SILLY SEASON FOOD AND DRINK SWAPS
When you think of Christmas Day and the abundant food and free-flowing drinks, what comes to mind? If you’re used to celebrating Christmas in Australia, you probably dream of roast meats with all the trimmings, chocolates scattered throughout the house, a pavlova as big as your head, and one too many glasses of champagne.
Most of us have been enjoying these festive spreads for generations. We gather around the Christmas table reading bad cracker jokes, mindlessly topping up our drinks and going back for seconds – and thirds! – of our favourite dishes. When it’s all wrapped up, we retire to the couch for a long, food coma-induced nap.
But while it’s all fun and games on Christmas Day, the food and drink hangover that follows can be brutal… and sometimes leads well into January if the relaxed diet and exercise regime has lasted the whole month of December.
This doesn’t mean you have to miss out over the festive season. Take note of these delicious but healthy food and drink swaps to introduce in your home.
ROAST HAM to ROAST TURKEY
Ham and turkey are both a family favourite for the Christmas Day feast, but when filling up your own plate, opt for turkey – it’s not a processed meat like ham, and it has fewer calories and more macronutrients. Serve your turkey breast skinless, alongside steamed veggies or a big salad, and – if you need it – a homemade apple or cranberry sauce.
FRUIT CAKE AND CREAM to CRUMBLE WITH YOGURT
Fruit cake and cream is one of those dishes that will force you into a nap – it’s so heavy and dense, not to mention, not great for the health. Change it up with a clean apple or berry crumble, made with rolled oats, nuts and fruit and served with a scoop of vanilla bean coconut yogurt.
SAUSAGES to BBQ SEAFOOD
When you have the whole family over, it’s usually easier to have a big BBQ cook-up, throw together a few side salads, and let everyone serve themselves. But rather than going for your standard snags and hamburger patties, why not do fresh seafood? It’s not only healthier, but perfect for a hot summer’s day and – dare we say it – a lot more tasty.
WHITE WINE to RED WINE
If you can’t bear the thought of Christmas without a celebratory wine, that’s ok. Everything in moderation. Just try switching your white wine over to red – the latter contains more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which you probably need after the tiring and stressful season that is Christmas.
POTATO CHIPS to POPCORN
Take a look in any Australian pantry over the Christmas season and you’re bound to find multiple bags of salty potato chips. They’re quick, convenient and affordable, but they’re also super unhealthy if you’re eating them everyday. Instead, make a batch of air-popped popcorn (only when you need to) and experiment with toppings like paprika, cinnamon or a drizzle of dark chocolate.
STORE-BOUGHT DIPS to HOMEMADE DIPS
Skip the creamy, sugar-filled dips from the supermarket and make your own fresh versions ahead of time. Think spicy capsicum, fresh tzatziki or zesty guacamole – perfect for a platter or to serve with leftover crackers on Boxing Day.
SPRING ROLLS to SUMMER ROLLS
Step away from the supermarket freezer! Summer rolls are a delicious alternative to spring rolls – and so much healthier too. Get the kids involved to make these fresh rice paper rolls, filled with prawns, carrot, cucumber and anything else you can find in your crisper.
PRAWN COCKTAIL TO PRAWN SALSA JARS
Who doesn’t love a prawn cocktail on Christmas Day? The only problem is, the traditional version asks for creamy mayo- and ketchup-based sauces. This year, serve your prawn starters in individual jars, alongside a freshly-made salsa. Yum!
RUM BALLS to CHERRY CHOCOLATE BLISS BALLS
What is Christmas without a constant supply of rum balls?! If this is a big tradition in your family but you’re trying to avoid a complete Christmas blowout, make a slight tweak to a festive-themed bliss ball like cherry, coconut or chocolate (or all three!) They’ll hit the spot, without giving you a case of the guilts.
SUGARY COCKTAILS to FESTIVE MOCKTAILS
Dodge a giant Boxing Day hangover by skipping the OTT Christmas cocktails and opting for fun and fruity mocktails instead. These zero alcohol, no added sugar drinks will put you in the spirit – but not too much. We love mixing sparkling water with berries, watermelon, passionfruit and mint.
Keen to squeeze in a few more workouts before the silly season takes over, or want to buy a class pack as a gift? Check out the CORE+ class timetable and buy a class pass here.