nutrition  |  10 / 12 / 2015

Party Nutrition 101

By Linia Patel

(photo c/o Honestly Yum)

Regardless of how much mistletoe there is around, you don’t have to kiss healthy eating goodbye this festive season. You just need to be smart with your choices! These tips will help you party on whilst keeping your waistline and liver in check.

5 tips

  1. Eat! If you think you’re saving on calories by not eating before you drink you’re wrong. The right thing to do is to spend the day lining your digestive tract with goodness. Start the day with a breakfast that slowly releases sugar into your blood stream such as porridge or scrambled eggs on wholegrain toast. For lunch opt for hearty vegetable and chicken soup or salad (roasted vegetables with a salmon fillet).
  2. Stay hydrated. The hangover headache is a sign of dehydration and low blood sugar, so keep on top of you water intake. Have water everywhere. Keep a glass in front of you and sip water regularly throughout your day. Pile in the ice in your party drinks to keep on top of your hydration. The morning after, starting your day with a cold pressed juice or a smoothie will simultaneously push your blood sugar levels up and hydrate you.
  3. Make milk thistle your festive friend. Not only does this supplement help the liver in dealing with excess alcohol, but it also helps improve your digestion.
  1. Have a pre-party game plan. Before you leave for the party have a snack. A banana will help stabilize your blood sugar levels. Having a handful of unsalted nuts with the banana would even be better. The protein in the nuts will help you digest the alcohol at a slower rate.
  1. Stick to the same drink all night. Better still, opt for a light/ clear drink. The lighter in colour the better. Darker drinks like rum and brandy contain chemicals that will make your hangover worse.

meal ideas

 

Time

Meal ideas

Breakfast

Bowl of porridge with a handful of seeds and nuts

OR

Eggs on wholegrain/ sour dough toast

Lunch

Lentil/chicken and vegetable soup served with oatcakes topped with goats cheese

OR

Roasted vegetable salad with grilled salmon fillet

Pre- party snack

Banana with a handful of unsalted nuts

OR

 Carrots and hummus

Dinner

It has to be a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings..?

TIPS:

  • Eat your turkey and vegetables first!
  • Stick to clear drinks. Add lots of ice.

All day

Water, water, water and more water

Before bed

Pop a couple of milk thistle tablets

 

Have a happy, healthy holiday season!

Linia Patel is a leading dietitian and sports nutritionist. She's passionate about empowering people to better manage their health and optimise their performance through learning the essence of healthy eating. Outside of work, Linia is a wannabe triathlete. Visit her website: www.liniapatel.com.