Much as I love Christmas food (and, subsequently, Christmas leftovers), it does get a tad too rich for comfort once the 28th rolls around. Human livers, I believe, can only take so much; we can’t all stuff ourselves like Strasbourg geese, after all. ;) That said, here are a few tips to get your digestion back in working order:
- Pass on the Booze The thing about alcohol is that it’s all empty calories when you get to the bottom of things. Plus, the hangovers can be particularly nasty. I say stay clear of the booze in the week between Christmas and the New Year. If you live in the chillier parts of the world, stick to coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and steamed milk. If, however, you live in the tropics or in either Australia or New Zealand where it’s currently summer, pep yourself up with homemade sippers like a lightly-sweetened iced tea or lemonade spiked with mint, elderflowers, rosewater, or a tincture of lavender.
- Bring on the Veg Vegetables are your best friends in the week between Holidays. Soothe your system with a crunchy salad or a veg stir-fry with green beans, baby corn, and carrots tossed with some chopped spring onions and a hint of sesame oil. Also, skip the chips and crisps and snack on raw celery and carrot sticks; sweet jicama (singkamas) also help curb cravings for anything sugary. And don’t forget the fruit: with apples and oranges flying all over the place, you may as well get your 5-a-day;
- Fish is always a good choice. After all the fowl and meat on your family’s groaning boards, fish is a most welcome change of pace. Steam fresh whole fish and serve with a light dip made of lemon juice, soy, and some ginger, eat sashimi from a reputable source, or gussy up tinned fish like tuna or sardines into fritters or puffs. If you live in the Philippines, dried fish - tuyo or daing – simply fried and served with plain white rice and sprinkled with spiced vinegar is totally ace.
If you can follow all these suggestions and do some exercise over the week, I’m pretty sure you’ll be just fine. Now, about the New Year feast…