The festive season can be difficult to navigate when it comes to healthy eating, but in this blog from Go Faster Food’s Kate Percy, we look at some tips for surviving the season, fuelling your runs and enjoying yourself too!
The average Christmas dinner contains over 1,400 calories. That’s a massive 70% of a woman’s and over 50% of a man’s recommended daily calorie intake. But it is Christmas after all and, quite frankly, life’s too short to refuse Great Aunt Maud’s trifle!
We could cope with all this Christmas over-indulgence if it were limited to the couple of days around 25th December, but with festive fodder on the scene earlier and earlier than ever each year, it takes a mighty steel willpower to resist temptation.
Fear not, for many Yuletide indulgences are actually excellent additions to the runner’s diet. Treats such as Christmas cake and pudding, turkey breast, chestnuts and Brussels sprouts are packed with nutrient-dense calories to sustain energy levels and to keep a spring in your step.
It’s the pre-dinner nibbles, vol-au-vents and sausage rolls, or Christmas treats such as bacon rolls, creamy bread sauce and brandy butter, which can pile on the excess pounds and make us feel bloated and lethargic. These foods are either highly processed or stuffed with saturated fat and ‘empty calories’ – I’m sorry to say they won’t help your training in the slightest!
Spring into January with Kate Percy’s GO FASTER Seasonal Survival Tips:
- Start each day with a good breakfast. Include plenty of slow-release carbohydrates for sustained energy and to help prevent hunger pangs and resist the day’s temptations; try porridge with chia seeds, nuts and fruit, unsweetened muesli or poached eggs on wholemeal toast and piece of fruit.
- Recognise when enough is enough. Listen to your body; don’t eat or drink more just because everyone else is.
- Eat slowly to help digestion. The slower you eat, the less tempted you will be to have seconds… or thirds!
- Drink plenty of fluids. Alternate each glass of alcohol with a glass of water; this will prevent dehydration and stop you drinking too much.
- Fill up on nutrient-dense foods. Go heavier on the turkey, a great source of low-fat protein; chestnuts, packed with minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients; and vegetables, providing not only good carbohydrates but also rich in antioxidants. Go lighter on the turkey skin and the gravy, the roast potatoes and trimmings such as bread sauce and pigs in blankets (but don’t avoid them completely… it’s Christmas and you are a runner!!!)
- Try these crafty swaps:
- At drinks parties, eat the hummus and veggie sticks rather than the sausage rolls. Another great tip is to avoid going to a drinks party hungry!
- Shop-bought mince pies for homemade, as they are generally lower in calories and sat fat.
- Mulled wine for a white wine spritzer. Just one small glass of mulled wine can be at least 250 calories, making a large glass 500 calories! I also sometimes drink tonic or fizzy water with ice and lemon, and pretend it’s a gin and tonic!
- Yule log for Christmas fruit cake. Stuffed with eggs, sugar, butter and double cream, this creamy chocolate affair is not for the faint-hearted!
- Brandy butter for… well there’s no alternative! Just enjoy in moderation!
For more information about Go Faster Food, or to purchase a special Christmas bundle of a signed copy of Kate Percy’s recipe book for athletes Go Faster Food for your Active Family, plus a variety pack of Kate Percy’s Go Bites energy balls, see http://www.go-bites.com.
Remember to use the discount code ‘RMR10’ to claim your Run Mummy Run discount!