As seen on BBC Breakfast, Yorkshire based Nutritionist Nichola Ludlam-Raine shares her top tips for a healthier new year.
Enjoy our ultra-healthy collaboration written by our guest blogger UK specialist and registered dietitian Nichola Ludlam-Raine as she reveals her top ten nutrition and lifestyle tips for a well-balanced routine. Also discover how she incorporates her favourite Pure Collection pieces into her busy schedule.
Nichola Ludlam-Raine, who lives near Pure Collection’s hometown of Harrogate in Yorkshire, is a Specialist Registered Dietitian with over a decade’s worth of experience working for both the NHS and in a private hospital. She speaks regularly on the BBC Breakfast sofa and has featured on numerous television programmes on both ITV and Channel 4. Nichola is an award winning health blogger at nicsnutrition.com and on social media she has over 100,000 followers across her two accounts @nicsnutrition and @mummynutrition - she also has a little boy who’s just turned one!
Make your smoothies green
Smoothies aren’t just for fruit, they’re for veg too; and I promise you that adding leaves such as spinach, iceberg lettuce and kale doesn’t alter the taste, it simply adds fibre as well as nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K. Get into the habit of adding a handful of greens before you blend; to start you could try a Green Monster Smoothie made from; 1 banana, 200ml milk of your choice, a handful of blueberries and a handful of spinach.
Switch to plain yoghurt and add your own flavours
Natural yoghurt can be a great source of probiotics aka friendly live bacteria that have beneficial effects on gut health, in addition to being high in protein and providing minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. Buying plain yoghurt means that you’re not paying for added refined sugar and you can control exactly what goes in it. A few of my favourite heathy yoghurt additions include cinnamon and banana, strawberries and flaked almonds as well as baked apple pieces and raisins.
Stock up on tinned salmon
Tinned salmon is much richer in heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids in comparison to tinned tuna or white fish such as cod or haddock. We should aim to eat two portions of fish a week, one of which is oily and tinned salmon, as well as mackerel, pilchards and sardines all count as being ‘oily’. Tinned salmon is also cheaper than fresh salmon and goes perfectly in home-made salmon fish cakes or a healthy salmon pate.
Organise your kitchen counter
Keep your blender out on display; you’ll be much less likely to use it if it’s tucked away in a cupboard. One of my favourites smoothies is frozen banana blended with a tablespoon of peanut butter and milk; it’s quick to make and makes an ideal breakfast for on the go. In the same vein, make sure to have healthy recipe books as well as a book stand on show; it’ll encourage you to experiment with healthy recipes. You could even write out a weekly meal plan, using at least one new recipe during the week, and have this on display for all of the family to see.
Makeover your fridge
Make sure to keep the middle (eye-level) shelves of your fridge filled with healthy, ready to eat foods such as boiled eggs, plain yoghurt, small cubes of cheese and grapes, pre-cut veggie sticks (in see through containers or clear food bags) and dips such as hummus, salsa or home-made guacamole as well as a pre-cut fruit salad covered in cling-film and slices of chicken or turkey. Make sure that healthy food, i.e. whole foods that are rich in nutrients, are both easy to see and easy to reach.
Re-order your cereal cupboard
In order to nudge both yourself and your family to make healthier choices at breakfast the key is to put the healthier cereals at the front i.e. porridge oats/Weetabix, and the less healthy cereals (including honey, sugar and chocolate coated cereals) towards the back. This simple change around will mean that the healthier choice is the easier choice and you never know, the sugary cereals may be forgotten about altogether; or you could save them for a healthier ‘treat’ (instead of a chocolate bar) or for a weekend only.
The biscuit jar
Out of sight, out of mind. Keep the biscuit jar in an inconvenient location such as a hard to reach cupboard. If you really want a biscuit then you know where they are but at least you won't be dipping in out of habit every time you make a hot drink!
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep
The majority of adults require 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night and getting enough quality sleep is vital for us to have the energy to workout and stay focussed throughout the day. This includes having the motivation to cook something healthy and delicious in the evening. Treat yourself to a super soft set of Pure Collection’s lounge wear and I guarantee you’ll want to go to bed early every night!
Remember your rest days
Remember to take days off for rest and relaxation. Life can be hectic, so whether it’s a day out in the countryside wearing a cosy Pure Collection cashmere jumper, or a spa day, rest days can allow both your mind and body to recover and repair. Without them there’s a risk that either your progress will slow, or you’ll simply just burn out. Walking, as well as stretching, are great to do on rest days as they allow your body to relax and wind down, and give your mind chance to reflect on days gone by and think about your week ahead.
Exercise regularly and include strength training
Aim to do strength training at least twice a week, in addition to your cardio workouts (5 x 30 minutes a week is enough!). Strength or resistance exercises help to increase muscle strength, maintain bone density and improve balance. And if you’re thinking that you simply don’t have the time to exercise then think again, as exercise ‘snacking’, which involves breaking up exercise into multiple small ‘snacks’ through the day, could be for you. For example in just 10 minutes you can walk a thousand steps which is 10% of our daily target, or you could do some squats or lunges whilst the kettle is boiling!
We hope you feel inspired to switch up your routine and try alternative options in making your day-to day activities more beneficial to your health and lifestyle. Shop Nichola’s favourite Pure Collection pieces and try her top ten tips for a healthy and happy new year!