New Year’s Resolutions often include the intention to make January alcohol free, lose lots of weight and go to the gym regularly .. quite apart from all those business goals.
As a nutritionist you would assume I am excited and supportive of my clients taking these big bold steps, especially after the indulgence of Christmas.
But the weather is cold or wet, they don’t feel like exercise, lose heart and suddenly reach for comfort in the form of food or alcohol. Then confidence and will power is lost. The situation may be worse than if they had not made those exciting health resolutions.
The slow and steady way to improve your health will achieve more results.
Veg Up, not Veg Out
In the winter we naturally want comfort, warming foods so my answer is not to deprive yourself of what is pleasant, but to do something extra. Add a bigger variety of vegetables, to your meals. Start slowly and see how many you can include.
Vegetables are so nutritious and greater variety improves your microbiome. The fibre helps to regulate your gut, and by eating more vegetable you reduce those energy spikes and drops which have you reaching for cakes or sweet treats.
With a little encouragement and by taking it slowly my clients can get to 40 different fruit and vegetables a week. Each serving to be about the size of your fist.
Spice things up
Adding more herb and spice to the meals you are already eating brings an extra burst of flavour as well as health benefits. Cayenne, turmeric and ginger are great spices for cold winter days and are also wonderful anti-inflammatories. You may have some at the back of the cupboard – but check they are within date! Even dried spices and herbs are more potent within date.
Drink more … no, not alcohol, but water.
Our first thought in the morning is to reach for a warming cup of coffee. But coffee is diuretic and removes water from your system. Although the caffeine gives you a quick boost it isn’t good on an empty stomach, especially when you may feel lower a short while after.
The ideal would be to start your day with a glass of water with a big squeeze of lemon. But when there is frost on the ground a glass of anything cold is not appealing: I recommend a hot mug of water with lemon, ginger or mint…or my favourite - all three together!
So, think about just a few small changes to start with this January, and when these become a habit, add a few more positive changes. One step at a time, nothing too radical……..within a few months you’ll be feeling so much healthier!
Contact me for individual recommendations or join my forthcoming Live Longer Live Happier course.