Christmas is a hard time of year to stick to any eating regime, but the changing habits lifestyle is a great one to stick to around this time of year due to the  fact I do have a cheating chapter in my book, but also when you feel good and have been feeling great all year you don’t really want to undo all the wonderful health you’ve enjoyed due to good food choices.  So what do I do to survive Christmas cocktail parties?

Avoid Food Hangovers

Food hangovers are the worse!  They are those days when you wake up after a night of eating everything going, at the Christmas cocktail party.  Even though you may have slept, the sleep would have been very restless as your body was trying to digest all the different types of foods.  When you combine too many foods, different meats, fats, dairy, flours, drinks, additives, preservatives and flavourings then the digestive system has the worse time trying to get rid of it.  If it doesn’t get rid of it the food begins to putrefy sending out toxins and making you feel worse.  The best thing for a food hangover is not to get one but if you do have one; consume a bunch of fresh fruit and vegetables with greens (herbs and leafy greens), in order to help in digestion and drag out as many of the toxins as possible.  Throw into the blender spinach, parsley, cucumber and freshly squeezed orange juice – blend till smooth.  Drinking ginger tea will also help. The hair of the dog does not work in this instance.

So rather than looking at the cure lets look at what you can do in order to survive the Christmas Cocktail party.  Prevention is a far better way.

The Alcohol Side of the Party

The first thing you have to do is to decide on one particular type of drink.  If it is wine, then stick to wine, or if you like champagne then only drink champagne.  If you enjoy beer then don’t mix it with any other drink.  Now if you are going to drink spirits, then I suggest you drink them with; soda water, water, straight up or on ice.  No matter what alcohol you choose to drink it is important to follow the rule that with every glass of alcohol you drink you must match it with a glass of water, so every other drink have a glass of water.  Sometimes I just don’t want any alcohol, so I drink a virgin mohito; soda water, squeeze of lime, fresh mint and 2 drops of stevia.

The Food Side of the Party

When you are standing around drinking and talking it is hard to concentrate on the food coming around, the hand just seems to go out and grab whatever is in front of you.  An important part of surviving the Christmas cocktail party without ending up the next morning with a food hangover is to think before you grab.

Decide when you get to the party what you are going to eat and not going to eat.  Decide on one type of meat, so when the chicken wings circle then decide that chicken will be the only meat you will be eating, (definitely do not touch the fake red little boys) do not mix your proteins, this is a sure way to end up with a food hangover.  Another good choice would be to have the vegetables and the dips, this will ensure that the chicken wings will be well digested and you’ll get a good night sleep.  It is good to avoid the fried foods, as the fat slows down the digestive process.  By making good choices you’ll avoid feeling horrible the next day and on January 1st 2013.

I know, I know it’s great to try everything, but face it, you have probably tried most of the food out there and it won’t be much different, so why suffer the next morning.  It is your choice!

I use to love trying everything at a cocktail party, but I decided many years ago that the love of trying everything was not worth the way I felt the next day, or at the end of the silly season when I had a protruding stomach and couldn’t fit into my jeans.  Once you’ve made the decision then it’s easy.

So have a wonderful Christmas and be kind to your body, it is the only one you have and if you ruin it, it won’t take you far into this life.

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Cyndi O'Meara

Founder at Changing Habits
Not your typical nutritionist, Cyndi disagrees with low-fat, low-calorie diets, believes chocolate can be good for you and thinks cheating and eating yummy food is an important part of a well-balanced diet. Cyndi must be doing something right because she maintains a healthy weight and has never (in her whole life!) taken an antibiotic, pain-killer or any other form of medication. Cyndi is a passionate, determined and knowledgeable speaker on health issues and uses her education and experience to help others improve their quality of life so they too can enjoy greater health and longer lives.
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