What I Learnt from my January Vitality Week

My morning 'Graze Jar'

Last week I've took part in a Vitality Week run by Laura Daglish to get me off to some good healthy eating habits for the new year.  I've taken part in Vitality Weeks before, but this time, I thought it would be a good idea to write down everything I've learned so that I can refer back to the list when I start to let things slip (anticipating the busy weeks ahead at work!).  Here goes!

1.      Plan the work and work the plan – I’ve found this relates to lots of things, but especially when you want to eat better, exercise more and generally setting up some good habits.  It really does make a difference if you can plan your meals and exercise activities for the week ahead.  This year, I’ve decided to make Sundays my cooking / food prep days so that I have food ready to go as the week begins.

2.      Staying hydrated and having an afternoon snack means that I have more energy for the evening ahead.  Throughout the Vitality Week, I’ve kept my water bottle by my side to remind me to drink more.  I’ve also created my own graze jars to snack on mid-morning and mid-afternoon.  If you want to make your own, Bless the Weather share’s How to Make Your Own Graze Box.  

3.       You may not want to do exercise at the time, but your mind & body will thank you for it later!  Exercise really helps boost endorphins and makes you feel better.  On the days I’ve been more active and got away from my desk, I’ve felt so much brighter.  Exercise helps with productivity and creativity too.  

4.      Caffeine gives you a boost in the short term but doesn’t help in the long-term.  Some days during the Vitality Week, I managed to have completely caffeine free and whilst to start with my moods were very up and down, by the end of the week this had evened itself out.  I switched some of my usual cups of tea for hot water and lemon (great for your digestion) and Japanese Cherry Green Tea from Atkinsons in Lancaster (the best place for loose-leaf tea and a variety of different coffees!)

5.      Make Fridays treat day!  It’s important to have something to look forward to when you’re working really hard on your diet / exercise goals.  I’m not really wanting to lose weight (I’m a tiny lady!) but am hoping to put on weight in a healthy way (so not McDonald's every day!).  My treat last week was a box of Booja Booja chocolates (they’re gluten-free and dairy-free but still taste like real truffles.  Perfect with a cup of hot chocolate for a cosy night on the sofa!).

  So this is what I need to refer back to on a weekly basis to ensure that I'm looking after myself this year.  What are your health goals and how are you planning to keep them up?