Is the diet constantly starting on Monday? Will you get back into the gym "one day"? And will you go for that mammogram, dentist appointment or gynae appointment soon? Are you procrastinating on looking after yourself and your heart until there's more time, or the "time is right", or until you're feeling motivated?
I've been doing just that. Waiting until I'm more settled at work to run regularly in the mornings. Waiting until next week before I start watching what I eat and eating less scones from the canteen. Waiting until tomorrow to start taking my vitamins. Waiting until I can make the time to go for my vitamin B injection.
Waiting until the next day/week/month is literally a waste of time, and a waste of our health. The time we spend waiting could be spent looking after ourselves, increasing our longevity, and even giving us more – and quality – time with our children.
What's stopping me from starting to eat better tonight? What's stopping me from setting my alarm clock for an early run tomorrow? And what's stopping me from upping my omega 3s and 6s in my next meal, rather than next month? Nothing, really, to be honest. It's just about changing my perspective, doing it RIGHT NOW, and getting my a (which incidentally is a size bigger than I'd like) into gear.
Want to join me in better health, right NOW, not next week? Here are some tips from Flora on how to boost your health, particularly in winter.
Make the most of the season
There are so many wonderful vegetables that are available during the winter season. And no, potatoes are not your only option, especially when they are prepared in butter or deep fried. Fill up on delicious carrots or add beetroots for some variation to your recipes. Don't forget about cabbage, brussel sprouts and gem squash.
Exercise to stay healthy
It's not news that exercise boosts your overall and heart health. If you can't hit the gym, then walk the dog. Can't find an exercise that suits you? Then dance around the house, or get a mini trampoline and bounce around while watching TV. Even buying some equipment for home like dumbbells or a Pilates balls can help kickstart a regime – simply go onto the internet, or download an app to guide you through exercises.
Eat the right kinds of comfort foods
Do you want to feel like a warm blanket is snuggled around your body with each mouthful? Add hot spices to your dish for extra flavour and depth. A great comfort food is a bowl of soup, with a slice of seed bread slathered in Flora margarine.
Watch your water intake
In winter, we tend to include tea, coffee and soups into our daily liquid quotient. We might believe that we’re not thirsty but we could run the risk of being severely dehydrated at a time when our bodies need to function properly throughout the day. So sneak a glass of water into your routine whenever you can. You can also add herbal teas or lukewarm water and slices of lemon into your meal plan.
Boost your immunity
We all need a daily dose of vitamins A, C and the mineral zinc. Especially in winter, as these are essential for a resilient immune system that promotes healthy eyes, skin and clear mucous membranes. Bring out the juicer and make ‘power orange’ smoothies, and you can also add lemon slices to your glasses of water.
Avoid or cut down on refined sugar
Sweets and chocolates are the ultimate temptation when it comes to breaking away from your healthy eating habits. Refined sugar gives you an instant energy boost which will leave you craving more. Avoid the temptation by using sweeteners or honey in your tea, sip on water throughout the day and stick to your own healthy snacks.
Ask yourself "Am I really hungry?"
We often satisfy our munchies out of boredom or because we are thirsty. Instead of popping another chocolate truffle, take a break from your work and take a walk outside. Fresh air and a glass of water is a healthy alternative to a cup of coffee, or food. Stand up and stretch, or walk up and down a few flights of stairs to re-energise yourself.
On the healthy eating front, Flora has wholesome recipes. I've included two great ones, and since I'm a vegetarian again, I chose the veg options.
Seed Crusted Feta Cheese Salad
- 50g mixture of sesame seeds and linseeds
- 50g mixture of sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds, chopped
- 200g feta cheese disks, sliced in half
- 1 egg, lightly whisked
- 45 ml (3 tbsp) Flora Original
- 30g olive oil
- Salad leaves, sliced cocktail tomatoes and sliced cucumber for serving
- Salad dressing, to serve
Combine the sesame seed mixture to the sunflower seed mixture in a medium bowl.
Dip each feta cheese slice into the egg followed by the seed mixture.
Heat the Flora Original and olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Fry the feta cheese for 1 minute on each side or until golden brown. Serve the fried Feta between salad leaves (not on top as it will wilt), cocktail tomatoes and cucumber slices with a drizzle of salad dressing.
Recipe title: Roast Butternut with Mint & Coriander
Serves 4, as a side
- 1 large or 2 small butternut squash, cut into quarters lengthways, seeds removed
- Flora Gold to roast
- 125 ml Flora Gold
- 3 ml Robertsons Cumin
- few sprigs fresh Mint and Coriander, finely chopped
- 50g flaked almonds, toasted
Preparation per step:
- Place the butternut in a roasting tin, cut-side up.
- Season, to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then rub over some Flora Gold.
- Roast in the oven at 180 for 45-50 minutes, or until the butternut is tender and has turned golden-brown in places.
- For the topping place flora Gold in a small dish. Add cumin and herbs and return to fridge to chill before serving. Serve hot butternut with dollops of the topping and sprinkle with toasted almonds.
Variations: Instead of butternut try this topping on baked jacket potatoes.
Simple awap out: This topping tastes delicious on baked fish to get your daily intake of omegas.