This was so good..

You may have seen it posted on my Instagram recently, or in my free facebook group Health, Fitness and Weight Loss for Women My point in making this was to show that healthy eating doesn’t need to involve hours slaving in the kitchen, or missing out on foods you enjoy.

To stick to anything long term, it needs to be SUSTAINABLE.

You don’t need to cut your favourite foods and eat like a rabbit. Just see what little swaps you can make to save calories and add nutrition instead 🙂

Omega 3 fish fingers in wholemeal seeded bread = protein, healthy fats and quality slow-release carbs right there. Add in a bit of fruit or veg on the side and you’ve nailed it. (plus ketchup too obviously 😉 )

This was also inspired by a good podcast I listened to recently from the Blurt Foundation – worth checking out if you or anyone you know suffers with depression or anxiety:

https://www.blurtitout.org/

This episode was ‘The Role Food Plays in our Mental Health’. There were some useful tips I took from it, so sharing them here in case you find it helpful too…

HAVING A REGULAR MEAL PATTERN can be really helpful. It keeps our blood sugar levels more stable, stops us having to think about food as often (we just follow the routine we’ve set) and so can help reduce stress and the loss of willpower that comes from having to make too many decisions each day.

WATER lots of us are chronically dehydrated through not drinking enough water. This affects concentration, memory and energy levels, and can make us eat more as thirst can easily be mistaken for hunger. If you feel hungry – drink a glass of water and wait 10 minutes. If you’re full at that point, you were probably just needing a drink

A MEDITERRANEAN DIET has been shown to be beneficial – lots of vegetables, fruit, fish, wholegrains, some meat, olive oil. BUT a large part of why studies show this to be a good diet to follow is also the way people in the Mediterranean eat – with family and friends, taking their time, connecting with others, relaxed and enjoying the experience. Is there a way you can get more of that into how you eat?

IRON many women have low iron levels, and it’s recommended to consume lean red meat once per week if you are still menstruating. Other sources of iron include beans, lentils, dried apricots, and fortified breakfast cereals.

SLEEP can sometimes be helped by making sure you eat dinner 3-4 hours before bed, and include some starchy carbs in your evening meal (potato, sweet potato, wholegrain rice, wholewheat pasta)

DISTRACTION TECHNIQUES to help deal with cravings. Going for a walk, breathing, meditation, making a calming hot drink or anything else you can easily do that helps. Cravings normally pass within 20 minutes.

MAKE IT EASY FOR YOURSELF  when feeling low, depressed, or anxious we don’t often have the energy or enthusiasm to put much effort into eating healthy foods, so go for convenient (and usually much higher calorie/lower nutrition) options. One really good tip suggested was to look to make easy convenient swaps that still have some good nutrition – aim for ‘good’ and we choose ‘good’, aim for ‘perfect’ and we can’t hit it so end up eating junk.

Instead of Nutella on white bread toast, go for almond butter on a slice of wholemeal toast

Instead of a load of chocolate or biscuits, go for Greek yogurt and plonk some frozen berries and a few dark chocolate chunks in there   Essentially, there are lots of convenient options you can go for that still have nutrition to make you feel good, and give you a feeling of empowerment that you are choosing them too.

It wasn’t mentioned in the podcast but I’ve found supplementing with Omega 3 and vitamin D can be really helpful too, especially in the winter.

Have you found anything in particular that helps you?

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