Following on from our last blog, we are continuing our January theme of trying to make changes, which although small, will make a big difference to your life. The hope is that making a change that feels realistic and achievable will be motivating and confidence-boosting – but will also surprise you as to how much of an effect it has on your health. Sometimes, slow and steady really does win the race.
This time, we asked our resident experts to recommend their top ideas for nutritional and lifestyle changes. So here follows some tips of ways to change your diet and other changes to incorporate into your day that will also improve your nutritional and gut health.
Has anyone managed to introduce any of the changes from the first blog into their life yet? Do let us know if you have. We love to hear your stories. #smallchangebigdifference
My small change recommendation would be…..
Getting a good breakfast
Always eat a nutrient-dense, protein-rich breakfast. Those who don’t eat enough in the first half of the day often spend the second over-eating, due to the effect it has on their blood sugar levels. A filling breakfast keeps you sated and helps you to make better food choices. Forget fruit-based smoothies, sugary granola or cereal bars – scrambled eggs or peanut butter on wholemeal, seeded toast or Greek yogurt with chopped nuts and fruit is ideal.
SARAH WEST, nutritionist
Getting back to nature
I always recommend cutting out anything processed or unnatural. It may sound like a big change but the concept is actually very simple, and has a huge impact.
EMILY YOUNG, Iron man triathlete and Symprove supporter
Getting reconnected with yourself
In a world where we have never been so connected, we are intrinsically so disconnected with ourselves. Give yourself an hour before bed without the blue light. That means no emails, surfing or social media. Instead spend that hour reading, running a bath, meditating or writing a journal. Not only does this help support our nervous system but our gut also needs that crucial down time. Good quality sleep has such a positive impact on how our gut functions.
EVE KALINIK, nutritional therapist
Getting new ways to snack
Sugar is probably one of the biggest detriments to our health and, although it can be a pleasurable part of our diet, it is also important to be aware of how much sugar we are eating. This is not only for our long-term health, but also for our gut health (research has found a link between IBS and harmful gut bacteria feeding on high-sugar diets). Small changes are key, so see if you can go without having sugar in your daily cup of tea, or opting for a piece of fruit instead of a sugary cereal bar. Finding suitable alternatives to satisfy that sweet tooth is important, so it is amazing when I see people bringing in a cup of fresh berries to work as their afternoon snack, rather than their usual biscuit fix.
LAUREN WINDAS, Symprove ambassador and trainee nutritionist
Getting your greens
Eating more greens has to top the list for me. I can’t stress enough the impact it can have to your health. They offer more nutrition per calorie than any other food out there, and leave you feeling energized and nourished. They are packed with a variety of vitamins such as A, C, E and K, in addition to important nutrients like iron and zinc. All these help your skin, boost your immune system, boost your metabolism and protect your body against cellular damage. So add bok choy and broccoli to your stir fry, a green apple to your smoothie, celery and spinach to your salad or snack on snow peas with your favourite dip. Aim for two servings a day.
SARA JACKSON, nutritional therapist and naturopath