How One Small Change Can Make a Big Difference to your Health

You know how it goes. January comes around, and we commit to getting fit, changing our diets or losing weight, right in time for summer. Out with the chocolates, in with the green leafy vegetables!

While New Year’s resolutions will get you off to a good enough start, it can be hard to keep the momentum going, especially when you get back to your daily routine. What if 2024 was different? What if, instead of committing to a radical overhaul of your diet, you made small adjustments to your diet this year instead?

Credit: Jane McClenaghan

It’s the little habits that we can commit to doing every day that make the biggest difference to our health and well-being. Not the January diet, or start-again-on-a-Monday exercise regime. If you could make just one tiny change to your diet each week, by the end of the year you could radically transform your nutrition.

If you are serious about changing your diet for the better this year, then here are some ideas to get you started

Credit: Jane McClenaghan
  • Add an extra spoonful of vegetables to your plate at each meal. You won’t notice much difference, but this could add up to an extra seven portions of vegetables a week. More fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, just by eating a little extra each day.
  • Take a closer look at the ingredients list of the foods in your shopping basket. Do you recognise all the ingredients listed as real foods? If not, make the swap for less processed options.
  • Try a new recipe each week. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated or time-consuming, but it will increase the variety, interest and nutrition in your diet. Try some of the Linwoods seed mixes in a seasonal overnight oats recipe with warming spices like cinnamon and ginger or winter fruits like mulled berries and poached pears.
  • Add something to your diet that you are going to enjoy eating. We all know that broccoli is good for us, but try a different green vegetable if you don’t like it. Why not try kale, leeks, rocket or watercress instead?
  • Check out the frozen food aisle. You will find a great selection of frozen vegetables, fruits and herbs that can save you time, effort and money; a great way to add more variety to your diet.
  • Cook once, eat twice. Get into the habit of batch cooking and make extra to take for tomorrow’s lunch or pop into the freezer to save time cooking on another day.
  • Eat chocolate every day! Chocolate is a great source of polyphenol antioxidants, but it has to be the dark stuff to make the difference. Choose chocolate with a minimum of 75% cocoa and get into the habit of having a little every day.

Hydrate, Move and Take your Supplements

  • Swap one of your cuppas for a herbal tea to help keep yourself well hydrated. This can be an easier switch than drinking cold water at this time of year.
  • Get into the habit of adding milled flaxseed to your diet every day. You’ll be getting a healthy dose of omega-3 fats, topping up your protein levels and adding extra fibre to your diet.
  • For an extra winter boost of the sunshine vitamin, why not try Linwoods Milled Flaxseed with Bio Cultures & Vitamin D. A 20g portion will provide 100% of your daily RDI of vitamin D.
  • Move your body every day – even a 15-minute walk at lunchtime will count!
  • Get outside every day. Getting out in daylight at this time of year is important to help reset your sleep-wake cycle. Commit to 15-20 minutes outside every day for a week and see how it makes you feel.
Credit: Jane McClenaghan

When it comes to healthy eating, it really is the little things that matter. Change just one thing and take a step towards improving your diet and nutrition.

Written by

  • Jane McClenaghan

    Jane is a nutritional therapist, based in Belfast, with a wealth of experience helping workplaces and private clients with their health and wellbeing. Jane founded Vital Nutrition in 2001 after studying and working in nutrition in England. She is well known across Northern Ireland and strives to deliver high-quality workshops and nutritional advice to all clients in a way that is accessible so that everyone can make positive changes for the good of their health. Jane holds a BScHons in Food Science from the University of Reading and a nutritional therapy diploma.

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