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The Good Life With Dr Libby

Surviving the social season doesn’t have to be a slog. Making a few tweaks here and there can help maintain good health through the summer celebrations.

As the weather warms up and the festive season approaches, we enter one of the busiest times of the year socially. We’re incredibly fortunate for the opportunities we have to celebrate with our loved ones, but with all of the Christmas parties and entertaining at this time of year, our health can sometimes take a backseat. It’s easy to think “I’ll just start afresh in the new year” when it comes to making nutritious food choices, but it doesn’t have to be all or nothing – it can be as simple as making small dietary tweaks. Here are a few ideas to help increase your nourishment over summer:

Switch coffee for green tea: While green tea still contains caffeine, it is at a lower dose than is found in coffee. The effects of the caffeine are also buffered by Theanine, a substance in green tea that has a calming effect on the nervous system. Green tea is also rich in antioxidants.

Swap lettuce for spinach: Lettuce is actually quite low in nutrients, due to its high water content. Generally speaking, the darker the vegetable, the more nutrients you will obtain. Using baby spinach in place of lettuce means you will obtain more folate and more non-haem iron – an easy and nourishing swap!

Replace wine for kombucha or soda water: With all of the end-of-year celebrations, it can be easy to consume more alcohol than usual, and your liver can take a battering. Try swapping it for kombucha, a fermented (cold) tea drink that’s great for gut health, or soda water infused with some fresh lemon, lime or berries. These will help you stay hydrated in the warmer weather, while alcohol is a diuretic so it drags water out of the body. If you do decide to drink alcohol on a special occasion, have a glass of water in between each drink to help keep your body hydrated.

Trade mashed potato for cauliflower mash: While there is nothing wrong with potato – it is a whole, real food – an easy way to add additional nourishment to your diet is to swap potato for the superstar Brassica vegetable, cauliflower. Cooked cauliflower can make a beautiful puree/mash which can easily be used in place of mashed potato. Cauliflower supports your liver’s detoxification pathways in a number of ways. It contains antioxidants that support Phase 1 detoxification along with sulphur-containing nutrients that support Phase 2 detoxification activity. Your liver will love you for it!

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