A new year, a new you. A chance to turn it all around, to start fresh and to make things happen - right? Well, sort of. I always say that every day is a new day and another chance to start over. I think one of the problems we face in the New Year is the expectation to have so many goals. But the pressure adds up and if we don't achieve the goals immediately we just set ourselves up for a fail. Here I have set out my lists of things to do in 2016, to take with you all year. Whatever happens, make sure you have a healthy and happy one! x
Top five ways to set NY resolutions:
Rather than set a bunch of goals on 1 January, set monthly goals instead. Life changes by the minute, and can be unpredictable. So rather than commit long term, go month to month!
Set realistic and specific goals. Goals you'll really get excited about and eager to achieve. Think perhaps about activities you have enjoyed and wish to partake in more of, or similar things you've seen others do and thought "I would like to try that".
A lot of us focus on weight loss in the New Year. So why not make it about more than just that? I always say that by being healthy, the weight will often take care of itself. So, start with your overall health - both physical and mental. Give your body a break and see what happens when you look after your soul.
Two is better than one. Get yourself a partner in resolution crime. It's fun AND it will be harder for two of you to flake out! Set dates that you will attend classes or events. That way you both have to commit.
Lastly, pat yourself on the back! We like to be rewarded when we do good things. So why not reward yourself with that lipstick or outfit you've been eyeing up after you achieved a goal. Also, it's important not to be so hard on yourself. If at first you don't succeed - try try again. We are all human, and it's okay to fall off the wagon. Just brush yourself off, and get back on! Treat every day like it's 1 January!
Top five things to do. DO....
1. Take a little time for yourself no matter what.
2. Stay active. Walk to the next tube station or bus stop. And always take the stairs!
3. Wear sunscreen. Your older self will thank you!
4. Take your makeup off, no matter how tired you are!
5. Clear out your current beauty/home cleaning products and replace them with paraben free cosmetics and cleaning products
Top five things NOT to do. DON'T...
1. Stress. It's toxic, can cause disease and solves nothing.
2. Over exercise. Raises cortisol levels, negating the good amounts of activity you do.
3. Be too hard on yourself. Beating yourself up is cruel. Treat yourself like someone you love.
4. Drink out of plastic bottles. BPAs in some plastic are feared to be harmful to health/hormone levels.
5. Eat processed food.
Top five Herbs/Spices
1. Turmeric - It's an anti-inflammatory. It curbs fat growth, reduces blood sugar, fights infection and protects the liver.
2. Ginger - A medicinal root that treats nausea and can help lower blood sugar, fights indigestion, lowers cholesterol, helps PMT, is anti inflammatory and protects against disease.
3. Chillies - Contains oodles of vitamin C, aids digestion, can help relieve some migraines, can help speed up metabolism and are a great source of vitamins A and E, beta-carotene, folic acid and potassium.
4. Cinnamon - can help lower blood sugar and cholesterol and is just so darn tasty!
5. Parsley - Keeps immune system strong, can help heal the nervous system and helps flush out excess fluid from the body, thus supporting kidney function. It contains vital vitamins, including Vitamin C, B 12, K and A.
Top five GOOD Fats (remember GOOD fats will NOT make you fat, they can actually AID in weight loss!)
1. Avocados - they don't just contain any fat.. they contain oleic acid - a monounsaturated fatty acid that is linked to reduced inflammation and been shown to have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer
2. Nuts - not roasted or salted or flavoured though. Raw or dehydrated are best.
3. Fatty fish - like sardines, salmon and tuna (but only small amounts of tuna as it is high in mercury)
4. UDOS oil - Full of essential fatty acids. (EFA's - the body cannot make these so hence essential)
5. Flax seeds, walnuts, Chia Seeds all contain lots of Omega 3's (again an EFA) In fact, chia seeds contain more Omega-3s than salmon, gram for gram.
Top five GOOD Carbs (Carbs are NOT the enemy! They are perfect fuel to get you through the day)
1. Quinoa - A carb which delivers a complete protein and oodles of vitamins such as B6, potassium, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, plus minerals such as magnesium, copper, folate and zinc AND also phytonutrients which fight inflammation and disease.
2. Legumes (i.e lentils and beans) - They contain complex carbs, fibre and protein. So they fill you up!
3. Rye/pumpernickel bread - The darker the bread the better! Whole grains are FULL of fibre.
4. Oats - Slow release carb, so a fantastic breakfast choice. Also a great way to get your cholesterol lowering soluble fibre.
5. Sweet potatoes - chock full of beta carotene which is essential for vision and a healthy immune system. And a great alternative to the starchy white potato.
Top five proteins - protein is the key to feeling fuller for longer. And help to rebuild your muscles after workouts. Good quality proteins will be your body saviour!
1. Fish - Salmon/white fish/prawns
2. White meat -Chicken/turkey always organic if you can
3. Beef - grass fed where possible to avoid steroids.
4. Eggs - thought to be the new avocado... studies have shown that dietary cholesterol from eggs has minimal effect on blood cholesterol if you're healthy!
5. Legumes - great protein source for vegetarians.
Top five gut health aids - Our gut health is the key to clear mind, skin and energy levels. So, don't dismiss it!
1. Probiotics - There are trillions of live (good) bacteria (probiotics) cohabiting in your gut. This is a good thing because these little bad boys help to fight infection, reduce cholesterol, manufacture Vitamin B, and detox the intestines to boot! To increase the good bacteria load up on probiotics in tablet form or food firm (see below)
2. Kefir- A fermented milk drink - full of those all important probiotics. It tastes a bit like drinkable yogurt - kefir is full of calcium and probiotics.
3. Kombucha- is a tangy fermented probiotic drink made with tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast. It's benefits include improved digestion, fighting candida (harmful yeast) overgrowth, mental clarity, and mood stability.
4. Sauerkraut -Made from just cabbage and salt, this fermented food delivers a healthy dose of probiotics and fibre.
5. Digestive Enzymes - these help to break down our food. But if we don't have enough DE's, which is common, we can't break down our food - which means even though we're eating well, we aren't absorbing all that good nutrition.
Top five Drinks - If you can attempt to give up or cut back on coffee this year your body will thank you for it!
1. Barley Cup - A caffeine alternative made from chicory and barley. Tastes like coffee without the crazy buzz.
2. Green tea - Packed with anti-oxidants, containing vits B, folate, manganese, potassium, magnesium, caffeine (but nothing like the crazy caffeine in coffee!)
3. Matcha Japanese tea - With 137 times more antioxidants than regularly brewed green tea, this green brew is a fat burner, cancer fighter and increases concentration and boosts energy. Blend with almond milk for a Matcha Latte!
4. Fresh green juices - Drinking freshly juiced veg, is almost like getting an IV drip with vitamins, minerals and enzymes as they go straight into your system without having to be broken down.
5. WATER! - You can't beat this drink for overall health. It's benefits are too many to list, but it is essential for hydrating the body and cells and helps with elimination of toxins.
Top five super foods. These power houses in the food industry are packed full of anti-oxidants to protect our cells, for better skin energy and overall health.
1. Raw cacao (nibs or powder): It has more antioxidants than any plant food on earth! Its full of natural compounds, some of which are mood enhancing like serotonin, endorphins and tryptophan, all of which have been shown to ease depression and create feelings of happiness.
2. Maca powder: Dried maca is a near perfect food because it contains 59 percent carbohydrates, 8.5 percent fibre, and slightly more than 10.2 percent protein. A great supplement for mental clarity and PMS.
3. Sprouted beans/seeds: The nutrition in these little fresh beans and seeds is much higher than their full grown counterparts. Within a few days of germination, they develop a high nutritional value, becoming rich in protein and also C and E and B vitamins
4. Hemp : The quality of hemp protein is amazing. More importantly, it provides the perfect proportion of omega‑6 to omega‑3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation. The seeds are also full of vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant in the body, and magnesium, which is needed for muscle growth
5. Spirulina: This green algae powder gets its superpowers through photosynthesis (remeber that in science class?!) and has all theprotein, vitamins, minerals, digestive enzymes, and chlorophyll your body could need.
Top five vegetables
1. Asparagus - It's loaded with nutrients, a very good source of fibre, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K.
2. Cucumber - made up of mostly (95%) water so they keep you hydrated. Plus the added benefits of vitamin K, B vitamins, copper, potassium, vitamin C and manganese.
3. Kale - AKA the "Queen Of Greens" Kale is low in calorie, high in fibre, iron, Vitamin K, A, C, it's anti inflammatory, full of calcium and a great detox food. Just try to buy organic when possible.
4. Beets - not the kind in the jar, but the ones in the veggie section. Beet roots edible leafy tops are brimming with vitamin K, which is linked to a lower chance of getting type 2 diabetes. Perfect for juicing or roasting!
5. Watercress - According to a recent study this little green is labeled as 'the most nutrient dense food' and for the same reason, it tops the list of "powerhouse fruits and vegetables". It is an excellent source for vitamin K, A and B and is believed to be cancer preventing. It is extremely high in vitamin C - more so than some fruits.
Top Affirmations - manta's are a great thing to say to yourself in the morning to power you through the day.
1. Why wait until tomorrow to do what you can do today. That way, if you like it you can do it again tomorrow!
2. Be yourself, everyone else is taken.
3. There is no reason today can't be the best day of your life.
4. You're never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream
5. If you change nothing, nothing will change.
Top five exercises
1. Body weight or weight training. Weights burn fat and calories for longer through the day and is the best way to sculpt your body.
2. HIIT - high intensity Interval. Get your heart rate up and down hence burning more fat for longer.
3. Fartlek - Based on HIIT principle. Run and speed, slow down, and speed up again. Fat blaster.
4. Tabata - again short bursts of high intensity exercises followed by rest, just enough to get heart up and down. Calorie killer!
5. Pilates - great for core strength. Your core is the key to your body being strong overall. And it helps to make your limbs longer and leaner.
So there you go. Just a few ways to help you enter the New Year with ease! Most of all, be good to yourself! Happy New Year!