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12 Easy Ideas for One Small Change to Make a Difference to Your Overall Health

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Nutritionist and regular Linwoods contributor Jane McClenaghan at Vital Nutrition shares some insight on how one small change can benefit our overall health.

You know how it goes. January comes around, and we commit to getting fit, changing our diet, or losing weight, and it’s all or nothing. Out with the Christmas chocolates, in with the green, leafy vegetables.

While New Year’s resolutions will get you off to a good enough start, it can be hard to keep the momentum going when we get back to the daily routine and grey days that January can bring.

What if 2024 was different? What if, instead of committing to a radical overhaul of your diet, you made small adjustments to your diet this year instead?

It’s the little habits that we can commit to doing every day that make the biggest difference to our health and well-being. Not the January diet or start-again-on-a-Monday exercise regime. If you could make just one tiny change to your diet each week, by the end of the year, you could radically transform your nutrition.

If you are serious about changing your diet for the better this year, then here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Add an extra spoonful of vegetables to your plate at each meal. You won’t notice much difference, but this could add up to an extra seven portions of vegetables a week. More fibre, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, just by eating a little extra each day.
  2. Take a closer look at the ingredient list of the foods in your shopping basket. Do you recognise all the ingredients listed as real foods? If not, make the swap for a less processed option.
  3. Try a new recipe each week. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated or time-consuming, but it will increase the variety, interest, and nutrition in your diet. Try some of the Linwoods seed mixes in a seasonal overnight oats recipe with warming spices like cinnamon or ginger and winter fruit like mulled berries or poached pears.
  4. Get into the habit of adding milled flaxseed to your diet every day. You’ll be getting a healthy dose of omega-3 fats, topping up your protein levels and adding extra fibre to your diet.
  5. For an extra winter boost of the sunshine vitamin, why not try Linwoods milled flaxseed with biocultures and vitamin D? A 20-gram portion will provide 100% of your daily RDI of vitamin D.
  6. Add something to your diet that you are going to enjoy eating. We all know that broccoli is good for us, but if you don’t like it, try a different green vegetable. Why not try kale, leeks, rocket, or watercress instead?
  7. Check out the frozen food aisle. You will find a great selection of frozen vegetables, fruit, and herbs there that can save you time, effort, and money. This is a great way to add more variety to your diet.
  8. Cook once, eat twice. Get into the habit of batch cooking and make extra to take for tomorrow’s lunch or pop into the freezer to save time cooking on another day.
  9. Eat chocolate every day! Chocolate is a great source of polyphenol antioxidants, but it has to be the dark stuff to make the difference. Choose chocolate with a minimum of 75% cocoa and get into the habit of having a little every day.
  10. Swap one of your cuppas for an herbal tea to help keep yourself well hydrated. This can be an easier switch than drinking cold water at this time of year.
  11. Move your body every day – even a 15-minute walk at lunchtime will count.
  12. Get outside every day. Getting out in daylight at this time of year is important to help reset your sleep-wake cycle. Commit to spending 15–20 minutes outside every day for a week and see how it makes you feel.

When it comes to healthy eating, it really is the little things that matter. Change just one thing and take a step towards improving your diet and nutrition.

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