Four Healthy Christmas Traditions to Include This Year

16/12/2015 15:36 GMT | Updated 16/12/2016 10:12 GMT

The words healthy and christmas don't always go hand in hand. But just because it's the season of overindulgence and sweet treats, that doesn't mean you can't add in some healthy twists.

So here are a some tips that will help you stay a bit healthier over the festive period...

Add an orange in the stockings. Let's face it, there's going to be an abundance of chocolate and calories so adding an orange to the christmas stockings is a great way of making sure that the recipient gets a dose of vitamin c and a healthy treat on Christmas morning. Not only is it a great snack but making sure you add an orange to the toe of the stocking is also a fascinating tradition. There are several theories why people started to do this but one of my favourites is that the orange symbolises the season of giving as the segments represent the ability to share what you have with others.

A bowl of nuts. Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a bowl of nuts. Walnuts, brazil nuts, chestnuts and pecans are part of a British Christmas tradition. Nuts are packed full of good fats, antioxidants and vitamins that can help weight loss, improve your sleep quality and memory, build a stronger immune system, and help you achieve healthier, younger-looking skin. It is best to eat nuts raw since high temperatures can destroy some of their nutritional components. So make sure that you buy a good quality nutcracker and purchase your nuts in their shelled state. Also, a great tip from David at Oak Furniture Blog "Large family gatherings usually end up in furniture being scratched or marked. If you have a bowl of walnuts at hand then any scratches can be removed from the furniture by simply rubbing the scratched area in a circular motion with the nut. Leave for several minutes before taking a soft cloth and polishing the area".

Get out after dinner. Forget about the post Christmas Dinner snooze in front of the telly, instead wrap up warm and go for a walk to help burn off some of those excess calories. Just a 15 minute post-dinner walk can help improve blood sugar levels and aid digestion.

Ditch the over the top hot chocolate. OK I'm going to be the grinch here but those coffee chain Christmas special's you're slurping on can have up to 50g of sugar in each cup. Thats not going to do anyone any good. Instead make your very own healthy hot chocolate...

You will need:

  • A cup of almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon of rice malt syrup,
  • 2 teaspoons of good quality raw cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon of almond butter

Mix all the ingredients together in a saucepan and keep stirring to make sure that the ingredients don't stick to the pan. Remove from the heat just before it reaches boiling point and serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.

Christmas is about having fun and enjoying yourself so don't deny yourself from indulging, just stick to the 70/30 balance over the Christmas and make sure you do sneak some healthy habits in to keep the balance in your favour.