Every year we make resolutions, more often than not half-heartedly.
Promises to get fitter and go running, eat healthier, lose those excess Christmas pounds, and cut down on other vices, be it alcohol or smoking. This year I hope to improve my overall fitness, making some small changes which will hopefully lead to big strides. When I take those trainers out of the wardrobe, they will make it past the front door, to the beautiful beach nearby where I can walk briskly and run. There’s no excuse not to achieve my goals.
When it comes to menu planning, try to make a few little changes that are sustainable to your lifestyle, like getting organised for the week ahead. If you are busy, it’s very easy to impulse-buy convenience food and take-aways, but these can be high in fat and salt so by being organised and planning your menus, you are less likely to let your busy lifestyle overwhelm your good intentions to eat well.
Here are a few of my tips for making some small changes to your diet:
- Choose the leanest cuts of meat possible and remove any visible fat.
- Add fish to your weekly menu, particularly oily fish like mackerel or salmon. When using tinned tuna, make sure it’s either in brine or spring water if possible.
- Add pulses (i.e. beans, lentils etc) and vegetables to your dishes to add fibre and make them go further. (See my recipe butternut squash and red lentil soup, a lovely nutritious dish high in B vitamins to help reduce stress and tension).
- Take time out to sit down and enjoy your meal. Too often with our stressful busy lives, we don’t have time to eat with our family. By making an effort to sit down for a family meal at least a few evenings a week, you encourage conversation, good etiquette and good family practice
- Start your day with hot water and squeeze of fresh lemon juice, which is not only a vitamin boost but also an aid to digestion and flushing toxins.
- Swap your lunchtime sandwich for a nice salad from the SuperValu deli counter.
- Try a super smoothie for breakfast, not only hitting a few of your 5-a-day but also guaranteed to wake you up!
- Take it easy on the mocha and lattes and try an americano instead.
- Reduce your salt intake by using fresh herbs and a little squeeze of lemon where possible.
One of my favourite mottos is ‘a little bit of everything in moderation’ - it works for me!
Here are the recipes... now get cooking!
Chicken and Veggie Rice Noodle Soup
A delicious way to warm up on a cold winters day and so good for you. This is a real heart-warmer. Enjoy!
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Salmon with Soba Noodle Salad and Ginger Dressing
Add red chilli or chilli flakes for a stronger kick! It might just be the kick you need to get the year off to a good start.
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