Mixed up eating & training over Christmas Why you should mix up your eating and training regimes over Christmas We’re in the depths of winter and along with it comes some opportunities to explore new means of exercise, training, and cooking.Due to changeable weather conditions we are often fortified to try alternatives to our regular routine. But breaking monotony through cross-training and discovering new foods and recipes should be a frequent practice year round, not just when we’re hard pushed during the harder months of winter.High Performance Coach Lynne Algar tells us the changes she makes at this time of year..Try new foodsRecently I went on a trip to Cork, and of course, raided the English Market. I picked up a bar of 100% Cacao, I don’t typically drink hot-chocolate but do like dark chocolate and had never tried 100% before. First taste, wow, bitter! It was like chewing dust. Needless to say there was no chance I was going to over-indulge, but this particular bar was intended for making hot-chocolate. Sceptically I threw 2 chunks into a boiling pot of full fat milk and added some honey. I’m proud to say it was the nicest hot-chocolate I’ve ever tasted (and I have a friend who can vouch for that)!I’ve included a hot-chocolate recipe below which includes Manuka Honey. Produced in New Zealand and Australia by bees feeding on the Manuka Tree, this honey contains Methylglyoxal (MGO), the antibacterial component. This makes it a very useful remedy to help prevent colds and flu. The higher the MGO content of the honey the more protection it offers. That’s why it is important to choose MGO Manuka honey as each batch is tested for its levels of MGO and this is indicated on the bottle ensuring you always get the real thing. Manuka honey has a unique strong taste, a delicious treat and perfect stocking filler!Over-indulging When it comes to ‘over-indulging’ at this time of year, while it’s ok once in a while, try to keep it to a minimum. Rather than loading your plate up with mash and gravy, keep the greens and proteins dominant in the form of steamed broccoli, boiled cabbage, and roast turkey.Unstructured TrainingDuring Christmas week the athletes I coach have a few days of what I call ‘Unstructured Training’. This is pretty much means the athletes are free to do what they like, with one requirement; they must clock up a certain amount of physical activity within a certain time-frame. There are always opportunities to alternate your exercise, training and diet regime. Try new things and experiment. Healthy living is balanced and fun you just have to explore ways that work for you. Give it a try! By TI Coach Lynne Algar & Udo's ChoiceSpiced Hot Chocolate RecipeINGREDIENTS500ml milk500ml hot water100g pitted dates1/4 avocado2 tbsp raw cacao powder1 tbsp Manuka Health MGO Manuka honey3/4 tsp cayenne pepper Serves 3 METHODAdd all the ingredients into a blender and blend on high until smooth.