First off I think it’s important to clarify what it means to be healthy. It means different things to different people, and it really isn’t to do with the way you look.
To me, being healthy is a combination of eating food that makes me feel good and exercising regularly. Nothing taken to extremes and just a balance of all the things I enjoy!
Now, neither of those things are ground breaking, which is good news, as it really is that simple!
1.) This means my top tip for getting healthy in 2016 is to try and cook more! Cooking for yourself is fun and works out so much cheaper! This doesn’t have to mean you spend hours in the kitchen! No way! I have hundreds of recipes which take less than 20 minutes to put together and are really easy, so have a read through the blog and get inspired.
2.) Tip number two is if you don’t buy it, then you can’t eat it! Having cupboards bursting with treats is just too tempting so try to avoid buying it in the first place. That isn’t always possible as there are often other people in the house and I always have stacks of chocolate in my kitchen for cooking jobs, but try and dedicate a different area for these so you don’t see them every time you open the fridge or cupboard.
3.) In the same vein as the previous tip, never ever ever ever go food shopping hungry. It always ends badly and you will always come back with food you didn’t go out for and you will inevitably make rash food decisions. For me that means coming back laden with sausage rolls and scotch eggs, which I enjoy occasionally, but aren’t exactly foods that make me feel good.
4.) Try and find what works for you. It’s hard because there are so many mixed messages out there, but just try and focus on what makes you feel best. I personally avoid gluten because I am really intolerant, but I strongly believe that if you feel no bad effects from eating gluten then there is little advantage to cutting it out, so don’t fall for all the hype lovely people! If you can eat ‘normal’ bread without looking like you are eleven months pregnant, then lucky you! Just try and swap to wholegrain rather than white processed as that is advice that seems to be supported with evidence across the board.
5.) Don’t go the whole hog immediately. If you suddenly declare your self a sugar free, dairy free, gluten free, vegan who also avoids nuts and exercises 9 times a week, you will inevitable end up with no friends and you will probably only last about 1/2 a day as it will be miserable. Just make small changes at a time and once you see and feel the benefits you will be motivated to carry on
6.) Get moving! This doesn’t necessarily mean signing up to a gym or getting a personal trainer, as that’s not for everyone. Getting moving could mean getting off the bus a few stops early, or not driving as often when you could walk instead. I once read that you should live your life as though lifts and escalators don’t exist and I think this a really good tip! Walk up the escalators and if possible always take the stairs, rather than the lift…sorry for people who got to Covent Garden tube often…stair count: 350,000 (approx.) If I am having a stressful day, taking some time out to go for a walk, or go for a run makes the world of difference and if you aren;t really into exercising but often feel stressed, please give it a go – it’s a game changer!
7.) Never ever skip breakfast! It’s such an important meal and can set you up properly for the day. I love having protein first thing in the morning, so try having poached eggs with smashed avocado and smoked salmon for the breakfast of kings, or if you’re in a rush, whip up a batch of my bircher muesli and scoop and go each morning!
8.) Don’t deprive yourself! It will make you unhappy and will eventually lead to bingeing when your willpower breaks. I try allow myself a little of what I fancy – and that way, as nothing is off limits I dont find myself craving it in the way I used to when I banned certain foods.
So, there it is! I hope that’s been a helpful list of way you can get healthier in 2016 and start feeling great as that’s what it’s all about!