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Enjoying a healthy, free-from New Year

HNY ScrabbleAfter an indulgent Christmas many of us aim for a healthier lifestyle at the beginning of the New Year. For those with food allergies and intolerances, making sure we’re getting important nutrients and looking after ourselves is especially important. Avoid the fads this year and focus on eating a healthy diet over the long term that takes into account your specific dietary needs.

Focus on what you can eat

Some food allergies and intolerances can mean individuals have to avoid typically healthy foods, such as certain fruit, vegetables or whole grains. While this can make it more difficult to still eat healthily initially, there’s usually plenty of things you can choose instead that are equally nutritious. Focus on those healthy foods you can include in your diet and experiment with different ways of using them so your meals are varied and interesting. Adding herbs and spices can also transform meals.

Make most of your meals from scratch

This one tends to be a habit which many with allergies and intolerances fall into naturally! Preparing as much of your food as possible not only ensures you know exactly what you’re eating, but also because it helps you avoid any added ingredients or excess amounts of sugar, salt and fat which you wouldn’t need to include at home. Aim to include a variety of colourful fruit and vegetables; lean meat, fish and eggs; dairy or calcium-fortified alternatives; whole grains and pulses such as lentils; plus some healthy fats.

Also, don’t forget to check the label for things such as sugar and salt, in addition to the allergen information you’re likely experienced with!   Fitness

Get healthy in different ways

If making healthy changes to your diet is a struggle at the moment – for instance if you’ve only been diagnosed with a food intolerance recently and are still adapting – focus on the other healthy changes you can make to take the focus off food. Why not take up a new activity or hobby which can help you get fitter along the way, or aim to stop smoking or reduce your alcohol consumption? Starting things with a friend can be an extra incentive and gives you more support to help along the way, or you can get the kids involved as a way to get healthy as a family.

Take your overall well-being into account

Your mental well-being and how you feel are just as important as your physical health, so make sure you’re looking after yourself this year. If you’re feeling stressed don’t feel guilty about taking some time to yourself to do something you enjoy, or consider allocating responsibilities to others where possible. Dealing with a food allergy or intolerance can be difficult so have a chat with someone if you’re struggling to manage or could do with some extra support. Seek professional advice from your GP or dietitian or talk things through with a friend.

If you need any advice on managing food allergies, intolerances or coeliac disease, Food Freedom are here to help so don’t hesitate to get in touch at info@food-freedom.co.uk and have a great new year.

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