As Christmas approaches, it takes a touch of magic to keep you on track with your diet. Santa may be known for his mince pies, but could the diet of a reindeer hold some inspiration? We take a look at the fuel behind Santa’s flying four legged helpers.
It’s no wonder the diet of a reindeer includes oats. The humble grain is perfect for slowly releasing energy into the body. This helps to enhance your stamina while working out for a prolonged period, like flying around the world in one night. It also helps you to feel full for longer, so you’ll be less tempted to reach for a tub of chocolate.
As we know, Santa’s reindeer’s eat raw oats by the handful. However, you can still get the benefits from your reindeer diet with more tasteful serving options:
☐ Heat half a cup full of oats with milk and a tablespoon of cinnamon for a creamy Christmas porridge.
☐ Mix oats with nut butter and sugar free syrup and bake for flapjacks to eat on the go.
Top Tip: To maximize your oat’s powerful pre workout potential, opt for oats with higher protein content.
Carrots make for a perfect snack food to replace Christmas junk. Obviously, they’re far lower in calories and saturated fat than the usual festive fair of crisps, chocolate or sweets.
Plus, they won’t create a sugar spike and crash that would be very detrimental to the diet of a reindeer. You can’t have a slump when you’re 12 hours into your full day flying shift! For us humans, avoiding peaks and troughs in blood sugar means we will be able to work out for longer AND be less likely to snap at irritating family members.
Not only that, but studies suggest that vitamins in carrots DO help you see in the dark. Useful for pulling a sleigh through the night sky or just for checking you kiss the right person under the mistletoe.
☐ Slice them into soldiers to dip in some homemade hummus.
☐ Spiralize them to replace pasta and noodles, without losing any flavor.
☐ Boil them and mash with an equal measure of swede to create a tasty alternative to mashed potatoes
In the wild, reindeer graze on grass and leaves. While I’m not suggesting you head to your local park to gather your lunch, leafy greens hold a lot of goodness.
Spinach, for example, is packed with beta carotene which will strengthen your defenses against a cold this winter. Kale is another health powerhouse that is becoming renowned for its nutritional benefits. The high levels of vitamin K in leafy green vegetables make them essential for bone health. After all, you can’t have weak shins if you’re (a) landing on rooftops (b) racking up the jump squats.
Greens are generally very versatile, so you can consider dishing them up any way you like, including:
☐ Washed and raw in a salad
☐ Steamed as a side with your roast dinner
☐ Blended into a smoothie.
Top tip: use powdered greens to mix into drinks, soups and more.
So next time you leave Santa’s reindeer food by the chimney, save some for yourself!