Christmas Feast and New Years Resolutions

I have been a little quiet the past while…..I think this time of year there is just a lack of time to do anything. Late nights in work don’t help but I am also pathetic for leaving all the Christmas shopping until last minute and added to that I cook the Christmas dinner so am in charge of groceries as well…..and then there’s all the nights out…..and food….and drink…..

First off- HAPPY CHRISTMAS to everyone! I hope 2012 was good to you and 2013 will be even better!

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I spent two nights in London just before Christmas and LOOK what they had in the hotel! A massive GINGERBREAD MANSION……didnt help that my flight there was horrifically delayed and I had not eaten so I was ready to devour the whole thing when I saw it!!!
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I thought I would share with you some of things I did over Christmas, namely the food I ate-I have to say it wasn’t very difficult to stick to Paleo…maybe because I am in charge of Christmas dinner and we aren’t big dessert eaters in my house…so overall I managed to stay on track quite well with diet…..however, a few selection boxes were inhaled …hey tis the season!!!……exercise on the other hand took a back seat….I always go through a bit of a lazy patch around this time of year usually for a week or two and then kick start new years with a load of new plans and energy….this year was a real eye opener though….I managed to seriously overdo it in the gym and paid the price and learned first hand what overtraining can do to your body- I have just spent a full week with zero energy. I attempted to row and nearly fainted….couldnt lift anywhere near my normal weights when I tried to strength train and basically just managed to end up ridiculously pi***d off! And this wrecked my head the most because the gym is my ‘relaxing’ and ‘fun’ time! Well this all certainly influenced my new years resolutions! (more on that below)

My mother has her annual christmas party every year around the 21-22nd December and she made up an absolute feast. She always invites about 50 people and just sets up a massive buffet for everyone to pick at. This is my favourite kind of eating…..load up the plate as much as you like and with whatever you like….This year we had a huge choice of salads (beetroot, russian salad, caesar, chickpeas…), cold meats (salami, prawns, smoked salmon, whole poached salmon….), hot plates (quiche, chicken in honey mustard sauce, roast ham), desserts (profiteroles, white chocolate bomb, butlers chocolates, Christmas cake…)……obviously I had to try everything….and then try it again…just in case…

Here’s the monster table of starters….YES STARTERS! i didn’t get a chance to snap the main….honey mustard chicken and roast ham……

IMG_0501 IMG_0503 IMG_0505 IMG_0506She did well!! It was absolutely delicious and very little was left over…which kind of shows that people will eat good and healthy food when it is in front of them….

Christmas morning…..

I absolutely love Christmas day at my house. We unwrap the presents together in the morning (both the dog and cat also get a little stocking of goodies!)  and then head over to my neighbour’s house for a bit of champagne and nibbles. Then I spend the afternoon preparing Christmas dinner and then the evening is spent passed out on the couch with the top trouser buttons undone! Ha it’s inevitable to overeat! We have a big tradition at my house that the starter consists of red and black caviar and blinis…..hey it’s a must given my mum and I are russian!

And main course this year was the usual….whole turkey (stuffed with oranges, lemons, apples and pears), orange glazed ham, bacon and brussel sprouts, red cabbage cooked in pomergranite juice, maple glazed roast carrots and parsnips, Jamie Oliver gravy (unbelievable gravy!!) and gingerbread gluten free stuffing (had to improvise a bit this year as I forgot some key ingredients)….no potatos this year! We aren’t big potatoe eaters……well boy did we eat…well mainly me…..two huge platefuls….so worth it! I think christmas dinner is my favourite meal by far…I could eat that type of food every day! So I am a big big fan of the leftovers….I loaded up the plastic containers to devour over the course of the coming weeks…..the food freezes so it makes a perfect lunch/dinner anytime….turkey curry anyone? ha

Here’s a few ideas for how to use up the leftovers:

paleo turkey soup

frittata 

cookie recipes

I think it’s important to let your hair down over the Christmas period and break away from any strict routine. You need to relax, spend time with your family and eat whatever the heck you want…weirdly enough this is actually good for your body… Though having said that, it is also no excuse to go bananas! Everything in moderation! But don’t be stressing if you have gone way off track, there is plenty of time to re-focus into the old routine and to be honest your body will thank you for the nice break.

IMG_0509The dog and cat get their own special stocking of treats and toys….yes my mum is a geek……Tess had sniffed her stocking out immediately! look at that face!!!
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Jamie Olivers make ahead gravy is my go-to every time…it is UNBELIEVABLE….especially when you add the juice of the turkey and the poached fruit that I use to stuff it….IMG_0525 IMG_0526 IMG_0527 And of course someone positioned themselves very well…..IMG_0528 IMG_0529

I forgot to photograph the stuffing…..in fact I nearly forgot the stuffing in the oven….BUT i made completely gluten free paleo stuffing….although I forgot a major ingredient so I had to improvise…..gingerbread stuffing…..I looked up a basic paleo gingerbread recipe online and then baked the bread and crumbled it in with an apple, an onion, and sausage meat…..it’s a real winner, definitely worth a try….but you could just as easily make the usual sage and onion stuffing or whatever you prefer…..IT REALLY IS NOT THAT DIFFICULT and you don’t have to miss out on all the amazing things either! Same applies to bread sauce if any of you make that…just bake a batch or buy some gluten free bread….

I really love to cook Christmas dinner and it works well in my house because mum is usually wrecked after making all the food for her christmas party….what’s even better is that both my dad (who has a ridiculous sweet tooth) and my mum are always amazed at how good it all tastes and at the fact that I don’t use any sugar or added salt (mum was seriously baffled that I didn’t salt the turkey at all…..IT DOESNT NEED IT!!!!)……in fact the only sweet bit is the tiny bit of maple syrup I add to the roast vegetables…..that’s it……And to be honest, I eat so much of the turkey, ham and the trimmings that I never want dessert….I don’t like ending my meal with a sweet taste…call me weird….I would ten times rather have another serving of the main meal….

Some cool presents…..this book is a bit americanised and kind of annoying to read at times with the whole ‘Are you ready to change your life’ attitude….but the stuff in it is actually quite decent….
IMG_0532My mum knows me well and I am excited to use my new lunch box!!!

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May come in handy very soon…..
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AND of course when I try to head home I have to fight this cute face…he hides himself ridiculously well….

IMG_0537 and love wrapping paper!!IMG_0542 IMG_0543

So now onto the topic of New Years…. I am not big into new years resolutions so it’s only in the past year or two that I have actually started thinking about setting a resolution and sticking to it. I think my first proper one was climbing Kilimanjaro for the first time. This year I am keeping it quite broad but I am also setting myself a few challenges instead of one big one…..so here is my list:

1. Get myself back on the healthy track- the past month or two I have strayed away from the routine I used to pride myself on. Work has been hectic, it’s christmas and all the stress and lack of time has cause me to eat much less than I should and my body is certainly making me pay for it! My energy levels are low, I cannot lift as heavy in the gym and my skin is not in a good way…….so I am going to make a huge effort to reverse this in the coming year…..because it really is no fun at all……I plan to do the WHOLE30 plan to kick start….I purchased the book over christmas and think it’s the perfect way to reset my system and fix my leaky gut and digestion….it’s basically strict paleo for 30 days….no ‘paleofied desserts’ or cheating….just pure food…single ingredient food….the food we are supposed to eat.

2. Sleep more– yes this is becoming more and more difficult! 8.5 hours a night is so crucial and I really notice such a difference in my mood, productivity and energy in work and the gym….again overtraining really opened my eyes to this as the past week has been snooze city for me….my body is just demanding it! So ye…..Sleep more!

3. Complete some sort of fitness related challenge– I love to train for things and have an ultimate goal……I have a few ideas here…..

a sub 50 minute 10km, a half marathon, a sub 21 minute 5km, some sort of Mountain climb (Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, Everest)…..

4. Make more time for me!! Ha how vain….but I really don’t allow myself very much time to do certain things…and this goes hand in hand with saying NO more often! I always love to take on too much stuff and end up in an absolute hoop trying to get it all done…or worse I get myself wound up and upset if I can’t get everything done….

5. DE-CLUTTER MY LIFE– god this one is huge……how can I expect to sleep more and unwind when I am surrounded my clutter and mess! I ve already kick started a huge spring clean of the apartment and my car is next on the list….after this I am going to get ridiculously organized with meal prep and planning and just getting a regular routine in place day to day.

What changes are you making!? – Google are doing a cool thing….you can view the world map and see what resolutions people are making across the world! They are categorized….USA are mainly ‘health’ related while us Russians are geeking it up with ‘education’ related things….check it out here and maybe even add your resolutions!!! 



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