As a sleep specialist, improving energy and optimising sleep go hand in hand. Foods that contribute to burn out also impair sleep quality, and especially at this time of the year when we’ve been downing Christmas cocktails and the occasional kebab at 2am which contributes to body and brain energy drain. Whilst we’re all for indulging every now and then, there are ways to avoid that afternoon slump (yes, even on Christmas when napping is totally acceptable after a big meal!). Here’s your game plan for success:
For many years now I have worn the crown of salad queen, and this ensures there is a healthy, satisfying and energising option on the table—provided it’s not a boring garden salad. Check out a range of healthy, filling salad recipes here and here.
Tip 3: Eat the salad first
Following from point number 2, filling up on fibre rich veggies/salad will aid in alkalising your body—key to maximum energy. Acidity, stemming from an overload of toxins such as alcohol, fried food (like those canapés), dairy and sugary sweets, leaves us mentally foggy, physically drained and ready for a nap. Conversely, foods which increase our alkalinity levels, such as vegetables, alkaline water and lemon juice (perfect as a salad dressing, FYI) does the reverse.
With Aunty Joan feeding you her beloved pavlova as soon as you walk in the door, sometimes our healthy intentions can be derailed from well meaning friends and family. Rather than offending your aunt (or if you’re Italian like I am, causing absolute catastrophe) by saying no, take a bite and then share it around.
Tip 5: Try and avoid too much of the usual suspects
Just as as a reminder: gluten, dairy, refined sugar (like in that sticky date pudding), oily antipasto, fried foods, cocktail/dipping sauces, glazed ham, cocktails (the drinking kind), alcohol, desserts and ice cream all cause crash in energy. On the other hand, fresh salad, fresh prawns/raw fish dressed with lemon, dairy/gluten free dips and fruit are energy-enhancing.
Above all, enjoy Christmas lunch, say yes to Aunty Joan (it will actually make her day) and if you do overindulge, remember that it’s just one day out of many and life is all about balance.