Michael van Straten
Michael van Straten

Countdown To Your Best Christmas Ever

Countdown To Your Best Christmas Ever

I know, I know, it is only the start of November, the shops have been full of Xmas tat for weeks, and here I am going on about it again. Bear with me as you need time to get yourself ready to enjoy a genuinely happy Christmas.

Use this 14 day plan to make sure you get to Christmas Eve healthier, fitter, less stressed and more energetic than you've ever done before. Travel my healthy path to your most fabulous Christmas ever. They say "It's better to travel hopefully than to arrive," but that is nonsense. Christmas will arrive, so the best thing you can do is be prepared.

Christmas can be a minefield with hidden booby traps waiting to blow up in your face. Women bear the brunt of the extra work and worry as they start planning weeks before – presents, cards, filling the booze cupboard, and feeding the family. They struggle home with extra shopping, make up spare beds, and climb into the loft to find the fairy lights and then get up at 6 a.m. on Christmas morning to cook the turkey.

They've done everything except look after themselves then just when they need to be strong and healthy they're struck down and floored by coughs, colds, flu or back ache. This 14 day countdown is a simple plan that helps your body fight back so you can really enjoy the holiday.

The first step is a 24-hour detox.

Start your day with a glass of hot water and fresh lemon juice, followed by some exotic fruits (pineapple, mango) and a cup of mint tea. The vitamin C and enzymes in the fruit will start the process of resistance building and cleansing that your body's going to need. Then go for a brisk walk.

Mid-morning, have another glass of hot lemon with a snack of raisins and dates (the natural sugar will give you a lift) and a few fresh nuts to replace essential minerals. Lunch should be a large, mixed salad that includes plenty of raw carrots, cabbage, red and yellow peppers and watercress, to ensure a high intake of vitamin A and iron. Sprinkle with some sesame seeds (rich in zinc for your depleted defences) and serve it with an extra virgin olive oil dressing. Drink at least two glasses of plain water.

The natural bacteria living in your intestines don't take too kindly to alcohol, so with all the booze you're about to swallow, you must build up your stocks of these friendly bugs with a daily dose of Yakult for it's unique natural bacteria which improve digestion and boost immunity. This evening meal is high in fibre, vitamins and minerals from a selection of lightly cooked vegetables. Include root vegetables (for minerals), served with a large jacket potato, natural live yoghurt (for more gut-friendly bacteria) and chives, and plenty of water.

For the next six days you must eat three meals a day. Choose from the following options but don't just stick to a handful of favourites. The wider the variety of food the more essential nutrients you'll get.

The rest of this week is designed to boost your natural resistance and build your energy reserves. Drink as much herb tea as you like, at least eight glasses of water a day and no more than one alcoholic drink daily. Try to avoid coffee but you can drink unsalted vegetable or unsweetened fruit juices in moderation.


Porridge with cinnamon and dried apricots;
Muesli with fresh fruit;
Two boiled eggs, wholemeal toast, half a grapefruit;
Fresh fruit salad, wholemeal toast, butter and honey;
Soaked dried fruits, wholemeal toast, butter and honey;
Baked beans, wholemeal toast, tomato and orange juice;
Wholemeal roll, cheese, an apple.

Lunches and evening meals:

Large egg salad, olive oil and lemon juice, grapes;
Wholemeal pita with chicken, salad, yoghurt and chives dressing, a pear;
Unsalted nuts, raisins, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, dried dates and apricots, live natural yoghurt, a tablespoon of blueberries, a teaspoon of honey;
Any oily fish with two vegetables, potatoes sprinkled with chopped mint and parsley;
Pasta with pesto, tomato and onion salad, apple, orange;
Wholemeal peanut butter, banana and honey sandwich, soya milk, fresh fruit;
Tuna and bean salad with onion, celery, red pepper, tomato, watercress, olive oil, lemon juice, baked apple with chopped walnuts, sultanas, cinnamon and honey;
Root vegetable casserole, mixed green salad, mango, paw paw.
Sardines on wholemeal toast with tomato, grapes, pear;
Vegetable crudités, wholemeal pita, hummus, tsatsiki, fresh pineapple.

On Day 8, repeat 24 hour detox then rest of the week, adding steak, chicken breasts, seafood, fish or vegetarian protein.

This whole two weeks is rich in the protective antioxidants and immune boosting nutrients. It provides masses of slow release energy to avoid the mood swings caused by fluctuating blood sugar levels.

The traditional Christmas spices have health benefits too –

CLOVES help digestion, stimulate circulation, and increase resistance to infection.

CINNAMON is warming and helps indigestion and overindulgence. For bloating or colds stir a quarter of a teaspoon of ground cinnamon into hot water, add lemon juice, honey and sip.

NUTMEG is traditional in rich cakes and puddings as it improves digestion. It also contains a mild hallucinogen, myristicine, which is a great mood booster.

GINGER genuinely 'gingers up' your system. If you're sluggish and bloated try a good pinch of powdered ginger or some freshly grated root ginger in a small glass of hot water. Sip slowly.

Now it's time for your body. A sauna gets rid of waste products. Massage works wonders so buy yourself an early Christmas present of a good massage book, some aromatherapy oils, and give them to your partner. It's virtually impossible to do anything but good, just remember that it shouldn't hurt.
Try 10 minutes every evening.

Exercise helps too and a brisk 15 minute walk every day stimulates the circulation, the heart and breathing. A grand antidote for the overindulgences to come.

Herbs and Supplements

Try these safe natural supplements to prepare and protect yourself for Christmas:

NiteHerb – a unique, registered herbal medicine that is an extract of the valerian plant and one of the best natural aids to good sleep. Use as required.

Karma – to lift you out of the slump of mild depression that can be triggered by the prospect of all the extra work, pressure and responsibility of the holiday. This is a registered herbal medicine mace from an extract of St John's Wort, known to help low mood, anxiety and used since the times of the ancient Greeks.

MigraHerb - could be the answer to your migraine attacks. A registered herbal medicine made from Feverfew, a herb that can help prevent these headaches. Start now and continue for at least three months and give yourself a chance to skip those extra attacks triggered by the stresses and excesses of Christmas.

TurmericXtra – a traditional herbalist's extract of turmeric and artichoke that combine together as a stomach protector and liver cleanser. Just what you need to combat the effects of rich fatty food and is a rotten hangover – take as necessary.

CoenzymeQ – essential for converting food into energy, daily.

Omega 3 – chose a pure fish oil with the highest concentration of vital essential fatty acids to protect the central nervous system from too much booze and stress.

500 mg of Ester C daily, the non-acidic form of vitamin C which doesn't cause indigestion or stomach upsets, now used by many leading manufacturers.


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10 Day Detox With Kim WildeMichael Van Straten's 10 Day Detox With Kim Wilde

"In this video, we will take you through a series of easy to follow and achievable steps. You too can safely and effectively lose weight as well as significantly increase energy levels".

Migraine Misery?


MigraHerb® Feverfew capsules.

MigraHerb® is a traditional herbal medicinal product used for the prevention of migraine headaches exclusively based upon long-standing use as a traditional remedy. Always read the label.

tickLessens frequency and severity of migraine attacks

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De-stress and Energise!


Vitano® Rhodiola rosea tablets.

Vitano® is a traditional herbal medicinal product used for the temporary relief of symptoms associated with stress, such as fatigue, exhaustion and mild anxiety, based on traditional use only. Always read the label.

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Vitano® 30 tablets normally £13.27
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Not Sleeping?


NiteHerb® Valerian tablets.

NiteHerb® is a traditional herbal medicinal product used for the temporary relief of sleep disturbances due to symptoms of mild anxiety exclusively based on long-standing use as a traditional remedy. Always read the label.

tickA natural solution to a good night's sleep

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» For more information visit www.niteherb.co.uk