Swap refined carbohydrates for quality carbohydrates
Many of my clients notice a positive change to their energy levels and digestion when they reduce their intake of bread, rice, wraps and crackers, and instead enjoy plant-based carbohydrates like roasted potatoes, sweet potato mash, or parsnip fries. When it comes to a work-day lunch, instead of having a ham and tomato sandwich, why not roast some root vegetables at the beginning of the week and have a chicken, lettuce, and roasted vegetable salad with olive oil dressing?
Increase your water intake
I often find that people over eat because they’re actually dehydrated. Sometimes thirst can be attributed to hunger unnecessarily. I suggest drinking a large glass of water with a squeeze of lemon upon arising. Continue to drink 2 – 3 litres of water throughout the day to keep hydrated, and learn to read when you’re really hungry opposed to just thirsty.
Swap refined sugar for fruit and dark chocolate
We all love a sweet treat now again. If not to satisfy the sugar cravings, then at least for the nostalgia leftover from the desserts of our childhood. Great health does not need to exclude a sweet treat every now again! One suggestion I make to clients who struggle with a tendency towards sugar, is to enjoy a piece of fruit or a couple pieces of 85% dark chocolate instead of reaching for that Cadbury chocolate bar or packet of cookies. Sometimes all you need is a few intentional choices made one week towards creating a habit of reaching for fruit, instead of stopping in at the after-hours on your way home for a small bag of lollies.
Eat more vegetables
I’ve had a few clients roll their eyes when they hear me say this. To many people, vegetables lead them to think about over cooked carrots, mashy peas, or dry lettuce leaves. This is far from a colourful diet rich in vegetables. Why are vegetables so important for our health? They contain numerous micronutrients crucial for the human body. Examples include mushrooms, which are a natural source of B3 and therefore support energy creation, or avocados which are natural sources of vitamin A and K, as well as many others, all crucial for optimal body function. If you struggle to enjoy vegetables, I suggest you make a delectable salad dressing for green leaves or melt butter over steamed greens. In fact, adding fat to your vegetables helps your body obtain the fat-soluble nutrients available in the plant.
Prepare your own food
There are so many additives to café and store bought food these days, not to mention it is often tempting to choose the most exotic, sometimes lacking in nourishment, item on the menu. I find that it is easier to maintain a balanced diet when I prepare my own meals. Having this control over your food ensures you can include vegetables, quality fats, and protein into your work-day lunch, instead of choosing an easy sandwich at the local store. A balanced and delicious prepared meal could be cold roast chicken, steamed cauliflower, green beans, rocket lettuce leaves, cherry tomatoes, half an avocado, pumpkin seeds, and homemade vinaigrette. You could even roast up a large batch of courgette, sweet pepper, and aubergine, and pop that in a container with feta cheese, rocket, and olive oil. There are so many easy options if you manage to put aside an hour a week to prepare well.
Feed, nourish, value yourself.