It’s time to kick off your health hack challenge and see what small changes you can make to get you on your way to a happier, healthier you.
We’ve got some suggestions for Week 1 below on how you can eat quick and simple meals as well as easy tips for getting in your 30 minutes of exercise a day. You can head over to SpunOut.ie/healthhack to get a whole host of resources and tips.
Here are some ideas to get you going when it comes to breakfast, lunch, and dinner this week.
Try some of these recipes for a quick and healthy breakfast.
Wild berries taste great in these and it’s a super handy way to get some of you 5 a day. Try some banana and strawberries with low fat yogurt or milk and add some honey if you need a sweet touch. If you want to change it up from a fruit smoothie, try some greens like cucumber, spinach, kale and some coconut milk for an extra punch of goodness. You can find loads of smoothie recipes here.
If you fancy a warmer brekkie, porridge is ideal as it’s high in fibre and protein. It also works well with a few added berries or, bananas too! And you can use water or milk to heat it up.
Scrambled eggs and toast
This can be a simple way to get your day started off well. A simple dish to cook and if you’re feeling adventurous, add some peppers/onions/chopped kale/tomato to tick some veg off your list. Stick to brown or wholegrain toast for the healthiest option. There’s loads of things you can do with eggs, and here are some ideas.
Change things up with these ideas:
Do you normally stick with your ham and cheese or chicken fillet roll? Start integrating better versions into your lunch, like swapping white bread for wholemeal. Try a wrap for a light alternative. Go for lean meat/poultry/fish with plenty of salad as fillings but keep the dressings to a minimum. Chicken, turkey and tuna are good bases to mix and match with fillings like lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, onions, peppers etc. If you don’t find the sandwich that filling, have some soup with it or a piece of fruit and yogurt to keep you fuller for longer.
Peanut butter and banana
Peanut butter and banana is a great lunch for getting your protein requirements in –good in a sandwich or bagel.
Tomato soup is a good and tasty lunch option. It’s a great source of Vit A and C, one draw back is the high salt content but if you are taking it easy with other salty foods, it should be grand.
Here are some tasty but healthy dinner ideas for the week:
This is a good dish to make at the beginning of the week so you can get 2/3 dinners out of it. Serve with some side salad to bulk it out and get even more green goodness into your life. For a veggie option, leave out the mince and add aubergines and more veg instead. You can lasagne kits in any good supermarket with easy-to-follow instructions.
Whether you are a chicken/pork/beef lover, a stir fry is a handy dinner, which can help a struggling meat eater change things up. Simply cook the meat for a few minutes in oil and add sauce/veggies as you go.
Broccoli spinach fettucine
Broccoli spinach fettucine is a good option if you’re not a meat-eater. Just boil the fettucine as per pack instructions, cook the spinach and broccoli in a pan with some olive oil for about 5 mins and add some sour cream and voila.
If you feel hungry during the day, here are some healthy snacks to try:
Sweet potato fries
Sweet potato fries are packed with nutrients; all you have to do is cut half a sweet potato into strips, place on a baking sheet lightly coated with olive oil and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake at 160 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
Wholegrain crackers with hummus are a healthy snack option and relatively cheap. Carrots with hummus are also a delish option.
Yogurts are a handy thing to keep in the fridge to fight those cravings between meals.
Looking for some new exercise ideas?
Get dancing – this is a great way to exercise whether you are on your own, with a friend or joining a class. There are lots of options, like samba, hip-hop, ballet or tap! You could try a little of each to see what tickles your fancy. Try the Spotify playlist below to get you moving.
Swimming – this is a great exercise for working your entire body. Most pools have different sections so you can ease your way up to lanes etc. if you want to.
Pilates – this exercise is good for the body and the mind. There are lots of tutorials online for the right positions and postures to get you working, stretching and flexing!
Do you need some inspiration to get moving and making?
Sign up to a race!
Making a commitment and having something to work towards can get you motivated. Check out the list below to see what’s coming up.
Join a club
It could be running, football or GAA, but joining a club can help get you going with exercise as you’ll feel part of something and even if you don’t want to join a team, something like a running club is good just so you have people to exercise with. Lots of clubs have very little in membership fees so it’s pretty affordable.