This week I’m chatting about the tsunami of diet advice that is coming your way in January.
For my recipe it’s my slow-cooked chicken legs with ginger, soy and garlic plus a delicious cabbage side.
January is a time when many people get really concerned about their weight. And while I think using the New Year as an opportunity to embark on a healthier lifestyle is fantastic, the reality is that it needs to be a year-round lifelong approach. You can’t just hit it hard in December and then deprive yourself in January.
When it comes to making positive changes this New Year my top tip is not to set yourself crazy goals or decide that you are going to overhaul everything overnight. Instead, try and have your goals applicable to where you actually are.
Go for the small wins and build on that. Be sure to look for things that will stand to you beyond January and that will set you up for a great year. Perhaps instead of investing in that diet club, you could invest in some cooking lessons so that you can make yourself healthy wholesome meals for life.
I know going into January many people have the mindset that they have to undo all the damage they did over Christmas or that they have to punish themselves for overindulging but trust me, that’s simply not the case.
I will be trying to just go back to the things I was doing before Christmas, like cooking from scratch, getting a variety of colours from my food and just generally be a little bit aware of what I am putting into my body.
January is peak time for the diet industry and they are experts at targeting you. This is especially relevant when it comes to social media so try to be careful with your consumption and be aware that if you are feeling a little bit down and low in confidence it can be a trigger.
I like to do a bit of digital detox and take some time to look at the accounts I am following and how they are impacting me.
If you have decided to focus your energies on eating better this year then that’s amazing, but please don’t be tempted by fad or detox diets as they don’t work long term. At one point in my career, I was put on a 1,500 calorie diet in an attempt to get my body fat percentage down to a certain level. To be honest, it was one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had with food. I became really obsessive and stopped enjoying it. It became a huge problem socially too. And in the end, I didn’t get any leaner, I just became more miserable. If you want to count calories then fair enough but just do it with caution.
Nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated and eating well doesn’t need to be boring or restrictive. A great tip I like to use is to focus on adding things in instead of taking things out, so instead of me going, ‘okay, I can’t eat this or that’, I say, ‘add something in’. However, by adding something good in, you end up doing less of the bad things. It’s a more positive approach, and better than beating yourself up in January over whatever perceived damage you did over Christmas.
My top tip is to always aim for good enough instead of perfect. Take away the black or white thinking and give yourself a chance to succeed. If you do feel like you’ve slipped or ruined all your efforts then just get back to your usual healthy habits at the next meal or snack.
Do not use it as a chance to give up or “start again tomorrow”, simply clear the slate and move on.
Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Try and let go of what you ‘should’ be doing and instead focus on what you enjoy and what makes you feel good.
Rosie McAuliffe Nutrition
Rosie is qualified holistic nutritionist with a Higher Diploma in Holistic Dietetics and Nutrition. Her mission is to help people reach optimum health and wellbeing via nutrition. She is super talented and passionate about what she does. Check out her Facebook page for lots of delicious healthy recipes and nutrition tips.
Slow Cooked Sticky Soy Chicken
I love to make this on busy days, it’s great because I can just pop everything into the slow cooker in the morning and when I come home there is a delicious healthy dinner waiting for me. Plus the longer it’s in, the nicer it gets. It’s a really economical dish too, especially when served with some green veggies and brown rice.
Prep time: 2minutes
Cook time 2-5hrs
600g chicken pieces, on the bone
4tbs soy sauce
Thumb-size piece fresh ginger, grated
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
Place all ingredients in a slow cooker and set it to high. Leave alone for 4-5 hours. Alternatively, place all the ingredients in a large casserole dish and then put it on a low heat (150C) in the oven for 2 hours.
Serve on warmed plates with sides of your choice or pop it in a Tupperware once cooled and store in the fridge for lunch the next day.
Stir-fried Garlicky Cabbage
I am obsessed with cabbage at the moment and this is my favourite way to cook it. The cabbage is packed with vitamins C and K plus iron while the garlic has anti-viral, antifungal and anti-bacterial properties. This is a really nourishing side dish and is the perfect addition to any meal.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time:10 minutes
2tbs olive oil
Quarter head green cabbage, shredded thinly
5 cloves garlic, crushed
In a wok or large frying pan heat the oil over a medium heat.
Add the cabbage and fry for 5-7 minutes until tender.
Add the garlic, reduce the heat and continue to cook for a further 6-8 minutes.
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