I know what you’re thinking:
Paleo/vegan/raw/meal replacements etc
Eat lots of green stuff
Maybe quit enjoying all foods for a few months while you fulfill your resolution to 'eat healthy'.
And I salute you. I really do (although, because I was a brownie as a kid, it's more of a dib dib salute rather than a smart military one).
There's nothing quite like boosting your health by eating better. As a nutritionist, I love the fact that we all want to eat better in the New Year, but get it wrong and you'll set yourself up for failing way before the daffodils start growing.
Like it or not, our bodies respond to the weather just like all the other animals out there. In the winter, we need to hoard, stay warm and relax. In the Spring we can shed our Winter padding and change things up. This means my key tips for healthy eating in the New Year are a little different to what you might be expecting. So here goes:
1) Stay hydrated
At this time of year, after all that lovely booze and sugary treats, your body is likely to be pretty darned dehydrated. Your skin will suffer and your kidneys are probably crying. So get into the habit of drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning before you hit the coffee pot.
2) Eat warm and warming foods, and save the cold salady stuff until the Spring!
It's the time of year for casseroles and soups, cooked slowly and with some good fats in there. These will keep you feeling full and warm all day long, meaning that sugary snacks are easier to resist. They will also help keep your brain nourished too, so that as we head towards the most depressing time of year, you'll be feeling fit and dandy.
3) Have a top breakfast. Seriously.
The day starts with what you eat in the morning, so make sure you start it right. You need a breakfast which will keep you full, satisfied and well nourished. Which is why porridge is such a popular breakfast in the winter. Add a handful of nuts and seeds to really give you a nutritional boost and you'll be happy right until lunchtime. If you don't like porridge, or you don't have time to make it in the morning, trying adding a handful of nuts and seeds to your cereal, or even making overnight oats so that they are ready in the morning. If you are a toast kind of guy/gal, be sure to add some protein or fat to keep you going all through the morning - you could try eggs, avocado, peanut butter or even hummus. Anything that gives you a concentrated source of energy in the morning will do.
So there you go. Three tips for eating healthy in the New Year. You might be thinking that there should be more you can do, or more you can quit, or even more salads you should eat. There's always more to do, but when we have loads to do, we tend to not do them so well. Instead, really get stuck into these tips and I guarantee that if you just do the first tip each and every day, you'll feel better than all the other poor souls who decided to quit everything on January 1st. And then, when the Spring comes around, you can really focus on upping your healthy eating game.