Dull, cold and very wet. That has pretty much been the gist of the great English weather so far. However, believe it or not, spring is on its way and what better way to set yourself up for the warmer, sunnier months ahead than with a complete spring clean of your diet and lifestyle bringing your body and mind out of hibernation. Spring sees nature abound with tasty ingredients to inspire a healthy change and is an ideal time to give your dietary and lifestyle habits an overhaul.
Healthy eating is one of the best things you can do to prevent and control many health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.
Healthy eating starts with learning new ways to eat, such as adding more fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and cutting back on foods that have a lot of fat, salt, and sugar. A change to healthier eating also includes learning about balance, variety, moderation and getting active.
Aim for balance
Most days, try and eat from each food group. Whole-grains, fruit and vegetables, diary, meat and protein and fats and oils. It is important that you listen to your body and eat when you’re hungry and stop when you feel satisfied.
Aim for a rainbow of colours
Think reds like tomatoes, oranges like carrots and shades of green in all the different types of lettuces that come into season. Then there are yellows like peppers and blues and purples such as blueberries aubergine. The darker the green, the better. Aim for spinach, kale, spring greens and rocket for example. Eating a colour-rich diet helps boost your nutrient intake, including antioxidants and vitamins which support healthy weight, skin, and energy levels.
Don’t have too much or too little of one thing. All foods when eaten in moderation can be part of a healthy lifestyle. Even treats now and then can be ok. It is important to remember that healthy eating is not a diet. It means making changes you can live with and enjoy for the rest of your life.
If you match healthy eating with more physical activity, you are more likely to get to a healthy weight-and stay there.
Make sure you’re drinking at least two litres of water per day – even more if you’re exercising. This not only helps to flush toxins from the body, but staying well-hydrated improves mental alertness, promotes glowing skin, boosts your metabolism, and can help curb on those 3pm hunger pangs. Add a slice of lemon or a few sprigs of mint to your water for a burst of flavour and remember to stay hydrated if you’re cutting back on caffeine.
Having support from others can be a huge help. The more support you have, the easier it will be to make changes. Ask family and friends to practice healthy eating with you. Have them help you make meals, and share healthy, delicious recipes and cooking tips.