Things to be grateful for this festive season

Let’s talk about festive benefits. Yes, benefits. We are always talking about how terrible the festive season is for our health; battling the Christmas bulge, fighting weight gain, and physical inactivity. But this article is about something far more important. Gratitude. 

My nutrition motto is “focus on what you’re getting in, rather than what you’re cutting out” and I’m going to apply this to what can be considered one of the jolliest times of year.

You already know that over-indulging can cause much pain by the time the new year hits, and all the new year’s resolutions are about weight loss and ‘sticking to that diet!’ So… we all know the temptations, but what are some of the things we can be grateful for and can see as beneficial this time of year?

Food, glorious food!

Let’s celebrate the fact that we have access to delicious, colourful and nutritious food. Not everyone in the world has this and we often have so much that we can all live off the leftovers for a few days afterwards. Let’s be thankful for that!
Birds eye view of a feast - Blue Room - Bupa

Drinks! 

Many people don’t have access to clean water, let alone an abundant supply of bubbles, soft drink and punch. Let’s cheers to the safe water supply and choice of tap water as well as bottled water… all healthy and  available whenever we need it.

Variety in the Australian traditions of Christmas

We see many traditions across Australia: hot roasts, seafood, BBQs, picnics in the park… there’s no one tradition for everyone, and not everyone celebrates Christmas.

But if you do, we see some great nutrients included with any style of lunch you choose to put on. We often see many colours with the roast veggies or salad put on display, and this offers us a broad range of healthy nutrients. We also get quality protein from seafood and poultry and other vegetarian options presented at this time of year.

And my favourite thing about the festive season… people put a lot of effort into their meals. We take joy in the cooking process, the preparation and the fun we want to bring to the table. Eating is social and celebrating over a meal can be a very positive occasion for our relationship with food. Of course, we still don’t want to go overboard!

Music and laughter…

Not everyone has the joy of company this Christmas, so let’s be open to sharing the end of year celebrations with others and be grateful for all those who are around us. Sharing experiences can support our emotional and mental health which in-turn supports our physical health.

It’s easy to take good company for granted, particularly if this time of year brings with it other stressors too.

It can be easy to feel stressed and worried with all that seems necessary in planning your festive occasion of choice, but for my last motivational Monday for 2016, I’d like to encourage you all (and myself) to take joy in the process, joy in the preparation, and joy in the eating and drinking.

You know what to do in order to try to stay healthy at this time of year – keep that in mind too. I look forward to another healthy, happy year in 2017!
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