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Turning Your Resolutions Into A Lifestyle - The Ultimate Guide

The new year is often the time many of us welcome new ‘feel good’ habits that help us to kickstart the year on the right note. If you are feeling particularly accomplished after a month of eating more mindfully, regularly getting your body moving and staying clear of booze and refined, processed foods, or if you’re now ready to get into the swing of things, then this article is for you.

Here are five things to ‘add’ and ‘remove’ from your daily routine to extend your new years  health kick and turn them into lifetime habits to keep you  feeling your best self.

Add: Colour & Variety

Aim for a variety of colourful foods on your plate daily such as vegetables, fruits, pulses and wholegrains due to their rich content of fibre, water, micronutrients and phytonutrients such as polyphenols and flavonoids. For context, try to fill half of your plate with ½ nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables, ¼ fibre-rich complex carbohydrates and ¼ plant-based or lean protein sources. Research suggests these vibrant plant foods have powerful anti-inflammatory effects in the body, which may contribute towards improved health and reduced risk of chronic diseases.

Add: Fibre-Rich Plant-Based Protein

“Longevity” is a big theme in the wellness scene for 2024, and meeting your daily protein requirements, particularly through fibre-rich plant-based protein sources, is one of the best ways to promote it. Getting enough protein is essential to make sure our body functions optimally and what’s more, plant-based protein in the form of beans and legumes, grains, lentils, nuts and seeds, and soy may be linked with reduced risk of chronic diseases. From boosting muscle growth to balancing blood sugar levels, aim to incorporate one portion of quality protein with each meal to keep your body feeling satiated throughout the day.

Add: Hydration with Benefits

You’ve heard it before and you’re hearing it again – keeping your body sufficiently hydrated is one of the simplest ways to feel healthier. Drinking enough water is a vital bodily need for a myriad of reasons such as delivering nutrients to cells, maintaining the health of our organs, warding off infections, lubricating our eyes and joints, and facilitating digestive function. If you’re not a big fan of drinking ‘plain’ water, aim to incorporate other types of natural drinks – juices, juice shots, herbal teas and soups all count towards your daily hydration intake.

Add: Healing Herbs

Herbs, the hidden healers in your kitchen, may be packed with an array of health benefits. Turmeric offers powerful medicinal qualities, largely due to the polyphenol called curcumin, which may be associated with reducing inflammation and increasing the body’s antioxidant capacity to reduce oxidative stress – one of the primary drivers behind ageing. Ginger is another underrated spice that has been used for over 200 years in traditional chinese medicine, and may be packed with too many benefits to count, from easing digestive discomfort, reducing inflammation and alleviating sore throats and colds. Get your daily dose of both of these powerhouse spices with our Turmeric Defence Juice Shot and Ginger Immunity Juice Shot.

Add: Smart Meal Prep

“Fail to prepare, prepare to fail” – wholesome and healthy meal-prep is the key to prolonging health habits. Before thinking about the exact foods to include, base your meals around the simple principle of including three components – protein, healthy fats and fibre. With this in mind, an easy breakfast to whizz up could be overnight oats (made the night before to grab and go!) or protein-rich smoothies. For lunch and dinner, if possible, think about ‘cooking once and eating twice’ with batch-friendly meals such as plant-based curries.

 

Remove: Energy-Zapping Junk Food

We all know ultra refined, highly processed foods packed with sweeteners and preservatives are bad for us when consumed frequently and in high quantities. Why exactly might this be the case? Refined foods may be linked with disrupting the gut microbiome and upsetting blood sugar balance, as well as driving premature ageing and chronic inflammation, which in turn may increase the risk of an array of chronic diseases. Stay in your wellness flow by opting for unprocessed or minimally processed wholefoods that are rich in vitamins and minerals, and focusing on weaving in a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables daily.

Remove: Environmental Stressors

If you’re feeling particularly stressed, tired or just generally a bit flat despite incorporating healthy habits into your daily routine, then less “screen time” and more “green time” might be what you need to look out for. We often overlook environmental stressors like the radiation from our phones and computer screens, and research has shown that they may contribute towards reduced sleep quality, which as a result may negatively impact our psychological wellbeing and lead to decreased cognitive functioning. Two tips for this – 1) Try to get outside for a walk, jog or run with no sunglasses, ideally nearby nature and green spaces, first thing in the morning to reset your circadian rhythm and promote quality sleep. 2) Aim to put your phone away, ideally in a room other than the bedroom, before winding down for bed and engage in a non-digital activity like reading to avoid pre-and-post bedtime doom-scrolling.

Remove: Highly-Refined & Inflammatory Sugars

Sugar is a controversial topic in the wellness world. It’s important to point out that this bittersweet ingredient occurs naturally in all carbohydrates, including fruits and vegetables, grains and dairy. In moderation, natural-occurring sugar from whole foods, particularly fresh produce and complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, quinoa and sweet potatoes, is fine as they contain other beneficial nutrients such as fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to help to regulate its absorption in the body. However, consuming too much sugar in the form of processed foods where it’s often added for taste purposes may lead to negative effects on our health such as increasing inflammation, blood pressure and weight gain.

Remove: Too Much Alcohol

Those who’ve been riding the ‘dry January’ wave will know all too well about the benefits of reducing the booze. Heavy drinking takes a toll on our health as it may cause inflammation throughout the body, particularly in our liver, digestive system and brain, which overtime may increase the risk of developing various chronic illnesses. Aim to swap the booze where possible for alcohol-free alternatives, such as our deliciously nutritious juice shots for energy-and-immune-boosting goodness.

 

Author: Plenish Nutritionist, Katie Morley

DipNT, mBANT, mANP, CNHC

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.holsome.uk