Having Your Christmas Cake and Eating It: How to Tackle the Festive Spread

Guest blog by Kate Clarkson, Owner, YORKCakes and YORK Cookery School

It takes a strong will to resist the temptation to over indulge on rich food and sweet treats at Christmas. Although I bake for a living, I don’t eat cakes every day – it’s everything in moderation, as far as I’m concerned.  Over the holiday season when we have time out from busy lives it’s tempting to relax with a glass of fizz in one hand and a mince pie in the other.  All too often the combination of chocolates, cake, alcohol and too little exercise means we’ve piled on the pounds by 1 January.

With this in mind I have come up with my top tips to enjoy the festive spread without a spreading waistline:

Healthier Cooking Methods

Vegetables are always a must on the Christmas dinner table however the temptation to cover them in rich sauces and add a touch of butter can turn these into an unhealthy option. Try and steam your vegetables wherever possible and be careful not to overdo it when basting your roast potatoes with calorific goose fat.

Spread Your Christmas Meal Out

In our house the Christmas dinner will be at least three courses, however from experience I know that this can be all too daunting in one sitting. Why not spread the meal out over the course of the day, eating little and often which will make your Christmas pudding the teatime treat!

Moderate Your Sweet Treats

Christmas certainly isn’t the time to ban sweets and cakes.  However better to eat these in moderation and when your sweet tooth calls, occasionally supplement the cake with some fresh fruit.  Choose something exotic like mango that feels special and a treat.

A Bit of Light Exercise

If you have over indulged and are feeling sluggish, the best remedy is some light exercise and fresh air. A family walk not only benefits your health but allows children to burn off some energy too.

Don’t Punish Yourself

If you have over indulged, don’t punish yourself. With the strongest will in the world, many of us still eat too much over the Christmas period. Just make sure you are drinking lots of water – alternating wine and water is always a good idea. Set yourself a New Year’s resolution of a sustained healthy and balanced diet.

If you are looking for some inspiration on a healthier way of cooking in 2013, YORK Cookery School is running Healthy Mediterranean Workshop on 12 January.

Entrepreneurial cake maker Kate Clarkson has recently risen to a new challenge and expanded her existing business, YORKCakes, with the launch of a cookery school in the York Eco Business Centre, Clifton Moor, York. For more information, contact Kate on Twitter @YORKcakes, visit www.thecookingrooms.com/coursecalendar, email info@thecookingrooms.com or call 01904 500700.

As a business strategist with decades of expertise in helping owner managers and family businesses to achieve a work/life balance, contact me on richard.bosworth@whatifspecialist.com or go to @richardwhatif on Twitter, Richard Bosworth on LinkedIn or www.whatifforums.com.

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