Swap two regular cups of tea and coffee for plain water every day. This will boost hydration and reduce your reliance on caffeine. If you’re currently a milk and sugar tea/coffee drinker then you’ll also make a saving of around 100 calories a day!
Keep alcohol to a maximum of two nights a week. If you presently drink a glass or two of wine or a couple of beers every night (this one is for the dads too!) then cutting back will reduce calorie intake and also the stress that alcohol places on the hormonal system and the liver. Women should see an improvement in PMT symptoms and everyone should see a boost in energy levels and better sleep patterns.
Start eating a regular mid-afternoon snack of nuts or seeds with fresh fruit. This will give you a well needed nutritious boost between lunch and dinner and will gradually reduce afternoon sugar and caffeine cravings. There is much discussion between the options of eating either three meals a day and no snacks versus four to six smaller snacks. Personally, I believe that younger people, women of child bearing age and athletes all need to eat more frequently than other population groups. If you’re currently overweight or suffering from disordered eating then starting a structured plan that involves healthy meals and snacks every 3-4 hours will ensure that blood sugar levels will respond favourably and weight loss, increased energy and positivity will follow.
A nutritious blend of raspberry, strawberry, apple and almonds in fresh lime juice.
Smile more often and at more people! Many people trudge through daily life being grumpy with shop assistants, aggressive with other drivers and snappy at their children or partner. Take a few extra moments each day to smile at, and possibly talk to, strangers you encounter every day: the cashier at the petrol station or supermarket, parents at the school playground, the bus driver, the filing team at the office, the policeman on the beat in your town centre. Happiness and positivity definitely rub off onto other people so the more you give out, the more you’ll receive back!
Take a daily walk of at least 20 minutes. All of us have time to fit in a twenty minute walk, no excuses! Twenty minutes is a mere 1/72 of the day! It doesn’t matter what you wear or where you walk, just put on foot in front of the other and let your head and body release the stresses and strains of everyday life.
Swap 2-3 meals every week from meat dishes to vegetarian alternatives. The easiest way to do this is to create a dish based around vegetables: Stir fries, ratatouille, vegetable and bean casseroles, curry, risotto or roasted winter vegetables with goat’s cheese – delicious!
Blend tomato, pepper, chilli and basil for a fresh sauce for pasta
Tell yourself how amazing you are…because you are! If we don’t love ourselves then we appear less loveable to others. If you’re guilty of complaining frequently about your thighs/hair/nails/teeth/stomach/stretch marks/boobs (delete as applicable) then start with one attribute, either physical or emotional and compliment yourself either verbally or in writing, together with a justification. E.g. I love my tummy because it has been home to my three beautiful babies; I am a kind person because I help at school with my child’s class reading sessions. You could also try asking friends, family or children to describe you in three words, you may be surprised how wonderful they all think you are.
Have a little de-clutter session at home. Start small with a bedside drawer or a kitchen cupboard, or maybe a pile of paperwork you’ve been putting off for a while or bills you’ve neglected to pay. Just clearing these things will take a weight off your shoulders, even if you didn’t realise it existed!
Try to go to bed at a regular time every evening. A regular bedtime will help create a healthier environment for sleep. Try to reduce use of mobile devices, video games or DVDs just before bed as these all stimulate the brain instead of helping it relax. Keep a bottle or glass of water by your bed to sip through the night. Reducing caffeine, chocolate, alcohol and sugar in the two hours prior to bed will also assist with deeper sleep. Keep your bedroom uncluttered and not too warm, ideally leaving a small window slightly ajar.
Sleep like a baby!
As always, I’d love to hear your comments, feedback or success stories!
Until next time,
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