Guest post: we've asked the fab nutritionist Claire Stone
to give us her top tips to start the year "eating better".
I know what you are thinking... Dry January. Quit sugar. Maybe even try a bit of a diet for a few months while you fulfill your resolution to 'eat healthy'.
The trouble is, this isn't the time of year to start quitting stuff or trying to lose weight.
Our bodies respond to the weather just like all the other mammals out there. In the Winter, we need to hoard, stay warm and relax. The Spring is the time for shedding our Winter padding and changing things up.
Which means my three tips for eating better in the New Year might not be what you were expecting.
1. Stay hydrated. At this time of year, after all the booze and sugary treats, your body is likely to be pretty darned dehydrated. Your skin will suffer and your kidneys are probably crying. So get into the habit of drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning, before you boil the kettle. And then, rather than rely on caffeine to get you going, make a cup of herbal tea to warm you up from the inside!
2. Eat warm and warming foods, and save the cold salady stuff until the Spring. It's the time of year for casseroles and soups, cooked slowly and with some good fats in there. These will keep you feeling full and warm all day long, meaning that sugary snacks are easier to resist. They will also help keep your brains nourished too, so that as we head towards the most depressing time of year, you'll be feeling fit and dandy.
3. Have a top breakfast. Seriously. The day starts with what you eat in the morning, so make sure you start it right. You need a breakfast which will keep you full, satisfied and well nourished. Which is why porridge is such a popular breakfast in the Winter. Add a handful of nuts and seeds to really give you a nutritional boost and you'll be happy right until lunchtime. If you don't like porridge, or you don't have time to make it in the morning, trying adding a handful of nuts and seeds to your cereal, or even making overnight oats so that they are ready the morning. If you are a toast kind of guy/gal, be sure to add some protein or fat to keep you going all through the morning - you could try eggs, avocado, peanut butter or even humous. Anything which gives you a concentrated source of energy in the morning will do.
So there you go.
Three simple tips for eating healthy in the New Year which will see you through until the Spring. If you would like to sign up for Claire's post-Christmas reboot - check out her brilliant 5 day programme here.