It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! That doesn't mean I am about to tell you all to stick to salad and water, I love the Christmas feasting as much as anyone but I do tend to increase my activity levels even though I know it doesn't truly compensate!!
Some people have tried to take the 'keeping healthy at Christmas message' a little too far! - Would you believe that in 2017 there was a Christmas lunch designed to NHS nutritional guidelines to calculate “what a public health puritan approved Christmas lunch would look like”? This lunch comprised of; 125 grams of turkey, half a serving of boiled potatoes and 25 grams of sprouts, with pudding comprising of only a tenth of a serving of Christmas pudding and 15 ml of brandy cream! There were some limited (one may say measly) portions of alcohol approved. This was certainly a festive lunch that Scrooge himself would approve of!
We do however need to be slightly cautious as there's no point stuffing ourselves silly if we are going to suffer and be miserable in January! Keeping up with our usual exercise routines will help as will the occasional healthy option and lots of water to drink alongside your festive tipples!
Christmas used to be confined to a 12 day period (the 12 days of Christmas) which followed a period of fasting (Advent), this could explain why people used to 'feast' they had gone without for some time prior to Christmas. We, of course start feasting in November and don't seem to stop until the 2nd Jan, when many people then panic and lurch miserably into a New Year diet :(
Is it even Christmas if you don't have Brussel Sprouts? Love them or hate them they are everywhere over the festive period. How much do you know about Sprouts? Here's some facts you may even find them useful in a festive quiz!
Facts about sprouts
They really are named after Brussels, the capital of Belgium, where they were a popular 16th century crop.
Like other cabbage species, the sprout is a Mediterranean native, but was cultivated in the 1200’s near its namesake city of Brussels after being brought to Europe in the 5th Century.
The U.S. produces 70 million pounds of sprouts each year.
Carving an X in the bottom of stems before steaming helps sprouts cook more evenly.
Recent reports hint at upcoming scientific evidence that the small veggies give a big boost to libidos.
One 80-gram serving of these healthy veggies delivers four times more vitamin C than an orange.
In 2017, due to abnormal temperatures, the sprouts plants in the UK. soared upward and outward producing so-called “monster sprouts”. These monster sprouts were over twice as large, weighing in at an average of 35g each compared to the normal 15g!
In 1992, the heaviest sprout was crowned. This mammoth sprout weighed in at a jaw-dropping 18lb 3oz (8.3kg)!
With a cup of cooked Brussels, it provides you with an impressive 11g of carbs and 4g of protein.
According to a study, around 1 and 1/4 cups of sprouts can actually help protect DNA inside our white blood cells.
In 2015, a collection of school children and scientists in London, U.K., managed to power a Christmas tree with the use of 1,000 sprouts which is the equivalent of 44 kilowatts per hour. The tree was lit up in Southbank.
There's some festive recipes up here too, including Brussels Sprouts of course! https://www.thehealthkick.co.uk/festive-recipes
If you want to have a listen to some facts about sugar and tone done the excess a little take a look at my sugar series podcasts. In this episode I interview Rend Platings the CEO of Sugarwise https://sugarwise.org/
Episode Link - Let's talk Sugar 'Louise & Rend'
Have a Happy Healthy Christmas !
Early Years Nutrition Consultant
Food & Health Writer
Presenter on Early Years TV Food