New Year and a very slightly tweaked new you...
New year is my chance to set some great intentions for the year ahead. I don’t bother with radical resolutions anymore, and my advice to anyone who has set themselves a list of hardcore health goals and dietary resolutions is to reconsider these before you enter the classic cycle of try to do it all, fail, feel awful and revert to old unhealthy habits... before doing the same again next new year.
Make this the year of the "tweak". Small, simple, sustainable and gentle changes to your food and lifestyle habits that will make you feel great. Changes that are flexible and fun but that come with an understanding that if you manage do nail these changes just 50% of the time, you have done really well.
To get you on your way, we thought that we would share some of our favourite tweaks and you can choose one or more of these to do yourself, or shape your own tweaks around our ideas...
- Take a little time to plan the weeks food. Thinking about what you will eat each evening and perhaps building in some leftovers for lunch to your plan will not only save you money, time and stress, but it will help you feel more in control of your eating and health.
- Take time to eat. Sounds crazy but think about how often you just eat. Not eating whilst walking to the car, not eating whilst watching TV, not eating whilst scrolling social media... just eating and being fully present whilst doing so. This not only helps with digestion and therefore has far reaching health benefits, but will help with appetite regulation - allowing your brain to register fully what you are eating is so important and rapidly becoming so rare. Just sit, chat with friends by all means, but think about what you are eating, chew your food properly and place your knife and fork down between mouthfuls. Sounds simple but is well worth trying.
- Give up on the food avoidance strategy. Instead, focus on what you want to include in your diet rather than what you want to exclude. Focusing on solutions rather than problems is a far more positive way to go about improving health. Have plenty of fruit, vegetables and healthy snacks available to eat and always carry a big bottle of water to ensure that you keep well hydrated. Remember that eating well does not have to be complicated. It is actually remarkably simple. Focus on whole foods, simple and quick recipes and flavours that you enjoy. Forget re-creating complex dishes that you see on the TV, just stick to old favourites that work; jacket potato with bean chili, grated cheese and some salad on the side or an omelette with mushrooms, spinach and feta, a lentil soup or a simple tray bake with fish, vegetables and some crusty bread to mop up the juices.
So why not relax when it comes to resolutions and be a little kinder on yourself this year,,, you never know, by the time 2019 comes around you might feel that you have the food thing sorted and we can focus on something else!
Happy and healthy New Year wishes to you all!