How to eat healthily this Christmas time.
The surprising truth about how GOOD Christmas dinner is for you and why you should eat more like that around Christmas time.
What is Christmas dinner in your house?
For me, this is a Christmas Dinner.
Starter - nuts, pate and pickles
Main - Turkey, Gammon, Sprouts w/bacon, carrots, parsnips, roast potatoes, braised red cabbage, green cabbage
Dessert - Christmas pudding, brandy butter, brandy cream and way too much cheese and crackers.
and of course plenty of wine/beer
Taking a closer look at these you can notice that most of these foods are grown/available at winter time or are easy to store from Autumn.
Christmas dinner is chock full of locally produced, seasonal foods. High in Protein, Fat and Fibre with a minimal amount of Carbohydrate if we ignore dessert or too many roast spuds.
All meat comes with fat. Nature has a way of putting stuff together that is most beneficial for us. Science, via supplements, tries it's best but it really lags behind what is out there for us in nature.
In terms of Calories, Fat contains 9 KCal per gram with Protein and Carbohydrates containing 4 KCal per gram. Fat is like diesel to Carbohydrates being rocket fuel.
Over winter, you want a low slow burn of Energy to fuel you rather than short bursts of rocket fuel.
In Winter, Carbohydrates are in short supply, the food that is stored from Autumn would be rationed to last all the way through until spring time.
With the weather being colder in winter and the need to still require energy to hunt, survive and keep warm. Fat would be the primary option as it contains over twice as many calories per gram than either Protein or Carbohydrate
If you were to take a close look at a map of Britain and focus in on the towns and cities, where are they all? What is nearby in every case?
Every single one is near water.
We have evolved to live near water, not only is it necessary as part of our diet on it's own it also has another purpose.
Water is a key ingredient for all life to exist. Animals are drawn to it for their own requirements making it an ideal place for people to hunt and trap food. Fish, crustaceans etc live in it and are relatively easy to catch. Plants require it to grow and bear fruit/nuts/leaves that we can eat. Unless there is a drought, water is nearby all of the time.
If water is all around us or nearby to where all of our towns and cities are. This tells us that seafood or sea greens should be the main constituent of your diet. Next, animals and plants that grow around those areas.
I don't think a neanderthal ever ate a banana.
Hormones, Vitamins and Fat
Fat is an important part of your diet. Fat is used to build hormones such as oestrogen, insulin and many others it surrounds your nerve fibres, your brain is full of fat.
Fat is needed to store vitamins A, D, E and K. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, keeping your cells healthy. Vitamin A is particularly important for eyesight, especially low light (the days are short in winter!). Vitamin D has so many functions including calcium regulation preventing cramps, bone loss, osteoporosis. Finally Vitamin K is key in blood for clotting factors to be produced.
They also have multiple other functions including hormone production, cell health, energy production and more
Fat should not only NOT be avoided we should actively seek it out and ADD it to your foods, particularly at Winter time.
Your Christmas dinner might be the healthiest meal that you eat this year, just don't eat too much all at once.
Think about eating more fish and seafood - if you're unwell the more seafood the better (aim at small fish and sea greens or ideally oysters and shellfish)
Think "what grows at this time of year where I live?"
Not only is Christmas dinner great for you but the lessons we can learn from it far outweigh any of the overeating and indulgence. Because if you can take this knowledge and apply it to the rest of your year then by next Christmas you will be a different and much healthier person.