Have a fuss free Christmas

Up until this year my partner, son and I have always lobbed up to one of our parent's places on Christmas day, eating all the amazing foods they'd no doubt slaved over for the last 48hrs. 

This year I put my hand up to host Christmas. Have I bitten off more than I can chew? No, I think I have it all uder control, I'm following my 3 top tips to hosting a meal/party to ensure a fuss free Christmas! 

Here are my 3 top tips:

- Plan as many foods as possible that can be made ahead of time. The day or two before you can... make salads, chop veggies, make gravy, custards and sauces and arrange fruit/cheese platters. Weeks ahead you can bake and freeze cakes and sweets, broths, ice creams, bread, rolls, focaccia.
-Ask people to contribute. Get grandma Betty to make her famous pavlova, tell uncle Jim to bring some of his home brew. If there are things to do on the day, even if it's setting the table, rally the crowd! No need to be a perfectionist or martyr, you should put your feet up and enjoy the day too. 
-Don't go over board! Just make enough to feed the people your feeding. You don't need heaps of left-overs and you certainly don't want to be throwing any food away at the end of the day. This will also stop you from over-eating, a huge reality for a lot of people over Christmas and New Year. 

What's on my Christmas lunch menu? 

-Fruit platter to nibble on before and after lunch
-Pulled pork sliders: free range pulled pork which I'll make in my slow cooker the day before with a beautiful fresh coleslaw on little sourdough rolls. 
-Sweet potato fries: pre chop the day before, bake on the day
-The Minimalist Baker's no-churn vegan chocolate ice cream (can be made the week before) with a little buffet of nuts, seeds and fruit to make DIY ice cream sundaes. 

So, what's on the menu? Is it fuss free? I'd love to know

Hayley xoxo


Survive Christmas

Whether we like it or not, Christmas is coming. 

I love Christmas. To me it's a really magical time of year, full of celebration and giving. 

It can be, at times, a bit stressful. Stressful on the wallet, on time, on meeting friends and families expectations and with all the Christmas indulgences, it can be stressful on our body too.

Here are a few tips I use to get through the silly season feeling well and less stressed:

- Practice saying no. Being about to say no to unhealthy nibble food in the workplace, at functions and Christmas parties will get you a long way. If you don't want to say no altogether, scout out what's on offer to find your healthiest option and pick up one or two bit of that food. 

Don't over commit yourself. November and December are usually really busy months. You'll get invited to lots of things plus have all your regular-life commitments to uphold. It's okay to decline sometimes. Physical and mental self-care is extra important around this time of year. You don't want to get to boxing day feeling run down. Scheduled yourself a few days of doing nothing during the madness to recuperate.

Be a good example! If you're hosting Christmas choose a fresh, healthy spread. Choose foods you can prepare ahead of time so you can relax on Christmas day too. I have another post coming up soon with fuss-free feast ideas, stay tuned for that. Also don't be that person who gives their friends a box of Favourites for Christmas. To me that says "Here, fill your body with rubbish and then feel rubbish". If you like giving treats check out my 'Food as Gifts' workshop coming up on the 12th of December.

Is this the year you'll start doing things differently and get the most out of the season? I hope so!

Hayley xoxo