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1.  Please, please, please, eat before the Christmas.   Don’t “save yourself” for the big meal.  You will end up cranky because you are hungry and then you will eat waaaaaaay too much and feel like crap.  So eat something right now!  (Some carrot sticks might be a good idea.)

2. If you are making rich desserts (and why not really, it’s Christmas) then pre-slice them all.  It will encourage people to have seconds and if you need to, send left-overs home with other people.  It will save you eating it all!!

3. Look for healthy switches in your meals.  One of my favourites is using cashew nuts to make healthy dairy free cream cheese.  Or yoghurt instead of ice cream.  There are lots of ideas out there if you need them.  Or ask me!  I am happy to help if I can.

4.  Don’t dress all of your salads or meat!  Let your guests have fun with the dressings, sauces and gravy.  Invest in a lazy susan so everyone can tend to their own needs.  Not everyone needs or wants lots of dressing on their food.

5. Play little games with yourself – if you have an extra dinner roll then also have some more salad.  Or if you want an extra after dinner chocolate then perhaps have a soda water instead of another glass of wine.  You know what really feels good for your own unique body.  So try to honour yourself and make yourself feel as good as you can during this special season!

6. Try very, very hard to not drink alcohol while you are preparing for your Christmas meal.  I know – who am I trying to kid?  But if it is a hot day why not have a light beer or low-cal sparkling white wine while you are preparing so that you don’t have a huge hang over the next day (or even later that night!!)

7. Make sure you have some super clean, super healthy options available – even if it is just for you!  Fresh prawns and salad, home-made veggie burgers, a huge quinoa and roasted vegetable salad.  These are all gorgeous fresh options that will make you and your guests feel great on Christmas day!

8. Guess what… you don’t have to serve a rich stodgy cake for dessert!  Look for healthy fruit based recipes and serve with plain cream or yoghurt.  Perhaps have a few gorgeous bite sized chocolates on a dainty dish.  Your guests will probably thank you after eating a huge meal!

9. Add in as much healthy food to your Christmas festivities as you can.  Have a second helping of salad.  Prepare lots of fresh whole food dips.  That way when you have your lovely Aunty Pam’s pav afterwards you can be sure that you got lots of nutrients in too!

10. Get your friends and family involved when it comes to “tasting” the food while you prepare it.  It will save you from consuming more than your fair share throughout the day!

11.  Often at this time of the year it is advised to have a glass of water for every glass of alcohol you consume.  This is a fabulous idea!  Apply this same rule to fruits and veggies.  Try to eat two or three fruits or veggie pieces for every non-plant item.  This will make sure you get heaps of the healthy stuff during the festive season!

12. Plan your party recipes in advance.  If you leave everything to the last minute you are likely to grab a few packets too many of mince pies and not enough fresh produce for salads.  Try to start prepping a day or two out from Christmas day so you have more time with your family on the big day.

For some people Christmas is the perfect time to reflect on family, friends, love and feelings of connectedness.  For others, Christmas can be painful and isolating.  I wish you the most positive and happy festive season possible for you.  I thank you all very much for reading my blog and I look forward to connecting with you again in the new year.

All the best,
Emma
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