If your new year’s resolution is to eat better then here are 8 simple ways that will hopefully help make your new years resolution a reality.
1. First of all don’t overwhelm yourself and try to make too many radical changes to your diet in one go. If you pace yourself and gradually start to introduce new foods and swap unhealthy foods to healthier alternatives over the next few weeks you will be more likely to stick to your new healthy dietary regime.
2. Cook more at home. Getting take-out might seem like the best option when your busy and getting home late from work, but unfortunately a lot of take-away choices are unhealthy and high in calories and damaging fats which can promote weight gain and heart disease. Start the new year on a healthier note by preparing nutritious dishes on the weekend to freeze for during the week, when you cook always cook more so you can take leftovers for lunch, keep some frozen veggies on hand, and find some quick and easy healthy recipes to give you some inspiration.
3. One of the best things you can do to start the New Year off in a healthy way is to give your liver a rest from alcohol. Get into fresh vegie juices such as carrot, beetroot, celery, apple and ginger, and herbal teas such as green, peppermint, chamomile, and tulsi. Dandelion root coffee is a healthy caffeine-free alternative to coffee and does wonders for helping the liver detox. Don’t forget to drink lots of water, at least 1 ½ – 2 litres a day, to flush out toxins properly from your body. Natural sparkling mineral water with a splash of fresh lemon or fruit juice is healthy and refreshing on a hot summers day.
4. Your aim should be to get rid of as many processed and refined foods in your diet as you can and start replacing them with nutritious and natural, unprocessed alternatives. A good place to start is by cleaning out your cupboards and fridge of all your packaged unhealthy foods like sugary breakfast cereals and biscuits, soft drink, and unhealthy sauces. Natural, unprocessed foods are naturally rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants. Eating more of these types of nutritious foods and less processed, refined foods will promote good health and reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular, cancer and diabetes.
5. Next, start swapping refined ‘white’ grains such as breads, pasta and rice, for healthy fibre-rich wholegrain alternatives including grainy breads, brown rice, whole oats and wholemeal pasta. Wholegrain foods are important sources of sustained energy, fibre, B vitamins and vitamin E. Choosing these foods over refined ‘white’ carbohydrate foods will help you maintain a healthy weight and help to keep blood sugar and insulin levels nice and balanced.
6. Then, swap unhealthy saturated and trans-fats for healthy unsaturated fats. Replace vegetable cooking oil with virgin olive oil or coconut oil. Instead of margarine you can use organic butter, flaxseed oil drizzled on toast or avocado. Make your own healthy mayo out of Greek yoghurt, and salad dressings from seed and nut oils, lemon juice and fresh herbs and spices. Instead of buying greasy take-away meals make your own healthy homemade alternatives eg. oven baked sweet potato chips, healthy burgers and pizza and oven baked crumbed fish. Choose low-fat dairy foods over full fat varieties.
7. Next step is to start including more antioxidant-rich foods in your diet. These foods help prevent free radical damage in the body and they can keep you younger and healthier. Free radicals damage cells in the body and increase the risk of premature ageing along with chronic diseases. The easiest way to incorporate more antioxidants in your diet is to add a handful of mixed berries to your breakfast cereal, add some acai berry puree or powder to a smoothie, have a couple of green or white teas a day, and add some red or orange veggies to your lunch or dinner such as tomatoes, red capsicum, carrots and pumpkin.
8. Eat more fermented foods. Fermented foods such as yoghurt, tempeh, miso, sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables contain beneficial bacteria that help you maintain a healthy balance of good bacteria in your gut. Eating fermented vegetables is one of the best ways to boost your digestive and immune health this new year.