Party season survival guide

It’s Christmas time out there in case you hadn’t noticed. It’s fab because there are invitations to parties every night of the week, dinner dates to go to, Christmas treats everywhere, and endless glasses of champagne being shoved in your hand at every turn. Of course, if you’re like the galloping housewife and have booked yourself the most glam engagement of the year a week out from international give a present day and you’ve got to pour yourself into the flash frock, it can be rather terrifying. And that’s before we actually get to the day itself when there seems to be a worldwide competition to get oneself into a food coma from which there is no comeback or otherwise down a bowl full of Aunty Jo’s punch that tastes like, and has an alarmingly similar effect to, rocket fuel in order to stop yourself from smacking Uncle Joe in the nose before we get to the midday meal. In which case the galloping housewife is here to rescue you – or at least provide both tips to survive and permission to enjoy yourself.

The first item on the agenda here is to make like Elsa and let it go! (The galloping housewife will not be offering any sort of compensation to readers who are stuck with the most annoying earworm of all time, but she will offer the alternative of the Pouges and the Fairytale of New York… there, is that better?!?) But back to you and the party season. The galloping housewife is a huge advocate of the 80/20 rule – for everything. With your nutrition it means taking a reasonable amount of care 80% of the time and having some leeway with the other 20% of the time. Those figures get a little skewed at this time of year, yet don’t panic. Aim for stasis – just remain on an even keel and it will all be OK once everyone goes back into hibernation in January.

Practical things that you can do to avoid falling off the wagon, letting the horses loose and then using the carriage for kindling, is to ensure that you are prepared for the potential self sabotage of all of your good works. The biggest mistake that galloping housewives make is to starve themselves in anticipation of a big event. For a start you send your blood sugars all up the wazoo, resulting in a lack of energy and potential catastrophic effects on your relationships – useful for finally getting rid of the drop kick boyfriend, not so much for ensuring you have a job to go back to in the New Year. Secondly, that first glass of champers will go straight to your head, which, combined with the fact that your insides are now eating your outsides for fuel, will result in you stuffing yourself with absolutely everything that is not nailed down. Stay on track with your five small meals a day, eat normally, rest and exercise as you do on any other day.

If you decide to drink, then choose wisely – lower sugar options like champagne, red wine and spirits are best – but watch your mixers. And don’t forget to drink water as well. I know, I know, granny has been saying that for years, but you know what? Granny was right. Water slows your booze consumption down some, will stop you from feeling so hungry and how on earth else are you going to bond with your girlfriends if you’re not headed to the loo every half an hour??

As for the food, have a wee plan in your head before you start. If you’re at a sit down meal and can gain access to the menu beforehand, give it a peruse and choose what suits you best. You don’t need to eat every course and for goodness sake, the worlds starving orphans don’t care if you clean your plate or not. Leave the creamy dauphinoise potatoes to the side and buy a homeless person a meal next time you pass one on the street if your conscience is bugging you. If you’re offered a buffet, step away from the table and only go over to get what you actually want. For your evening meal you’re looking for proteins and good fats with lots of coloured veges and some fruit. The salmon or steak or egg or avocado options are awesome. As far as possible stay away from refined carbs and sugar. You’re far better diving into the pigs in blankets than the Christmas mince pies…

If you do choose to spoil yourself with something delicious, then do it guilt free. Make it something absolutely fabulous and worth the indulgence. Don’t go overboard, but allow yourself to enjoy every mouthful. Life’s too short to deprive yourself of culinary goodness. And if the rest of the time you’re mostly following a good nutritional path, it won’t matter one iota.

Cheers, cin cin, prost, sláinte, Iechyd da, gun bae, salute, tōhi!

Mere Kirihimete.




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