5 Tips to a Healthier You

Itโ€™s not a diet!  Thatโ€™s a good place to start.  Beginning to lead a healthier lifestyle is about making small changes that will help to create a better version of you - a happier you!  It's not about deprivation or pushing yourself too hard.  It's not about drastically losing weight and trying to achieve an unrealistic body goal.  Choose the battles that you can win โ€“ I'll never be that 5ft11 Brazilian Victoriaโ€™s Secret model, but I can be a happy and healthy (shorter) blonde.

1. Itโ€™s a walk in the park

It's simple. Get active! You donโ€™t need to join a gym or pay a personal trainer; you can begin by going for a twenty minute walk every day.  I am lucky enough to have a little furry friend, Bruiser, who enjoys going for a walk in the park as much as I do.  The great thing about going to the park is that it's wallet friendly, local and the air is cleaner! Using an app to track the distance and speed you walk every day is a great way to monitor how active you are being (and will make you feel guilty if you donโ€™t exercise).

Bruiser thinks it's a walk in the park...

2. Low Calorie Alternatives

Achieving a healthier lifestyle is about making slow and small changes.  If you take pleasure drinking high-sugar drinks, you donโ€™t need to forbid yourself from having them altogether, you just need to find a low calorie alternative that removes the guilt.  So instead of guzzling extra calories through drinks like cola and lemonade, change your habit to enjoying something more refreshing, low-calorie and sparkling.  This week I enjoyed a new range from Ballygowan โ€“ โ€˜Sparklingly Fruityโ€™.  These drinks are low in sugar and calories (only 23 calories per can) and come in a variety of delectable flavours; my favourite was the Apple, Elderflower & Lemon! Making the change to this low calorie, fresh drink allows you to still get a hit of sparkle and enjoyment, while keeping hydrated!

Sipping on Ballygowan's 'Sparklingly Fruity'

3. Snack Creatively

Eating healthily is not boring, itโ€™s the opposite.  It opens you up to a world of new ingredients that youโ€™ve previously ignored.  Put together refreshingly different ideas on how to combine these ingredients to make low calorie snacks.  In my latest recipe, I made โ€˜Edible Flower & Elderflower Ice Lolliesโ€™  An interesting alternative to a bag of salty crisps?

4. Organise yourself fit!

Without shopping for the right food, planning your daily meals and prepping your food, you set yourself up for failure!  Failing to plan, is planning to fat!  If you open the fridge and feel daunted, not knowing what to cook, the likelihood of eating junk food or takeaway food will be much higher.  Donโ€™t make food shopping into a horrible weekly task.  Make it fun!  I love to go to local markets and buy fresh and seasonal produce โ€“ I normally plan meals based around what I find.

5. Digital Detox

I find โ€˜unpluggingโ€™ the hardest thing to do.  I need to force myself to wind down and unfortunately for me this doesnโ€™t involve Instagram or Netflix.  With the majority of our days spent glued to laptops, tablets and smart phones, it can become difficult to disconnect.  To unplug, take some time to yourself โ€“ try meditating for 20 minutes, enjoy a relaxing hour of yoga, watch a sunset โ€“ anything that gives you a moment to breathe and reconnect with new, healthier you.

 Santorini sunsets

Santorini sunsets

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