I hope you’re all well and loving life now you have your green smoothies to start the day!
So, how many of you are taking part in Stoptober? I’m very much a fan, it’s for a great cause and I love how people jump straight in and don’t stop at quitting just the booze for a week, I know people that have kicked the cigarettes to the curb, chocolate, all sorts. They say it takes 3 weeks to change a habit which at the time can seem like an eternity but in reality, what’s 3 weeks in the grand scheme of things?
With this in mind, I’ve decided to patent … Startober! The aim of the game is that you start 5 healthy habits and before you know it, you’ve swapped out the bad for the good. Come November you’ll be a shinier, happier version of you. Are you all in?
Here’s my top 5 healthy habits to get you started;
1) Start the day with a steaming mug of hot water and lemon. If nothing else, this is one of the best things you could do for yourself every day. Lemon is a super food. It’s full of vitamin C, calcium and potassium and aids the digestive system, making the process of eliminating waste products (including fat) from the body easier. Simply put, this morning tonic will give your digestive tract a spring clean so it’s ready to efficiently process whatever you send it’s way that day. Add a pinch of rock salt to boost levels of electrolytes after 7-8 hours without fluids and a tea spoon of manuka honey to keep the office cold at bay.
2) Eat within an hour of rising. Whilst sleeping your body has been busy repairing itself which takes up a lot of energy! Upon waking your body will be crying out for some fuel to help it get going for the day ahead. The longer you leave it to eat the more stressed your system will become, releasing cortisol which will eventually lead to an increase in fat storage. We’ll come onto cortisol and the role it plays in weight management at a later date.
3) Add a dash of cinnamon to your morning coffee. Cinnamon is a natural fat burner. When added to food or drinks, it helps to balance your blood sugar levels, keeping you fuller for longer and helping to avoid the sudden crash we’d normally experience after our morning caffeine laden beverage. Not only that, it’s naturally sweet so try it in stead of your usual sweetener in your porridge, coffee, smoothies. I also like to add it to my morning hot water and lemon tonic, divine!
4) Eat more fat! Yes you heard me, fat burns fat. I am talking healthy fats though, not the kind you’re probably used to. Increase your intake of avocados, full fat unflavoured yoghurt, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts and seeds. If you’re on a low fat diet, you’re body will hold on to the fat that it already has as it thinks it’s not going to get any more. Try adding some full fat greek yoghurt to your morning smoothie or snacking on a handful of nuts if you’re hungry in-between meals. Healthy fats help to regulate hormones and when incorporated into our meals, help to tell the brain that we’re full so we don’t overeat.
5) Make sure you’re eating enough protein at every meal. It takes the body longer to digest protein than most fats and carbs, keeping you fuller for longer as well as helping to build lean muscle. Try adding a scoop of protein powder (naturally flavoured if possible) to smoothies or scrambled eggs for breakfast, adding chicken or an alternative lean meat to lunch and a portion of fish for dinner to get your omega 3’s.
I’d love to hear what your top 5 healthy habits are. Remember not to over do it, we live stressful enough lives as it is so if it’s just one healthy habit you introduce this Startober, you’re still going to be better off and you should be proud of any effort you make to improve your health and wellbeing. You’re the most important person after all 🙂