With September just around the corner and the prospect of spring on the horizon, thousands will be looking to set new goals and health challenges for the new season.
But many of us are skeptical about taking on something like a ’30-day challenge’, because we’re worried we won’t be able to stick to it, or we’ll fall off the wagon spectacularly once the month is up.
The Beauty Chef founder and wellness expert Carla Oates, from Sydney, said you shouldn’t approach a 30-day challenge in this way, however, but rather should see it as the perfect opportunity to hit reset.
’30 days is all it takes to kick-start your inner beauty journey towards a healthier, happier gut and gorgeous, glowing skin,’ Carla told FEMAIL.
‘In this time frame, you can also align the skin with the gut for optimal all-round health, and you’ll end up feeling lighter and brighter as a result.’
So what should you prioritise in order to feel your best yet by the end of September?
The mother and founder of well-being empire The Beauty Chef, Carla Oates, said creating some sort of a routine is key to success in a 30-day challenge, and the best things to do are often the simplest.
‘Prioritise just 30 minutes of exercise or movement per day, 7-8 hours of good-quality rest at night and a diet that is rich in a variety of nourishing wholefoods,’ Carla told Daily Mail Australia.
Carla loads up her fridge and pantry with plenty of fermented foods, lean protein, antioxidant-rich plants and healthy fats.
‘I also recommend everyone on a detox or challenge takes the GLOW Supplement Powder from The Beauty Chef every day,’ Carla said.
‘It’s a daily all-rounder filled with pre and probiotics that is perfect for your gut, skin and overall well-being.’
Carla supplements her daily diet with bone broth – which she said contains amino acids that support gut health – and herbal tea.
‘I love licorice, fennel and peppermint tea at the moment for supporting digestive health,’ she said.
Carla’s top tips for embarking on a health challenge include setting reminders on your phone so you know when to have a nutritious snack.
‘You should try to keep your blood sugar levels balanced by incorporating clean protein snacks like nuts and protein, which will help to prevent energy slumps,’ she said.
You can also think about adding adaptogens and B group vitamins to your diet to stay on top of your stress levels.
The Beauty Chef’s new Adaptogen supplement is a great addition to your diet here, because it helps to reduce fatigue, refresh tired-looking skin, calm the appearance of a ruddy complexion, recharge your energy and nourish your gut.
Clinical nutritionist Sarah Di Lorenzo shared the perfect day on a plate when you’re on a health kick, explaining that the most important thing to aim for is a primarily plant-based diet that is low in saturated fat and rich in wholefoods.
‘Try and go for organic foods if you can afford them, and make sure you get lots of hydration,’ Sarah told FEMAIL.
If she’s trying to reset her system, the nutritionist said she will typically wake up with a glass of water with lemon and ginger, before having a detox smoothie for breakfast.
Mid-morning, Sarah said she often has a strawberry and blueberry fruit salad, before she has a detox salad for lunch and some fruit and nut butter in the middle of the afternoon.
‘A typical dinner is lean white protein with some steamed vegetables,’ Sarah said.
When it comes to how you can ensure you will succeed in a challenge, the nutritionist also has some advice.
‘Clear the diary of any social events for a month and prepare by doing all of your food shopping for at least the next three days in advance,’ Sarah said.
It can help to write down your goals so you know what you want to achieve, and then re-visit them often to remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing.
‘Take it day by day and don’t get too upset with yourself if you fall off the wagon once or twice,’ Sarah added.
‘And once a week do something really nice for you, like a movie, a gallery visit or enjoy a massage or spa treatment. This time is all about you.’
Finally, registered nutritionist and former world record-holding strength athlete Dr Cliff Harvey shared his advice for resetting your body in 30 days.
‘A reset can help people to substitute some habits that are not serving their health goals with some that do,’ he said.
‘That’s why resets, even when involving some more restrictive practices (such as fasting or keto diets) should also be focused on habits that can translate into longer-term patterns of behaviour that can make health sustainable.’
While Dr Cliff said there is no one diet that works for everyone, he did say the best thing to go for is natural, unrefined foods, protein, plenty of vegetables and fruit.
‘A simple way to look at it is go for 1-2 palm-sized portions of protein like meat, chicken, fish, eggs, tofu or tempeh, 2-3 fist-sized portions of non-starchy vegetables, 1-2 thumb-sized portions of healthy fats like extra Virgin olive oil, coconut oil, MCT oil or flaxseed oil, and carbohydrates (like sweet potato, potato and rice) if required,’ he said.