How to.. Host a Healthy Christmas Party

You’re hosting a Christmas party and thinking what to make…. “Sugar and spice and all those things nice” is what they say ….. but given how damaging sugar is, is it really that nice, and do you want to harm your family? You want them to feel that you are thoughtful and considerate, so we’re going to say a big N-O. Instead, we have the tips and tricks you need to deliver the tastiest sugar free Christmas lunch they’ve ever tried – and it will keep them asking for more.

Firstly, when you’re doing your prep, go the extra mile and do your research! Tempting as it is to buy the store-bought ham glaze and DIY over your ‘homemade’ lunch, have a look at the label and you’ll see that it’s probably full of sugar. Even if it doesn’t list “sugar” on the label, it may be under the guise of dextrose syrup, corn syrup, fructose, maltose, agave or fruit juice concentrate. Regardless of how those clever marketers package it, understand that 1=1 and sugar=sugar. The best thing to do here is pop a packet of Natvia in your basket and create your own glaze, or any other delicious creation that you’re whipping up.

Next, when you’re at the soiree, encourage conversation between courses – after all, the idea isn’t to get the most slices of that delicious quiche, the concept is to engage with each other. Slowing down will minimise that food coma and allow them to feel energetic, rather than flat, following your spectacular spread. Now THAT’S showing the ultimate Christmas spirit.

Second, on the topic of food, don’t mention it’s sugar free. Time and time again, it’s become very apparent if people KNOW something has been ‘healthified’, that they will turn it away and have a superimposing negative expectation upon trying it, so much so that it compromises their ability to actually enjoy the meal. Rather, just tell them the special ingredient is love and watch their faces, bodies and minds rejuvenate at your tantalising treats.

The final step in hosting the best sugar free dinner party is to make sure you’re consistent across plate and glass. No, we’re not talking about matching colour palettes here, what we mean is ensure that the drinks you serve are void of the aforementioned toxic sweet stuff. This will mean you’re going to have to avoid processed fruit juices and soft drinks at the least, and remember that alcohol is made from a base of sugar as well – so we encourage you limit it, if not remove it completely. Some special homemade mocktails which combine lemon, soda water, lime and a little freshly squeezed orange juice (still sugar, but nothing processed or excessive here) will delight your guests so much that they wont even take note of what they are missing out on. 

This article was a sponsored post for natural sweetener company, Natvia. Know that I would only endorse a company I believe in, therefore if you are looking for an alternative to sugar this christmas (or in general), I highly recommend the product.

Olivia Arezzolo | Melbourne Personal Trainer | Healthy Tips

10 ways to Keep in Shape this Christmas

1.     Start the day right with a ½ a lemon squeezed into warm water. It will clear out the toxins from the champagne last night… or the night before….

2.     Speaking of water, drink a big glass of filtered, bottled or alkaline water before you head out to your festive do’s: Hydration is often confused with hunger and before you know it you’ve arrived and eaten half a plate of mini pizzas. This will reduce the impact of your hangover tomorrow as well – goodbye fogginess, headaches and aches, hello energy and zest!

3.     Get outside for a stroll now that the days are longer and remind yourself how beautiful summer in Australia is.

4.     Offer to host your friend-mas at your place, providing the most delicious sugar free dinner party for your friends they could ever imagine. Raw zucchini pasta with prawns tossed through, topped with pine nuts and a sprinkle of goats feta, anyone?

5.     After Christmas lunch happens, grab a footy, cricket ball or frisbee and entertain your oldies with some classic backyard sport. It will remind them of the ‘good old days’ and your uncle Stu is sure to whip out a story or two. The happiness alone on their faces will do it for you, but better still, you’ll be getting active without even realising.

6.     When you’re down at Bondi, Cronulla, Portsea or Sorrento (or Bali for jet-setters), hire a board and (attempt to) ride some waves. You’ll meet a few funny typical Aussie surfer dudes, as well as have fun finding out how coordinated you are, or there lack of.

7.      Give the gift of love aka the gift of health by buying gifts for your fam-bam that will improve their wellness – healthy cookbooks, passes to that luxe pilates or hot yoga studio or even just some homemade sugar free chocolates instead of the standard box of Roses will be helpful for them. How it benefits you is that you’ll get to share in some of the healthy stuff that they are getting involved in, so it’s a win win for all.

8.     Go easy on the treats. A slice of Aunty Nancy’s decadent chocolate brownie (definitely NOT sugar free), those cocktails at your christmas party and the subsequent 1am kebab / burger all add up (it’s ok, we do it too). Be smart and be conscientious: tasty at the time, it doesn’t feel so great for the week after when you’re bloated and moody.

9.     Remember that life exists after Christmas day. Yes, we know that your grandma WILL give you the darkest death stare when you decline her third helping of roast lamb (or pasta for anyone o European descent), but she will survive. If you’re full, own it, and be ok with it. They don’t have to wake up to the food coma in the morning, but you do.

10.  Finally… enjoy it! Don’t feel bad for indulging a little – it’s Christmas! Embrace the opportunity that your family is together sharing something special and don’t overthink it. We were designed with senses like taste and smell so we can enrich our experiences – so make the most of them!

This article was a sponsored post for natural sweetener company, Natvia. Know that I would only endorse a company I believe in, therefore if you are looking for an alternative to sugar this christmas (or in general), I highly recommend the product.

Olivia Arezzolo | Integrative Personal Trainer | Melbourne | Fitness Model

Raw Vegan Fermented Veg & Avocado Bowl

If you want a healthy gut, this post is for you. Fermented vegetables, avocado, mixed leaves and seeds - this is packed full of anti-inflammatory and stomach healing ingredients. Perfect if you're coming off a cleanse - or need to get into one. Fermented veg are in the spotlight right now, promoting the growth of healthy flora in the gut - the stuff that helps us digest and absorb nutrients properly. This is key to our overall health as we need to be able to actually extract the minerals and vitamins from our food - and often due to toxins, stress, gluten and dairy, our gut lining becomes damaged and are unable to do their job properly. What happens here is you feel fatigued and crap even though you're eating super well. So do the little guys in your gut a favour and create this salad - oh, and it's pretty tasty too.

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

Organic mixed leaves
Organic coriander, chopped
Almonds, chopped into pieces
1/4 avocado, chopped
2-4 tbsp fermented vegetables

Blend all ingredients together and top with sesame seeds xxx

Image Credits
Photography: Attila S
Make up / Hair: Hilary Ho
Tan: Tuscan Tan
Outfit: Vie Activewear