Good morning and HAPPY APRIL!! Wowowowow I just cannot believe how fast time is going by. This is one of my favourite times of year, especially because the weather here in Dublin has been absolutely beautiful. Running and walking outside has felt amazing. Seeing the parks come back to life and the daffodils coming out is so pretty and you really have to take a minute to appreciate it. The dark, cold nights are finally over, the clocks have gone forward and it seems everyone has a little spring in their step. Let’s face it, winter is not easy, and although I was gone for the majority of January and February, the darkness, cold nights, wind and rain starts in October. Naturally the cold weather plus the shorter evenings make us feel more tired and less energetic. These feelings of lethargy and low energy can also lead to us to overeat our favourite comfort foods and move less than normal.
Coming into spring is a great way to refresh and “spring clean” our diets. Whether it be a diet overhaul or a new exercise regime, taking small steps toward a healthier lifestyle is achievable and sustainable. Strive for progress, not perfection 🙂
Here are three of my top tips for feeling refreshed and energized coming into spring!
1. Eliminating Dairy
The dairy debate has been an ongoing discussion for quite some time. With low fat, non fat, full fat milks available and countless dairy free options it is hard to decipher what is good for us and what isn’t. Dairy is highly inflammatory and is actually one of the most inflammatory foods in the modern diet apart from gluten (http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-8646/the-dangers-of-dairy.html0). High consumption of dairy can also cause digestion issues, weight gain and bloating. When eliminating dairy, there are a ton of dairy free options to choose from. Almond milk is becoming more main stream in cafes and can be found at most grocery stores. Always make sure that it is an unsweetened version though, otherwise you will be consuming added and unwanted sugar. Cashew milk is my favourite dairy free option because it is so simple to make and I can control the ingredients when making it form scratch.
2. Incorporating Green Smoothies Daily
Green smoothies are a great way to get large amounts of greens in quickly. They are so nutrient dense that we get an influx of vitamins and minerals into our blood stream in a short amount of time. There are green smoothies out there that can also be unhealthy though if purchased store bought with unwanted ingredients in them (watch out for apple juice or orange juice from concentrate). Low sugar green smoothies are easily digestible, can reduce cravings and are extremely beneficial for weight loss. Having a green smoothie in the morning in addition to some protein will fuel your body and help you feel energized and refreshed for the day.
3. Eliminating Processed Foods
Eating a diet consisting of real foods means getting rid of over-processed foods and instead, eating foods that are rich in nutrients including fruits, vegetables, good quality meats and fish, some whole grains and good carbohydrates. It doesn’t have to be over complicated but eating real food does take some preparation. Instead of reaching for the frozen pizzas or microwaveable meals, make a healthier version. Grab a thin crust (option for gluten free) pizza crust, top with fresh or homemade tomato sauce and load up with veggies. This version will not only be healthier but by managing the ingredients, it won’t leave you feeling bloated or lethargic afterwards.
If you need any assistance with health coaching or devising your own personalized nutrition plan please do not hesitate to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great Monday everyone!