Healthy eating makes a huge difference to how you look and feel. Although I’ve known this for years, I recently proved it to myself quite by accident. I have a fairly good diet on the whole, but in June I decided to really make a concerted effort to choose healthy alternatives wherever I could. Just a few small changes meant I noticed a real difference in how I felt, the amount of energy I had and the level of my moods. I even had less symptoms of PMT. My fingernails grew long and strong and I had lots of compliments on how well I looked.
A busy work schedule and trips to Ireland and Canada in July meant that I was eating in restaurants a lot and having less opportunity to choose healthy alternatives. Not only did I have less of a spring in my step, my nails started to break and I felt really run down. And don’t get me started on the PMT.
My unwitting experiment taught me that a few small changes in your diet can make a seriously big difference in your life. Here are my top five tips to help you feel better too. (These are tips that helped me, and do not constitute medical advice. Be sure to consult your doctor if you have any concerns about your diet or health.)
Incorporate healthy fats in your diet
One of the easiest ways to do this is to eat foods like wild salmon, avocado and nuts. Instead of crisps and potato chips, I now choose a handful of almonds. Instead of empty calories, I’m getting vitamin E, calcium and protein, along with lots of other vitamins and minerals. I add roasted unsalted cashews to stir fries and walnuts to vegetarian pasta dishes. A small tin of salmon mixed with chopped celery, red pepper and cucumber makes a great salad lunch. Or try adding a couple slices of avocado to sandwiches to add flavour and nutrition.
Choose healthy spreads
With seventy percent less saturated fat than butter, Flora Buttery is a healthy alternative. Buttermilk gives it a delicious buttery taste and you can even use it in your baking recipes.
Eat a healthy breakfast every day
Don’t automatically reach for the cereal box at breakfast time. Studies in both the UK and US have shown that people who eat eggs for breakfast are often more satisfied and eat fewer calories throughout the day than those who have eaten cereal or bread based breakfasts. Eggs had a bad reputation for years but research has proven that the dietary cholesterol in eggs does not have a significant effect on blood cholesterol. Poached eggs on toast make an easy and delicious breakfast.
Eat more vegetables
Cutting back on the amount of meat we eat benefits our health and the planet. There are so many interesting and delicious vegetarian dinner recipes available these days, it’s easy to include a few meat free meals in your diet each week.
Drink plenty of water
Water makes up a big percentage of our bodies and we need to stay hydrated to perform at our peak. Water doesn’t have to be boring. Try it with a splash of lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit or keep a jug of filtered water in the fridge with some cucumber in it. You won’t believe how refreshing it is. Try substituting just one fizzy drink a day with a refreshing glass of water flavoured in one of these delicious ways. If you are like me you’ll soon find you prefer the taste of the flavoured water to the fizz.
Just a few small – and often delicious – changes can turn your diet from so so to seriously healthy. You’ll be amazed how quickly you can see and feel a difference.
Thanks to Flora for sponsoring this post. The opinions contained herein are my own, do not constitute medical advice, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Flora.