Christmas lunch (and dinner...and all days that follow) can be guilt free - we promise. Accredited practising nutritionist and For Food's Sake
co-founder Gen James-Martin tells you how.
So we’re well and truly at the pointy end of the silly season, and if you party anything like the Australian Fashion Labels gang then you are just about ready to check yourselves into rehab. So how to keep up the momentum right through to Christmas day? Most nutritionists would suggest sticking to one glass of wine and skipping the Chrissy pudding, but the For Food’s Sake nutritionists believe in realism - so we say power on and enjoy the festivities.
Our only advice is to take a couple of extra minutes to focus on what goes on your plate. It takes just a bit of extra time to plan and prep a dish that will have your mates asking where on earth you acquired these new found culinary skills. My go-to for getting food compliments? Yotem Ottelenghi
. A true master of all things vegetable - and when you have vegetables as the star of the Christmas meal, how much damage can you really do?
Think brussel sprouts with some sautéed shallots, chilli and garlic, roasted carrots with a drizzle of honey, slivered almonds and parsley, and green beans with tahini dressing and pomegranate seeds scattered on top for that festive look. Or a personal favourite of mine, a whole pumpkin roasted with a filling of rice, nuts, cranberries, spinach and herbs. It makes an amazing centrepiece on the table and you can drop the roast potatoes and pumpkin, meaning one less dish to prepare.
If you think about it, the sorts of food we eat at Christmas are inherently healthy foods. Your full on roast with all the trimmings is packed with protein, and the rest of the plate is usually full up with high fibre and low GI (glycaemic index), carbohydrate rich veggies to keep you full without going overboard. Add a seafood starter for essential omega-3 fats and cook veggies in olive oil and your healthy fats are covered. As for the homemade pud and custard, there's some fruit and dairy in there...so no need to deny yourself.
Really the biggest favour you can do for yourself over the festive season is to try and be a bit mindful as you enjoy all this amazing food. This can be hard in the company of others, with food being thrust before you at an alarming pace, but eating mindfully means you have the opportunity to slow down and really savour every bite, recognising when you are becoming full and giving yourself some breathing space before you go back for seconds. Which means more leftovers for Boxing Day! Oh, and we should really be giving tips on how to reduce your alcohol intake - but that would make us hypocrites (so we won’t go there).