THE JANUARY HEALTH KICK
Simple Healthy Habits I’m Starting This New Year
January is always a time for drastic health goals and ‘new year new me’ ambitions. I’ve typically fallen into the overly ambitious new years goals myself, especially when it comes to diet and fitness (I mean just go back and read my old new years posts and you’ll see for yourself). Of course I usually failed from day dot when it came to my 5 days a week gym promise and nothing but vegetables to eat. The ambition is always too high and we simply set ourselves up to fail, I’m pretty sure i’m not alone in this.
This January I wanted to leverage the new years motivation in order to kick start some healthier habits, but I didn’t want them to be so drastic I’d fall at the first hurdle. Especially because week three is being spent in the alps where fromage and vin rouge are free flowing morning, lunch and dinner. The perfect opportunity to fall dramatically off the wagon.
I also wanted to introduce some healthier habits, not just for the jean size mission (this year has to be the year I finally get back to my ‘happy’ weight and size), but also for my health more generally which is why I wanted them to stick beyond January. Living with UC means I do have to be slightly more conscious about what I put in my body, and it’s fair to say that in 2017 I didn’t really look after myself the best I could have. Don’t get me wrong, I tackled stress head on, but this year is definitely the year for healthy gut as well as healthy mind.
My healthy habits are relatively simple really, and ultimately ladder up to fuelling my body in the right way.
Food wise I am cutting down dairy and meat and working harder to reduce my gluten intake. It may sound extreme but with my bowel issues it’s pretty important for me. A nutritionist friend suggested dairy is certainly one to avoid given my UC problems and I already look to cut gluten as i’m intolerant anyway. I’ve already noticed a marked improvement in my UC when I’m eating more of a vegetable based diet and Anna Jone’s latest cookbook has been a great source of inspiration (as has Jamie Olivers website – he has some fab vegetarian dishes). From bean and lentil chill con carnes, sweet potato curries to lots of fish and greens, I love this food anyway, but reducing meat and dairy in my cooking has been a cherry on top. I’m by no means planning on being vegan, but a reductarian more sums it up!
Exercise wise i’ve vowed to get more active (classic new years plea to myself, but this year it’s not a half hearted attempt but more an acceptance exercise is key). I’m planning on walking more but also finally getting my butt to the gym on a regular basis. I do find it hard to start getting back into shape when I’m so out of it now, but I want to get back my passion for sport that I used to have so that exercise doesn’t feel like a chore anymore. I really want to try and hit 3 sessions a week, and by my 30th birthday in April I want to be back in a healthy and happy place with my body and size (which based on the last time I stood on the scales means just under 2 stone to shred). I’m fed up of looking at myself, photos, and milestones and not being happy with the way I look, or restricting myself from having fun because i don’t want to show my body or i feel conscious of what I look like! I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself by committing to the same gym routine week on week, as I know my lifestyle doesn’t allow for this, instead by whatever means possible I just want to ensure that three times a week i’ve got active.
And finally, rest! I’ve finally given into the fact that I really do need 8 hours sleep a night. Tiredness, along with a ton of other triggers is one of my big migraine triggers, so getting the right amount of rest, relaxation and sleep is key. Baths have also proven a wonderful way to relieve my neck tension – another migraine trigger I get. It’s so easy to fall into a netflix marathon and hit the hay around 12pm, but in reality 10pm is when I know I need to start the night time routines if I want to wake up fresh. So this year I plan to spend a little more time on ‘me’ for my health, but hope it has positive consequences on my body and mind as a result.
Now i’ve shared my plans there’s no back tracking. There’s something quite commital about writing things down and sharing them with you all! I appreciate these sound like quite a-typical and generic resolutions, but the dfiference this year is the motivation and the why, not just the what! I’d love to hear about your resolutions or commitments to yourself? Also if you have any great recipes for a ‘reductarian’ lifestyle i’d love to hear them.