Want to make a fresh and healthy start to 2013? First up, forget about the quick fix and infamous January detox.
Nutritional Therapist and founder of WellWellWell Jackie Lynch says they’re not sustainable, they don’t work in the long run and they make for a miserable start to the year. She believes your body will be more responsive to a small permanent change, rather than yo-yo dieting.
Think you don’t have the time or money? Check out Jackie’s easy health-boosting ideas that won’t cost you a thing:
- Change the ratio of your 5-a-day, so the balance is in favour of vegetables instead of fruit: Vegetables are packed full of protective antioxidants and energy and mood-boosting B vitamins, as well as being rich in fibre, which promotes healthy digestion, hormone balance and sustained energy levels. Soups, casseroles, juices and snacks such as carrot sticks and cherry tomatoes with some hummus or guacamole are easy ways to reach your target.
- Audit your caffeine intake: If your cumulative daily intake exceeds 4 cups of tea, coffee or caffeinated drinks, such as Diet Coke or Red Bull, then you’re having too much. Excess caffeine affects the nervous system, resulting in poor quality sleep and impacting mood and energy levels. If your morning coffee is non-negotiable than find a herbal or fruit tea that you like, and drink this in the afternoon. Or try sparkling water with cordial as an alternative soft drink. Simply halve your caffeine intake and you will start to see quite a difference.
- Factor in 3 consecutive alcohol-free days per week: This will have a far more beneficial impact than going ‘dry’ in January and then partying for the rest of the year. It gives your liver time to regenerate and to focus on some of its other important jobs, such as processing hormones and regulating blood sugar levels. You’ll also find that this will improve your sleep and energy levels, making you a lot more productive whether at home or at work.
- Reduce the amount of wheat you eat: This could be very effective for those people who tend to suffer from stress-related bloating and wind. Wheat is an irritant to a sensitive gut, so you may find that you benefit from cutting it down in times of stress. If you’re regularly having cereal for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and pasta for dinner, then that’s quite a burden for your digestive system. Try eliminating wheat from one or two meals by having an oat-based cereal or porridge for breakfast, a rye bread sandwich or soup for lunch or swapping pasta for rice at dinner time. These small changes could reduce that niggling bloating you experience and make you feel a lot less lethargic.