Making a Positive Change to your Health
With lent in full swing, Christians around the globe are abstaining from some of their favourite things in bid to replicate the journey that according to the bible, depicts Jesus fasting for 40 days and 40 nights in the desert. Giving up a vice is said to show self-restraint and bring you closer to God.
While this is a Christian tradition, it is commonly observed by non-believers as well, and it has become an opportunity for many to give up a food or habit in the interest of improving their health.
At FFF we are all for taking steps to improve your health and wellbeing (whether it’s Lent, new year or anytime during the year!) but it’s important to know what you can give up, in a healthy way to ensure your sacrifice is not in vain.
Here’s our top suggestions for changes you can make, that will positively impact your health:
1. Give up chocolate – a classic vice, this hard to resist treat is a popular choice when Lent rolls around each year. Full of sugar, fat and preservatives your long-term health will thank you for ditching this one.
2. Reduce processed foods – with high salt content, hidden sugars and undecipherable numbers and codes after the ingredients, processed foods are certainly something your body can do without. Stick to whole foods and if you do need to purchase pre-packaged food, ensure the ingredients are recognisable as foods.
3. Add more greens to your diet – better than abstaining from something, is adding in healthy foods to your diet instead. Fill up on hearty good-for-you greens, add a serving in to each meal, whether its spinach to your smoothie or broccoli to your dinner, this is a really easy one to incorporate each day.
4. Abstain from using escalators and lifts – this is great way to sneak in exercise every day. Depending on which tube station you use, and which level your office or apartment is on, this could be a biggie. Get those steps in!
5. Swap soda (and yes that includes diet!) for water – most of us know our water intake is not what it should be, but it can be hard to fit it all into the day, increase your chances of getting there by drinking only water throughout the day and keeping a bottle by your side.
And finally, a little advice on what not to give up. Unless you have an intolerance or have been advised by a health professional, it can be detrimental (even dangerous) to cut out whole foods groups (dairy products, starchy carbohydrates, grains etc) if you have not considered the nutritional value and the ways in which to get these nutrients elsewhere. For advice on your individual diet you can set up a free consultation with a nutritionist here.