Do you want to feel more vibrantly healthy? Or lose a bit of weight in time for summer? There are so many fad diets out there, it can get confusing about which tact to take and healthy eating can become a chore. So we asked Elizabeth Montgomery, holistic nutritionist, for some easy tips for a healthy diet. 'The plain truth is that we are all unique and have individual dietary and lifestyle requirements,' says Elizabeth, 'but one thing is certain: the human body requires an abundance of foods from the vegetable kingdom in their natural unadulterated state for glowing health and longevity.' So here's advice on how to get back to basics...
- It helps to slowly add in healthy options since taste buds take time to adjust to new foods. The key is to include plenty of healthy snacks: a handful of almonds with green tea, or fruit in between your meals is a start in the right direction.
- Smoothies are great for breakfast especially during the warm summer months. Try swapping the traditional fruit and dairy version for a much healthier green smoothie instead. Blend together lots of green veggies along with some protein rich chlorella (superfood), creamy avocado and a splash of coconut water - for an energising and blood sugar stabilising start to the day.
- Keep fresh fruit on hand at all times. Fruit is a delicious water rich food that is a real treat to feast on during summer. Think gorgeous strawberries and raspberries, or cooling watermelon to help beat the heat.
- Be adventurous and try the new** juicing trend** that's taken the world by storm. Yes, I mean have an all green vegetable juice! Green juices are incredibly alkalising and nutrient dense, making them a great blood builder and overall detoxifier. Add in the juice of lemons or limes to enhance the flavour.
- Adequate hydration is essential for health. Be sure to drink 6-8 glasses of pure filtered water each day. Try adding in some cucumber or lemon slices for a dash of flavour.
- Introduce life enhancing nutrient dense** raw foods** into your diet. The key is to focus on adding in some raw rather than taking away the cooked. This is a much more realistic approach ensuring that raw foods become a regular part of the diet. Try having a salad before a cooked meal, or swapping crisps for celery, carrots and hummus. The trick is to be creative while still enjoying your food.
- Instead of frying, baking or boiling, lightly steam your vegetables instead. This quick way of cooking and helps to preserve the vital nutrients and helps keep the flavour in too!
- Think salads before meals or even as a meal in itself. Salads are bursting with phytonutrients ('phyto' means plant) and age defying antioxidants. Be sure to add in a protein component like kidney beans or goats cheese - to help keep you full for a longer period.
- Squeeze lemon juice into small glass of water first thing in the morning, to help alkalise the system and aid the liver in detoxification.
- Swap sugar and any artificial sweeteners for "the new kid on the block' called stevia. Stevia is an amazing South American herb that tastes like sugar and won't spike blood sugar levels!
*Elizabeth Montgomery is a London-based Holistic Nutritional Therapist who has been studying and exploring; nutrition, eastern medicine, astrology and medicine way healing practices for many years. *To arrange a private consultation please visit www.holisticnutrition.co.uk