Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Five Diet Changes/Additions That Have Actually Made A Difference

One of my new years resolutions was to eat healthier *shock* but we're only in April and I've already consumed more Domino's than I did in the entire of 2014, oops. However, there have been a few healthy changes/additions I've made to my diet that I've managed to stick with which I really believe have made a massive difference to my overall health...

First up, I must say, I'm no health expert. But, last year, I noticed that I was having constant stomach cramps, bloating and just general bad indigestion. Through trial and error, I realised that certain foods/drinks were causing it and , so, I slowly started to make a few diet changes/additions to try and beat those problems for good. Here's what's helped...

1) Green tea/herbal tea
I never thought I'd like green/lemon//herbal tea's. The first time I had one, I thought it tasted of absolutely nothing and I had to force it down. But there are soo many varieties out there, nowadays, that there's bound to be a flavour that suits you. My favourite is lemon and ginger as it's spicy, warming and really comforting. I drink about 3 cups a day on average - if not more. There's no caffeine and next to no calories in it so it's perfectly fine to drink it regularly. I used to suffer with being bloated A LOT, and - not to go into too much detail - often felt a bit clogged up. Since adding herbal tea to my life, I've noticed that I rarely am any more and I definitely think drinking so much tea has helped with this. Even if you only drink one cup a day, DO IT. Green & herbal tea's are absolutely packed with antioxidants and, I'm no scientist, but I'm sure this is a good thing. It really does make such a difference. Teatox teas are also great for when you want to completely detox your 

2) Natural/greek yoghurt
Another thing that has helped with indigestion and bloating, is yoghurt. It depends which kind of yoghurt you pick, obviously, but I'd suggest the natural or greek variety as they have active cultures in them which help to prevent bloating and speed up digestion. A lot of people think natural yoghurt is boring but, when mixed with something else, it actually tastes great. I like to have it with granola for breakfast or lunch or, occasionally, I'll have it with a bit of honey as a snack. It's really cheap, too - you can get a big tub for about 50p from most supermarkets!

3) Almond milk
I said earlier that I used to suffer with indigestion and bloating. Through trial and error, I realised that milk was one of the factors that was causing it. I haven't cut it out of my diet completely. I'm still impartial to a latte (or two) at the weekend but I never have cereal and milk anymore which was something I used to eat a lot of. Obviously, I needed a replacement as I still eat a lot of porridge and drink a lot of smoothies and, after researching into the options, I decided almond milk was the way to go. It's hard to get used to, at first, as it's a lot thinner than milk but I actually think it's so much tastier than normal milk as it's got a creamy, nutty taste which I love. I don't like it in coffee/tea but as a cereal topper, or a smoothie mixer, it's perfect. I don't know if it is better for you than normal milk or not. There are arguments for and against. But, for me, it's a much better option as having milk everyday was making me seriously bloated and almond milk just doesn't do this at all. 

4) Smoothies
I got a smoothie maker for Christmas and it's one of the best presents I've ever recieved! I'm extremely lazy on a weekday morning and making a healthy, hearty breakfast is the last thing on my mind. I just want something quick and easy but don't want to start eating crappy, sugary cereals, again. This is where my Breville Blend Active steps in. If I can't be bothered making porridge, or eggs, then I'll just opt for a smoothie. I've yet to get adventurous with my concoctions yet so, if you have any suggestions, fire away! At the moment, my smoothie of choice is simply frozen summer berries blended with almond milk. It makes a tasty, fruity drink that's easy to digest and, surprisingly, keeps me full until lunch time. Berries, like green tea, are full of antioxidants and are classed as 'super' fruits because of all their health benefits. I find it hard to eat a lot of fruit, throughout the day, so a smoothie is a great way to add to my 5-a-day without really trying. 

5) Coconut Oil
I'd seen coconut oil mentioned for aaages before I finally decided to take the plunge and make a purchase, for myself. I fry food quite a lot, be it meat or vegetables, so I wanted to make a conscious effort to stop using so much vegetable/olive oil, as they're laced with unsaturated fats, and coconut oil seemed like the perfect substitute. Health experts are always recommending it and it's a change that's so small you'll barely notice it. The texture of coconut oil is totally different to vegetable/olive oil as it's solid but it melts with heat. I've only been using it about a month but I think it fries food way better than regular oil, enhances the flavour and is just overall less slimy (that sounds disgusting, sorry.) It also doesn't make food taste of coconut, like you might expect! I haven't tried it for this purpose yet but it's also meant to have great benefits if used as a part of a beauty regime too - for hair and skin.

Like I said, I'm no health expert and I'm certainly not saying that these diet changes will be right for you, like they are for me. But I just wanted to share some of the things that have really made a difference to my diet, and overall health, in case you needed some ideas. Remember, making little changes is better than making no changes at all!

Have you changed or added anything to your diet that has made a difference?

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