months of care and attention unravelling at the sight of a sharing box of quality street and the social pressure of family members pushing Christmas pudding into your lap.
So, what do we do?
Firstly we accept and acknowledge that it’s ok to enjoy ourselves. Negative mental attitudes and that feeling of self-loathing when we’ve taken things too far is destructive and unhelpful in the long run and only leads to more restriction down the line. I see it all the time in my clinical practice - patients that are so desperate to tick all the boxes, eat super ‘clean,’ but could actually do with just cultivating a bit more self-love and compassion and relaxing a bit more around food. Food is health, but it is also joy, love and pleasure - a way of sharing experiences with our loved ones.
The second thing that I think is really useful is to remember that we don’t need to do anything to excess to enjoy ourselves - moderation is key. The best example of this I think is probably alcohol. I will certainly be enjoying some wine with my Christmas meal, don’t get me wrong, but I’ll do doing that safe in the knowledge that I’ve laid some really good foundations for detox potential (more on that in a sec), and with the full comprehension that I won’t be taking things to a point where I’m putting my body on the back foot in terms of my immune resilience - i.e. not getting legless!
Why not order yourself a Presscription Soup Cleanse to have in the fridge over the festive period? That way you've got nutrient dense green juices plus healthy and delicious soups to turn to in moments of need.
Alternatively, lay some good foundations now with one of our juice cleanses - Our Advanced Cleanse is our greenest cleanse yet and provides you with a hefty dose of vitamins and minerals whilst giving your digestive systems a chance to rest and reset - perfect for before the Christmas season!
What I meant by laying foundations is this: It’s really important if you’re going to indulge that you also don’t forget to include the good stuff too, i.e. don’t just eat chocolates and mince pies and drink Bailey’s - also make sure to get your veggies in with your Christmas meal, drink enough water, have enough leafy greens and fruit. If we start with a strong foundation of available nutrients then we’re in a much better position to break down the food that we eat and detoxify.
Digestion requires an input of essential vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other cofactors to happen adequately. When we eat, say, overly processed desserts, there’s a net loss of nutrients because the body has to put a lot in in order to carry out the required biotransformation processes. When we eat a healthier alternative (for example homemade mince pies with spiced apple filling instead of store bought mince meat etc), there’s much less net loss of nutrients because we’re also putting a lot of good stuff in at the same time.
Does that make sense? Think of it a bit like food maths - balancing out the good and bad! Another example would be alcohol again. Alcohol requires zinc and NAD as cofactors for its breakdown process. The better your diet is the more likely you are to be replete in these nutrients and able to cope with alcohol more effectively.
Speaking of laying foundations, why not order yourself some nutrient dense, organic juices to have in the fridge between now and new year? Having some healthy green juices and immunity shots on hand is a great way to make sure that you’re still respecting and nourishing your body throughout the festive period.