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December 27, 2018

Time to do what we know...

by Lisa Donaldson APD15 January 2016

I’m terrible at remembering quotes, but the other day I heard Dr Libby Weaver say, “Why do we do what we do, when we know what we know?” – those words made me stop. I repeated what she said and took a moment to think about how true those words are. We know that we should eat our vegetables, exercise regularly and stretch at work. But we’d rather eat chocolate, take the lift and work through our lunch break.

So, here we are at the start of a new year promising to eat better, go to the gym more frequently and find a better work/life balance. If a new year spurs you on to make some awesome changes to your life I am all for it, but there’s no point setting a million and one huge changes and not actually achieving any.

As a dietitian I want to help you make some small but permanent changes that you will be able to keep. After all, isn’t it time to put your knowledge into action?

Reduce the added sugar:
If you are the kind of person who needs four teaspoons of sugar in your cup of tea or on your cereal, it’s time to reduce! Start by dropping one spoonful at a time. Once you free yourself of this habit, I promise you’ll never look back.

Drink more water:
Ditch the fruit juices, the soft drinks and the cordials and drink more water. Your body needs 30ml/kg every day for hydration purposes, so it might be worthwhile working out how much your body needs and ensure you’re meeting that target. You’ll need additional water during exercise and on hot days, too.

Watch your portions:
Over the course of a day write down everything you eat, including the quantity. Make it a typical Mon-Fri, and don’t make it your healthiest day ever! Keep it real. Next look at what you are eating big serves of. Reduce your meat serve to match your palm size (¼ of the plate) and keep your carbs to the size of your fist (1/4 of the plate). There’s no need to ban your beloved spaghetti bolognaise, but make half that plate salad or steamed vege and your vitality will soar!

Reduce the caffeine:
A coffee when you wake-up, one when you get to work, one at morning tea time, one after lunch, one at 4pm… I love a cup of coffee, don’t get me wrong, but excess coffee consumption can put stress on your adrenal glands and increase the production of stress inducing hormones. So, have your beloved coffee in the morning but take a look at reducing your intake/frequency across the rest of the morning. Stop all caffeine (including cola) after 2pm.

Eat more!
Yes, I said eat more! We spend so much of our life cutting foods out, but we should really focus on eating more nourishing wholefoods and plant foods. Add some berries to your oats, or some baby spinach to your eggs. Throw a handful of salad into your ham or cheese sandwich, or load up your dinner plate with vibrant vegetables or salads. Healthy eating is all about nourishing the body, not depriving it!

Seek help from a professional or find support from someone close:
If you need someone to keep you on track choose someone who is not going to derail your efforts. Having the right supporters in your corner will ensure that you maintain those 2016 self-improvements for life!

Until next time, eat well, be well.

Lisa Donaldson APD
3/4 Kennedy St, Kingston

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