In the winter months, especially during the holiday season, there are many socializing occasions in which we often consume food and drink. Although we have more free time and opportunities to prepare nutritious meals as opposed to the hectic pace of the remaining part of the year, free time is usually spent at home with our loved ones and a festive table is very calorie-rich, but nutritionally poor. Although stuffed cabbage and fresh salad stray on the menu, ingredients on the holiday table are often roasts, pasta and many desserts. These ingredients, although a pleasure and a reflection of the Croatian tradition, usually cause digestive problems in the days following the holidays.
Specifically, fatty and spicy food is a major challenge to normal operation of the digestive system and it undermines the well-established routine of production and secretion of digestive enzymes necessary in the process of food decomposition and absorption of nutrients entered with food. As a result, a number of people complain of cramps, bloating, heartburn and other problems resulting from the consumption of large amounts of the so-called “heavy” food, most often in combination with alcohol.
To avoid these problems and to eliminate the New Year’s decision to lose weight as soon as possible, try to follow the recommendations below:
- Prepare meals with the help of family members so that the food presents a challenge and pleasure!
- Do not skip breakfast! Try to prepare oatmeal in milk or yogurt, and for a fuller taste feel free to add cinnamon and honey, chopped fruit, wild berries etc.
- Snacks between the meals are colourful on the plate or in the glass. Test your culinary skills by creating popular smoothies, choose seasonal fruits and mix it with yogurt or milk.
- Base your lunch on cooked food. With the soup of puréed vegetables (avoid adding salt), learn to prepare steamed fish or lighter poultry (turkey or chicken breast), with a mashed vegetables side dish.
- Avoid copious amounts of food after 8 p.m. Dinner can be integral pasta with tomato puree, mixed salad with seeds, whole-wheat bread with homemade tuna etc.
- Replace sweet carbonated / non-carbonated beverages with hot or cold unsweetened tea or fresh lemonade.
- Homemade cakes are not on the forbidden food list and they are definitely a good replacement of purchased sweets. However, consume them in moderate amounts and try to make a home compote with no added sugar, but with the addition of cinnamon and cloves.