Creating lasting, healthy habits is fundamental to long-term health, strong immune systems and good mental wellbeing. From exercise classes they can’t live without, to their morning non-negotiables, we’ve uncovered some of the healthy habits that these nutritionists swear by.
What does the term ‘healthy habit’ mean to you?
“A healthy habit is a regular practice or routine that benefits your physical and mental health. Importantly, it’s something that you are doing not just because you feel you should or is ‘good for you’ but because you also enjoy it, and know it will make you feel great immediately or in the long term”, says Uta Boellinger, from Canelle Nutrition. Penny Weston, wellness and nutrition expert, thinks that a healthy habit should add to your overall health and wellness.“ It’s something that you do without thinking, as it’s a habit, but it adds to your healthy lifestyle -such as exercising, eating a healthy diet or getting lots of sleep. A healthy habit also means looking after your mental health so maybe that’s doing some yoga, some meditation or fitting journaling into your day”.
Name two healthy habits you would be lost without?
Vidushi Binani swears by waking up and having a glass of warm water as soon as she rises. “It’s very important to rehydrate after our sleep of 8 hours- I also add some lemon in there for flavour. Doing this right when I wake up helps me to feel refreshed and ready to work even before my morning coffee. I also try and drink a glass of water before/after every cup of coffee. Coffee does dehydrate you and dehydration causes a lot of problems in the short and long term, hence for all coffee drinkers who can’t seem to reduce their intake – try helping your caffeine habit with a glass of water each time you have a cup”. Vidushi is the co-founder of Café Volonte.
What’s your go-to week-day lunch right now?
Uta: My go-to weekday lunches are wraps and buddha bowls. Both are quick and easy to prep but so delicious and it’s easy to make sure you’re getting protein, slow-release carbs and lots of veggies as well as healthy fats. My favourite wrap is hummus and roast veggies on a wholemeal seeded wrap. My go-to bowl is a super easy salmon poke bowl with brown rice, salmon fillet, cucumber & avocado. I make a dressing and add radishes and seeds on top.
Samantha Bloom (Bloom Nutrition): My weekly lunch this month is something warm so I have a soup on the go at home – such as spinach and watercress with some rice and a big spoon of humus or greek yoghurt. Alternatively, Lentil dhal with a handful of parsley or leftover casserole from the night before. If I’m in a rush, i’ll have a quick two-egg omelette with smoked salmon, coriander and a squeeze of lemon- a delicious treat.
Penny: “I’m vegetarian so I make sure I get my protein from foods such as lentils. I absolutely love a warming winter vegetable and lentil soup. I make a big batch on a Sunday and have it for lunch most days with some warm toast. I tend to put in whatever vegetables that are in the fridge but it’s usually carrots, celery, leeks and sometimes a sweet potato too”.
What is your advice for someone looking to add more healthy habits into their routine?
Vidushi: My main advice is to start small. Do not make drastic changes too quickly as it is not sustainable in the long run. You shock your body’s system intensely with big changes and it might not react positively, hence making you quit the habit before you even develop it. Try and make one small change every day, which will add up slowly and result in a habit forming without you even realising. On average, it takes about 21 days for something to become habitual, hence its results might take even longer. Persist for three weeks minimum before quitting to give yourself a real chance. A great book called “Atomic Habits” by James Clear is a great read for anyone looking to incorporate good habits into their lives.
What are your favourite health foods and brands at the moment.
Arina Kuzmina, Integrative Health Coach and Nutritionist loves ‘Seedful‘. “I am coeliac, and this is the best gluten-free bread I have ever tried. Very often gluten-free products are high in sugar and flavour enhancers, but this company creates a moist delicious bread with zero unwanted ingredients”.
Vidushi: I know the coconut water trend has passed but I am still a big fan of it. I find it a great alternative to milks in smoothies when I want them to be a little lighter and fresher. It’s also a good combination with protein powders, as the hydration might help the kidneys not get overloaded with processing the protein. I think collagen is another one of my current favourites. Important for everything from your bones to skin, I try and add it into smoothies or just mix it into a glass of water.
What habits do you swear by for your fitness?
Samantha: “I swear by two 30-minute sessions in the gym lifting weights. It’s great for hormones and making sure you have enough testosterone – often overlooked for women. Tai Chi sessions for breathing and strength and staying happy and healthy. When I can, Pilates as I find work on a reformer so good for the mind. In short, I swear by exercise – its a game changer for feeling good”.
Uta: “My absolutely non-negotiables are: good hydration (always carry a water bottle with you) as it’s the foundation for everything, morning daylight exposure (this can be 2-3 minutes of looking out of the window – whilst you’re drinking your first glass of water) and regular movement (whether that’s a good gym routine or just taking the stairs instead of the lift each day). Often it’s the small things that when done consistently have the biggest impact”.
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