The holidays may be a wonderful time to celebrate and take a break from routine, but be warned: It's estimated that Australians gain an average of 0.8–1.5 kg over the Christmas period (Source: Nutrition Australia).
While this may not sound like very much, according to researchers, weight gained over the holiday period is very difficult to lose. What's more, it's accumulated around the abdominal section, and this type of weight gain is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
When you do overindulge, prioritise exercise to burn any extra kilojoules and choose gut healing foods to prevent any imbalances that can leave you feeling irritable and fatigued. Foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, and natural yoghurt and beverages like kefir, Kombucha and beet kvass are all rich in beneficial bacteria and are an excellent choice.
This zucchini and egg salad makes a delicious pre-breakfast or pre-party snack. Egg contains essential fats, protein and choline for healthy cell membranes, pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium, vitamin A, calcium, iron and zinc, while zucchini is low in fat and is a great source of vitamin A, C, B6, iron, calcium and magnesium.
Zucchini and egg salad
Handful of pumpkin seeds, toasted until crisp
1 tbsp organic coconut oil
1 zucchini, grated
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and black pepper
Dried chilli flakes
1 organic or free range egg
1. Fry the egg to your liking in coconut oil.
2. Wash the zucchini, then grate it onto a plate.
3. Place the fried egg on top of the zucchini and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.
4. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
5. Season with sea salt, pepper and chilli.
Remember: It is possible to enjoy yourself over the holidays, while remaining mindful of your health. Here are a few festive tips and tricks to keep you on track:
• Don't arrive at a party hungry. Eat something light beforehand to reduce your chances of snacking on party food, which is often high in calories.
• Make sure you're well hydrated when you arrive, and sip water with lemon slices throughout the party.
• Choose lighter spritzers and keep away from sugar-laden cocktails and sweet wine.
• Control your portion sizes by using smaller plates – and don't go back for seconds!
• If you do find yourself at the snack table, avoid creamy dips, pies, sausage rolls, salted chips, pastries and cakes, opt for vegetable crudités, nuts, and slices of cheese, and enjoy dips like beetroot, cottage cheese, hummus, avocado and tzatziki in moderation.
Have a safe and happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year!
Mogestri holds a Bachelor of Health Science and an Advanced Diploma in Applied Science in Nutrition and is an accredited VLA (vitality, longevity and healthy ageing) practitioner with a personal and caring approach. She advises on weight loss, anti-ageing digestive imbalances and immune disorders, and offers anxiety support.