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14 January 2017

Graze 2017 New Year Healthy Resolutions

January is the time when all the health and fitness malarkey tends to get a bit shoved down your throats - "New Year, New You" and all that crap jazz. I didn't make any serious resolutions this year, but I decided that I wanted to make some small changes in my diet to improve my overall health and wellness. I've never been interested in restricting myself to lose weight, as I believe that a healthy diet should be a lifestyle change rather than a quick-fix. I figured the best way for me would be to incorporate things I actually enjoy, giving myself the best chance of changing my long-term habits.
Graze kindly sent over a package which would help me to switch out the crisps and make healthier choices for the New Year. With that in mind, I decided that the first step for me would be to change up my lunches and incorporate healthier salads. I'm actually really not a fan of sandwiches as I find them really boring, so my lunches often consisted of eggs on toast, a pack of sushi or soup. When I focus on "clean eating", I find that I really get into it. Something that I really enjoy is a big ol' salad bowl (ayyy that rhymes!), especially when there are lots of different components, like at the Pizza Hut salad bar. Those bacon bits though... 
I was really inspired by Kate La Vie's meal prep post, so I decided that I would start making a bunch of salad bits up at the start of the week, so I could dip into them and create interesting combinations throughout the week. I like to include a pasta salad, a cous-cous/quinoa salad, and some kind of rice/bean salad. I then pad that out with whatever's in the fridge, like beetroot, feta, leaves, grated carrot etc. I don't really like dressings (they're laden with calories anyway), but one of my favourite ways to finish off a salad is to toast a seed mix (pumpkin/sunflower seeds/pine nuts) in a dry pan until they pop a little, to add a bit of crunch and a delicious nutty flavour.

Buddha Bowl Salad Bowl

There's actually a fab post on the Graze blog about how to create your own Nourishment Bowl (AKA Buddha Bowl, Beauty Bowl etc... mine aren't Instagrammable enough for a fancy name), as well as another on the Salad Jar, which is one of my fave ways to have a filling yet healthy lunch on the goGraze also sent over an amazing Dips & Spreads book* and a Braun Hand Blender* that I've been making full use of to add that extra level of flavour to my meals. Hummus is always a winner (as long as you don't go to hard on the garlic) and I've got my eye on the baba ganoush to make next. Carrot sticks at the ready...
I've been trying to drink a lot more water too - I'm always so guilty of drinking too much tea instead of rehydrating properly. One thing I love to do is make cold-brew iced teas. I just add a fruit tea bag into a bottle of water and pop it in the fridge for an hour or two and it takes on the fruit flavours for a naturally sweet drink. I usually go for Twinings fruit infusions, and I particularly like the St Clements and Mango & Strawberry flavours for this. Sometimes I'll also chuck in some ice (when it's not quite so icy outside) and add some citrus fruit, strawberries, mint or cucumber for a guilt-free cooler.

Matcha Baobab Graze

Another thing that really makes me feel great is drinking a fresh smoothie, especially when I'm feeling a bit run down. My favourite recipe is still the one I shared in a post a few years ago, my Green Matcha-ine juice with pineapple, spinach, cucumber, kiwi and matcha (I use the Bloom Supercharge Matcha Powder), which is great if I'm lacking in energy. I'm not the hugest fan of traditional green tea as I find it quite bitter, but I do like making myself a cup of matcha with hot water instead to start the day.
Another superfood powder I'm really obsessed with is Baobab*. A tropical superfruit grown in Africa, Baobab is packed full of vitamin C, Potassium and fibre, so really gives you a spring in your step. I'll add a tablespoon to a smoothie or mix it with water and shot it down in one. It doesn't taste the nicest - it has natural flavours of caramel and pear, but it's a bit bitter, like sherbet. However it really does makes a difference when you're feeling under the weather, it's magic!

Next I need to combat my biscuit addiction. Watch this space...

- Post contains PR samples kindly sent on behalf of Graze -
- This does not affect my views and I will always give my honest opinion of a product -

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