It’s that time of year again. An endless slew of health advice coming our way, attempting to motivate us to compensate for or our over-indulgencies and commit to new, healthier ways for the new year.
Well, I am not going to add to it this year for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I have nothing new to say. I stick by what I have said in previous new year blogs – just don’t go crazy in the first place! Enjoy some festive treats but opt for healthier options where possible and don’t give yourself free licence to become an out-of-control food monster. Eat, stop, wait to get hungry. Eat proper, ideally wholesome foods and top it off with a little something that feels like a treat but doesn’t send you in to a sugar-frenzy. That way there is no undoing to do come the new year.
Secondly, I think there will likely be many people who do not feel full of good intentions and new year vigour this year. The covid restrictions are causing people to feel jaded, frustrated and in a holding pattern that drives unhealthy behaviours. That ‘new start’ feeling just won’t be there in the same way, especially with gyms closed, schools possibly not opening in early January and questions looming about food availability and price increases of fruit and veg. All this could well leave people wondering why they should bother.
All I want to say is, try and create healthy habits that become so unconscious and engrained that whatever day, month or time of year, you do it / them, without effort, resistance or negativity. Find all the reason TO DO good things to your body every single day:
- warm lemon water in the morning
- stopping caffeine by midday
- reducing, if not avoiding, highly processed foods
- reducing your eating window to 10 hours of less
- reducing alcohol intake to 2 – 3 nights a week max
- prioritising good quality sleep
- moving every hour of the day
- finding moments of gratitude and calm
Nothing expensive, all easy to do from home and things that will improve your health.
Healing takes time. It’s often happening without immediate or obvious signs of improvement. Rather, wellness (& sickness) happens day by day as long as we are doing more good than harm on a consistent basis.
Many people think they ‘should’ lose weight come January 1st. It’s such a busy time for natural health practitioners like me being approached by so many wanting to lose X amount of pounds as soon as poss. Whenever I take on someone for wieght loss I make clear 2 things: what you weigh is not the issue – how much of your weight is body fat is what’s important. So it’s fat loss we need to focus on. To lose fat, there are many aspects of one’s health that have to be working well first – sleep, digestion, stress and thyroid function to name but a few. Until these core areas are working optimally, permament fat loss will be virtually impossible, so think about getting healthy not getting thin.
And just a quick for those of you who are committed to making 2021 your healthiest year ever – then well done you, of course I applaud that, just don’t start with too much too soon, or you’ll burn out. And for those hearing about, interested in functional medicine – a wonderful system of assessing health and working out personalised treatment protocols; before you go and spend huge amounts of money on getting tests done, having endless consultations and buying reams of supplements, get the basics in place first – hydrate, rest, move, eat real food, sleep.
Now, more than ever, our health is paramount. The food we eat is either healing or harming us – it’s your choice.
Happy new year!