New Year! New Start?
Happy New Year! This is the day, traditionally we make new years resolutions. Vowing to make up for the over-indulgence of the festive period & starting a new diet or taking out gym membership is on many peoples minds today I'm sure. How many of you have started the new year this way before? How many can say you stick to it?
What if you started this year differently & rather than going all out with the intentions to do Dry January/Veganuary/Juice Detox/Juice Cleanse/Calorie Counting Diets you decided to make small changes, manageable to you & that are sustainable over the coming years. Make one small change this week, one the following week & so on. Taking small steps like this you're more likely to make them life changes through new habit forming. So what could these manageable changes be?
Incorporate 'Meat Free Monday'. Make one day of the week vegetarian. If making a stew double the quantity so you can have leftovers for lunch or freeze for a day you don't have time to cook.
Eat Breakfast every day - ensure a quality protein & healthy fat source to keep you fuller longer & your energy levels stable. Eggs, oats, coconut milk, avocado, mushrooms, nuts & seeds are all good choices.
Each weekly shop, buy a vegetable you've never tried before . Aim to 'Eat the Rainbow' of colourful vegetables each day.
Add an extra portion of veg to your food intake. A portion is the size of a closed fist. Chopped carrots, peppers, celery, cherry tomatoes make healthy portable snacks that can be prepared very quickly & taken to work with you. Alternatively, add a handful of spinach leaves to your cooked breakfast, add watercress & rocket to salads or a side plate.
Steer clear of the 'temptation aisles' in the supermarket. Look in your trolley (or basket) before you reach the checkout & consider whether you're purchasing more nutrient-dense foods than foods with no nutrient value. Do you really need crisps, biscuits AND donuts? What can you put back? Take time when shopping to make more healthful choices.
Aim to drink one more glass of water each day. It is surprising how often we're thirsty rather than hungry but staying adequately hydrated is important for cognitive function, energy levels & keeping bowel movements regular too. If you have a desk job its also a good excuse to get up from your desk & move after sitting for a period.
Swap a cup of tea or coffee for a green tea or herbal tea blend. Perhaps in the evening, but not too close to bedtime so not to disturb your sleep, try one of the night time blends or a camomile tea.
Spend 15 minutes of your lunch break walking outside getting some fresh air & natural daylight. Try to walk with purpose - swing your arms & (safely) challenge your heartrate if you can. If you can spare 30 minutes, even better.
Go to bed 30 minutes earlier. Use this time to sleep or read or meditate, just quieten your mind at the end of the day.
Switch off your electronic devices - phones, laptops, etc - 30 minutes earlier in the evening & try to build this one up to 60 minutes (at least).
Why not try one of the points above & build on it? Imagine where you'll be in just 3 months with these new habits - eating better, relaxing & moving more, not to mention the many positive effects it will have on your health! I understand to some of you, the changes I mentioned may not seem 'big enough' but to others just a small nudge of inspiration at a manageable pace can be life changing & we should all be thinking long-term rather than quick fix! I don't believe in depriving food intake or creating further stress on a system that is already under burden & so all of the points I mentioned are aimed at supporting our bodies & providing nourishment. As always, thanks for taking the time to read & I hope I can encourage you to make 2018 the year you MAKE BETTER CHOICES!