10 Small Changes to Make to Become Healthier
I've written before about my goal to make my family healthier this year. I'm well aware that to be successful in this goal we are not going to make miracles happen overnight. Making gradual changes is the way forward for us and knowing that every little bit helps will encourage us along. This week we are making 10 small changes that I hope will make us healthier as a family.
- We are cutting out processed bread. I have a Panasonic bread machine and I can easily make homemade bread, fresh every day. There is no need for us to buy processed bread filled with additives so homemade bread it is. If you don't have a breadmaker, you can make it the traditional way.
- We are going to drink more water. We'll cut out the squash and enjoy filtered water to drink every day. I have an app on my phone to remind me to drink more and I will actively encourage the girls to drink more.
- We are cooking from scratch. I didn't buy ready meals or anything like that before but I was partial to a little cheat here and there in the form of pasta sauce from a jar or tinned soup. I'm making a concerted effort to switch to homemade versions where I can.
- We are cutting out the sweets. My children love sweets and chocolate and we are cutting them out except on special occasions. There is simply no need to eat sweets and I hate the e-numbers and sugar in them so this is a habit that really needs to be kicked. This goes for me too, but for me I'm cutting out the biscuits!
- We are going to consume less dairy. While I believe that dairy plays a big part in the nutrition of young children, for us adults I think we consume a little too much. I'll have skimmed milk in my coffee or on my breakfast but if I have a milkshake or hot chocolate I'm switching to almond milk.
- Eat less sugar. We, along with a lot of people consume a lot of sugar. I'm really trying to cut this down and I don't take additional sugar in my coffee any more and I am trying to sweeten dishes with more natural sweeteners such as maple syrup and honey.
- Eat more fruit and vegetables. Every day the children have a fruit snack mid-morning and they now have one when they get in from school. Cooking more freshly prepared meals also helps us to up our vegetable count.
- We are going to move more. Soon we will be walking to school more often and in the day I try to walk where I can rather than drive. Every little counts.
- We are going to try to be more organised. This sounds like it's not health related but for me it is. Keeping organised will help me keep my stress levels down!
- We are going to make natural cleaning products. I'm quite concerned by the amount of chemicals we use around the home. When we move I am going to keep to a cleaning routine to keep the house nice and clean and free from germs and make some natural cleaning products so that there are fewer chemicals flying around.
These are all on their own really quite small things but together they add up to a significant improvement in our health and wellbeing. It shouldn't be too hard to bring in these changes, I think the trick is not to be too rigid. Every once in a while I'll treat myself to a biscuit, just not as often as I have been. No doubt every once in a while I'll use a jar of sauce. As long as most of the time we are making small improvements, in the long term they'll become the norm for us and I hope to have significantly improved our family's health with these small steps.
Are you making healthy changes this January? What approach have you taken? Here is our week's meal plan if you need some inspiration...
Monday - Stir Fry
Tuesday - Quorn fillets, couscous & salad
Wednesday - Quorn chilli con carne
Thursday - Vegetable curry
Friday - Quorn Sausage Hot Dogs
Saturday - Tacos and Nachos
Sunday - Quorn spaghetti bolognese