If you ate a little too much over Christmas or ditched your diet entirely, don’t fret — now’s the time to get back on track!
With the festive season done and dusted, it’s the perfect time to commit to new health goals. But that’s often easier said than done, so Starts at 60 spoke to leading nutritionist Teresa Mitchell-Paterson to find out her top tips. The good news is you don’t have to resort to a crash diet to get back on track.
Increasing your intake of vegetables may help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, and even prevent some types of cancer. Despite its importance, Australians aren’t getting enough — only 5 per cent of adults eat sufficient serves of vegetables and fruits.
Mitchell-Paterson recommends eating a wide variety of different coloured vegetables, such as beetroots, carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli and spinach.
The best part is vegetables can be prepared in a number of ways — they can be boiled, steamed, roasted or even sautéed. For a quick and easy snack, Mitchell-Paterson recommends steaming some green beans and seasoning with Furikake for extra flavour.
Reducing your meat intake can have a lot of fantastic health benefits, with one of the biggest being the link between eating less red meat and a reduced risk of developing bowel cancer.
Add more fibre-rich foods, such as beans, lentils, chickpeas and mushrooms into your diet as a substitute. For a recipe idea Mitchell-Paterson recommends replacing the minced meat in lasagne with eggplant instead. Eggplant is also tasty when char-grilled or tossed into a salad.
“The skin of the eggplant is high in nasunin, an antioxidant that helps to prevent disease,” Mitchell-Paterson explains.
If you over-indulged these holidays, Mitchell-Paterson says fresh herbs can help soothe an upset stomach. Try adding herbs like parsley, coriander or tarragon to steamed beans or a salad.
Mitchell-Paterson recommends sipping on lemon-flavoured water daily. Lemon juice acts as a digestive and a detoxing agent, which revs up your metabolism and curbs cravings throughout the day.
“This simple addition to the plain taste of water will enhance liver function and give you a spring in your step,” she adds.
If you’ve still got a lot of Christmas food left in the fridge, throw it out! Leftovers should be eaten within 24 hours, after that the risk of food poisoning increases.
“If you have leftover chocolate and lollies, give them away!” she adds. “If they’re not in the cupboard you can’t be tempted.”
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