2020 has been a doozy for many of us. But, as we look ahead to the new year – like a light at the end of a COVID-ridden tunnel – it’s time to think about what you want to achieve in 2021. Summer is the perfect time to reset your body and mind and re-establish the healthy habits you may have lost in quarantine.
To help you do so, Amazonia’s Head Dietitian, Tara Kaff recommends setting yourself small, realistic and attainable goals to slowly get your wellbeing back on track. She shares her top 5 tips to shake off that 2020 mindset and bring in the new year as a new you!
- Clean Out Your Kitchen
Setting up a healthy environment – free of processed foods – is a crucial first step. Because if it’s not there, you won’t eat it! Start by taking everything out of your fridge and pantry so you’ve got a blank canvas to work with. Check the used-by dates, remove the temptations and give all surfaces a good clean. Then, channel your inner Marie Kondo and get organising! Arrange items that are often used together, or used as a substitute for one another, in the same place. To help reduce food waste, put the oldest products at the front so they’re used first.
- Embrace Plant-Based Wholefoods
Now that your kitchen is clean and clear (the best feeling in the world!), it’s time to restock it with nutritious wholegrains, plant-based proteins, healthy fat sources, and fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables. Aim for five handfuls of colourful veggies and two handfuls of fruit per day to ensure you’re getting a range of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals in each meal.
To help your digestive system perform at its best, eat a variety of high-fibre foods such as chickpeas, lentils, and wholegrain cereal and bread. Made from sustainably harvested young jackfruit, Amazonia Tender Jack is an awesome vegan meat alternative that’s naturally packed with fibre, vitamins and minerals. With a texture similar to pulled pork, it’s the perfect replacement for meat in dishes ranging from burgers and tacos to salads and poke bowls.
And if you find yourself craving something sweet (we’re all familiar with the 3pm slump), it’s great to have fresh fruit and organic dates on hand. We’re big fans of the 80:20 rule. Follow a healthy, wholefood diet 80% of the time, but leave 20% for your favourite foods and social dining with friends and family.
- Move Your Body Every Day
Great for both your physical and mental health, exercise can help lower blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol, and reduce your risk of heart attack, cancer and stroke.
Summer is the perfect time to soak up some vitamin D with endorphin-boosting outdoor exercise. This doesn’t mean you have to start training for a marathon. Whether you walk, swim, bike, run or just play some outdoor sport with the kids – try to make the most of the warmer months!
When you finish an intense workout, remember to refuel your body with a combination of healthy fats, carbohydrates and protein. I like to blend up a smoothie with frozen banana, nut butter, almond milk and Amazonia’s Raw Protein Isolate, which is packed with 21g of plant protein and up to 99% RDI Iron.
If you work full time and struggle to workout through the week, try incorporating exercise into your day by taking the stairs or going for a stroll in your lunch break.
- Prioritise Sleep
There’s nothing worse than a bad night’s sleep spent tossing and turning. Luckily, there are some easy habits you can adopt to help improve your zzz’s:
- Expose yourself to sunlight throughout the day, especially in the morning
- Get in your daily sweat session: the more vigorously you exercise, the more powerful the potential sleep benefits
- Go to bed and get up at the same time each day to help reinforce your body’s sleep-wake cycle
- Avoid bright screens within 1-2 hours of your bedtime
- Ensure your room is cool, dark and quiet
- Limit caffeine and nicotine after lunchtime
- Avoid big meals (particularly those high in sugar and refined carbs) and high volumes of liquid or alcohol before bed
- Set Achievable Goals
Being healthy and taking care of your wellbeing should never feel like a chore! Set yourself small, attainable and sustainable goals that motivate you to make healthier choices each day. Better yet, write these goals down and pin them to your fridge to hold yourself accountable. They could include:
- Go meat-free on weekdays
- Exercise at least 3 times per week
- Sleep at least 8 hours per night
- Take 5 minutes to practice mindfulness/meditation each day
- Walk 7,000-10,000 steps each day
- Drink at least 2L of water each day
And remember, if you fall off the wagon now and again, it’s not the end of the world! Life is all about balance.
Tara Kaff, Head Dietitian, Amazonia
Tara is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Sports Dietitian. She has worked in the field for 2 years now and was previously the Sports Dietitian for South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL Team and worked one-on-one with clients in her private practice. She studied a Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics at Griffith University on the Gold Coast. She has a passion for developing healthy recipes, food photography and, of course, developing new products here at Amazonia that will enhance individual wellbeing and performance.