While health-focused New Year resolutions aren’t a new phenomenon, if 2020 (and perhaps the start of 2021) has taught us anything, it’s that staying as healthy as possible is more important than ever.
This January, Australians are urged to make their health a priority by taking extra care with how they fuel their bodies.
To help make these positive changes, plant-based milk brand, Califia Farms has teamed up with nutritionist Jennifer Murrant from Healthy Luxe to provide some simple tips for kick-starting your new year health journey.
“After the extraordinary year that was 2020, which impacted everyone in so many ways, our hope is that in 2021 there will be a new appreciation for the value of health and ways we can optimise our wellbeing, enhancing our immune systems and increasing vitality,” says Ms Murrant.
“One of the things Covid-19 has highlighted is the critical importance of maintaining our health, not only to prevent chronic disease but to strengthen our immune systems to fight acute infections.”
One way to maintain our health is by increasing the amount of plant-based foods that we eat, as these “contain a wide range of nutrients, including essential antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients”, according to Ms Murrant.
How to add plants to your diet
Adding plant-based foods to your diet doesn’t have to be bland and boring. All it takes is some creativity in the kitchen.
Ms Murrant’s tips for boosting your plant-food intake and improving your overall health and wellness, include:
“Make simple swaps. For example, replace dairy milk with plant-based milk in coffee, on cereals and in your favourite smoothies.
“Go fresh and seasonal. In January in Australia, we have an abundant supply of colourful, fresh produce, which is bursting with flavour and natural sweetness. Variety is key.
“Swap highly refined products for whole foods, for example, white rice to organic brown rice.
“Reduce added sugars. Excess consumption of processed sugars has been implicated in many chronic illnesses, as well as weight gain. Check products to ensure they have low or no added sugars.
“Stay well hydrated with good quality water.
“Eat out wisely. It’s possible to get delicious and healthy plant-based meals in most establishments now, with many restaurants increasing their vegan choices. Just be careful of anything with too much oil, salt and sugar.
“Say no to soft drinks. A really important habit to break when committing to a healthier diet is to stop reaching for energy drinks and soft drinks. These sugary, nutrient-devoid drinks provide an instant energy hit followed shortly by a crash, prompting a craving for more sugar and continuing the cycle. This plays havoc with our blood sugar regulation and health so it’s important to interrupt this pattern.”
A holistic approach is key
In addition to dietary changes, for overall health and wellbeing in 2021, Ms Murrant recommends an overall “holistic approach”.
Ms Murrants tips for a holistic lifestyle, include:
- “Find an exercise or movement you enjoy.
- “Schedule time for rest and self-care, focusing on reducing stress cycles.
- “Find time for fun activities and time with friends.
- “Establish good sleep hygiene practices such as going to bed and waking at a similar time and removing electronic devices from the bedroom.
- “Spend time in nature.
- “Unplug and schedule time away from social media, devices, etc.
- “Slow down to help regulate your nervous system.”
So, whether you’re a pharmacist, pharmacy assistant or providing advice to your customers – here’s to a fresh, healthy start to 2021.