Eat, sleep and cheat your way to clear skin, zero bloat and extra energy this festive period.
There’s no denying that the seemingly endless round of parties, dinners, shopping and socialising of festive season can take its toll on even the most seasoned night owl. And even if you throw yourself into party season with gusto on December 1, you don’t want your mind and body to be waving a white flag mid-month after your energy levels dips, your skin starts to suffer, your belly is bloated and you just want to retreat to a spa until the New Year. Luckily there are plenty of ways to stay looking fresh-faced and perfectly peppy this festive season from detox juices to teaspoon tricks…
Party season can be a big energy sapper, and some of the worst food culprits are too much sugar, overindulging at the buffet which can lead to a sluggish digestive system and of course, all those late nights. For a quick fix energy boost, keep some ginseng in your drawer at home or the office. The all-natural nutrient can be taken in powder, pill or drink form, and has been proven to boost energy and concentration levels, so your boss need never know you were out until 3am.
If you’re getting ready to max out your diary this festive season, invest in a juicer before you start and begin each morning with a fruit and vegetable juice to counter the effects of whatever you got up to the night before. An easy way to get your five-a-day in one go, certain fruits and veg are instant beauty and energy boosters. Beetroot is great for detoxing and adds a lovely purple hue to your juice. Water-packed cucumbers are great at aiding rehydration, while a little ginger added into the mix will counter feelings of nausea or stomach ache. Bananas can help replace lost potassium and give you a vitamin A shot, while a dash of Christmassy cinnamon will help regulate blood sugar levels. Add in carrots, celery and leafy greens such as kale, and you can get your entire day’s vitamin quotient in one morning glass.
Beat The Bloat
There’s no point splashing out on a new winter wardrobe if you can’t fit into it by the second week of December. Beating the bloat over the festive season is as much about what you don’t eat as what you do. Cut back on the obvious culprits such as salty and fatty dishes and swap them for potassium-rich foods which actively battle bloat, such as sweet potatoes, bananas and nuts, plus, add in foods that are high in protein to help your body flush away excess water. Finally, eating your food too quickly means you’re also ingesting lots of air which adds to bloat, so slow down and savour each bite of your meal to stop your waistband from getting tighter around your tum.
Let’s face it, the only bags anyone really wants at Christmas are designer ones, so those pouches that take up residence under your eyes during party season are most unwelcome. Along with dark circles, eye bags are a dead giveaway that you’ve been enjoying one too many late nights. Start by reducing your salt intake which can cause under-eye puffiness, and upping your water intake along with foods that are high in vitamin C, including oranges, strawberries, tomatoes and melon. Don’t skip your evening beauty routine, look for eye creams containing retinol and try and fit in a spa session for a specialist eye treatments. However, if you’re low on time, place two teaspoons in the freezer for 10 minutes, then place the rounded part against your eye bags for an instant lift. Chamomile tea also works wonders and you should place used, cooled, tea bags over your eyes for a 10 minute quick fix.
Getting by on little to no sleep while a familiar state for any parents can be a whole new ball game for dedicated festive season revellers. And if you have to be up and at your desk the next day, it’s important you catch as many zzzz’s as you can. With this in mind, avoid caffeine as much as possible, especially two hours before bedtime. If you can squeeze any exercise into your schedule this will help you sleep better, as will not eating close to bedtime. If you are hungry, opt for a glass of milk or a banana instead of a meal. Finally, tempting as they are, try to avoid having long lie-ins, as sticking to your regular sleep pattern as closely as possible will help reinforce your cycle for better quality sleep.
A constant stream of nights out can soon take its toll on your skin, leaving it looking dull and prone to breakouts. Certain beverages will dehydrate your skin night after night, so look for skincare which contains vitamin A to help with cell renewal. This is especially important at night, when taking off your make-up is a must as is slathering on moisturisers rich in vitamins C and E to replenish skin as you sleep. Invest in a primer which is worn after moisturising and before applying foundation, as this will help cover any problem areas, as well as a great concealer for use under the eyes. Finally, a face scrub that’s gentle enough for daily use will brighten skin by getting rid of dead cells, tightening pores and leaving skin feeling silky smooth.