Like property porn, our version of food porn is peering at other people's plates to see what they eat for Christmas - especially people who talk about nutrition and healthy eating for a living. (Don't worry: our New Year's resolution for 2014 is to get a life).
We asked our three favourite nutritionists to give us a peep at their food diaries:
In spite of my job title, there will be no shortage of Christmas food for me this year. That said, selective indulgence is key, largely because there is a significant void between what is really not very good for us and what isn’t too bad.
The good news is that for people who are keen to ensure most of what they eat contains some goodness, much of the foods we traditionally include are far from being nutritionally void. Better than that, some of it is incredibly good for us.
First and foremost, turkey, which as well as being a lean source of protein, has exceptionally high levels of one particular amino acid called tryptophan. Being the precursor to serotonin, our happy hormone, who would want plenty of this on their plate?
Sprouts are another classic, and let me tell you that Rosie Huntington-Whitely doesn’t drink raw sprout juice for nothing. I love them á la Jamie Oliver; blitzed up and very lightly sautéed with pancetta (it is Christmas after all) with nutrient dense chestnuts.
Every Christmas I make cranberry sauce – zesty fruits and rich spices help give this an intense flavour, the perfect acidic touch to what can be a heavy Christmas lunch. Michelle Roux Jr would be pleased. Their nutritional benefits don’t fall far short of their flavour, as these little bad boys pack a serious antioxidant punch. Great for immunity and immunity and glowing fresh skin – they are the perfect antidote to the party season.
Make your own as the packaged ones are rich in sugar and flavouring. I use lemon and orange zest, cloves, fresh ginger, a touch of brandy and agave nectar to sweeten, which is low in calories than other types of sugar.
Karen Poole, nutritionist
I start with lemon and water to give the liver a gentle wake up after a hard nights work. Vitamin C in water with a teaspoon of spirulina to support the immune system and help energy production as it is going to be a busy day.
Slice of toasted rye bread with spinach and a poached egg drizzled with flax oil and topped with two crushed walnuts. Light and quick to prepare this simple breakfast provides the three main food groups and is tasty.
Nibbles include: oat cakes with smoked salmon capers and horseradish/parma ham and cornichons/feta or goats cheese and roasted red pepper.
These snacks are small, full of flavour and low in fat and sugar to keep my glucose levels balanced to avoid any lows or energy slumps and make sure I don’t overeat and spoil lunch.
Lunch will be roast lamb stuffed with garlic, anchovy and fresh herbs ( we are not fans of turkey in our house). Roasted vegetables including, potatoes, carrots, onion and turnip roasted with oil, lemon juice, garlic and rosemary. Steamed green beans and broccoli, as well as sprouts sauteed with chestnuts.
I am not a dessert person so may choose crackers and blue cheese but usually I am full and happy just to relax and then take a late afternoon walk along the sea front ( I will be staying with my sister on the Dorset coast).
I drink water and herbal tea throughout the day to keep myself hydrated, alert and positive and help the digestive process but I will also be indulging myself with a few glasses of champagne and possibly a dry sherry.
Emily Maguire, nutritionist and HuffPost UK blogger
My overall diet comprises low sugar, low starch and filled with high amounts of healthy fats and proteins. This is also exactly the type of diet which I also follow at Xmas time as well. I have eaten this way now for around three years and I find whenever I deviate from this amazingly healthy form of eating, I pay the consequences.
For breakfast I have a large omelette cooked in coconut oil with grilled bacon on the side and half an avocado.
I am still traditional in that my family will have turkey as our meat of choice but I do not cut any of the fat away. I will then have all the trimmings of sautéed brussel sprouts and pancetta, parsnips, sweet potato, mini sausages wrapped in bacon (comprised of real meat) and a homemade gravy- without the starch!
For pudding I generally make a low sugar alternative (generally with lots of cream) to the classics which are, in my opinion, way more enjoyable and don't leave you feeling as bloated and full.
Throughout the day or later in the evening I would then have a huge selection of cheese, simply without the crackers and my chocolate of choice would be a good quality high cocoa dark chocolate.
"Right now my favorite snack is a 6 oz cup of Greek non-fat yogurt (plain), with 1 teaspoon of honey and 2 tablespoons of chopped, dried plums (I use Plum Amazins' to save chopping time!)." -<a href="http://www.appforhealth.com">Katherine Brookings</a>, M.S., R.D.
Brussels Sprouts And Carrots
"Sometimes I like to snack on brussels sprouts or carrots -- especially right before dinner. I'll pick at them while cooking, and find I can easily get in a cup of veggies and all their beneficial nutrients (like fiber, vitamin A and vitamin C)." -<a href="www.elisazied.com">Elisa Zied</a>, M.S., R.D., C.D.N. <strong>Also on her snack list:</strong> -A small handful of mixed nuts -Cheese and crackers -2-3 Hershey's Kisses or 1-2 mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
"I love Seasnax roasted seaweed in the grab-and-go packs. This is the perfect snack for me when my kids are eating their dinner but I'm eating with my husband later on. Its just 16 calories per package so if you need to eat a second pack you can!" -<a href="www.bestowed.com">Heather Bauer</a>, R.D., C.D.N. <strong>Also on her snack list:</strong> -Hail Merry Vanilla Maple Almonds -Black truffle white cheddar popcorn -Non-fat Greek yogurt with a tablespoon of pumpkin puree
A Cup Of Hot Chocolate
"I guess I'm a seasonal snacker as my favorites seem to switch whether it's cold out or not. In the winter: 1 cup hot chocolate (made with real cocoa powder, honey and skim milk)." -<a href="http://www.appforhealth.com/">Julie Upton</a>, M.S., R.D., CSSD <strong>Also on her <a href="http://www.appforhealth.com/2012/10/10-slimming-snacks-under-150-calories/">snack list</a>:</strong> -1 ounce of in-shell pistachios -1/2 cup cooked old-fashioned oats mixed with 2 teaspoons of nut butter -Bell pepper sticks with hummus
A Green Apple With Almond Butter
"Snacks are always key! I'm a big fan of 1 tablespoon of almond butter on a grain cracker with a sliced green apple." -<a href="http://parkavenutrition.com">Lisa C. Cohn</a>, M.M.Sc., M.Ed., R.D <strong>Also on her snack list:</strong> -1 cup of fresh blueberries and raspberries and parmesan cheese chips -10 hazelnuts -Fresh juice -Vegetarian jerky with a piece of fruit
Half An Avocado
"I'll have half an avocado with lemon and sea salt -- with apple slices if more is needed." -<a href="http://www.amazon.com/The-New-You-Improved-Diet/dp/1609611195">Keri Glassman</a>, R.D. <strong>Also on her snack list:</strong> Peanut butter -- with anything!
Dried Cherries And Roasted Nuts
"Dried cherries and roasted walnuts or almonds (the cherries are sweet and packed with antioxidants and the nuts contain healthy oils and protein to keep me satisfied)." -<a href="http://www.eatright.org/Media/Spokespeople.aspx?id=6974">Angela Ginn</a>, R.D., L.D.N., C.D.E. <strong>Also on her snack list:</strong> -Popcorn -Sweet potato chips -Beet chips -Dried apricots
Hard Boiled Eggs
"I love having hard boiled eggs or an egg sandwich -- I have a new-found love of all things eggs since I started raising chickens last year." -<a href="http://www.cherylforberg.com/">Cheryl Forberg</a>, R.D. <strong>Also on her snack list:</strong> -Plain, non-fat greek yogurt with fresh fruit -Chewy whole grain bread, arugula, sliced tomato and avocado with or without a little roasted turkey -Half a cup of cooked lentils with barbecue sauce
"My favorite snack is dried edamame. It is portable, high protein, convenient and quick while working. It is handy to take on business travel as well. I keep some stored in my desk so I always have a healthy snack ready to go." -<a href="www.expertnutrition.net">Rebecca Mohning</a>, M.S., R.D., L.D.
An Avocado-Kale Smoothie
"An avocado, kale smoothie -- for satiety, energy and deliciousness." -<a href="http://rocnutrition.com/">Rochelle Sirota</a>, R.D., C.D.N. Also on her snack list: -Homemade hemp-protein coconut butter spirulina cacao tahini balls -Cauliflower Mash -Japanese sweet potatoes -Apples
Healthy Snacks At The Workplace