Last week we shared some easy tips to increase your daily step count to be more active. This week we look at a few creative ways to eat healthier in the new year.
- Have veggie based soups for lunch. Soups are not only delicious but they are also super comforting during the colder months of the year. Buy loads of vegetables, pour in some stock, add some potatoes or noodles and leave it to cook through. Once cooked you can fill soups into microwave and freezer safe tubs. Store in the freezer and take out the night before you plan to have it. Voila – a healthy, hearty and delicious lunch which you can prepare on your days off work or college.
- Plan ahead. If you plan ahead you are more likely to cook healthy meals than you are going to the shops after work when you feel really hungry and tired. Try and put lots of vegetables on your menu for the week and stick with the pre-planned meals. You can also search for cook-ahead meals which you usually freeze after cooking, so you always have a healthy, home-cooked, ‘fast food’ meal.
- Portion control. This is an important tip, especially after Christmas. Many people eat loads of food over Christmas, so it is important to remember to listen to our body when it signals that we have actually had enough to eat. Listen to your body and try to control your portion sizes. Try and fill most of your plate with healthy vegetables.
- Drink enough water. It is important to stay hydrated. This can help in more than just one way. Drinking a glass of water before our meals can help us to recognise when we are no longer hungry. It is also important to maintain healthy digestion and overall wellbeing.
- Try and replace carbs with vegetables. Not all carbs are bad! As a matter of fact, sweet potatoes are high in carbs but are also know to offer a variety of different health benefits. But highly processed carbs such as pasta, crisps, sugary snacks and foods and many ready meals do usually lack on the health benefits. Swapping pasta for thinly cut courgettes, carrots or butternut squash or cooking a butternut squash curry instead of a potato curry can all help to reduce the amount of carbs we eat and introduce more vegetables into our diet.
- Get creative. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be plain and boring. Search the internet or cook books for delicious, new recipes and challenge yourself to cook something new every week.