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Spelling out Christmas

Nourish Christmas

N is for Nourishing. And for challenge the Norm, making Christmas work for you and your body.

O is for Orange, rich in vitamin C to boost immunity against colds and flu. For a little sweet inspiration, check out our recipe for Candied Citrus Peel.

U is for Uncomfortable. If you tend to get an uncomfortable gut when you’re stressed or you’ve overeaten during the festivities, try soothing with a shot of organic aloe vera juice. Or drink a settling herbal infusion such as fennel, liquorice, fresh ginger or mild mint.

R is for Riboflavin, the antioxidant found in red wine – a wonderful reason to raise a glass. Watch out if you’re using red wine in a sauce or casserole, as not all the alcohol will evaporate during cooking. If you’re serving to children or someone who can’t tolerate alcohol, then try enriching the sauce with redcurrant jelly and stock instead.

I is for Individual portions. A heaped plateful of food can be too much for anyone with a poor appetite, so use ramekin dishes or tapas-size bowls to serve smaller portions. Freezing individual pots also means you can take a small portion out to defrost when they fancy eating, so you waste less food and the grocery bill is more economical. Maybe you could make up some ramekins of nourishing dishes, such as our Cauliflower Cheese or Fish Pie, to a neighbour who needs a helping hand at Christmas?

S is for Sweets. At Nourish, our treats have other nourishing ingredients to balance out the sugar and bring health benefits. Take a look at our classic Carrot Cake made with wholemeal flour, which you could decorate with a snowy Christmas scene. Or our Poached Pears, which you could give a little extra festive spice with cinnamon and ginger. These are great if you’re sensitive to refined sugars and are ideal for kids.

H is for Hot. Warm soups and drinks are easier to digest than cold salads, and are especially good at satisfying the emotional craving for food. A cup of broth is wonderful as an afternoon snack, providing comfort without ruining your appetite for an evening meal. H is also for a Hot Water Bottle to soothe pain.

C is for Clementine; the traditional gift in the toe of your Christmas stocking. Try our Clementine Sorbet, a refreshing alternative to stodgy Christmas pudding and stunning when served in a small glass bowl.

H is for High-protein foods, which help stabilise blood sugars and satisfy the voracious appetites of teenagers. As well as animal protein like the traditional Christmas turkey and Boxing Day ham, think about vegetable sources, such as lentil soup and home-baked beans. When you’re unwell or recovering from surgery or cancer treatment, your body may become catabolic and begin to break down proteins from your muscles, making you feel weak. Boosting your protein intake provides the nutrients to build up your strength again.

R is for Raw vegetable and fruit juices, which can be a great way to boost your intake of disease-fighting antioxidants. Add fruit, lemon and warming ginger for a morning energy boost. Frozen berries are an economical way to make a fresh smoothie, and they’re often higher in vitamin C than more expensive punnets of fresh berries that have lingered on the supermarket shelf.

I is for Instant miso paste. I carry sachets in my bag for when I want a warm drink with a savoury taste. The miso contains zinc, manganese and phosphorus, so it’s wonderful for the immune system. If I’m at home, I sometimes add fresh ginger and a few frozen peas to make a quick soup in a mug.

S is for Soft foods that are easy swallow but don’t have to be mush! Try silky chicken terrine, smooth smoked trout and dill pâté, balls of soft labneh cheese and baked apples. For an easy soufflé, freeze portions of bechamel sauce in ramekin dishes. When you want to eat, defrost the sauce, whip in some eggs and cheese, and bake in the oven to finish.

T is for Truffles. Our chocolate caramel truffles are the perfect nibble if you’re trying to tempt someone to eat much-needed calories to help them recover. They’re also a lovely gift to take to a loved one or neighbour, giving an excuse to check how they’re doing.

M is for Magnesium for helping you to relax and rest at a time when sleep can be tricky. You find magnesium in milk but it may be worth taking magnesium citrate supplements if you’re really struggling to sleep (check with your GP if you’re taking any medication). Also make a routine for yourself of Mindfulness or Meditation for 10 minutes at the end of the day. It can help you sleep but may also provide pain relief.

A is for Apple, which contains a polysaccharide called pectin. When cooked, this can help to settle a nauseous or overactive gut. As a remedy for overindulgence, why not try these simple stewed apples.

S is for keep it Simple, so Christmas is as stress-free as possible. And Stock up on staples such as soups and stews that you can cook and freeze when you have the energy, then bring out if you don’t have the time or inclination to cook.

Happy Nourish Christmas!

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