Feeling stuck in a rut? Then try something new

Here are 10 fun ways to get you started

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  1. Attend a quiz night. It’s fun, competitive, you’ll learn something new, and you could win a prize.
  2. Have a makeover. Take yourself out of your comfort zone and do something new with your hair, makeup or clothes. Go to a department store and have a makeup makeover, or ask a personal shopper for suggestions and try on styles you wouldn’t normally consider. You might be surprised by what suits you.
  3. Book a lesson to learn something new. You could learn to play a musical instrument, have dance lessons, or learn a new language. There are lots of lessons being offered and you’ll enjoy some me-time.
  4. Each day try a random act of kindness. Whether its helping a stranger when you’re out, or using kind and positive language with someone you know; you’ll make someone’s day. Random acts of kindness increases self-esteem. If someone is kind to you, pay it forward and make kindness contagious.
  5. Grow a plant. Gardening is a great stress reliever and has been shown to help with depression. If you don’t think you have green fingers, or you don’t have a garden, try growing an indoor plant. You might discover a new passion.
  6. Join a club. Whatever you feel passionate about there’s bound to be a local club where you’ll meet like-minded people. You could try a wine club, or a book club. They’re a great way to meet new, interesting people.
  7. Volunteer. Pick a charity or local project that interests you. You could volunteer to help the homeless, or at an animal rescue centre. You’ll gain a great sense of satisfaction, while putting your own problems into perspective..
  8. Research a topic that interests you. Instead of watching TV or scrolling through social media, try researching  a topic. It could be a period of history, or current affairs, or your family tree.
  9. Turn off all devices. Disconnect and allow yourself to do something different. Read a book, go to the cinema, or enjoy a long hot bath. You’ll really notice a difference by not being distracted by your phone.
  10. Write a letter. We’re so used to communicating via text or email that the traditional letter is almost redundant. Buy some beautiful paper and pen a letter. It could be to someone you know, or you could even find a pen pal.
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Dirty Dozen & Clean 15

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Research shows that eating organic fruits and vegetables can lead to increased intake of valuable antioxidants, as well as a reduced intake of harmful pesticides.

Ideally, all the food we eat would be organic. However, my Dirty Dozen & Clean 15 will help you to prioritise which fruits and vegetables are the most important.

Clean 15: Doesn’t have to be organic

  1. Asparagus
  2. Aubergine
  3. Avocados
  4. Cabbage
  5. Cantaloupe
  6. Cauliflower
  7. Grapefruit
  8. Kiwi
  9. Mangoes
  10. Onions
  11. Papayas
  12. Peas
  13. Pineapples
  14. Sweetcorn
  15. Sweet potatoes

Dirty Dozen: Always choose organic

  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Cucumber
  4. Grapes
  5. Kale
  6. Nectarines
  7. Peaches
  8. Peppers
  9. Potatoes
  10. Spinach
  11. Strawberries
  12. Tomatoes

My top 7 convenience store snacks

We’ve all been there – starving hungry and nothing around except a petrol station convenience store! Here are my top 7 snacks to choose.

  1. Water.¬†most people think they’re hungry when they are actually thirsty. If you know there will be better options soon, drink a bottle of water to hold off those hunger pangs.

  2. Nuts. A small serving of nuts will give you a a serving of good quality protein and fat.

  3. Fruit. Most convenience stores sell single servings of fruit like oranges, apples and bananas. Combine with a small bag of nuts and you’ve got a healthy snack.

  4. Crisps. Yes, I did say crisps but read the ingredients and make sure they have no hydrogenated oils, MSG or artificial ingredients. Stick to brands with ingredients lists of potatoes, oil and salt.

  5. Yoghurt. Look for full fat organic if possible. If not, make sure you choose one that does not contain any artificial sweeteners.

  6. Dark chocolate. Look for brands that list cacao as the first ingredient (instead of sugar).

  7. Energy bars. Look for brands that contain over 10g of protein.

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How to increase your servings of fruit and veg

Some research suggests that we need to eat more than 5 portions of fruit and vegetables. For our diet to be alkalizing, which is important for health and our bones, we should be eating 9 portions a day.

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 Here are some easy ways to add more fruit and vegetables to your diet.

  • Add lemon, lime and/or cucumber to your water to add flavour – and then eat them.

  • Snack on vegetables as you’re cooking.

  • Add extra fruit to your breakfast smoothie.

  • Snack on trail mix – with different dried fruits, nuts and seeds.

  • Double-up the salad and vegetables in sandwiches.

  • Use lettuce leaves as a wrap for sandwich filling.

  • Slice a cucumber lengthwise, hollow it out and use this for your sandwich filling.

  • Make vegetable soups and juices.

  • Make a cauliflower crust pizza and add lots of vegetables.

  • Make cauliflower rice and have with a plant-based chilli.

  • Spiralize courgettes to replace spaghetti.

  • Make a salad dressing with olive oil – 1tbs is a portion.

  • Have a baked sweet potato.

  • Add a head of garlic when roasting vegetables.

  • Have fresh fruit for dessert.

  • Or bake an apple, pear or peach.

Exercise (2)

To help strengthen our bones it’s important to do weight-bearing exercise. The easiest way to do this is walking. It doesn’t really matter where you walk although somewhere green like the local park is ideal. But you do need to walk briskly, so that you’re slightly out of breath, for at least 10 minutes every day.

Weight-bearing exercise places a stress on our bones, which stimulates the production of bone cells. Being underweight means that I don’t place enough stress on my bones, so I wear a weighted vest. ‘Don’t you look stupid?’ my sister asked. Well, I could choose to look stupid (possibly), or risk a fracture!

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