In 2018 I, like I’m sure many other set the goal to eat healthier. I decided I would stick to this and created my 23 day challenge. I decided to make it achievable, I would find some healthy replacements for some of my favourite foods and snacks!
My goals was to lose a bit of that extra Christmas weight that hangs on into January. So controlling portion size and snacking was where I started. I didn’t drastically change anything as I knew I wouldn’t stick to it so started change small parts of my diet to improve it.
I was not particularly unhealthy to begin with but the changes I have made have been increasingly beneficial.
‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day’ I’m sure that is something we have all heard at some point in our lives. It is true. I never used to be one for a big breakfast but it truly does fuel your day! I’ve started working out in the mornings and coming back to a boring breakfast doesn’t always make me feel great. I’ve begun giving myself time to make a breakfast I want to eat and am excited to make. Making eggs (anyway) with spinach and mushrooms, provides a warm filling breakfast to fuel my day leaving me positive and satisfied. If you don’t have time for this making exciting toppings to porridge; cinnamon, fruit and granola can make breakfast more enjoyable. Making breakfast the night before is another way to be healthier. I joined the overnight oats hype. Creating a simple, healthy breakfast the night before with chia seeds, oats, yoghurt and milk to top with fruit the next morning can be both motivating and fulfilling.
Eating leaner meats is much better for your body and mind. I have eaten more chicken and fish and tried to avoid fattier meats like bacon, pork, sausages etc. I believe in everything in moderation so have allowed myself the occasional bacon sandwich! I have found that eating leaner meats with low fat content has helped my performance when working out. I feel less heavy and weight down and feel much healthier and active. Eating fish at least twice a week is good for your skin and your bones. If you are not a big cook or are nervous, set a goal to try new recipes. No matter how simple give them a go and ask friend and family for help!
Although I wasn’t a huge snacker to begin with, when I did snack I would turn typically to chocolate or toast. I decided to change this first. Replacing these with small easy to eat and transport fruits such as; pomegranate seeds, blueberries and cucumber and hummus. These were all things I enjoyed before deciding to switch them out. I’m not saying I don’t touch chocolate any more but from having less I feel more positive and less tired.
For quick fix energy it’s easy to grab the latest novelty coffee, or fizzy energy drink. I again decided to replace this with fruits. Bananas provide a quick fix of energy when in a rush. Choosing slow release energy foods such as oats, sweet potato, dried fruit and nuts can provide enough a healthier version to sugar filled energy drinks.
I am definitely a tea-oholic! Is that a thing? I love a nice warm cup of tea. However I realised that the milk in tea was making me feel heavy and lethargic. Recently I discovered my love of fruit and herbal teas. I currently use the Pukka Three Ginger Tea. It is calming and smells amazing! I squeeze the juice of half a lemon in for a slight tang and sweetness. I also do this when drinking Chamomile tea. Fruit and herbal teas can provide a sweet but healthy alternative to cravings of tea, coffee and hot chocolate. Adding natural sweeteners such as; lemon, orange and cinnamon can provide a healthier alternative to sugar.
People can be healthy but not have any weight loss. This can be solely down to portion control. Exercise is important to losing weight but if your portion sizes are too big the weight will remain. I’m not saying you must switch to children’s sized portions to lose weight. Ensuring your portion is the right size for you is important. If you particularly struggle with over eating weight your food can be helpful. Using a smaller plate is also a good way of tricking your mind.
A healthy body equals a healthy mind. Switching to healthier foods has made me feel more positive generally throughout the day. It has made exercising easier and more enjoyable and I have overall felt much better about my appearance. It has improved my skin and body confidence. Sticking to it for 23 days has impacted other aspects of my life such as sleep and fitness. Start making healthier choices today!