Good morning! I hope you are having a great Friday and have something nice planned for the weekend. It seems as though we have skipped winter and it feels like Spring is just around the corner…. Daffodils are out, birds are waking me up at 6am, the car doesn't have to run for 5 minutes before you can see out of the windscreen… Let's hope we just missed Winter completely!

This week, I thought I would put together a little old style poem about making healthy changes.  They are really simple things that you can implement week by week.  Plus it's not long to go until the barbecues are out (positive thinking…)!

S – Start Small.  
Pick one goal to work on each week. In order of importance, you should aim to achieve over the next 4-6 weeks:

  1. Drink 2L of water per day
  2. Reduce your caffeine intake to no more than 1-2 cups per day
  3. Add at least one cup of vegetables to your lunch and dinner
  4. Walk for 10,000 minimum per day
  5. Sleep for at least 7.5hrs per night
  6. Reduce the amount of refined food you are eating so that anything packaged/processed becomes a ‘treat’ once or twice a week

P – Prioritise your health and fitness. 
Spend time planning your meals for the week, make up healthy snacks such as fruit/nuts/seeds so that they are always handy to grab and make time for exercise. Even a 30-minute walk will do you the world of good, get you outside and take your mind off stress.  If you want to change your body, you need to put the effort in to both nutrition and exercise, so set aside time every day for it in your diary!
R – Reduce ‘Rubbish’ from your diet. 
If it doesn’t have any health benefits, it’s a treat and these should be enjoyed in small quantities no more than a few times per week.  This is most things in a packet.  Biscuits, crisps, chocolate, icecream, cheese, sweets, cake, biscuits, slices, crackers and any drinks that contain additives/sugars.  Your body is like an engine, if you put poor quality fuel in, it will be less efficient.  Fill you body will premium quality fuel and you will have more energy, your weight will stabilize and you will feel good about yourself.  For some healthy alternatives to ‘naughty’ foods, check out: or and then you will at least gain the health benefits of natural ingredients for the indulgence!
I – Increase your water intake. 
Out bodies are made up of more than 60% water.  By keeping your cells hydrated you are ensuring that your body works efficiently and your cells are working at their optimal level.  You wouldn’t wash your face in tea/soft drink/coffee, so why make your body work harder to get the water out of these drinks?  Aim to get 2L in per day – if you have high blood pressure, heart failure or are taking diuretics talk to me about your specific needs, as it may be lower than 2L.   
N – New activity. 
Do something that you haven’t done before. Join a walking club, dance class, yoga group, sign up for something that motivates you to work towards a goal (5km, 10km, Thames Walk etc).  By making exercise social it means you are more likely to turn up and do it!  Plus it’s more fun.
G – Give up all of your excuses.  
A lot of them are valid – not enough time, too tired, busy, travelling, stress, kids, I will start tomorrow, healthy food is expensive, etc etc.  By starting with the small goals above you will be half way there – without those then your health will suffer and it will cost your more time/money/your health in the long run.  Plus when you feel healthy ou are more efficient and have more energy to run your busy life!
Do send me any other ideas you have had that have worked for you.
Have a great weekend!