After a lovely summer and warm October, the shorter days and cold damp weather is on its way.  With these  come lifestyle and eating habits changes. Today our Nutritional Therapist Julie Deeks is here to help you make healthier choices this winter.

We do tend to hibernate a little bit, watch more TV and eat more.  So what can we put in place to reduce the temptation to overindulge and under exercise with the inevitable consequence of become bigger (fatter)

When we remove something from our diets or life we have to replace it with something else, otherwise its difficult not to want that ‘thing’

So consider what’s in your cupboards, we all know that biscuits and cakes are meant for special occasions or popping in to see grandparents, if you are lucky enough to any. Sitting on the sofa or at work is not a special occasion, so lets talk substitutes.

Here are some alternatives. It is better to refrain where and when possible, but when you get the urge reach for the following:

Toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds
You can buy then and toast them yourself, add a little soya sauce to a frying pan with a bag of seeds and dry fry until they look lovely and toasted.  Seeds are great source of fibre, zinc and omega 3 fats!

Chocolate brazil nuts
Ok, these are high in fat like the seeds, so no mindless eating.  Melt some dark chocolate and add a bag of brazil nuts, make sure the nuts are coated in the chocolate and turn them onto baking paper and let them cool.  Not as high in calories as shop bought versions as the coating is much more conservative so they make a great little snack. But remember – 2 or 3 max!
Brazil nuts contain a strong antioxidant called selenium required for a healthy functioning thyroid gland!

Walnuts
Along with fish like salmon, trout, anchovies and mackerel, walnuts also contain omega 3 fats which help reduce triglycerides. High triglycerides are indicated in heart disease risk.

Oatcakes
While they’re not the same as a chocolate digestive, you can buy them with dark chocolate baked into them.  A good alternative.  They also sell spiced oatcakes with berries and ginger.

Blueberries
A slow releasing energy food, like all of the above, they are also a good source of anti-oxidants and fibre and may also help lower cholesterol.

If you suffer the 3pm office slump, have a hot cup of green tea and set yourself some goals for the rest of the afternoon. Eating a cake or a chocolate bar will only satisfy your cravings, they won’t help you feel more energised or focused, the green tea and to-do list will though.  Green tea is high in anti-oxidants and an amino acid L theanine, which has a calming effect on the mind, caffeine is a stimulant, its the perfect choice at 3pm!

If you are tempted to have lovely hot chocolate whilst ice skating or doing a big Christmas shop, that’s ok, but don’t have one on the way back from lunch or when sat in front of the TV.  One a week is ok.  Its what you do everyday that makes the most difference.  That goes for exercise and other good habits too!