AshleyHanger

Brisbane foodie living for the weekend

Happy Switchmas | UQ Sport

Happy Switchmas | UQ Sport

“‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a vegetable in sight, not even a Brussels sprout.”

‘Tis the season of office parties, end-of-year farewells and family gatherings, where sweets are more abundant than Christmas carols. While it’s your right of passage to indulge in those it-wouldn’t-be-Christmas-without-them foods (think pudding, gingerbread, trifle, sugar cookies…), nobody enjoys the sluggish, bloated food coma day after day.

If you’re partial to a second (or third) helping of pavlova on Christmas day, clean up your silly season food game by swapping guilt-inducing food for their equally tasty, yet healthier, cousins.

Have your Christmas cake and eat it too with these healthy switches!

TREAT YO’SELF

The holidays are a time of family, fun and celebration, and what better way to celebrate than with a glass of bubbly? The easiest way to cut calories and lower your carbohydrate intake at Christmas is to cut back on alcohol and sugar-laden soft drinks. Switch the Coke for watermelon juice topped with soda water, or try mixing half a glass of white wine with sparkling water. You’ll still feel fancy and festive, without the sugar overload!

THE SEE FOOD DIET

Skip the fried and go for fresh seafood these holidays. Grill squid with lemon and pepper for a tasty calamari alternative, try smoked salmon as an appetising starter, or swap the deep fried money bags for fresh prawns. Keeping your hands busy peeling prawns will mean you’re less likely to overeat simply because scrumptious grub is in arms reach. 

SNACK IT UP

Take full advantage of seasonal summer fruit and keep chunks of pineapple, watermelon or mango in the fridge for an easy snack instead of dipping into the chip packet. For something a little sweeter, dip chunks of frozen banana into melted chocolate and chill for a candy bar alternative.

DRESS TO IMPRESS

You might think you’re being healthy, dolloping a side of coleslaw or potato salad onto your plate, but these Aussie salad classics are smothered in dressings full of full-fat mayo and saturated fats. Make your own creamy dressing with Greek yogurt, olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lemon, and a splash of Dijon mustard for a protein-boosted healthy swap.

The most important part? Exercise balance. It’s the season to be jolly, not jelly, so make the effort to eat mindfully, and avoid feeling guilty for your foodie festive fun! 

Written for UQ Sport.

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