Kilner Cliptop Glass Jar, 500ml
Healthy Lifestyle & Wellbeing Tips
Week four: nutrition
After three weeks of mini mind makeovers, bitesize body boosts and a smart skincare regime, your life reset should be gathering momentum. For this, your final week of tweaks, we’re going to be next-levelling the nutritional value of your diet.
Stick with us friends. We’re not suggesting you fast, give up cheese or survive on supplements – we’ve just unearthed some no-brainer food hacks that could aid your sleep, make your skin look brighter, and help to reduce your cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
The trick is to make simple swaps that work with your lifestyle – that way, they become effortless daily habits you can stick with.
Even the simplest of changes to your day can have a big impact, like starting every morning with a small glass of lemon water. Yep, even before a cuppa.
This really couldn’t be easier: squeeze half a lemon into a small tumbler, fill it with hot water and, well, drink.
Just one lemon contains almost half of your daily recommended vitamin C, it helps you maintain healthy skin and bones, and the acid works to break down food and aid digestion.
Ever found yourself wantonly wolfing a grab bag of crisps simply because you couldn’t endure one more second of the school run/supermarket checkout queue or commute without scoffing something?
That would be all of us, then.
Whether its low blood sugar, boredom or plain old emotional eating, arming yourself with healthier snacks can keep you on track. Fill your handbag, pockets and gym bag with small bags of nuts and dried fruit, flapjacks or a Bounce Ball to break out in case of emergency, so you’ll at least be loading up on healthy fats, vits and minerals when the munchies strike.
You need to be hitting your five fruit and veg a day target on the regular to optimise your diet. But you knew that.
Having at least one with every meal and making snacks fruit or veg based makes things easier. So start your day by adding a handful of berries to your cereal or topping your peanut butter on toast with a chopped banana. Or opt for a homemade smoothie – try this Winter Green Juice. It has two of your five-a-day and tastes like heaven.
Opt for soup or a side salad with your lunch sarnie, plus a handful of blueberries with your afternoon coffee and you’ve already done four of your five-a-day and it’s only mid-afternoon.
According to the NHS you ideally need six to eight glasses of H2O every day. Low-fat milk, sugar-free drinks, including tea and coffee, all count, but you can’t beat good ole tap water for hydration.
Studies also show that drinking water before a meal can reduce the amount of calories you consume. So invest in a water bottle you love, top it up in the morning and set yourself the goal of drinking the whole bloomin’ thing before you press send on the last email of the day.
Then try a glass of sparkling water while you prepare dinner.
A super easy small win is swapping butter or ghee with vegetable, coconut or olive oil, or reduced-fat spread when you’re cooking. You won't notice a change in flavour but you will cut your intake of saturated fats.
Stock up on healthy staples like brown rice, lentils, wholemeal pasta, canned fish and frozen vegetables too, so you can always rustle up something wholesome. See Waitrose tried and trusted healthy recipes for inspo. They're so delish you won't be so tempted by a Friday night takeout.
While you're at it, clear your cupboards of unhealthy treats and elegantly stash the good stuff using these practical storage options.
Hurrah, it’s the weekend and your nutrition levels are looking up after five days of new routines. Another good habit is to add ‘good’ fats like nuts and seeds to your breakfast or lunch.
Cashews, almonds, pistachios, walnuts, peanuts and hazelnuts are all packed with protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. Seeds are also nutrition heroes – look for flaxseed, hemp, sesame and pumpkin plus all-star chia seeds which contain omega-3 fats, which can help to prevent heart disease.
If you chop up or crush garlic 15 minutes before you need to cook with it, an enzyme called alliinase is released that can help calm inflammation in your body’s cells and tissues.
Throw some in with your potatoes or joint and reap the delicious and health-giving rewards.
And just like that… seven tweaks you can make and stick to for improved nutrition all year.