I'm finally admitting to myself that it might be semi acceptable to start broaching the C word. Before I dive head first into gift guides and Christmas make up essentials (mountains of glitter), I thought I'd write a little post about what I'm doing to be just that little bit healthier before mince pie mania kicks in (why are those little suckers so damn addictive?!).
This definitely isn't the definitive guide to looking like a festive babe, but it's just a few ideas and suggestions that you might thank me for when your slipping into your party dress.
As the weather gets colder and that cosy winter feeling starts to creep in, all I want to do is eat stodgy, delicious winter eats. I'm talking steamed puddings, big plates of spaghetti bolognese and lets be honest, anything warm and slightly comforting that's placed before me. It's definitely difficult to relish eating salad when it's -5 outside.
Instead of completely denying myself (It would only end up in a total breakdown involving a family size cottage pie...not that that's ever happened...) I've been indulging in all of the winter veg that just doesn't get a look in during the summer months. You can knock together some absolutely delicious dishes that don't involve too much effort but deliver on taste.
Some of my favourites include this Sweet Potato Stew. If you want the recipe let me know, I'll see if I can remember off the top of my head, it's a chuck it all in and let it go affair!
And for lunch, try whizzing up a batch or two of fresh soup and freeze, they make perfect warming, but easy lunch options. I used this simple Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup recipe. It took me less than half an hour.
If you haven't guessed already, if I'm trying to eat a bit cleaner, I tend to cut out the vast majority of the meat out of my diet. It's not because I think it's doing me any harm, but I tend to to like my meat in all the worst ways (oo-er). I'm still eating grilled turkey and chicken and desperately trying to eat more fish, but red meat is pretty much off the menu.
I'm just trying to combat my craving for stodgy carb rich food with pulses, root veg and healthy soups. So far so good!
As far as sweet treats go, I usually find that a NAKD bar will hit the spot, or Greek yoghurt with some agave nectar is a good one.
I find that my motivation for doing anything other than collapsing on the sofa under a fleecy blanket completely diminishes when you're leaving work in the dark, so now is the perfect time to mix it up and try different things. Personally, I find classes are the perfect way to make sure you get in a good solid hour of exercise without even noticing. If someone is going to shout and me all the way through so I keep going, sounds good to me!
I'm still loving Body Pump and try to do it twice a week but Zumba, Bokwa, Circuits and Body Combat are all brilliant for serious calorie burning. Swimming is also a great low intensity workout to fit in between if you have time, there's always the bonus reward of a hot jacuzzi or sauna afterwards!
If you're not a member of a gym, there are some excellent fitness DVD's that will do the trick if it's just too cold to pound the pavements. I still think that the 30 day shred is a great one if you find it hard to squeeze in exercise.
But, a good run on a crisp autumn morning is a bracing wake up!
Let me know if you're doing anything to shape up for the festive period, lets get sharing our tips!