How to stay healthy, merry & bright this Christmas

Staying healthy during the holiday season is easier said than done. With continuous feasts and parties, and not to mention all the candy canes and Christmas cookies, it’s hard to…

Staying healthy during the holiday season is easier said than done. With continuous feasts and parties, and not to mention all the candy canes and Christmas cookies, it’s hard to stayed focused on a healthy lifestyle. Here at Soulara HQ, we’ve come up with some tried-and-tested ways to feel amazing all summer, without missing out on all the fun.

1. Drink more water

With all the extra food we tend to consume over the holiday period, and not to mention the summertime heat, the biggest thing we need to stay on top of is our hydration. Keep a water bottle with you in your bag and stay hydrated throughout the day. It will also help keep your energy levels up. You can add some fresh strawberries or citrus fruits to your water, to give it that holiday cheer.

2. Play a drinking game (with yourself)

It may not be the kind of drinking game you had in mind but it’s one that will help relieve the strain that alcohol puts on your body and will even help ward off hangovers. Swap every second drink, for water. It can be sparkling water with a splash of lime, but make sure every second drink is H2O.

3. The most important meal of the day

Breakfast is the MVP of meals and even though our mornings can be busy, it’s one meal you should never skip. Having a wholesome and filling breakfast gets you on the right track for the rest of the day, and makes you less likely to reach for a candy cane at 10am.

4. Don’t skips meals

With Christmas parties and festive celebrations, your standard breakfast/lunch/dinner meal times might be a bit erratic. This means it’s easy to skip meals and binge later, and we all know binging isn’t anyone’s friend. So try not to skip any meals to avoid crashes and spikes in your sugar levels.

5. Size does matter

Portion control is usually the first thing to go at this time of year. With all the food on offer, it’s hard to hear your tummy when it tells you you’re full. Even though it seems hard, if we can manage portion control, we can manage it all. The idea is to load your plate with mostly salad so you don’t feel the need to have a second scoop of roasted potatoes.

6. Swap your workouts

No one expects you to live at the gym when the sun is shining, but that doesn’t mean we should throw our workouts out the window. Swapping a gym session for a long coastal walk or a game of beach volleyball is the best way to keep your body moving without even feel like you’re exercising.

7. Pick your treats

Eliminating yummy treats, is likely to turn you into a grinch. So instead, pick your treats carefully. If there are six cakes on offer at your Christmas lunch, have a slice of your favourite and fill the rest of your plate with fresh fruit. Remember when it comes to sweets, your eyes are bigger than your stomach.

8. The morning after

After a big night, what you eat the next morning can make or break how you feel. We chatted with Kristina Isouard BSc, MSc (Nutrition) to give you the best morning after remedies.\
Kristina recommends filling your brekkie plate with:

  • Healthy carbs: Like filling porridge, bircher muesli or smoothie bowl with nut butter and berries. Choosing whole grains such as oats or buckwheat replenish your body with depleted minerals and B-vitamins. Healthy carbs counteract the fall in blood sugar.
  • Protein for liver detox: Scrambled tofu is rich in the amino acid cysteine. Cysteine helps break down acetaldehyde, which is a by-product of alcohol metabolism. In addition, tofu is a good source of minerals and the antioxidant selenium.
  • Fluids: Hydrate and flush out toxins with electrolyte rich coconut water, mineral water, green juices, watermelon and banana smoothies.
  • Quality fats: Avocado satisfies cravings and provides antioxidants such as vitamin E and C.
  • Wonder ingredients: Carrots (countering hangover), Dark leafy greens (anti-inflammatory, liver protective), Cabbage (countering alcohol, hangover), Banana (antioxidant, liver protective), Watermelon (antitoxic).

 The Perfect Mulled Wine

Moderation is key when it comes to holiday season celebrations, but it can be hard to find party drinks that aren’t full or sugar. Mulled wine is traditionally a winter Christmas drink in, because it’s warming and tastes even better sitting by the fireplace. Just because we celebrate Christmas in sweltering heat, doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy this delicious (and herbally nutritious) holiday beverage.


1 bottle of red wine (preferably Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Chianti)
1 orange
1 lemon
¼ cup of brandy
3 cinnamon quills
8 cloves
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 star anise
1 teaspoon fresh ginger (grated)
2 teaspoons stevia


Peel and slice the orange and lemon into rounds. Zest a little of the peels to add to the pot whilst cooking.
Add all ingredients to a large pot and let simmer on low-medium heat for 20 minutes. Avoid boiling the mixture. Stir occasionally.
Ladle the mulled wine into cups without the seasons (strain if you need to).

You can garnish each glass with a fresh cinnamon quill and star anise.

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Published: 07/12/18

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