The holidays are here again. Yay!!! I love the festive season, the parties, reunions, many outings and most importantly, the food.
It seems everywhere you turn this season there’s an array of free food waiting to be devoured. But with all this free food, it is important to be cautious so you don’t binge and gain unnecessary weight or get a bad case of food poisoning medically called Gastroenteritis.
Gastroenteritis is the inflammation of the lining of the stomach and the intestines characterized especially by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and cramps.
Typically gastroenteritis is caused by;
- Contact with someone who has the virus
- Unwashed hands after going to the bathroom or changing a diaper
- Contaminated food or water: This could be caused by
- not cooking food at the right temperature or for the right length of time
- not chilling food at the correct temperature
- someone who has not washed their hands properly handling the food
- eating food after it has reached its use-by date
- cross-contamination (when harmful bacteria is spread between food, surfaces and equipment)
To avoid food poisoning, it’s important to be careful at gatherings and avoid foods that meet these criteria so you don’t get food poisoning. Stay away from salads, cold food, raw food, opened dishes etc.
As a host, please ensure your meal preparation and presentation meets the strictest hygiene standards; you don’t want people falling sick because of your meals.
If in the unfortunate event, you get food poisoning,
You need to get a lot of rest, drink lots of fluids and eat very moderately.
Its always better to rest your bowel for some hours, eat some light snack and you will likely bounce back. However, if symptoms persist, consult your Doctor.
There is also the issue of Overeating/Binging.
Here are a few tips to avoid this in this festive period:
- Don’t go to a party hungry. Eat a light snack before going out.
- Choose only the foods you really want and keep the portions small.
- Make a conscious effort to limit high fat/calorie foods.
- Fill up on lower calorie, nutrient dense foods such as fruits, veggies, lean meats and whole grain breads.
- Drink plenty of water.
- When you arrive at a party, avoid rushing to the food. Go enjoy some conversation with friends and family first.
- Eat slowly and enjoy each mouthful.
- Hold your glass in the hand that you normally eat with to make finger foods less accessible.
- Contrast flavors, textures and temperatures for more satisfaction in your eating.
- Avoid grazing while waiting for the main meal. Little nibbles can really add up!
- Be physically active every day. Take a walk after a meal if you can.
Have a fun and healthy holiday season, lots of love.