eat more vegetables
We know this doesn’t sound like heaps of fun to kick off with, but upping your fruit and vegetable intake is always beneficial. Eating at least five portions of fruit and veg a day is recommended, but sometimes it’s easier said than done. The trick is to find new ways of enjoying veggies and to make them exciting – then you’ll be more likely to keep up the momentum.
Get started: Think of recipes that you really love, and then add in more vegetables. For example, instead of ordering in a meat feast on a Friday, load homemade pizzas with roasted veg. When you treat yourself to some chips and dips, make the crisps yourself from veggies. And keep things exciting by adding colourful veg to dishes that you might have never thought of before, like this Wagyu Steak with Kimchi Pickled Vegetables.
try meat-free mondays
Cutting out meat every once in a while is an easy way to make your weekly meals a little healthier – without having to completely over-haul the way you eat. If the thought of going veggie interests you, but the thought of no meat at all is overwhelming, introducing one meat-free day a week – hello, Meat-Free Mondays! – is a great way to start. Cutting out meat one day a meat also forces you to think a bit harder and be a bit more adventurous when it comes to cooking.
UP YOUR OMEGAS
Fat might be a topic that divides people, but one thing that almost everyone agrees on is that we should be eating more Omega 3s – the type of fats found in leafy greens, fish, walnuts and chia seeds. These fats have anti-oxidant effects and are thought to reduce inflammation which can cause all sorts of heart, skin and rheumatoid problems. So, weaving them into your diet a bit more is bound to be beneficial.
Get started: The best way to get more Omega 3 is by eating fish, so perhaps ear mark a few fish recipes to rotate twice a week like Japanese Style Salmon or Thai Tuna Burgers. But if you don’t eat fish, don’t worry – why not start by getting some walnuts, flax or chia seeds and popping a handful on your breakfast cereal each morning?
SET YOURSELF ONE COOKING CHALLENGE A MONTH
Write yourself a list of 12 challenges you want to attempt this year, and then go about tackling one each month. They could be about cutting down on certain things, having a go at different culinary lifestyles for a period of time or trying recipes and ingredients you haven’t before. Or maybe you want to try throwing a themed dinner party each month. Whatever it is, note it down.
Get started: Think about what you’d like to achieve and then have a search for simple recipes and ways of attempting your challenges. For example, if you want to try out Veganism, aim to try a week’s worth of simple vegan recipes such as Dairy-Free Banana Pancakes. If you want to cut out alcohol for a week or month, look for brilliant mocktail recipes to try out. Whatever it is, note down your goal, make a plan and then go for it!
DO LESS WASHING UP
Ever avoid recipes because they look far too involved and like you’ll use every pot and pan in the house? We hear you! Save time on washing up (and water and detergent) and vow to do less washing up this year by opting for more one-pot dishes a week. Not only do they save time on washing up, they also capture all the flavours of your ingredients in one dish.
Get started: Make sure you have a large pot that will fit both on your hob and in your oven. Then look for some simple one pot meals, such as this Sausage, Mixed Bean and Kale Casserole or A Moroccan Fish Stew. You can also make a whole meal in one tray, so for a quick all-in-one dinner try one of Rukmini Iyer’s one pot traybakes.