Starting Fresh - the 5 steps to getting back on track this New Year

At the start of the year, all of our social media pages are filled with diets, detoxes and quick fix ways to get healthy.

It is understandable why the New Year is filled with messages like this – it’s the time we set our goals for the next year; it’s the opportunity to start afresh. But when it comes to health there are no quick fixes or sustainable diets that help us reach those goals, instead it’s best to implement a few small changes to your lifestyle. Here are our top lifestyle changes to get you on track to achieve your New Year goals:

1. Focus on adding in the greens.
The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend consuming 5 serves of vegetables daily. Just one cup of fresh leafy greens (or ½ cup cooked leafy greens) is a single serve. They are packed full of essential vitamins and minerals to help your body function at its best, from fibre to assist your digestive system to vitamin E for good eyesight.

2. Start your day with breakfast.
You have probably heard it before, but breakfast really is one of the most important meals of the day. While you are asleep, your body has been starved; it has used its energy stores to fuel your body, so it is important to refuel those stores first thing when you wake up. Breakfast is a great time to pack in some extra veg and protein to really give you the best start to your day. Why not try spinach pancakes, wilted spinach with eggs and toast or even just grate some zucchini or carrot into your oats!

3. Include a source of protein in your snacks.
Protein helps us to stay fuller for longer, so by making sure you have a source of protein with all of you snacks it will help to cure those cravings and stop us reaching for more. Some of the best protein filled snacks are: veggie sticks with hummus, boiled eggs, cottage cheese and beetroot on crackers, a handful of nuts or a smoothie with a little added protein powder. 

4. Increase your incidental exercise – summer is the best time for it.
Instead of setting unreachable exercise goals, start with trying to increase your incidental exercise to get yourself moving more. The best way to do this is by catching public transport to work and walking to the bus or train, or walking your children to school. You could even take a couple of extra trips when bringing the groceries into the house. These might not all work for, but look at where else in your life you could ditch the car and get in a little extra walking. 

5. Keep meals simple.
Eating healthy doesn’t mean 20 ingredients in every dish. The trick is, especially at this busy time of year, to keep your meals simple. Instead of fancy ingredients think of what herbs and spices you already have in the cupboard that could take your veggies or fish to the next level.

But most of all quit the guilt around food. It is not the enemy; it is there to be enjoyed with family and friends and to nourish our bodies!

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