It’s National Simplicity Day this weekend which is actually very timely. Many of us have realised during lockdown that life can be a lot simpler and that’s totally fine!
Perhaps we have become too used to our rather over-materialistic lifestyles and are now noticing the great value in enjoying the simpler things in life.
Clinical Nutritionist Suzie Sawyer shares her five top tips for nutritional and lifestyle simplicity.
Whilst many of us have enjoyed using the take-away or meal home delivery services over the last few weeks, many have also realised that home-cooked meals can be surprisingly tasty and, hopefully nutritionally beneficial.
Whilst the body needs 45 nutrients daily (including water), it would be impossible to do a quick analysis of each days’ intake in sufficient detail. Therefore, keep meal planning simple and varied and nature will deliver what the body needs.
In broad terms the body requires macronutrients (protein, fats and carbohydrates) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). At every meal, think about the protein content. There are plenty of sources; eggs, meat, poultry, dairy produce, beans (including soya bean produce) nuts or fish. Then think about adding some carbohydrate in the form of pasta, rice, fruits, vegetables, or other grains. Healthy fats include those found in avocados, the omegas 3 and 6s (primarily found in fish, nuts and seeds), and olive oil.
You don’t need to spend hours in the kitchen if that’s not your bag – keep it simple. Here’s a great example of simplicity which just needs a side of rice and a few veggies if desired. https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/spiced-salmon-tomato-traybake
Create a rainbow
We all know about the recommendation to eat a minimum of five fruits and veggies daily. However, this creates confusion because people can’t always remember (understandably) what constitutes a portion for each fruit or vegetables.
Instead, just try and create colourful meals; the above is a great example. The more colours you can eat from a rainbow in one day, the more nutrients you’ll be eating. Life suddenly becomes so much simpler!
Many of us will have simplified our skincare routines, partly because shops haven’t been open but also because we’ve been going out far less. It may have surprised many of us just how little we actually need.
It’s also worth remembering that great skin is created from within; skin is generally a reflection of overall health. Good skin relies on having sufficient nutrients on a daily basis, managing stress (both externally and internally), having plenty of sleep and being properly hydrated. However, there are a couple of key nutrients which are synonymous with great skin.
The B-vitamin biotin, known as the beauty vitamin, can be found in eggs, organ meats, sweet potatoes, tuna, salmon and natural yoghurt. Avocados are high in skin-loving vitamin E, which is also a skin-loving favourite. So, add some more of these foods into your diet and your skincare routine from the inside out will be off to a great start.
Clear your mind
Life has been difficult over recent months and it’s easy to let your mind run away with worries about everything. However, if you can master doing some daily mediation or just taking yourself to a quiet space for 10 minutes a day, then it can really help to calm and clear a busy brain.
It takes practice and commitment to make this time for yourself, but however stretched you are, everyone deserves 10 minutes (or more) of down time. Try to block any unwanted thoughts coming into your mind during this time and just listen to the outside world (whatever those sounds may be).
Detox your life
Our lives are generally frenetic, for many different reasons. However, many people will have realised that taking the pace down a notch or two can have a very positive effect on body and soul. During Simplicity Week, maybe spend less time on social media. Accept you can manage very well with fewer clothes in the closet. Don’t run yourself ragged making excessive plans.
Pace yourself, plan how to feed your health sufficiently, and resolve to give plenty of time to loved ones. Make simplicity a daily ritual.
When you go back to basics and take some time to think about what is most important, simplicity can become the ‘new normal’.
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