I don’t know about you, but my December has been filled with festive merriment.  I do love a glass of prosecco and a mince pie.  And no, this isn’t some kind of confessional of a fitness coach.  Just facts.  I love my food:  Somebody even remarked on Friday night (at a Christmas bash) “Woah, Amber, you never stop eating!”  She wasn’t wrong.  Every time we stopped to chat I had something in my hand.  I LOVE party food, especially when it’s homemade by a rather talented friend.

I digress (and salivated a little just then).  The point is, I do like to eat, drink and be merry.  But does that mean I think it makes sense to go completely crazy around Christmas?  Not really.

I’m not one of those people in my industry who’s going to pretend that I never touch a drop of booze.  Nor am I going to advise you all to “only eat the crudities and hummus at parties.”  Because for most people, that’s just not going to happen! I guess the reality is that I kind of sit on the fence on this one.  Sorry.  I think that total abstinence, be that exercising willpower or avoiding attending events altogether, isn’t massively helpful.  It’s likely to make you feel like you’re depriving yourself, which could then lead to a massive post-Christmas binge.  On the other hand, I’ve always felt that it’s a bit crazy to go completely off the rails, just because – you know – it’s Christmas.  I know how full-to-bursting the supermarket shelves are with tempting goodies, and it’d be very easy to just whack it all into your trolley and have a stash at home for whenever you might feel peckish (all the time),  or for any unexpected guests who might drop by (yeah right).

Ultimately I’m not going to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do.  You’re all sensible (!) adults and can make your own minds up.  I do, however, appreciate that I am supposed to be a source of wisdom for my readers, so here a few pointers that I can honestly say that I adhere to, and should help you to avoid starting 2017 feeling rubbish!

1) HYDRATE.
I know, I know, everyone bangs on about drinking water, but seriously – it will save you a world of pain!  Drink water before, during and after any big bashes.  Even if you’re not drinking much alcohol, when you’re eating a lot of rich food, your body needs water to help dilute and digest!  So go ahead and tuck into that buffet with a glass of fizz in your hand, just be sure to have some good old H2O at some point during the evening, and neck a pint (of water) when you get home.

2) DON’T BE A MARKETING COMPANY’S DREAM.
BOGOF, 1/3 off, Was £10.99 Now £6.99…  You’ve seen them all and you have fallen for it!  Go on, admit it.  We all have!  That’s just how it works.  “Oh that’s a good deal, I’ll stock up on that.”  “Ooh, those look nice, let’s get a few.”  Only you forget that you have already purchased quite a lot of nice looking goodies over the previous few weeks.  My point is this:  Buy what you need, and sure, throw in a few JICs (just in case), but try to recall how full (and, let’s face it – sick!) you normally feel over Christmas.  Stick to the list people.  STICK TO THE LIST!

3) KEEP IT REAL.
Between all the entertaining, the meals out and the parties – Just. Eat. Normally!  Honestly, I think where most people fall foul, is that they succumb to point #2, fill their cupboards and fridge with junk and live off that for a fortnight.  Or longer.  I truly think it’s fine to enjoy yourself at the office party, your mate’s annual mulled wine soiree, and at all the family gatherings.  But no matter how popular you are, there will be days (or at least certain meals) where you’ll just be eating at home.  So rather than have a meal of cheese, yule log, and twiglets, make something fresh.  It doesn’t have to be elaborate.  A quick stir fry or a hearty soup will fit the bill.   On that note…

4) EXPERIMENT WITH LEFTOVERS.
Following on from point #3, rather than just picking at your leftovers, do something fun and different with them.   We once made a delicious turkey, ham and leek pie on 27th December (really wish I could remember which recipe book it was in).    My mum always does the most terrific bubble and squeak, spicing it up with all sorts of heat.  Why not throw a poached egg on the top for your protein if you’re bored of turkey?  Just a few ideas.

Ok, that’s me done.  Seriously, please enjoy yourselves!  And if you really can’t control your excitement with all the yummies, then you know where to find me in January 🙂