Christmas fat you're not alone!

The Good Life Letter

Sunday 27th November 2011

  • Christmas fat is a serious health risk to us all
  • How overindulgence could lead to a FOOD hangover
  • Is it really only 28 days until Christmas

The season of overindulgence is almost upon us and that means one thing - Christmas fat.

Did you know that you can suffer a FOOD hangover which is just as bad for you as too much drink, and in some cases even worse?

And we all know that Christmas fat is the hardest to shift as it's so cruelly followed by Valentines Day and Easter - even more excuses to scoff the sinful cocoa stuff...

Bloating, nausea and indigestion can ruin a nights sleep, and lead to a right barnstormer of a headache the morning after.

A diet rich in strong flavours, high sugar and high fat foods that we all tend to consume when we treat ourselves on a night out can be as hazardous to our health as one too many vinos!

What we need is a bit of help after we have overdone the party food.

This year, I'm NOT going to party like it's 1969!

At this time of year I approach the diary with the air of a bomb disposal expert.

Eyes screwed up, arms at full length and full protective cardigan firmly in place because every time I open the damned thing there is another party invitation added in.

People that I have carefully avoided all year round have appealed to Lara's better nature, mostly because they know I haven't got one!

"You must come round for a bite of supper before the festive season kicks in and another year is over" they whine, "we always enjoy having you but something seems to get in the way every other time we try to arrange it."

Indeed, the thing that gets in the way is me. I love great company but can't stand idle chitter chatter, and banal conversations over coffee.

I like a nice strong opinion or two to get stuck into, and these folk who play the sympathy card on the run up to Christmas are just the kind I body swerve at every occasion.

Of course Lara is much more polite than I and accepts the offers, in the process forcing me to join her...
occasionally at gunpoint!

Bah Humbug! It's not that I'm antisocial, it's just that I tend to cause myself a few problems.

Let me explain.

My coping strategy at such gatherings usually involves trying to find ways to blot our copybook so that we don't get invited again.

Weight management is not on my agenda at this time of the year. I make a pig of myself with the food, drain as much of their well stocked cellars as I can, and never refuse an after dinner snort of Scotland's finest.

There are two problems to this.

Firstly, the very people I'm attempting to annoy seem to find the whole business of a tipsy Ray a delight and it further increases their desire to see more of us.

Secondly, my old body ain't what it was when it comes to a night of richness - in fact I get the sweats and headaches from one too many wine gums now.

Forget the booze, it's our food that's to blame now...

If you go back one hundred years or so it was really common for the great and good to carry around their own digestion aids when they went out to dinner.

Now I'm not talking weight management quick fixes or telling you how to lose weight quickly. No, this is a matter of digestion and comfort.

These remedies were called 'digestifs' and were often based on an alcoholic beverage along with bitter herbs which were believed to help digestion.

The digestif followed hard on the heels of the aperitif, which is now considered an alcoholic starter to the meal.

Thus the Victorian meal was bookended by strong drinks laced with herbs.

Now, I'm not condoning the alcohol content but these digestion aiding herbs are certainly worth seeking out; Peppermint, Fennel & Acacia feature largely, as does Milk Thistle, Dandelion Root and Ginger.

In 1846 a French chemist called Dubonnet created his wine-based aperitif whose recipe is still a closely guarded family secret.

Well just twenty years later it seems a chemist in Edinburgh was hard at work making his own aids to digestive function, only this time they were free of alcohol, and just contained true natural ingredients aimed at a pacifying a volatile tummy.

He was one of the Napiers family, who have been creators of the finest herbal remedies for the last 150 years - and his recipes are also closely guarded by his descendants.

What I do know is that they have created a fantastic pack that they call their 'Overindulgence Vintage Gift Set' which combines some beautiful traditional packaging with the original formula After Dinner Mint Mixture and A Hangover Hotchpotch - which appeals to my sense of humour.

I have already decided that a few of my friends will be getting one of these for their presents this year, maybe you know someone who has a tendency to party like they did when they were twenty-one. If so tick this one off on your list.

A seasonal apology...

If today's letter has raised the spectre of the forthcoming Christmas season for you too early, please accept my apologies. I hate the way the High Street begins Christmas at the end of September, there really is no need.

However, if you like to be prepared for the big day in plenty of time you might like to keep an eye on my shop where I will very soon be launching a special Santa's Grotto which is full of great, natural and healthy Christmas gifts for your nearest and dearest.

Amazing isn't it, here we are at the end of November again, just where has the year gone?

Yours as always,





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