HEALTHY EATING AND A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
by Ceylan Ayik
We tend to bask in guilty pleasures during the festive period in the hopes of hiding our ‘holiday gut’ under our knitted jumpers. But with the New Year well and truly underway, this is a good time to reassess your wellness goals with a view to shedding those extra pounds but also setting a healthier lifestyle for yourself (and your family).
Ceylan Ayik, an Integrative Nutrition Healthy Living Coach who lives in Geneva, shares her tips to help you start a healthy routine.
A STRONG BREAKFAST
Having a a strong breakfast, with protein (eggs, cheese, seeds), fibre, raw vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, parsley, mint, etc), healthy fats (nuts, avocado, seeds, olives) and complex carbohydrates like whole wheat bread or oats, is a great way to start your day and a great boost for your metabolism.
Try to limit carbs like cakes, croissants, white breads with jam and Nutella. However, don’t forget to indulge yourself from time to time – and if you do so, check out tip number 6!
I usually start my day with a big omelette with mushrooms, cheese and tomatoes and a bit of salad, or either porridge or muesli. This is a big breakfast and keeps me satisfied for a long time. Check out my breakfast suggestions, gourmet omelette and rich and healthy porridge and muesli recipes here.
Prepare a nicely arranged plate of nuts and fruits rather than the “go-to” carbs like cookies and sweets.
Or maybe you can make your own energy-bliss-balls and do your family a favour in saving them from empty calories. You can find the recipe here in my blog.
Nuts also save your life when you are in need of a quick fix in between meals. They contain both healthy fats and protein so they’re perfect for regulating your blood sugar. Make sure you have some mixed nuts in your bag such as, almonds, walnuts and even some dried fruit.
DRINK LOTS OF WATER
We tend to drink less during the winter period although our body still needs minimum 2-3 litres of water. Hydration helps in many ways and even helps keep your appetite under control. Drink in between meals (not during) and carry your bottle everywhere. Drink about 8 glasses of water per day and more if you exercise.
MAKE LUNCH BIGGER THAN DINNER
Try to have your main meal of the day at lunchtime (I know this can be tricky, but even if you only do this occasionally, you’ll still benefit).
Eat well and indulge: then make dinner as light as possible.
Stay away from carbohydrates like rice, pasta, pizza, bread, etc at dinner. Focus on big delicious salads, lean and healthy proteins and delicious vegetables.
Eat a big salad before or during your meal to avoid only eating the main meal.
Use your “carb time” at breakfast and lunch. This way you will also do your digestive system a favour and sleep better which in turn helps the hormones to work properly at night for detoxification and fat burning.
LIMIT DESSERTS AND DRINKS
Now is the time to cut back and these holiday sins. Decide a weekly limit for yourself and stick to it! Maybe two desserts per week, or 1 glass of wine per day and make sure you stick to it!
You might consider carrying your energy bliss balls or dark chocolate (minimum 70% cacao) with you and shamelessly indulge after your meal with a cup of tea or coffee.
Avoid the temptation to hibernate. We all need some down time but try to keep those lazy moments for the evenings! Go for a walk every day and make it your new year’s resolution to try at least one new sport such as pilates, yoga, zumba or spinning.
EAT UP TO 80% OF YOUR STOMACH’S CAPACITY
Over eating and filling up your stomach over capacity can really put pressure on your digestive system. Listen to yourself, use your gut feelings (literally!) and stop before you are full. You can always top up with some healthy snacks later.
SKIP OR REPLACE DINNER WITH HEALTHIER OPTIONS
Choose 1 or 2 nights per week, especially after big outings or meals, by either skipping dinner or making it really small by just having a bowl of soup, a plain salad or grilled fish with green salad.
A green juice would be ideal after a big blowout, pure vegetables to clean out your system.
SLOW DOWN AND ENJOY YOUR FOOD
It is scientifically proven that if you slow down, breath enough, be mindful of what you are eating, you actually burn more calories than if you are stressed, rushed and not paying attention to what you eat! Find out more about this magical fat burning effect in my article here.
And remember that eating is not only about the food but more about the people we are with and our connections!
Food is not the only source of joy in life, there are so many other ways to indulge yourself and be happy!
Wishing you a wonderful and healthy 2018 – energise yourself and stay fit and on top form!
Ceylan Ayik is a certified Integrative Nutrition Healthy Living Coach and RYT 600hours Yoga Teacher, whose aim is to empower busy women on their journey to becoming happy, healthy role models for their children, family and friends. She is passionate about helping them to transform their minds, health and bodies through optimal nutrition and yoga.
She leads groups workshops on nutrition as well as one-on-one health and nutrition coaching packages. They include pantry detoxes, cooking lessons and clean food shopping trips.
Alongside her busy coaching practice and yoga teaching, she is a mother of two, wife, and writer for her fitness and gourmet blog.
You can find more information about her in her website and book for complementary coaching sessions.