How to stay healthy over Christmas (video)

Transcript: How to stay healthy over the Christmas period

In this video I’m going to talk about how to stay healthy over the Christmas period.

Hi, I’m Katherine Maslen, principal naturopath and founder of Brisbane Natural Health. In this video I wanted to give you some little tips to take away with you so over the Christmas period that you can kind of ride through it with a little less damage.

So we all know it’s Christmas time, we are eating lots of food, we having some drinks with friends but what often happens is come January we are feeling terrible, this is where we get a rush of clients coming in looking at detoxes and trying to get back on track. There are a few little things that you can do throughout that Christmas period to make sure that you ride through it a little bit more smoothly kind of coming into January with a little bit of energy rather than feeling really sluggish.

So the first thing to look at is food and there are two ways of looking at it. We are eating too much food but also eating the wrong types of food. So we’re going to eat more Christmas, it’s just kind of given, we’re going to dinners, we’re doing a lot of stuff but remember that when you overeat, your body gets really sluggish and has a really hard time digesting that.

So what I recommend is when you are eating just try to be mindful of it. You might use a smaller plate or not your plate up so much of the first time. If you are going back for seconds I’d recommend just chilling for five or 10 minutes. So if you wait 10 minutes after you eat you would actually start to feel more full and you would be more inclined to eat less whereas if you eat and eat and eat and eat all of a sudden it’s like whoa, I am way too full.

Eating until you are about 70% full is a really good rule to make sure that you would don’t over eat and gorge around that time. The other thing to have a look at is the type of food. So traditional Christmas dinners as relatively healthy. You’ve got roasted meats, you’ve got vegetables, salads, it’s quite healthy it’s just the little extra things you want to avoid that can sometimes cause some problems.

What we do around Christmas time is we actually make our own applesauce. We make our own gravies to make sure we are not having this stuff in the jar that is full of preservatives and colorings and so forth. It’s relatively easy to do so for instance with applesauce all you need to do is peel some or core some apples, simmer them in some water until they are soft and then match them up, really easy. The other thing that you want to have a look at is making sure that you are using meat instead of free range organic if possible to avoid a toxins. But particularly if you’re looking at Christmas ham, really try and source one that is free range and nitrate free.

Ham isn’t free range, it is a really poor fat balance, it is not really good for you. But if you are having ham that is full of nitrates it is what keeps the meat pink. It’s actually a known carcinogen like it’s not very good for you at all, it is quite allergenic particularly for people who do have any allergies I hay fever and that type of thing. So if you want to get a good free range ham that’s actually quite a healthy thing to do, really lovely to have as part of your Christmas spread.

Now the other thing to look at is the sweet stuff and the desserts because there is a lot of them around of course. My tip is to be a little bit prepared and actually cook or grab some things that are on the healthier side so that way you’ve got some treats there but they are not on the worst side of things. You might eat a little bit of bad stuff but say for instance if you have your own gluten-free, sugar-free Christmas cake which I will put a link to in the bottom of these video notes, it means that you’re going to be eating some of the cake and it is beautiful but there is no gluten or sugar in it, it’s going to be a lot better for you.

Making a nice big beautiful fruit salad to have with your dessert spread is another way to do that. You can make your own cashew yogurt using a little bit of honey and cashews in a blender which is beautiful. All of these little things that you can do that is a bit of pre-prep that will help you to just get everything on track so that you do get some healthy foods to eat over Christmas.

Now the other thing briefly we want to have a look at is drinking alcohol. We all like to have a little bit of a drink here or there so what we want to make sure if you are drinking alcohol over Christmas is that it’s the right type. My preferred forms of alcohol are vodka or gin with fresh lime and soda just because they are quite pure; the soda water that you are having in there or mineral water, is going to be really good for hydrating. It’s going to kind of water down that alcohol.

The other side of it is you could have wine and preferably red wine because red wine is really high in resveratrol which is a really great antioxidant which is going to help you out.

So in trying to curb alcohol intake, a really good trick is actually alternate a glass of alcohol with a glass of water. What that means is that not only are you keeping hydrated but as you are having that water, you are giving your body a chance to process that alcohol and get rid of it out of your system so you are not constantly topping up which is where we really get intoxicated and cause problems. We also want to make sure that we are eating lots of good foods, keeping really hydrated, keeping our electrolytes up. So if you are planning to have a few drinks with friends, sometimes it’s good to have a little bit of coconut water before you go to bed or have it ready for the morning because that will rehydrate you as well.

So look after yourself this silly season. Just do what you can, have a great time but if you could just implement some of these little tricks along the way then hopefully will come in the January and when you turn up at our door there won’t be so much sluggishness and you will be feeling a little bit better.

I am Katherine Maslen, founder of Brisbane natural health. Thanks for joining us. If you have any questions at all or need any help with anything feel free to call us on 07-3367-0337 or email

Merry Christmas!


Does acupuncture hurt?


If you haven’t had acupuncture before, of course you’re going to conjure up images of needles in the skin the pain that could accompany that! But really acupuncture is mostly pain-free and actually is quite a relaxing experience. When people come out of our acupuncture rooms often they feel quite airy, relaxed and chilled out so it’s nothing to be afraid of.

The first thing to mention is that acupuncture needles are itty itty-bitty – they are very small, very fine and nothing like the needles you would have a blood test with. There are many different types of acupuncture needles, but in our clinic we only use the very best, Japanese and Korean made needles, which are some of the smallest available.

As the acupuncturist inserts the needle you may not feel anything at all, or maybe just a little pinch of the skin. Generally speaking, your acupuncture session at Shift at Brisbane Natural Health will be pain-free.

What our acupuncturists actually do is gently insert some needles as they explain to you what they are working on. Then once they have all of the needles set up and you’re nice and comfortable, they would actually leave you to ‘cook’ for a little bit and leave you to chill out with some relaxing music. This is your time, and the idea is to really allow the balance to occur while your body soaks up the treatment.

To put you at ease, we pop a little buzzer in your hand in case you move the wrong way or you are feeling a little uncomfortable so our acupuncturist can come back in and adjust the needles to make you comfortable. It really is a relaxing process, it’s not scary at all! Our acupuncturists will always be asking for feedback from you – is it comfortable? Is there anything else we can do to make it a better experience for you?

So if you’re thinking of trying acupuncture, don’t be afraid. Give it a go, it’s amazing!

And if you do want to make an appointment, call our team on 07 3367 0337. If you have any questions or you want to chat to our acupuncturists more about it, email us. The email is

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