5 Simple Hacks For Keeping On Track This Holiday Season w/ Natalie Cumberbirch

By Natalie Cumberbirch – Nov 19th, 2018

I’m no nutritionist or health expert, but like every other person I’ve overindulged during the holiday season. Become best friends with the cheese board at that awkward staff party, said yes to a few too many holiday cocktails, and refuse to turn down any baked goods being offered. The downfall, you feel like absolute garbage the next morning. At least I always do.

With that in mind, below are some simple hacks to help feel a little bit healthier amidst the cheese, wine and bread fueled season.

1) Apple Cider Vinegar

I start my day with a 1⁄2 ounce of straight up, Braggs Organic Apple cider vinegar. The murkier and gross looking, the better. You want the unfiltered, unpasteurized stuff, containing the “mother”. This is packed with probiotics, bacteria and enzymes that aid in gut health. It’s disgusting, but it’s good for you. Some dilute it in water, but that’s just more liquid you have to throw down the hatch. I will take the shot, then drink a glass of water, just to rid the taste in my
mouth. Your choice.

The highly acidic drink isn’t the best for your teeth, so don’t let it sit there for too long. It’s also harsh on the stomach, so if it doesn’t sit well, discontinue use. The acetic acid in the vinegar is said to balance blood sugar levels, reducing insulin after a high- glycemic meal. It boosts energy, helping in weight loss and is full of beneficial bacteria for your gut, naturally helping with things such as acne, heartburn, and sore throats. If you’re not into the Apple Cider vinegar shot to start your day, try a glass of warm water with half a lemon squeezed in. Cleansing, good for your gut.

2) Green Morning Smoothie

Even if i’m going out for a breakfast or brunch, i’ll start my morning with a smoothie. I know i’ll be tempted with bottomless mimosas and sugary pancakes, so I feel better knowing I’ve had greens and necessary supplements to start my day.

I add coconut oil for flavour, but also for the calories. I try to eat higher fat foods early in the day- eggs, avocado, coconut oils- and limit my intake as the day progresses. I add collagen for my skin and joints, maca to help with hormone balance and the extra scoop of greens for the energy and nutrients. I always look for spirulina and chlorella.

Simple green smoothie:

  • 1/2 c. unsweetened coconut or almond milk
  • 1/2 c. cold water
  • 2 large handfuls raw spinich
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 c. fresh berries of choice
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 scoop True Marine Collagen
  • 1 scoop Maca Powder
  • 1 scoop Greens Powder

Blend in high powered blender.


3) Have healthy snacks and water within arms reach… always

Nothing worse than being out all day, stopping for an afternoon coffee and them asking “Anything else today?”, only to cave for that sugary, oil-filled banana loaf that’s calling your name through the display. Guilty 90% of the time.

● Small bag of almonds with dark chocolate chips.
● Apple with peanut or almond butter.
● Peanut butter & jam ‘sandwich’ on rice cakes.
● Cut up celery, carrots, peppers.
● Stovetop made popcorn with olive oil, salt, pepper and nutritional yeast.
● Water. Water. Water. If it bores you, flavor it up with cucumber, mint, lemon, oranges, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, or grapefruit. Whatever you fancy!

I’m not saying don’t eat that biscotti with your coffee from Caffe Calabria; Commercial Drives mediocre cappuccino is made up for in people watching, decor and ambiance. If it’s worth it, i’m all about indulging. But make sure it’s worth it.

*Side note (not a healthy one) if you haven’t already, get to La Grotta del Fromaggio for a grilled panini. Those women stack in all the meats, cheeses, spreads and veg. Just go.

4) Something in your fridge, ready to eat

December is a busy month. Dinner parties, brunches, lunches. Long days of shopping or socializing. Unfortunately, healthy eating is often a last priority. Easy way to make sure you get some wholesome nutrients in your day is to make a large batch of whatever healthy you want, and eat that before you choose a frozen pizza or bag of chips for the convenience. Sharing my go to winter salad that I keep in my fridge, with a 5 day expiry. Great eaten cold or warmed up. I’ll often throw a poached egg on top, half an avocado, or sauté up some mushrooms and rosemary. All depends how much time I have and what I’m in the mood for! Very versatile base salad that you can add or omit to your liking.

Base Winter Salad

  • 2 c. Green lentils, cooked according to package
  • 1 c. Red quinoa, cooked according to package
  • 1⁄2 butternut squash, diced 1cm cube
  • 1 large zucchini, diced 1 cm cube
  • 2 carrots, diced 1 cm cube
  • 1 white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. Coconut oil
  • S&P

Chop all your veg, toss in oils and roast in 375 degree oven for 30 minutes, or till lightly browned and tender (test with fork). Toss together with cooked lentils and quinoa, and keep in airtight container in fridge.


  • 1 tbsp. Grainy Dijon
  • 1 tsp. Dijon
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. Maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1⁄4 c. Cold water
  • S&P

Shake or blend together. Dress only what you eat at that time.

5) Move and sweat every damn day

Obviously, a YARD workout is where it’s at. But if you can’t make it down there, get out for a walk, do some Jane Fonda ass kicks, or find your third eye Chakra in a downward dog. Sometimes it’s the last thing you feel like doing, but you’ll feel way better after sweating out last nights wine buffet. Throw on a Joe Rogan podcast, some trashy yet catchy DJ Snake reggaeton, or just listen to your heartbeat in your eardrums, and move.

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