By Alex Royal l Registered dietitian
Spring is in the air! Can you feel it?
If Winter did some damage (it happens to the best of us), and your exercise regime is almost non-existent, give these 10 Spring tips a go. No juice cleanses, restrictions or fasts – just good, healthy eating to break those nasty Winter habits so you can get back to feeling energetic and happy.
Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier
If you managed to wake up at 5am throughout Winter to fit in your 30 minutes of activity for the day, we salute you. For those who woke up when the sun made an appearance, try setting your alarm 30 minutes earlier to get into a good routine.
Give caffeine the boot
Limit yourself to 2 cups of coffee daily and instead of the 3rd and 4th (and sometimes 5th) cup of coffee, drink a glass of water. If water seems like the most unappetizing drink to opt for, try herbal teas or add cucumber, rosemary and strawberries to your bottle of water for a bit of flavour.
Spruce up your pantry
No need for heavy, hearty meals. Ensure your kitchen is stocked with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, wholegrains such as oats, bulgar wheat, rice noodles and quinoa, fish, chicken, eggs and lean meat and all the herbs and flavours of spring. We love grapefruit, pineapple, coconut and alllll the greens.
Say no to sugar
It’s time to break the habit of tea and rusks, sugar-laden cereals, pastries and the frequent chocolate. Get in healthy sugars from fruit instead – your gut will thank you.
Put a spring in your step
Aim to get in some form of exercise at least 4 times a week. Gym, walking, hiking, or yoga… just get active and moving.
Greens, greens, greens
A change in season usually means a stubborn flu is making the rounds. Load up on all your greens to ensure you are getting in all the immune boosting vitamins and minerals. Spring is also the time to get sprouting. Sprouts (broccoli sprouts specifically) are fantastic in helping your body to naturally detox itself.
Load up on anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory foods
Fighting off infection, eliminating bloating, decreasing oxidative stress. There is no reason to not be getting in these superhero foods. Include in your spring diet: cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, olives, walnuts, almonds, avocados, herbs and spices (turmeric, ginger, rosemary, cayenne pepper), garlic, spinach, kale, bok choy (all collard greens), tomatoes, beetroot, cacao, berries, prunes, raisins, apples, plums, oranges, red grapes, alfafa sprouts, red pepper and aubergine.
Go meat-free Monday
Start your week off right by opting for bean, peas, protein-rich grains or an egg-based lunch and dinner. This sets your week off right and gets you going for the week ahead. Try combining different beans, peas and grains to ensure you are getting in all the important amino acids that your body needs.
Listen to your body. Some days you need an extra green juice or a power nap. Be in tune with what your body is telling you. Rest when tired. Stop eating when you’re full.
Take in your surroundings
Be outside. Go for walks, hikes or picnics. Getting in a healthy dose of Vitamin D will work wonders for your energy levels.
Alex has a cutting-edge knowledge and genuine passion for Dietetics and Nutrigenomics. Her fresh approach in the field is motivational and has successfully encouraged clients to reach their goals at her busy Cape Town practices. She also presents at workshops around the country and has been featured on television, in magazines and online sources.
Being a sports crazed, health fanatic from Durban she moved to Cape Town to do an honours in Dietetics. After qualifying she ingrained herself in clinical patient management at Groote Schuur Hospital and developed a meal delivery business, Daily Dietitian. She focuses on genetic testing (nutrigenomics), weight management, sports nutrition, specialized diets and pregnancy nutrition.
You can find out more on the 10 day detox, booking a consultation or finding a delicious nutrition-smart recipe on her website.