A health overhaul is often front of mind at this time of year, but it can feel daunting. However, with these easy tips from nutritional therapist Amelia Freer, starting the new year off healthily is simpler than you’d think, and the dreaded D-words – diet and detox – are nowhere to be seen.
1. Have one extra portion of fresh vegetables or fruit each day
You may have heard of getting your five-a-day, but scientific evidence suggests you really need to aim for nine or 10 portions to feel the health benefits from fresh produce. You can work up to this slowly, simply adding one extra portion a week. There is no time like the present to make a start.
2. Switch to olive oil
There’s all sorts of great evidence to say olive oil, particularly as part of a Mediterranean-style diet, can be great for health. I recommend switching any vegetable or sunflower oils you have at home for cooking to a light olive oil, and any shop-bought salad dressings to a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
3. Introduce protein into your breakfast
This is really my favourite piece of advice for people who find themselves frequently snacking. Adding in a good portion of protein at breakfast (a couple of organic eggs, small handful of nuts, some fish, or even a dollop of hummus) not only helps to balance your blood-sugar levels, but also keeps hunger at bay for the rest of the day.
4. Pause and reflect before you start eating
The way we feel as we sit down to eat a meal can actually impact the way our body digests food. Hesitating for a moment, giving ourselves a second to be consciously grateful for the food we are about to enjoy, not only helps to bring a more mindful approach to eating, but also relaxes us a little to help maximise the absorption of nutrients from the meal.