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small steps to making a positive difference in 2018

January 1 2018 by Sophie

Whether or not you have a resolution this January, you can use small changes to make a positive difference. Take a look at some of our small step suggestions and pick your favorites to get 2018 off to the best start.

jess notes

Your health is a reflection of what you do on a consistent basis, not a one-off action, so identifying some small changes which you can make and do every day can transform all areas of your life. Before you know it, you’ll have established a healthier routine!

Jess, graze nutritionist
i canuary

small step: reward yourself

Rather than focusing on where you're falling short and cutting loads of foods and bad habits out of your life, focusing on what you’re already doing successfully will make your journey so much more enjoyable.

Appreciating and celebrating the salad you made at lunch or the breakfast you ate this morning are small wins which add up to form large gains. You can celebrate with a well deserved home spa or a trip to the movies or whatever else it is you like to do for fun.

Small victories result in big changes, which is what we want!

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small step: create healthy habits

Automating a repertoire of good habits means that even when life gets busy, these habits are an automatic part of your life. Having your food shop delivered at a certain time or going to your favorite spinning or yoga class every week are classic examples.

These positive habits may seem simple or obvious, but practising them regularly and consistently is what makes them magic. Each one is easy to do - try introducing them one by one into your daily routine and see if a healthy lifestyle doesn't blossom before your eyes.

i canuary veggie protein power

small step: be more organized

Planning ahead can make habit forming even easier. Keeping a tracker of your exercise plan helps you stay on top of your schedule.

Packing your gym kit the night before removes the possibility of not being able to find your trainers or a clean pair of socks! Cooking in a tidy, organized kitchen makes cooking so much more enjoyable, maybe that involves buying yourself a new set of pans or having a clear out of your pantry.

Tip: Be ready for anything with our protein balls!

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small step: eat healthier breakfasts

Breakfast is so important! When your blood sugar levels are on an even keel, your energy levels are maintained until your next meal and your hormones are in check, without a blood sugar roller-coasting situation and subsequent over-eating or poor food choices being made.

Protein, healthy fats and fiber are crucial in a healthy breakfast, and it's easier than you think to pack them all in.

10 recipes to add more protein to your breakfast
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small step: get more sleep

There are three crucial things the body does while you’re in a slumber - your brain recharges, your cells repair themselves, and your body releases important hormones. A good sleep really is a fundamental part of feeling refreshed and energized throughout the day and if you don’t get enough sleep, and quality sleep, it can leave you feeling groggy and under-performing.

If you find yourself unable to make the most out of your days or distracted from your goals by tiredness then now could be the time to commit to getting more sleep! Try some of our nutritionist's late night snacks...

reboot your sleep pattern
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small step: be more active

The first step to keeping consistent with your exercise routine is to fix some non-neogtiable gym time or exercise time into your diary.

If you can be flexible because your workout preference doesn’t rely on anyone else but you, look at your diary and fix some consistent times so that your default auto-pilot routine includes moving your body.

If you like to exercise with other people and not just by yourself then there are so many group classes or team sports you can play around with. You'll get to meet new people, train harder than you might do by yourself and laugh lots whilst you’re breaking a sweat!

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jess kitchen

small step: prep some meals

It’s easy to have delicious, healthy meals all week long by cooking a few recipes in large batches and freezing them in portion-sized bags.

One reason Jess always prefers cooking at home and meal prepping for the week is the control she has over her food.

By cooking in large batches for the week you can easily control the quality and amount of oil, salt and fresh produce you use. Plus as an added bonus you will save money too!

Jess, graze nutritionist

meal prepping tips
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small step: reduce sugar

Taste buds renew every 10-14 days! This means we can train our taste buds to enjoy food with less sweetness in a relatively short space of time.

By making a switch from highly refined sugars to naturally sweet or savory ingredients, you can actually lower the threshold level of sweet food you prefer.

So an example of this in practical terms, say you’re used to having a fruit smoothie in the morning made up entirely of fruit, week by week if you start introducing some of the fruit with green leafy vegetables which are naturally bitter you will start to get used to the reduced sweetness. Once you have become used to having veggie smoothies with only a touch of fruit, you will find 100% fruit based smoothies overly sweet for your taste buds.

how to cut out sugar
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small step: fight your stress

Taking time in your day where you deliberately hit the pause button on everyone and everything else, is one of the best health investments you can make. It makes you stronger, kinder to yourself and others, more understanding and a far more balanced version of yourself.

Arm yourself against the long term effects of stress with these relaxation and self-care strategies from our nutritionist Jess.

stress busting 101
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small step: swap your snacks

We’re big believers in the power of the swap. Swapping your usual snacks like chips and candy bars for more nutritious alternatives is a great way of improving your diet.

The most satisfying and efficient snacks have a balance of protein, great fats and fiber. These three combined will carry you through to your next meal nicely, so aim for nuts, seeds, chickpeas, dips & fresh veggies.

Another way to snack a little lighter without missing out on flavor is by making the most of herbs and spices. Roasting chickpeas with smoked paprika, or adding cinnamon to your popcorn, will lift the flavor without needing any added salt or sugar.

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By Sophie, graze blogger.

Sophie is our London-based blogger, queen of content and all things writing at graze HQ! She loves working with the taste expert team to bring their recipes out into the world.

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