If you started a January health kick and are still powering through, then I absolutely salute you. I’m still making a good effort with mine, but I can’t lie – a few cocktails and the odd brownie have definitely passed my lips. Sometimes healthy eating can feel like a bit of a chore, so I wanted to share a few tips on how you can make simple, healthier swaps, without feeling like you need to carry around a nutribullet and a kilo of chia seeds at all times.
Concentrate on adding in, rather than taking away – by adding more fruits and veggies to your daily meals and snacks, the chances are you’ll not only feel fuller, but you’ll also be getting lots of extra vitamins and minerals. Increase the portion sizes of your vegetables at each meal and over a few weeks you’ll soon realise that you don’t necessarily *need* all the rice/potato/chocolate/whatever. It’s not about concentrating on what you don’t want to eat, as I don’t think cutting entire food groups out of your diet is a good idea unless you have a medical reason to (just my opinion), but focusing on what you should add in instead.
Taste the rainbow – and no, I don’t mean Skittles here. The brighter your food, the more likely it's packed with nutrients, so aim to eat as many colours as you can throughout the day. Steer clear of the beige and go for plenty of greens, red peppers, butternut squash, aubergine, blueberries etc.
Make it yourself - ok, so I lied a little – this one does take a tiny bit of effort, but I promise it will be worth it. I think you all know how much I love cake and sweet food in general, but one way I’ve found to curb this a little bit is to allow myself sweet treats, but to only eat ones I’ve made myself. That way I know exactly what’s gone into it (even if it is a crap ton of butter) and can feel comfortable knowing it’s not full of random E numbers which no-one quite understands what they do. Raw chocolate energy balls are currently my favourite thing (recipe coming soon) as you can make a big batch of these at the weekend and then keep them in the fridge for the rest of the week. If they last that long that is.
Protein is your friend – whatever format you eat it in, protein is absolutely essential to everyday life. Protein is found in every cell across your body and is used by the body for growth and cell maintenance. It also takes a while to digest, so helps you stay fuller for longer, meaning less chance of that accidental Snickers come 4pm. Lean meats, fish, eggs, tofu and legumes are all great choices - try to have some with every meal if you can.
Try new foods at least 3 times - the first time I made overnight oats, I honestly thought I would vom. But I made myself power through and had it again the next day and I actually quite enjoyed it. It can take your tastebuds a while to get accustomed to new flavours, so I always aim to try things three times before deciding that I REALLY don't like it and it's not just a 'holy crap this tastes weird' thing that can happen initially (I'm looking at you olives).
What are your top ways to eat more healthily?