January always feels like a new chapter and a fresh start that is full of possibilities. Whilst there is no better time than the present moment to make healthier life changes, many people often get a boost of motivation to change their lifestyle for the better during the new year.
One of the most important things is to ensure that you set attainable goals that are sustainable for the long term. Whenever you set unrealistic goals, it is common to feel deterred and lapse into old habits when you feel that you aren’t reaching your goals quickly enough.
We have compiled below some of the key strategies and supplements that you might want to consider when trying to achieve some of the most common healthy new year’s goals…
New Year's Resolution Number 1: Handle stress better and reduce anxiety
Want to cope with stress better and enter the new year with less anxiety? We want to introduce you to the world of adaptogens. Adaptogens are supplements that help your body to handle stress and gain more resilience.
We are all human, so it is inevitable for us to encounter elements of stress in our lives. Whether its macro stressors (e.g. big stressful events) or those daily micro stressors (e.g. those accumulative minor stressors such as work emails), you’ll be happy to know that there are ways we can learn to better deal with them and to settle any nervous and anxious energy we may have along the way.
Whilst there are a lot of lifestyle factors you can incorporate into your life to help you deal with such feelings, from mindfulness activities, yoga, meditation and finding the right modality to help you as an individual, there are also ways of addressing your stress and anxiety when it comes to diet.
Whilst more research is needed regarding the benefits of adaptogens, some evidence (Panossian et al. 2010) points to the fact that adaptogens exhibit neuroprotective, anti-depressive, and anti-fatiguing activity, alongside being able to increase mental work capacity whilst in stressful and tiresome situations.
Adaptogens include certain herbs and mushrooms such as:
- Holy Basil
New Year's Resolution Number 2: Improve physical strength within the gym
Have you set yourself the challenge to build more muscle? If so, you will want to be doing plenty of strength sessions in the gym using weights. However, focusing on your nutrition is just as important. For one thing, if you don’t consume enough calories per day in line with your training then you may lose muscle mass, bone density, have longer recovery times and increase the risk of injury and fatigue.
You require a nutrition plan that is going to support your strength training, not hinder it. Whilst it is best to work alongside a Nutritionist to support you on your strength goals and tailor a nutrition plan to ensure that you are reaching your daily quota of macronutrients, micronutrients, and trace minerals, one of the simplest areas to look at first with your strength training is to ensure that you are getting adequate amounts of protein into your diet.
Protein is the building block of muscle. When you exercise, you are essentially breaking your muscles down, so it’s important to refuel and help them repair following any workout. The best time to have your protein (particularly when strength training) is within 45 minutes after working out.
A great versatile protein powder (that is suitable for vegans too!) is Honest Hemp’s organic hemp protein powder. Some ideas on how you can use this in some quick recipes following your workout are listed below:
Protein Shake Recipe:
- 1 cup ice
- ¼ cup Honest Hemp protein powder
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 banana
- 250ml coconut milk (or other nut milk)
- Blend together
Hemp Protein Pancakes Recipe:
- 1 cup gf oats
- 2 eggs
- 1 banana
- 2 tbsp Honest Hemp protein powder
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp almond milk
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- Maple syrup to serve
- Add the oats to the blender and blend until they’re the texture of flour.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the blender, except the maple syrup and coconut oil, and blend.
- Melt and heat up the coconut oil in a frying pan. Once hot, add a ladle of the pancake mixture to the pan and fry for approximately 3 minutes on a medium to high heat. Flip and cook for another 3 minutes until its cooked through and the sides are golden.
- Remove from the frying pan and onto a plate. Repeat step 3 to make the remaining two pancakes.
- Drizzle over some maple syrup and your favourite fruit toppings – enjoy!
New Year's Resolution Number 3: Have a happier mindset and achieve better sleep
Do you suffer with instability in your mood, hormones, and sleep cycle? Wouldn’t it be great if this year you felt more consistently happy, energised and in a state of equilibrium?
One of the simplest lifestyle factors is to ensure that you get enough sleep each night, whilst everyone’s requirements are slightly different, most adults should be aiming for 7-9 hours sleep a night, yet according to the Office for National Statistics, as many as 16 million adults in the UK are suffering from sleepless nights with a third of them stating that they suffer from insomnia.
The Sleep Foundation also state that 40% of those people who suffer with insomnia are also believed to be affected by a mental health disorder. They also show how approximately 75% of adults with depression suffer with insomnia (Sleep Foundation 2021).
When you sleep, your body repairs itself and helps to regulate your hormones. One supplement we have here at Wellness Factory is Core Nutrition Sleep Aid which contains a wealth of vitamins and minerals to enable better sleep.
What’s great about this supplement is that is also contains 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) (please note this is not suitable for those taking antidepressants), which is a precursor to serotonin. Serotonin is often referred to as your “happy hormone” it helps regulate your mood, happiness, and anxiety. Low levels of serotonin have been linked with depression therefore having increased levels of serotonin could help you feel happier.
Panossian, A. Wikman, G. (2010). ‘Effects of Adaptogens on the Central Nervous System and the Molecular Mechanisms Associated with Their Stress – Protective Activity’, Pharmaceuticals, NCBI [Online]. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3991026/ (Accessed 25 October 2021).