12 tips for the 12 days of Christmas

Author: Emily Seddon   Date Posted:20 December 2016 

The holiday season is upon us, in all its busy, chaotic glory! Thankfully, the naturopaths at ANC are here to share some of their favourite tips to help you survive the season, unscathed!

1. Plan ahead

The holidays are always busy and taking some time to plan ahead can go a long way.

  • Use in-season ingredients to save some cash. Stone-fruit are in season over summer and a perfect option for dessert!
  • If you’re hosting, make batches of your dishes ahead in advance to minimise kitchen time.
  • To curb snacking and survive parties where you might not want to or be able to have the food on offer, have a delicious, healthy meal before arriving.

2. Take advantage of time savers

Using leftovers is a perfect opportunity to save time. You can even create a dish to take along to other parties. Wholegrain crackers topped with turkey, brie, cranberry sauce and rocket is a crowd-pleaser! If you can’t use all them immediately, freeze further leftovers for a rainy day.

Make use of ready-made salads to cut prep time in half. Coleslaw mixes are a perfect source of shredded cabbage. Broccoli florets already chopped can save a few minutes too. It all counts! Don’t peel all your vegetables – this is where loads of nutritional value lies. Wash thoroughly in water and apple cider vinegar.

3. Listen to your body

The holidays can be loud and make it difficult to hear messages from our body. Try to tune in with your body to know how its feeling. If you’re feeling full, hold off on the next big serve to avoid bloating and abdominal discomfort. If you’re feeling hungry, have a drink of water first. Thirst is commonly mistaken for hunger.

Christmas isn’t stress-free for everyone – if you are feeling overwhelmed, taking time out for yourself is okay. Slow, deep breathing helps to reduce parasympathetic nervous activity – which increases in times of stress and anxiety. Remember you don’t have to do and attend everything, you can say no.

4. Think of others

Christmas is a time for giving and thinking of others. It’s a wonderful opportunity to show our loved ones how much we care. It’s easy to forget that some people aren’t surrounded by their families and find this time of year difficult.

You can make their lives a little brighter by donating presents, money or time to various charities and Christmas drives, including the Salvation Army, the Smith Family, the Red Cross, local religious groups and community centres. Many stores also offer Donation or Wishing Trees, making it easy to give. What about doing something different this year and serve at your local soup kitchen, homeless shelter or refuge. Give back to the community and show that true Christmas spirit. You could add a personal touch by inviting acquaintances and friends who may otherwise be lonely to join you for a meal, or organising a street party with neighbours.

5. Stay hydrated

An easy one to forget but important nonetheless, especially when festive drinks and the hot summer weather enters the equation. Most hangovers occur as a result of dehydration. While we don’t endorse excessive drinking, the rule of one alcoholic drink followed by a large glass of water exists for a reason. Always drink responsibly and if you’re heading out and planning to drink, ensure you have a safe way to get home. Also if you’re in the sun for long periods of time, remember to take a bottle of water.

If you struggle to get water down, try these helpful tips:

  • Add mint, other refreshing herbs or fruit to your water. Mint with slices of strawberries is just delightful.
  • Spice up your water and add some ginger or cayenne pepper with some lemon to give your water a bit of a kick.
  • Liquid chlorophyll is a must! It not only tastes great but it is really refreshing.
  • Herbal teas are also a great way to increase your water intake. Now that there are hundreds of beautiful tasty teas out there to try, there is no excuse.

6. A Merry Cherry Cranberry Mocktail

Start with soda water and ice, then add a slug of cranberry juice and ginger ale, or kombucha. Top with a slice of lime and a cherry. This festive drink is family and will quench any thirst!

Cherry More Cherry Juice

7. Boost energy levels

Who doesn’t love an extra bounce in their step? B vitamins are involved with energy conversion, which is why they can deliver a boost to your energy levels and help to combat fatigue. They can also support stress management and ease nervous tension as they are required for the production of neurotransmitters.

8. Avoid food comas by supporting digestion

Ever need to sleep off a meal? You can avoid the feelings of over-fullness by supporting your digestion. Sip on a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or Swedish bitters in a glass of water 20 minutes before a meal, and add bitter foods to your Christmas feast.

Finish the meal with digestive tea. Peppermint tea soothes the stomach, as do teas containing ginger, aniseed, fennel and chamomile.

9. Get a good night’s rest

Getting adequate sleep – 7-9 hours a night for adults, 9-12 for children – supports mental health, brain function and growth in children. Plus, it enables us keep up with any little ones running about! Why not have a few sleep-ins or an afternoon siesta to catch up on some well-deserved rest? It is Christmas, after all!

A soak in a bath with relaxing magnesium salts before bed can help to soothe the body and prepare you for a peaceful sleep.

10. Dont neglect your liver

  • To support the liver, feature meals including cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower.
  • Milk thistle is the number one go to liver support herb! Milk thistle supports liver function and helps protect our livers cells.
  • Kick start your morning with a glass of warm water with half a lemon squeezed into it. Not only does this get the metabolism going it also helps to gentle detoxify the liver.
  • Take a B Complex - did you know we need Vitamin B1 to metabolise alcohol and that alcohol intake also depletes our levels of B vitamins.
  • Dare we say it… but if you are a coffee fiend, switch your regular coffee for a dandelion coffee. Your liver will thank you!

11. Be active

Regular exercise may fall by the wayside at this time of year, but maintaining movement each day can continue to support digestion, sleep patterns, physical health and mental well-being during the busy period. It may also help to keep your bowels on track. Head to the beach to try out the new cossies, grab the volleyball or organise a friendly game of backyard cricket. It doesn’t need to be a run to get you moving!

12. Have you over-done it?

Feeling a little green around the gills after the holidays? This stressful time of year can take a big emotional and physical toll on our body. Ginger can help settle an upset stomach and coconut water is great at replenishing electrolytes.

Aim to have a few days of light and nutritious food. Different coloured vegetables contain numerous phytochemicals to support your immune system function – eat a rainbow salad! Give yourself a boost and drink green juices or have smoothies for breakfast to ease the burden on your digestive system. And if you’re game have a wheatgrass shot!

Vitamin C and zinc have been shown to help support immune system function. Zinc is found in pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, cashews and peanuts, which are perfect to sprinkle over a Vitamin C-rich fruit salad including kiwi fruit, citrus fruits, papaya and rock melon.

Be kind to yourself, take it slow, rest and rejuvenate. Let your body have time to recover, don’t keep pushing on.

SLEEP, getting a good night sleep is essential.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! It’s so important to ensure you are drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day.

Written by Emily Seddon
Emily Seddon

Emily (BHSc Naturopathy) is a qualified naturopath with a love of science. Growing up with a hippy mum and dad, Emily grew used to thinking outside the box for her own health. She has since completed a degree in Health Science, majoring in Naturopathy, combining that passion for healthy living with scientific and traditional evidence to help others to live happy and healthy lives.

She loves using herbal and nutritional medicine to treat ailments and lives by the philosophy of “there is no such thing as too much tea."


Comments (1)

Thank you

By: on 21 December 2016
These are Great reminders for the christmas season. Thank you

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