We do it every year and every year we vow to not to ‘overdo’ it the following year.  Christmas!  Love it or loathe it unless you are jetting off to sit on a beach somewhere you are generally caught up in all the madness.

I’ll keep this one brief as we are all way too busy getting prepared mentally, buying presents, preparing food lists or organising sleeping / driving arrangements to be taking time out for ourselves with a little light hearted reading.

I do, however, have good news.  Yes!  You can enjoy Christmas Dinner and a glass or two WITHOUT feeling bloated, tired, lethargic and falling asleep in front of your extended family at the dinner table.  It is quite simple really, essentially Christmas Dinner is a roast dinner with lots of random extras.  I mean, would you normally eat sausages and bacon with your Sunday roast?  What other time of year is this an actual thing?  For 364 days a year we normally only eat bacon and sausages for breakfast.  With eggs!  So, my advice is as follows:

Christmas Dinner

  • Avoid eating breakfast meats with your main Christmas meat whether it is turkey, ham, duck or goose.
  • Avoid Yorkshire puddings at all costs.  These have very few nutrients and simply fill you up so you miss out on all the good stuff.  Traditionally Yorkshire puddings are only served with beef with a Sunday Roast. If you must have a yorkie but don’t want the IBS symptoms try this recipe.
  • Stuffing.  At Christmas we go all out on stuffing.  Whether you buy a packet of ready mix, or go to the trouble of home making delicious recipes with lots of breadcrumbs, onions, sage, chestnuts.  OK, admittedly, home made stuffing is tasty and does provide some nutrients BUT if you want to avoid feeling overfull and you want to ENJOY your Christmas pudding without feeling like you are force feeding yourself then leave it alone.
  • Don’t be tempted to use Goose fat or Duck fat for your roast potatoes.  I use olive oil, lemon juice, a little GF flour and season with salt and pepper and I have to tell you, you’d be hard pushed to find a better roastie!  The cooking fats used will make a LOT of difference to your calorie intake for very little satisfaction.

Puddings

  • We all like a little naughty treat, and it is Christmas so go ahead and enjoy your pudding.  However, something as simple as using DF cream (I use Oatly) instead of double cream or brandy butter will make a difference to your calorie intake, reduce heartburn and your IBS symptoms.  And it will still be delicious!  Just try not to go back for seconds!

Alcohol

  • Whatever your favourite tipple is, try and alternate with a glass of water in between.  Not only will your liver thank you but your hangover will be less severer the following day PLUS you will be able to enjoy Christmas day for longer without passing out over the tea time buffet!
  • Vodka or Gin with tonic are the lightest on calories.  Not that I am advising anyone to go out and get drunk on Vodka.  Just keeping you informed…!

Whatever you do this Christmas enjoy yourself, enjoy spending time with your family, enjoy some rest but most of all ENJOY YOUR FOOD!