After spending the summer break basking in the sun, enjoying one-too-many (but well deserved) indulgences and taking a step back from our regular fitness routines to prioritise those much needed sleep-ins, it’s time to kick start the New Year with a new mindset and plan for a successful and happy 2018.
Story by Brooke Meredith of A Conscious Collection.
Taking the first step in a major diet and lifestyle overhaul can often be a daunting task. We throw it in the ‘too hard basket’ and the age-old ‘I’ll start next month’ is a sentence that circulates far too often. With every New Year cleanse of both the mind and body, comes a mountain of garbage, with garbage comes space, and with space comes clarity. Space for new ingredients and produce and a thirst for organisation.
Organisation is the key to success in maintaining wellness goals and ensures your fridge is always stocked with healthy fresh produce and your pantry with nourishing staples. 3pm sugar cravings kicking in? Not in this house! If it’s not present, you can’t eat it, making you think twice before diving mouth first into those leftover Christmas cookies.
Where to start
Clear out your fridge, freezer and pantry of any processed, refined foods. Pretty much anything that is in a package (within reason) needs to go. Just think, if it doesn’t come from the ground, a tree, the land or the sea – bin it.
Throw anything out that has a sugar content of more than 5g per 100ml or more. Excess sugar is in everything, read your labels and recognise sugar-filled products. Especially look out for low fat and skinny products, which usually contain the most added sugar.
Stock up on airtight jars and containers to store your goods in. I keep all my superfoods, powders, alternative flours, grains, nuts, spices, oats etc in good-quality, air-tight jars. This enables me to clearly see when I’m running low on products and keeps products fresher for longer. Just remember to seal them back up each time!
Do your shopping at independently owned green grocers, farmers markets and butchers. Not only are you helping your community and local economy, the goods are fresher and last longer. Think ‘farm to table’ for best quality, as well as hormone and preservative free.
Health food stores
Are the best places to stock up on your pantry staples. Do your research, though. Look for places that sell bulk whole foods or have seriously competitive rates.
Lastly, don’t be too hard on yourself. While having goals and setting intentions are great, sometimes life can have other plans. Don’t beat yourself up if you have a few wines or eat that cake. Take a balanced approach and don’t let guilt take over what is the most important, your happiness.
Vietnamese Slaw Recipe
2 large carrots
1/4 head purple cabbage
1/4 head green cabbage
1 cup bean spouts
1/2 cup coriander
1/4 cup Vietnamese mint
1/4 cup fried shallots to garnish
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tbsp honey
1 lime zested and juiced
1 tbsp fish sauce
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 large red chilli
To create the dressing, place all ingredients in a small jug and whisk until well combined. Place aside.
Finely slice the cabbages and carrots and place in a serving bowl. Place in bean sprouts, coriander and mint, then toss until well combined. Pour over dressing, stir and top with extra coriander and shallots to garnish.