Can you feel it? The buzz of renewed motivation that comes with the start of a New Year? Your resolutions have been set and project #newme has emerged with hand-on-heart determination… But, where to start?
If a diet makeover is at the top of your 2016 to-do list, make life simple by breaking your plan down into bite-sized steps. Get started by committing to just one or two small changes and build on these throughout the year.
1. Start With The Kitchen
All good intentions will be challenged if your kitchen is filled with junk and leftover Christmas treats. Be ruthless and clean out the pantry, fridge and freezer. Toss out anything out of date, overly processed and restock with plenty of healthy foods that you know you will actually eat.
2. Plan Ahead
At the end of a busy day no one likes a last minute dash to the supermarket, so make time each week to plan out your meals.
The perfect start to your day! Set your alarm 15 minutes early and enjoy a healthy breakfast to kick-start your metabolism, lift your mood and to combat mid-morning sugar cravings.
4. Get Back to Wholefoods
Overhaul your diet with nutrient-rich wholefoods – those that are closest to their natural state. Simple swaps like whole fruit instead of juice and brown rice instead of white will better nourish your body and slow premature ageing. Wholefoods set to make a big statement in 2016 include protein and fibre rich lupin flour and flakes and, sprouted grains (particularly in bread form), which some people find easier to digest.
TIP: Add a nutritious punch to your meals by filling ½ of your plate with plant foods.
5.Three Meals a Day
Forget the fads and extreme diets that will leave you feeling blah come February. Instead, focus on three evenly spaced meals filled with lean protein, smart carbs and loads of colourful plant food.
Your gut is home to trillions of healthy bacteria, which are needed to maintain a healthy gut and immune system. Probiotic rich foods such as yoghurt, sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) and kefir (a fermented milk drink) contain live bacteria, which will help boost your population of friendly bacteria.
7. Resistant Starch
Naturally found in legumes, barley and cooked/cooled boiled potatoes, resistant starch helps to protect against colon cancer and promotes the growth of healthy gut bacteria. This year, expect to see some hot new products that are rich in resistant starch such as teff (an alternative to rice) and banana flour, which can be added to smoothies and used baking.
8. Ditch the Liquid Calories
Downsize your latte, reduce the soft drinks and aim for a few alcohol free nights each week. Simple.
9. Adjust Your Taste Buds
Whether you’re cutting back on sugar, salt or fat, going ‘cold turkey’ is tough, so cut back slowly. While the first few weeks will leave flavour a little lacking your taste buds will quickly adjust.
10. Mindful Eating
Eating can be such a pleasure! Eat with awareness, focus and appreciation and you may just discover you’re satisfied with less.