Nature's 'fast food' diet

I realised many years ago that the whole New Year's resolutionritual is definitely not for me. When I hear those words, I feel the pressure and anxiety building up inside me, and my rebellious streak reveals itself:No-onewill tell me what I should or shouldn't do (umm...not even if that someone is myself!) and I certainly don't need to be pressurised into something!

I also have never liked the word "diet" - whenever it's mentioned, I feel a sense of starvation and deprivation coming on, and a need to eat everything in sight. I much prefer the words "healthy eating plan"...much more friendly and soothing.

So, that leaves me in a bit of a conundrum! Like most people I know, I enjoyed the festive season immensely, which means that I have overindulged just a teeny bit. And, like my friends with their healthy New Year's resolutions, I could do with some healthier eating habitsand, I could definitely do with more exercise. So, how do I handle this, without my attack-or-run instincts kicking in?

Enter Mother Nature. With her around, I can relax and do what comes, well, naturally. You see, good old Mother Nature ensures that it is so hot during the first two months of the year, that I literally cannot stomach any heavy meals. Plus, spending hours cooking in a hot kitchen is the last thing on my mind! Instead of fatty and greasy foods I, amazingly, crave lighter foods which just happen to be healthy too.

In summer we are spoilt for choice: who can say "no" to the sweet delights of pineapple, watermelon, sweet melon, peaches, strawberries, grapes and mangos? Not to mention the crunchy veggies- suddenly those sweet carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, green peppers and fresh lettuce have becoming very appealing to me. Nature's "fast foods" on the go! Combine that with lots of water (when it's really hot, water is the only thing that can quench my thirst) and suddenly my tummy is so full, there's no space for anything else. And, voila! Without knowing it, I am following a healthier eating plan which also acts as a natural detox - no pressure, no rules, it just happens!

Boosting your immune system

What's more, I'm automatically stocking up on lots of vitamins and mineralsand thus boosting my immune system for the winter months to come - getting my 5-a-dayhas never been easier. I keep marvelling at how brilliantly Nature works - everything happens at the right time, you must just go with the flow.

Yep, this fruit and veg craving won't last forever, in winter I'll be yearning for my comfort foods again but for now I'm feeling light and full of energy, and the best of all is that I'm not on a diet and I don't have to feel depressed about New Year's resolutions that I've broken. Why not try it for yourself?

If you are carrying some extra baggage from last year, you may be tempted by the over-the-counter (OTC) slimming pills, drops and shakes that are advertised everywhere with girls in tiny bikinis to "help" people with their New Year's resolutions (or to put them on nasty little guilt trips - advertisers can be so evil!). Though some of these products could help you somewhat along the way, just remember that there's no instant cure and that the ingredients of many of these "magic potions" could do more harm than good - have a look at DietDoc's latest topic.Rather go back to the the basic principlesof healthy eating and get moving, and you'll soon see the results.

 - (Birgit Ottermann, Health24, Nutrition Newsletter, January 2011)

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