Top 4 healthy habits that doctors swear by

General Practitioner, acupuncturist and author of award winning blog The Healthy Doctor, Dr Carolyn Ee, shares her top four health habits.  

Veggie stir fry

Veggie stir fry

1. Eat more vegetables

Low fat vs. full fat, refine sugar vs. natural sugars... it seems like every week a fitness guru will be advocating a new restrictive diet to loose weight. 

'Forget the fat & sugar discussion', says Dr Carolyn Ee. 'Try to cut both down and replace them with veggies'. Everyone should aim to include 5 serves a day, every day. 

An easy way to eat more veggies is to think plant-based. 'People think about their meals as carb based', says Dr Ee. 'I'm going to have pasta or sushi, which are essentially carbohydrates, and can have very little veggies'. 

Think of a vegetable based stir fry, salad or soup to incorporate more vegetables to your diet. Legumes also count as vegetables so aim to include beans, peas, lentils, and chickpeas into a healthy diet. 

2. Replace animal protein with plant protein

There is a lot of noise and theories about how much protein we should eat. But Dr Ee argues we don't think enough about the quality of the protein we eat. 

When you are trying to add more protein to your meal, think beyond meat, fish and eggs. Plant based protein found in legumes is full of fibre that is known to help prevent bowel cancer. Nuts are also a good source of plant-based protein. 

I do a lot of reading about maintaining and promoting a healthy diet and lifestyle, and try to practice what I preach. Eating well - mainly plant-based -keeping active and connected are integral to a healthy life.
Stretching pre and post exercise to minimise soreness

Stretching pre and post exercise to minimise soreness

3. Keep active

Exercise! Everyone knows it, but it can't be said often enough. Whatever you can do to keep your body moving is going to benefit your health.  

Try to aim for 30 minutes a day, every day. Remember that going to the gym or practising sports are not the only ways to keep active. Going for a brisk walk, doing chores at home - any activity that gets you moving and increases your heart rate can count towards to activity goal. 

4. Cultivate good mental health

Learning how to cultivate good mental health is just important as maintaining physical health, and the two are most often related.

Keeping your motivation to exercise, curb the emotional eating or over drinking all come down to your mental wellbeing. 

Dr Ee writes regularly about her own attempts to cultivate good mental health, through exercise, mindfulness, and gratitude, and has some great posts on her blog where you can read more about it.