Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Start stockpiling

Today we had our first snowfall this winter. As I'm still a child at heart waking up to a blanket of snow put me in a great mood, although I do appreciate that it can be a nuisance for anyone with a commute, especially when the council doesn't grit your road.

Anyone who lives in London knows that It snows here every year, though not normally so early, but every year transport grinds to a halt and the local authorities struggle to keep the roads clear. Whilst we can only hope that they've anticipated this years snowfall we can do our own forward planning to get us through December in one piece.

Firstly it's worth pointing out the inevitables for every December other than the snow:
- sleep will be in short supply as party season get's in full swing
- alcohol intake is pretty likely to increase
- tempting treats will be everywhere - mince pies in the office, party canapes, advent calendars, numerous christmas dinners
- free time for going to the gym or doing your food shopping will be scarce

So whilst the council stocks up on salt what should we be stockpiling?

- It can be hard to resist the chocolates and mince pies lying around the office if you're peckish so keep healthy snacks to hand. Clemintines and brazil nuts are nice christmassy desk snacks and if you find it hard to resist the chocolates keep some mini dark chocolate bars or some dark chocolate covered Brazil nuts in your desk to have instead.

- The same applies for at home - I don't keep unhealthy snacks around to tempt me but if you have them in the house for your partner or kids then make sure you have something healthy and appealing available to have instead.

- If you don't already I'd recommend keeping some snacks in your handbag (or manbag) - small bags of nuts or soya nuts, healthy snack bars or raw protein balls that you can pick up in most health food stores. It's easy to get stuck at drinks where no food is served and find yourself ravenous so make sure you have emergency provisions.

- Now is a good time to stock up the freezer so you don't get caught without food when you get home. Mine is stocked with lots of frozen veggies which can be cooked in minutes, chicken and fish which can be quickly defrosted in the microwave and frozen fruit, which can be added to muesli or porridge or defrosted with cinnamon for a quick hot dessert. It's also a good idea to freeze some sliced bread and stock your cupboards with pasta, rice and tinned pulses. From these you can easily rustle up a quick dinner leaving maximum time for much needed sleep!

- I think a fair amount of tea drinking in winter months can be put down to keeping warm, especially if your office is as cold as mine, so stock up on herbal teas to keep you warm without the caffeine. I'm currently loving Yogi teas African spice Rooibos and their Choco tea which reminds me of the german iced christmas biscuits.

- Stock up on supplements so you don't run out and start taking them regularly. I always take a multi plus extra vitamin C. For colds and flu I always have echinacea, olive leaf and horse radish supplements in the cupboard and for days when I haven't had enough sleep I have B vitamin and Magnesium powder and Cherry Active to hand (all good for hangovers).

- If you are drinking then Vitamin C and milk thistle can be useful antidotes taken before going to bed and on waking, and you'll need some wholegrains for breakfast to get your blood sugar back on track, so make sure you can get your hands on some no sugar muesli, porridge or wholegrain toast.

- By the end of December we can all start looking a bit worse for wear so it's worth making the extra effort to eat or supplement enough essential fats and drink plenty of water to keep your skin looking plump and fresh.

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