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29 Jan 2022

Laurann O'Reilly: Ten top nutrition tips to kick start your New Year

Laurann O’Reilly is a qualified nutritionist and owner of Nutrition by Laurann

Six top nutrition tips for boosting your immune health with Laurann O'Reilly

Laurann O'Reilly

What an eventful year it has been and I’m sure it has had quite an impact on many of us both emotionally and physically. The good news is that we’ve got through it and there’s nothing like a new year to wipe the slate clean and start a fresh with a renewed focus on our health.

Here Laurann O’Reilly, a qualified nutritionist and owner of Nutrition by Laurann provides us with some practical nutrition tips on how you can get your New Year off to a healthy kick start.

1) Remove temptation
After our well-deserved Christmas celebrations, we may have some left over treats hiding in the cupboards, however if we want to get our new year off to a healthy start if may be worth doing what I call the ‘cupboard audit’. This may include chocolate, sweets, crisps and fizzy drinks. Remember if it’s not there you can’t have it and you won’t be tempted by it, your body will thank you. As they say ‘out with the old and in with the new’.
Tip: Remember if it’s not there you can’t have it and have healthy snacks pre-prepared as an alternative.

2) Start your detox
The effects of a demanding year and an indulgent Christmas of delicious food, drinks and treats can take its’ toll on us through the build-up of toxins in our bodies. Although our body has sophisticated ways of clearing out waste through organs such as our liver, kidneys, skin and lungs, they too need to be cleansed occasionally. Remember, just like we regularly get our cars serviced, it’s important to also do the same with our bodies.
We can achieve this through eliminating certain products such as processed foods, refined sugar and alcohol, whilst introducing foods and nutrients that can help to cleanse and nourish the body such as fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Signs You May Need A Detox - may include 1) Feeling fatigued or run down, 2) Low mood/ irritability, 3) Low immune system, 4) Bloated tummy or digestive issues, 5) Increased skin breakouts to name a few.
Benefits of Detoxing - There are numerous benefits of detoxing as it 1) Cleanses our liver – which is responsible for filtering waste and toxin from our bodies 2) Enhances our energy levels, 3) Improves our digestion, 4) Can assist with weight loss 5) Clearer skin and better completion, 6) Improved mental clarity and memory and 7) Improved sleep
Free Detox Pack: Download your free detox pack at www.nutritionbylaurann.ie

3) Up your protein
Protein has numerous functions in our body such as hormone balance, metabolism and maintaining our immune systems however it plays an essential role damaged cells and making new cells in our body. Protein itself is composed of building blocks called ‘amino acids’ and through eating a wide spectrum of different types good quality protein (both plant and animal based) we can get access to a range of these building blocks and enhance the repair of our bodies.
Tip: Good quality animal based protein includes lean meat, chicken, turkey, fish whilst some of the highest plant based sources of protein include chia seeds, flaxseed, sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, rice, oats, soy beans/products and kidney beans.

4) Stock up with healthy snacks
Having some healthy snacked pre-prepared can really help us get through our busy working days. Remember convenience is key as we tend to reach for that which is quickest and easiest when we’re on the go.
Tip: It can help to get organised with pre chopped vegetables and hummus, hard-boiled eggs, fruit, a nut and seed mix and yogurts

5) Up your water intake
Did you know that if you’re thirsty, you are already dehydrated! We must not underestimate the importance of drinking enough water as it makes up almost 60% of our body as well as having some essential functions to our health.

For instance, 1) Water play an role in flushing toxins from our body, which is particularly important after an indulgent Christmas 2) It helps to improve our digestion 3) It plays a role in controlling our body temperature 4) It can help to regulate our blood pressure as well as 5) Maintaining electrolyte salt balance – important for nerve and muscle function.
Tip: Aim for a minimum of 1 ½ - 2 Litres of water per day and to help I recommend purchasing a reusable bottle which you can keep topped and with you at all times.

6) Begin a wellness diary
This an help to capture a picture of your current health status and starting point.

Within this I recommend recording the following, 1) Your food 2) Your energy, 3) Your mood, 4) Your sleep, 5) Any symptoms you may have such as headaches, digestive issues, sugar cravings. It can also be extremely helpful to continue to keep note of these along your wellness journey as it can help you to monitor your progress and areas of your diet and lifestyle that you may need to focus on.
Tip: It helps to keep your wellness diary beside your bed and fill it out at the end of each day.

7) Learn to enjoy food
With our busy lives, many of us end up eating on the go, eating too quickly and no longer appreciating our foods. Make this a year where you begin to explore new foods, savour the flavours and experiment with new recipes. Remember, clean eating doesn’t have to be boring as it’s possible to have a nutritious and delicious foods.
Tip: This year try to explore new recipes and flavours, you may surprise yourself!

8) Be kinder to yourself
You can do this through creating a healthier relationship with food, replacing high fat and high sugar foods with nourishing fruits, vegetables and lean protein. It also involves taking time for self-care through exercise and relaxation techniques. Taking better care of your body and mind can drastically improve your overall health.
Tip: Try to schedule time into each day for self-care even if it’s a 20 minute brisk walk to get a little exercise and clear your head

9) Aim for more sleep
We mustn’t under estimate the power and importance of sleep as it plays an important role in recharging and repairing our bodies.
It’s also important to avoid having complex meals too close to bedtime, as we are meant to go into a state of starvation whilst we sleep, that’s why breakfast is called ‘break-fast’.
Tip: Try to aim for a minimum of 7-9 hours sleep per night and remember, the body loves routine so try keeping to a sleep schedule with a set bedtime and waking up at a similar time each morning – this allows you to function like clockwork.

10) Set your New Year health goal
Whether you want to eat healthier, lose weight, perform better or gain more energy set your health goal, believe you can achieve it and your let your New Year health journey begin.
Tip: It helps to write down your goal, why you want it and how achieving it will affect your life. Doing this along with your wellness journal above can be extremely powerful.

Detox Recipe
Easy Green Smoothie

Green by name, green by nature, this is such a quick, easy, nutritious and delicious smoothie recipe. The oats and cinnamon also help to slow the release of sugar and help to prevent sugar cravings.



Servings: 2 Smoothies

Ingredients
2 Bananas, chopped
2 Kiwis, chopped
1 Handful of spinach
1 Cup of Dairy free yogurt
1 Cup of Oats
2 Tablespoons of Flax seed
1 Tablespoon of Honey
1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon

Instructions
1) Chop your bananas, & kiwis
2) To a large zip lock bag add the banana, kiwi and spinach and pop in the freezer for 2 hours
3) Remove from freezer and add to a large blender
4) Add your flaxseed, honey & yogurt
5) Blend until you achieve a thick and creamy consistency
6) Enjoy!!

About Laurann: Laurann O’Reilly is qualified and experienced Nutritionist with a BSc. Degree in Human Nutrition from University of Nottingham and a Master’s in Public Health Nutrition from University College Dublin. She has over 10 years of experience including working community and clinical care, research, personalised nutrition consultations (dealing in healthy eating, weight loss, digestive health and sports nutrition), teaching and developing nutrition courses at FETEC level, nutrition education talks and workshops (corporate wellness, schools, sports teams, public and private talks), previous food manager of the Coeliac Society of Ireland and is part of the roll out team for the Healthy Ireland Smart Start health promotion programme for pre-schools.
Further information see www. nutritionbylaurann.ie or Laurann at info@nutritionby. laurann.ie

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