New year’s resolutions tend to fail because they are too ambitious. Instead, why not choose to adopt just one new healthy habit this year.
Here’s what happened when we asked a group of lovely practitioners to share with us, one habit that has changed their life.
Featuring inspiring words of wisdom from Lowri Turner, Kristi Hughes, Louise Westra, Jo Gamble, Sue Camp and Fiona Campbell.
Nutritionist and hypnotherapist, specialising in weight loss & hormone balance
“Probably the most important skill I teach my weight loss clients is something called 'future pacing'. This is when you look at a food or drink and imagine what it's going to taste like before you eat or drink it. Most of us already do this in a negative way - we think about the moment that we are going to taste it, think 'yum' and then just gobble down that piece of cake or chocolate.
The problem with this sort of future pacing is that it is too narrow. It misses out vital information, such as how that cake or chocolate is going to feel inside our bodies, 5 minutes, 5 hours, 5 days from now. It also misses out the possible emotional fall out - the guilt, disappointment or even anger we can feel with ourselves when we blow our New Year Diet.
Good future pacing encourages you to slow down your decision making about foods and drink, so that you can make a balanced decision. When you see something that tempts you, ask yourself not just 'will that taste good?' but also 'how will it make me feel?' This stops the smash and grab approach to eating and should help you stick to a healthier eating plan.”
Kristi Hughes ND
Naturopathic Doctor & IFM Director of Medical Education
“I have found that the most important aspect of maintaining an ongoing healthy lifestyle is to always seek joy and pleasure in what you eat, how you move, as you rest, and with those you love. When we focus too much on reducing or excluding things from our life, it can feel oppressive and eventually depressive. Finding a healthy joyful approach to seeking an ideal state of life requires checking in with yourself, and often, because as time passes our needs change and what motivates or inspires us transforms. Stay connected and seek joy!”
Naturopath based at Gleneagles, Scotland
“The one habit that I consistently practice on the dietary side of things is a lack of guilt. I definitely work on the basis, both with clients and on a personal level, that a ‘little bit of what you fancy does you good’ and having worked through my own previously very difficult relationship with food it is usually very reassuring for clients when they realise that I appreciate what different foods mean to them above and beyond nutritional content (or lack thereof!).”
Jo Gamble, BA (Hons), Dip CNM, AFMCP, Fellow ICT
“I would love to advise it possible to give all stress away, but I can’t! So my recommendations are around the importance of managing stress. I honour my ‘me time’. I schedule it in my diary, whether it be my yoga class, walking my dog, taking a bath with epsom salts, meeting a friend or if time is short, something as simple as barefoot walking. All of these help me to reset my HPA axis and reminds me how to self care in order to care for others”
Sue Camp, Clinician Education, Genova Diagnostics Europe
‘Get up and Go Green’
“My favourite (and recommended) healthy habit is that I don’t leave the house in the morning without a green smoothie in my bag!
To be fair most of the credit goes to my husband as he is the one who drives our Vitamix in the mornings!
The contents vary a little depending on what's in the fridge but usually include blended mixed seeds (throw them in first in the dry blender). We then add an assortment of green leaves, which nearly always include spinach and kale. We throw in a piece of fruit to cut the bitterness of the greens and that varies from a banana to orange to mango or others. A squeeze of lime can do the same and provide a zesty freshness. Courgette, cucumber and yogurt are other favourite additions.
A spoon of protein powder balances out the carbs and then we add coconut water or coconut milk or both and a handful of ice.
Green smoothies as a healthy habit may raise an interesting debate on levels of oxalates. One opinion here is that our favourite green smoothie may pave the road to health hell! But is that the truth? Here is the balanced reassurance which I go with!
It’s all about balance and individual choice but getting a hefty dose of greens at the start of my day works very well for me. Cheers!”
Fiona Campbell, BA, GNC, BANT, MTI, CNHC
Registered Naturopath and Nutritionist
‘Top Tips for Developing a Great Habit or Breaking a Bad One’
“In my experience people tend to underestimate how difficult it is to replace a bad habit with a healthier one. Whether it's trying to give up chocolate, stop checking your phone so often, or reducing / eliminating alcohol from your life, developing good habits involves serious commitment and work.
So, when good intentions fail, it's easy to beat yourself up and question why you've been "naughty" or "weak" when in fact, messing up is just a natural part of the process.
Did you know that you've got a very important primitive part of your brain that wants to be naughty? I affectionately call it the "monkey brain". It's the fun part of you and wants you to enjoy yourself! If you focus on what you're not supposed to be doing or punishing yourself for mistakes, your monkey brain will get frustrated and do everything it can to interfere. Being kind to yourself in the process of change is the most important way to ensure that you keep going.
So all you need to do is ditch the guilt and acknowledge that you've already done the hardest thing by taking the first step. You've already started!”
Thank you to everyone who helped with this article!
We hope you are as inspired as we are to adopt some of these super healthy habits in 2017. Thanks so much to Lowri, Kristi, Louise, Jo, Sue and Fiona for all your help with this article! If you’re as fascinated as we are about habits and how to change them, find out here what Mandy Pearson, Psychotherapist, Coach and Teacher had to say on the subject when we had a lovely chat with her recently. And most importantly, happy new year - we hope you have a happy, healthy and peaceful 2017!