How to stay healthy at Christmas

Christmas is around the corner which means a lot of delicious and indulgent food to look forward to. Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE this time of year and can’t wait to tuck in to my Mum’s roast dinners and all the chocolate and cake that is bound to be on offer. I think it’s completely healthy to indulge at Christmas and if you’re going to relax and enjoy yourself at some point in the year, then this is a really perfect opportunity!

The one thing I don’t want, however, is to eat so much food that I feel awful for the entire festive period. Over the past year or so I have become much more interested in my health and fitness, and I have learned how good my body can feel when fuelled with nutritious, healthy food. (This is something I plan to blog more about in the future).

Anyway, I am visiting my family this week and the ‘bad food’ temptations started as soon as I entered the door! Despite making a promise to myself that I will enjoy the festive period without worrying too much about food, I want to do some ‘damage limitation’ so to speak. Therefore I have come up with a few tips of how we can all enjoy Christmas but also keep on track and keep feeling good over the next couple of weeks:

  • Starting Christmas day with a good breakfast will set you up for a day of treats and make you feel better about eating what you want later on. Have some eggs with smoked salmon, or grilled bacon with spinach and tomatoes – still delicious, filling and full of good fats and protein.
  •  Try to eat relatively healthily during the days running up to Christmas and the ones after. Again this will make you feeling better about indulging on the day and keep you feeling good throughout.
  • Save the treats for when you really want them. Don’t eat 3 mince pies in a row just because you can. Eat one when you really fancy it – trust me, treats you wait for are the ones you tend to enjoy the most!
  • Keep up the exercise! 2 weeks away from your usual routine doesn’t have to mean 2 weeks of sitting on the sofa. Find a local gym which offer a pay-as-you-go option – this is what I plan to do whilst staying with my parents. If this isn’t possible or if the gym is closed, why not try some home workouts or go for a walk or a run to get your body moving.
  • Stay hydrated. Again, a few days or weeks outside of your normal routine can make you forget how important it is to drink enough water, so keep a bottle with you and try to keep up with your recommended intake.
  • Finally, take time for yourself and relax. After all, this is the time of year when we should take a break from the stresses of everyday life and enjoy some time with our friends and family. So do exactly that! Christmas day is one day of the year where worrying about what you eat is NOT allowed. It’s a day of roast potatoes, pigs in blankets and all the chocolate you can eat.

Have a Merry Christmas everybody!



Sweet potato chocolate brownies!


Here is a recipe which is quick, simple and most definitely helps to satisfy your sweet tooth. I love baking healthy treats which you can pack in your lunch box or sit down with a cuppa and enjoy. I found a few sweet potato brownie recipes on the internet and adapted them according to what I had in my cupboard, so feel free to take this as a base and create your own variations! Sweet potatoes are a great, nutritious carbohydrate source – they are rich in fibre and full of vitamins and minerals, making them a healthy-living must have.


1 medium sized sweet potato
1 tbsp nut milk (I like almond or coconut but normal milk could also be used)
2 tbsp cocoa powder
4-6 squares of dark chocolate (70% and above)
2 tbsp natural sweetener (such as Stevia or Xylitol)
1 whole egg
1 egg white
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup ground almonds (coconut flour is an alternative)
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 scoop whey protein powder (optional for a high-protein snack)
Handful of nuts/chocolate chips (depending on preference)


1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

2. Peel and boil the sweet potato until soft. Once cooked, drain off excess water and add the milk. Mash potato until smooth.

3. Add coconut oil and eggs to the potato and mix.

4. Add dry ingredients (cocoa, sweetener, ground almonds, baking powder, protein powder) and mix.

5. Melt 2-3 of the dark chocolate squares in microwave or by using a bain-marie and stir into mixture.

6. Add in nuts/chocolate chips  etc (sometimes I break up another square of dark chocolate if I don’t have any chocolate chips to hand).

7. Pour into a loaf tin or any medium-sized cake baking tray.

8. Bake for 20-25 mins, or until cake is cooked all the way through (you can test this by sticking a knife in it and if it comes out clean then it’s probably done!). Then leave to cool on a wire rack.

9. Melt the remaining 2-3 dark chocolate squares and drizzle over the top of the cake for an extra-indulgent chocolatey taste. Let chocolate cool.

10. Cut up into snack-sized potions (I get about 8 slices from one loaf-tin). Finally, enjoy!