I read a quote once that said
It’s the start of a new year, filled with potential so lets make 2016 the year you stop being “too busy” to take care of yourself, lets make it the year when you make small but significant changes, lets make it the year when you learn a new skill, take time out to just be and eat more nutritious food.
Every month this year I will be sharing simple small changes that you can implement to make 2016 the year your health changes for the better. After all the drinking over the holiday period I thought that fluids were a good place to start, so here are my top tips relating to drinking.
Start each day with a glass of water with a squeeze of lemon. This is a great way to wake up your digestion and also gets one pesky glass of water out of the way. Put the glass and the lemon on the bench, near the coffee machine before you go to bed to remind you to have water before your coffee. By the end of the month you can expect this to be a habit, the benefits are clear skin,
Although juice may seem like a healthy option this is not always the case. Most commercially available juices, yes even the ones you buy at the juice bar are packed with sugar up to 17 teaspoons per serve, yep more than the much maligned coke. Since fruit juice is missing the all-important fibre there is nothing to slow the release of sugar into our blood stream, causing the dreaded sugar spike, it is also really easy to drink, you could easily consume a 600ml serve in a couple of minutes but eating the equivalent quantity of fruit would be significantly slower and actually quite difficult. My rule of thumb is if you want a juice, stick to vegetable juices and enjoy your fruit as something you eat rather than drink.
Reduce the amount of coffee you are drinking. I love coffee and so would be a hypocrite if I told you to give it up. In fact consuming moderate (read 1 or 2 cups) amounts of coffee has actually been shown to have health benefits including reduce risk of developing type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and certain types of cancer. In my house it also reduces the risk of unacceptable morning crankiness. All that being said any more than 2 cups adds to your total calorie intake and has been linked depressions, anxiety, inability to sleep, high blood pressure and is very hard on the adrenal glands. Try drinking a green or herbal tea instead, there are so many on the market there is sure to be one that you like.
Alcohol – I’ve made no secret of the fact that I love a gin and tonic or a glass of wine in the evenings but you don’t have to be Einstein to know that drinking alcohol every day is not the way to a long and healthy life. Aim to have 2 – 3 consecutive alcohol free days a week. Just make it a rule that Monday and Tuesday are soda water with lime days. To health guidelines are and no more than 2 standard drinks in a sitting – seriously a standard drink is small, next time you pick up a bottle of wine look at how many standard drinks are in the bottle and pour accordingly.
- Start the day with water and lemon
- No more than 2 cups of coffee a day
- Have at least 2 consecutive alcohol free days
- Only drink vegetable juice as a treat and avoid fruit juices.