I thought I might get into the Christmas spirit and share a few healthy Christmas recipes with you, so I turned to that trusty source, “the internet”, and duly typed in “healthy Christmas recipes”. The entire front page of the search results was devoted to low fat Christmas recipes, which got me thinking.
Why do we still equate healthy food with low fat food? Hello people out there in Google land, fat is good for you. Yes, you heard me right. Fat is good for you. The right sort of fat of course. Generally, animal fats should be eaten sparingly, except for fish and fats found in unfarmed kangaroo, and to an extent free range beef (which is pretty much all beef farmed in Australia) which are high in omega 3 and omega 6 fats. Good fats are also found in vegetable oils such as flaxseed oil, olive oil, hemp oil, nuts and seeds, avocado, to name a few. A great book on fats is Fats That Heal, Fat’s That Kill by Udo Erasmus. There is a bit of biochemistry for you to digest, but on the whole, a pretty easy read and very informative.
Anyway, my point is, as a population, we need to stop thinking that all fat is bad for you, and that if a food is low fat, it must be good for you. There are so many other factors to take into consideration. Mostly, low fat foods are high in carbohydrates, which is not necessarily always a bad thing – look at carrots, capsicum and peaches, just to pick three foods at random.
Processed foods which have a low fat label, are generally high on processed carobhydrates. Something needs to give the food the yummy flavour which brings us back to the packet, clammering for more!
The other thing I noticed when I looked at a few of the recipes was that yes, some of them were not only low in fat but also low in calories per serve. But who can eat just one tiny midgy little shortbread, so small that it only yields 31.5 calories per biscuit? Not me, that’s for sure.
My plan for eating healthily at Christmas time is simple.
Eat what I like on Christmas day.
Eat too much of all the wrong things.
Eat chocolate money and ham on toast for breakfast.
Piles of Christmas pudding with brandy butter and my mum’s excellent coffee icecream, all the turkey I can look at.
It’s just one day of the year, and honestly, if you’re worried about putting on weight, or in fact taking it off, one day of the year is not going to make or break you. But that’s the key. If you’re going to overindulge, it needs to be just one day. And that’s where many people fall down. I’ve been fasting 1-2 days a week for the last 4 weeks now, so I know I can do it. And yes, I do get hungry. If you’re planning on it, be aware it’s not for the faint hearted. (Quite literally – don’t even consider fasting if you have any type of medical condition, or if you are pregnant).
If you know that you find it almost impossible not to eat when you start feeling really hungry, you’re better off just to eat small portions of your favourite food, and don’t risk getting to the end of Boxing Day and reaching for the leftovers in a half crazed manner.
I don’t plan to be eating and picking at bits and pieces for the weeks leading up to Christmas (well not much anyway), and I do plan to fast on Boxing Day, and possibly the next day as well-ready for New Year’s Eve. I’ll be more than doubling my daily caloric intake on Christmas day-more than enough to see me through till the end of the week I should think!
I’ll throw in a decent run as well, and voila, there you have it. Reasonably healthy Christmas eating. And I really don’t have to think about it.
What are your plans for avoiding excess energy intake over the Christmas period?