Nichola Ludlam-Raine shares her advice to start the year in the healthiest possible way!
January is famously the time when weight loss diets and health kicks seem to be everywhere. People are feeling motivated after enjoying the festive season and having a well earned break from all their usual routines, so this is typically when many people want to make some changes.
It can be tricky to know what are actually healthy sustainable habits and what is a crash diet in disguise, but here we have ten top tips for starting the year in the healthiest possible way!
1. Christmas is usually a time for lots of family gatherings and eating buffet style. This is great for special occasions but not always the best option for day to day eating. Try to get back into a structured eating routine of 3 meals a day as soon as you can.
2. If you struggle to eat a healthy breakfast, introducing a smoothie later in the morning can be a fantastic way to get some of your 5 a day ticked off early. They are full of fibre and with endless combinations you can have a different one every day of the week. Why not add a handful of spinach to a fruit and milk based smoothie for extra plant points too?
3. Trying to save money is usually one of our top priorities in January and you can certainly adjust your shopping budget to help with this. Batch cooking is a helpful way to save money as one big meal can produce several portions for later in the week. Good meals to batch cook include Bolognese (made with lean mince) as you can serve it with jacket potatoes, rice or pasta too.
4. Keep healthy snacks on hand when you fancy something sweet - a piece of fruit with a handful of nuts, a small piece of cheese or yoghurt should keep you going until lunch or dinner. Think protein and produce (fibre) when it comes to snacks.
5. Try to make a meal plan before you do your weekly shop - it is very easy to pick up various different foods that do not necessarily make up 5/7 healthy meals. Have a list that you can stick for meals to look forward to throughout the week. This will help to cut down on food waste too.
6. Avoid going shopping when you are hungry as you will be more likely to add foods high in sugar, salt and sugar to your trolley. Check what foods you already have in your cupboards before you go too!
7. Keep frozen fruits and vegetables in your freezer to add to smoothies, porridge, pasta and curry dishes. Frozen are just as nutritious as fresh and often much cheaper!
8. Including some plant based protein in your diet instead of animal protein a few days a week is a great way to look after your health. Foods such as tinned beans and pulses, lentils and tofu can be used in many meat based dishes.
9. Stay hydrated - adults need around 2 litres of fluid per day, which is the equivalent of 6 to 8 glasses. Tea and coffee count too, but try to keep caffeinated beverages to before mid afternoon so your sleep quality isn’t affected.
10. Include at least 2 alcohol free days a week - having too much alcohol on a regular basis can not only impact our overall health but it is very high in calories. A bottle of wine for example contains the same amount of calories as a large cheesy pizza!
Baked Bagel Eggs 🥯
This recipe makes an ideal option for breakfast, brunch or lunch if you’re working from home.
𝐈𝐍𝐆𝐑𝐄𝐃𝐈𝐄𝐍𝐓𝐒 👩🏻🍳 (serves 3)
✔️ 3x bagel thins
✔️ 100g smoked salmon
✔️ 50g mushrooms, sliced
✔️ 30g cheddar cheese, grated
✔️ 50g tomatoes, diced
✔️ 30g sundried tomatoes, diced
✔️ 1 tsp olive oil
✔️ 6x eggs
1️⃣ Line a baking tray with 3 lightly toasted, halved bagel thins & drizzle with olive oil
2️⃣ Crack an egg into each hole of the bagel thin
3️⃣ Add your toppings! If you want to do the same, add your smoked salmon to two bagels followed by the mushrooms & cheese and finally the tomatoes
4️⃣ Bake in the oven at 180C for 10-12 minutes until the egg whites are cooked
5️⃣ Serve straight away and enjoy!!