Make it a lifestyle for the year

In the beginning of the year, everyone wants to make a fresh start. Decisions about following a healthy lifestyle is often on the cards. For some it starts off well and with quite a bang, but if the decisions you’ve made are not sustainable, it may be forgotten by the next month. Rather follow a few basic and practical principles that are manageable and attainable.

Don’t skip breakfast: this is one of the biggest mistakes a lot of people make. They think skipping breakfast is a way to eat less – only to get so hungry later during the day that they easily overeat, with the excuse that they can afford it, as they ‘didn’t have breakfast’. Rather spread how much you eat over the different meals of the day. Being short on time is another reason why breakfast is often forgotten. If you can’t eat early in the morning, plan accordingly and pack something to have later during the day. Give your metabolism a kickstart – even if it’s nuts and fruit, a boiled egg or a portion of cooked oats that you heat with boiling water at the office.

Homemade is best & keep it as fresh as possible: an important Cooking from the heart principle. Cooking from scratch is not that difficult. All you need is a good recipe and a bit of planning. Follow the Cooking from the heart Facebook page to stay inspired with healthy hints, tips and loads of easy recipes. Or download your free copy of the recipe books here, there’s something for everyone in the family

By cooking with fresh ingredients, you can avoid using overly processed, pre-prepared ingredients often high in sugar, unhealthy fats, salt and refined fiber. Use seasonal ingredients for the most flavour and choose cooking methods that bring out the best flavour.

Enough exercise: a good guide is not to eat more energy than you burn during a day, so a great way to keep this balanced is to do some form of exercise. Activities that raises your heart rate are ideal to burn energy, like running, cycling or other cardio-training. If you don’t have time to exercise every day, at least take the stairs instead of the lift, take the dog or kids for a brisk walk and park far away from the shopping mall door. Remember to stay hydrated if you have done exercise and drink enough water.

Eat the rainbow: moderate portions and a good variety of ingredients for every meal is always a good principle. Enjoying something from every food group is the best way to include all the important nutritional elements, enough fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and keep you healthy and nourished. Eating the same foods over and over again, without much variety, could mean that you never get certain nutrients. If one meal in a day has a smaller variety, try to have a range of foods in the remaining meals or as a snack.

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