Back to Basics this Autumn


Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Nichola Ludlam-Raine discusses how now can be a good time to re-evaluate lifestyle and dietary habits, remembering that small, sustainable changes really are what is needed for long-term success.

With schools and universities restarting following the summer break, now can be a good time to re-evaluate lifestyle and dietary habits. It can be tempting to start looking for the next ‘quick fix’ or fad diet, but try to remember that small, sustainable changes really are what is needed for long-term success.

Don’t start by cutting out all of the foods that you enjoy out of your diet, as you’ll just end up craving them more. The key is to find a balance that works for you, and something that I like to encourage is the 80/20 rule, which means that if you’re eating healthy wholesome foods such as fruit, vegetables and foods high in fibre as well as lean protein the majority of the time (80%), then for the rest of the time (20%), you can afford to indulge!

I’ve listed 5 more tips that I’ve been discussing with my patients over recent weeks below, and would like to encourage you to pick one or two and work on them for a week, before adding another one or two tips to your life - it’s the repetition of an action that creates a habit, and it’s habits that make a healthy life easy to lead.

 

1) HAVE A GOOD ROUTINE - Write out the times that you are going to get up and have your meals, snacks, a walk and get ready for bed (leaving enough time for 7 to 8 hours of sleep!). Try to keep awake times and bedtimes, if possible, to within an hour, even on a weekend.

 

2) FOCUS ON WHAT YOU SHOULD BE HAVING MORE OF - Whilst not denying yourself the occasional treat!⁣ Are you eating your 5 a day (a portion is a handful) and 2 portions of fish a week, 1 of which is oily? Are the majority of the carbs that you’re eating wholegrains? Are you drinking 6 to 8 glasses of (sugar-free) fluid a day?

 

3) MAKE SNACK TIMES NUTRITIOUS & INTERESTING - Remember to include both protein and produce e.g. pear and cheese, peanut butter and apple, nuts and dried fruit, hummus and carrots or yoghurt and berries⁣.

 

4) COOK ONCE, EAT TWICE - Make more than you need on an evening to have some speedy leftovers the following day. Use spices to keep meals interesting - my favourites are paprika and garlic!

 

5) TAKE A 10MCG VITAMIN D SUPPLEMENT - From late September everyone in the U.K. should consider taking a 10 mcg supplement of vitamin D. This is because the sun is not strong enough for the body to make vitamin D, which it does in summer. Vitamin D is required for healthy bones, teeth, muscles and immunity too.

 

Fed up of the same old meals? Why not give this brand new trending recipe a go - it’s ideal for a hot breakfast, brunch or lunch!

 

Baked Bagel Eggs

INGREDIENTS (Serves 3) 
✔️ 3 bagel thins
✔️ 1 tsp olive oil
✔️ 6 eggs 

TOPPINGS
✔️ 100g smoked salmon
✔️ 50g mushrooms, sliced 
✔️ 30g cheddar cheese, grated
✔️ 50g tomatoes, diced
✔️ 30g sundried tomatoes, diced 

Method:

1. Line a baking tray with 3 lightly toasted, halved bagel thins & drizzle with olive oil
2. Crack an egg into each hole of the bagel thin
3. Add your toppings e.g. add your smoked salmon to two bagels followed by the mushrooms & cheese and finally the tomatoes
4. Bake in the oven at 180C for 10-12 minutes until the egg whites are cooked
5. Serve straight away and enjoy!!

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