Get your year off to a healthier start and banish the dreaded winter blues

Nutritionist Jane Rose-Land. Picture: Ian Burt

Nutritionist Jane Rose-Land. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

It is the time of year many people dread.

However, with a few simple diet and lifestyle changes, one Norfolk nutritionist believes you can turn the so-called winter blues into a healthier, more energetic start to the year.

Shouldham-based diet expert Jane Rose-Land, (pictured), said the lack of sunlight, rushing around buying presents and eating unhealthily all contributed to a post-Christmas gloom. But in a pair of workshops at St Martin at Shouldham Primary in January, she hopes to give people a recipe for how they can change their lifestyle, fight off winter viruses and feel happier as a result.

'There are a lot of things over winter that give us a low mood,' Mrs Rose-Land said.

'At Christmas, a lot of people comfort eat and try to pack too much into their days. They try and do too many things, don't eat at the right time and eat snacks and lots of things that are very low in nutrients.

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'People finish up feeling quite dire. What I encourage people to do is change the way they look at eating. We've become a society in the Western world where everything in relation to food is industrialised. We believe that we've got to buy something in a packet because we don't have time to do it any other way.'

Mrs Rose-Land believes there is 'almost a guilt attached to spending time on food, because we think we should be doing other things'.

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However, she said: 'There are lots of things that really can be easily achieved. A lot of it is just about changing your habits by organising your days.'

Mrs Rose-Land advises that people have three good meals each day, including a decent breakfast.

She also said people should eat regularly and make sure they got five portions of fruit and vegetables per day.

'Making sure you have a good breakfast with a strong protein component means that you won't want the sugary foods that people have as a short-term fix,' she said.

Mrs Rose-Land, who also sees people one-to-one about how they can make changes to their diets, advised that people should not eat their evening meal too late – and make sure 40pc of their plate was made up of vegetables.

The difficulty, of course, is that while many people make a New Year's resolution to eat more healthily, a busy life gets in the way.

She said: 'All these things take time. It has to be recognised that this is a lifestyle change and that you need to adapt. Obviously, there are going to be days when something throws it.'

She advised people to adopt the 80-20 principle – 80pc of the time you keep to the regime as best as you can, while you bear it in mind for the remaining 20pc of the time when life gets in the way.

Mrs Rose-Land's talks will take place between 7pm and 9pm on Wednesday, January 15, and Monday, January 20. Contact her on 01366 347452, emailing or by visiting

What New Year's resolutions have you got planned? Write, giving your full contact details, to: The Letters Editor, EDP, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

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