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How to navigate post-lockdown festivities  and still hit your health goals

Content supplied by Fuel Your Life

Whilst health and fitness can mean different things to different people, some of the common concerns coming out of lockdown is a disruption to routine and the negative effect this may have on our physical health, whether that be weight gain or a decline in fitness when social festivities are now once again on the table. Here are our top tips for navigating the post-lockdown festivities and still hitting your health and fitness goals.

1.   ENJOY YOUR FAVOURITES

The key to achieving sustainable weight management is moderation. We can’t have it all and you do need to make some level of sacrifice in order to achieve your goal.
·       Focus on enjoying the things you value the most. An example of this would be bringing lunch from home throughout the working week instead of buying takeaways to allow for a few beers with mates on a Saturday afternoon.
·       If you are out at a restaurant for dinner, choose a meal plus a few drinks or a dessert (not both).

2.   ORDER THE ENTRÉE OR SHARE

Unfortunately, chefs don’t care about preparing the most nutritious meals, they care about flavour and how the dish tastes. This often involves adding plenty of high fat/high energy additions to meals like extra butter and creamy sauces to make the dish taste good. Restaurant meals are also more often than not significantly larger in portion size than what we would comfortably eat at home.
·       Order 1-2 entrees instead of a main, ideally including some vegetable/salad items.
·       Go for tapas, where everyone gets to taste a few small pieces of each dish.

3.   PLAN IN ADVANCE

If you know you are heading out to a big lunch or dinner with friends/family, plan in advance.
·       Have a lighter meal earlier that day e.g. tuna salad, baked beans on toast or a vegetable soup to account for the higher energy meal later in the day.
·       Or, if you normally snack throughout the day, simply omit snacking to use as a buffer for the extra kilojoules to enjoy later that day or for a few drinks with your meal.

4.   EAT MINDFULLY

Eating mindfully allows us to actually enjoy our food to a greater extent as you can’t taste anymore once you swallow the food.
·       Slow down your speed of eating by putting cutlery down between bites and chewing your meal well. It takes a full 20 minutes for your brain to register that your stomach is full and slowing down the speed of eating will help let your brain catch up and you will be less likely to reach for seconds.
·       Focus on all aspects of the meal aside from just taste. Paying attention to how the food smells and how it feels in your mouth allows you to appreciate it more. Also focus on enjoying the social interaction. Placing more value on interaction with friends and family that we have not been able to catch up with in person for many months means overindulging in the food and alcohol is a less important aspect of the party or night out.

5.   BRING A NUTRITIOUS OPTION

For events where everyone brings a plate, why not bring something that you know is a more nutritious option.
·       Fruit platters are always a popular option coming into the summer months.
·       Or why not try our recipe below for lower fat (but still tasty) sausage rolls – sure to be a hit at the next get together!

6.   TRY AN ACTIVE CATCH-UP

Social events tend to be centered around food at a table, but why not try an active catch up instead. This way you are ticking both boxes at the same time – regular exercise and less of the indulgent meals and drinks out.
·       Meet with friends for a coffee and walk rather than sitting at the café.
·       Organise something like bowling, rock climbing, a yoga class or hiking with a bunch of friends instead of your usual night out at the pub.
Want more tips to help with nutrition? Check our blog here.

Fuel Your Life is an award-winning nationwide company with dietitians available to clients in all areas of the country. For more tips, be sure to check out our Instagram page @fuelyourlifeaus, or to find your closest dietitian, get in touch with our team today via our website www.fuelyourlife.com.au.  

Better Sausage Rolls (serves 6)

Ingredients:
·       300g turkey breast mince
·       ¾ cup wholemeal breadcrumbs
·       1 egg, beaten
·       ½ red onion, grated
·       1 medium carrot, grated
·       1 medium zucchini, grated
·       1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
·       2 tablespoons tomato paste
·       1 teaspoon ground paprika
·       ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped finely
·       2 teaspoons ground cumin
·       9 sheets filo pastry
·       Olive oil spray
·       2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Method:
1.     Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
2.     Place mince, breadcrumbs, egg, onion, carrot, zucchini, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, paprika, basil and cumin in a bowl. Season well and mix to combine. (Add extra tomato paste if the mixture is too dry.)
3.     Place 1 sheet of filo pastry on a flat chopping board. Lightly spray with oil and add another sheet. Spray again with oil and add a third sheet.
4.     Repeat the process twice more to end up with 3 layered sheets.
5.     Spoon a third of mixture along a long edge of the pastry.
6.     Roll up pastry to enclose filling, spraying the edge lightly with oil to seal. Cut roll into 6 pieces and place on baking tray.
7.     Repeat for the two other sheets.
8.     Top with sesame seeds and place sausage rolls in the oven to bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden.