Your Winter diet can be tasty AND healthy… here’s how…

DarkChocolateChristmas is often a time of pure gluttony. We splendour in all the wonderful luxury foods that surround us in the supermarkets and shops and cannot resist an opportunity to tantalise our tastebuds with the latest christmas themed ‘fad’ dessert that may be making its’ way around the pages of social media and ‘trending’ lists in the current magazines.

But Christmas time doesn’t have to mean that we stuff our faces, maintaining the excuse that we will diet in January, nor do we have to starve ourselves for a few weeks to make up for the black hole we fall into for the weeks over mid-to-end December, taking every sweet option going “because it’s Christmas”. If you take a step back and take a good look at the extra lines that are added to the shelves this time of year, where the superstores can cash in on the over eating, festive fuelled frenzy of the general public, you will see that there is actually a wide range of super food that can be formed into a structured and healthy diet at this time of year, and you won’t have to feel guilty about a thing!

Winter recipes are often filled with hearty vegetables and carbs to help us stay warm and because they are often in vast supply due to the autumn harvesting country wide. But instead of eating at random and simply indulging, we should take advantage of all the amazing nutrients these foods have to offer, which range from kale to dark chocolate, and plan our winter diet according to our needs, preventing the call for extreme January dieting, which can often be unhealthy and non-commital – I know, I have tried.

When we talk about setting our January ‘New Year’s resolutions’, we make assumptions that we will have the motivation and time to utilise or proposed lifestyle, when really the key may be to start getting in the swing of things now and gradually integrate a healthy diet into your lifestyle. Christmas time is a great time to do this, as we often like to try new recipes and most of us will always budget extra for filling our fridge at this time of year – not to mention that there are plenty of super foods on offer across markets and supermarkets alike!

Here is a list of super foods that are less than 40 calories each, which are all full of either vitamins, anti-oxidants, both or are packed with nutrients, that can all make up the healthiest diet, but not deprive you of a traditional holiday diet.

The list includes:

Arugula (like rocket leaves), Asparagus, Broccoli, Sprouts, Cabbage, Lettuce, Beetroot, Cauliflower, Coffee, Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watercress, Courgette, Spinach, Lemon, Lime, Kale, Garlic, Onion, Radishes, Fennel, Celery, Berries, Carrots, Avocado, Salmon, Mackerel, Brown Rice, Pears, Grapes, Red wine (in sensible quantities), Legumes, Lentils, Pearl Barley, Bananas, Eggs, Nuts and Seeds especially almonds and sunflower seeds which are packed with skin goodness, Chick peas, Pine Nuts, Oranges, Dark Chocolate, Feta or Goats Cheese, Chicken and Turkey (prepared in the correct way and not fried!), Tofu, Sweet Potatoes, Artichoke, Oat Milk, Cottage Cheese (a great source of protein!) and a selection of healthy teas such as white tea, black tea, green tea, nettle tea or burdock tea, which can help cleanse your body and help with digestion.

I know what you’re thinking… “thanks for writing my shopping list!” …well, you’re welcome. All of these foods could have you fighting fit and as you can see, most are almost always included in many Christmas themed dishes – including the favourite and traditional roast, which is a great opportunity to pack in some tasty veg!

Obviously to make you’re diet work, like in any healthy lifestyle, you will also have to try and keep up with at least 20 mins heart pumping exercise a day. If you’re looking to improve your skin, some professionals recommend that you avoid certain dairy products, saturated fats and red meat as it is thought that the fats can often cause break outs and have been known to worsen acne, and are generally not the best foods to eat if you are trying to maintain a healthy weight.

More advice on these tips can be found on our Lifestyle tips page and you can also visit the links below to read more about the best super foods for your skin, and for your new found healthy lifestyle. Healthy Holidays = Happy Holidays!

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20640804,00.html

http://www.glamourmagazine.co.uk/features/health-fitness/2011/02/top-20-skin-clearing-foods

Middle aged? Go Mediterranean… the diet that prolongs your life.

mediterranean-mapWell, that may not be completely true… but it seems to be a current fad that we have seen a lot of people talking about – even scientists and health professionals. It seems that if we learn a thing or two from those that live nearer to the equator, we may just add a few years of fighting fit onto our lifeline.

The mediterranean diet is commonly undertaken in the countries to the south of Europe, near the mediterranean, obviously. The diet consists of meals rich in colourful vegetables, not too much meat, and plenty of oily foods that are great for your skin. What you didn’t know was that eating all manner of wholegrains and natural fatty acids (such as those found in avocado) can prevent you from getting all sorts of nasty diseases, and as the cereal adverts keep telling us, they are also good for your heart.

According to a study carried out by the University of Bordeaux and the Harvard School of Public Health, the women in the surveys that were more healthy tended to eat more fish, fruit and vegetables and consumed less red meat and alcohol. The study was carried out on over 10,000 women and shows that when you are mindful of what you eat, it can benefit you in more ways than you thought possible. It can even help you prevent Alzheimer’s.

Our Lifestyle tips page contains lots of helpful pointers to help improve the quality of your skin, and food is a big contender in the skin care arena. You should always drink plenty of water and try to avoid consuming too much dairy, alcohol and red meat as these can all cause blemishes and ageing of the skin. Also try to avoid smoking as this will definitely age you, not to mention all the other dreadful things it can cause!

We have put together a few links to some tasty mediterranean recipes for you to try, so that you can incorporate a bit more colour into your diet, and hopefully add a few more years onto a healthy life. Enjoy!

Recipe Links:

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/mediterranean

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_mediterranean_recipes

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2013/feb/27/ten-great-mediterranean-recipes

 

To see the original article from the Daily Express, visit the link below:

http://www.express.co.uk/news/health/441183/Go-on-a-Mediterranean-diet-in-middle-age-for-a-healthy-long-life