Seven women in health and wellbeing, seven very different approaches to January from a 10-day detox, to drinking wine and eating chocolate, to energy-saving swaps and, er, babysitting a wolf cub. Find your New Year inspiration here
"The start of the year can be a great time to reflect and let go of things that haven’t served you well (that includes people too!). It was in January 2013, when I handed in my notice to leave my 13-year career in fashion PR and go into nutrition. A Christmas and New Year spent in a beach hut in Tulum (Mexico) gave me the perspective to start the year in a different way and ‘follow my dream’.
"I like to make a list of things that I would like to achieve over the year but try not to put time frames or too many expectations on them. Having some goals written down can at least help you to visualise them without putting on too much pressure.
“I also see January as a month of conservation, hibernation and nourishment after the run-up to Christmas and the festive period itself, which can be very draining. This means lots of sleep, comforting food, reading inspiring books, slowing the pace and saying no to things that might leave me depleted.
“I don’t subscribe to 'giving up' any food or drink, including wine and chocolate - January is the month where we probably need those little boosts (in moderation) the most.
“Doing ‘Veganuary’ (going vegan for January) can be a positive thing if you struggle to eat veggies or don’t find them particularly inspiring. It pushes you to celebrate plant foods and create delicious dishes from them. Variety in the diet, especially from plant foods, is a key part of gut health and any excuse to feed our wondrous microbiome (aka the trillions of microorganisms in the gut) more of the foods that gut bacteria like to dine on is a good thing.
“I’m certain that our fascination with gut health will just continue to increase in 2018 as we understand just how crucial it is. We could be seeing more people seeking out functional testing such as stool and microbiome analysis (see your nutritional therapist). I’m excited to have developed a gut health box with Plenish, £59 which gives people some key info, recipes and products.
"I’m also seeing a massive trend towards Eastern food philosophies such as Ayurveda rather than hard and fast restrictive diets. People are taking the negative health effects of stress much more seriously and that fundamentally starts with the food that you are eating but even more so the way in which you are eating and that means ‘rest and digest’."
Be Good to Your Gut by Eve Kalinik is out now.
PT and fitness phenomenon Kayla Itsines is spending more time with family and animals.
"I have just released the second version of my Stronger programme so that, and my community, will be a big focus for me in 2018.
"I want to spend more time with my family. I’m going to go to my grandparents every day and spend more time with my mum. My parents are fixing a kitchen outside in the shed so I’m going to help my dad do that. I have already planned that out, because I’m away so much.
"I’ve already booked out time in January because I want to babysit a [baby] wolf. A friend of mine has one and she is going away and asked, 'can you help me?'"
Louise Chunn, founder of the find-a-therapist website welldoing.org is doing Dry January.
“Personally, I do like to make a plan for the new year. Looking through old notebooks, I often find evidence of plans past, written in the quiet period after Christmas. Some are more fanciful than others (I never did take up kickboxing …), but there’s usually a major health/fitness element served with a side helping of nutritional re-booting.
“This year, I am going to do Dry January , and forgo alcohol for the full 31 days. I’ve given up booze for month-long periods before but not actually done it in January. However my therapist platform, welldoing.org , is growing fast and I feel the need to be sharp and focused, while also keeping the wellbeing quotient high.
“I haven’t kept up all my resolutions from last year I’ve gone back to (limited amounts of) coffee for example. But Pilates was on last year’s list and I am still doing two sessions a week. It really is a great preventative for a supple back, especially if, like me, you’re sitting in front of a screen for much of the working day.”
Four-time Olympian Alpine Skiier and commentator Chemmy Alcott will be prepping for Olympic coverage and stocking up on Eight Hour Cream
“I don’t love New Years’ resolutions because I think people put change off. Because of my mum passing away very suddenly when I was 23 (she was 59) I have a carpe diem attitude so if I want to make a change I do it straight away.
“January is my busiest time work-wise, I’m covering Ski Sunday for the BBC, following the World Cup tour in various resorts and then there’s prep for BBC Olympics coverage, which starts on 9 February in Korea.
"January is when I stock up on Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant my go-to product for everything from lips to face. I can’t live without it when I’m up in the mountains. With the wind chill my rosacea comes out a lot and this cream really calms it down and hydrates my skin."
Chemmy is an ambassador for the charity Right to Play
Liz Earle, wellbeing entrepreneur and founder of Liz Earle Wellbeing is taking lessons from 'Blue Zones'.
“I’ve recently travelled through Sardinia and Greece for a mini-series for This Morning on Blue Zones (limited regions where the population shares a common lifestyle and environment and whose exceptional longevity has been accurately verified) and the secrets to living long and well.
"I’ll be putting some of what I learnt into practice. This includes weaving ‘pockets of still’ into my day, spending more time with my family and making vegetables and legumes the centre of my diet by enjoying even more seasonal and locally-grown fruit and veg.”
Margo Marrone, founder of the Organic Pharmacy is doing her annual 10-day detox.
"I usually start my January detox on the 3rd January. I always do it for ten days as this is how long I have found out it takes to break bad habits and form new ones.
“I mentally prepare on the 1st and spend the 2nd prepping my cupboard. As its cold, I like a warming and nourishing menu such as soups, porridge and stir fries so I stock up on root vegetables and anything that is seasonal.
“I stock up on bath salts and get my body oil and skin brush ready and my 10 Day Detox Kit £99 which includes supplements, recipes, a shopping list and a booklet.
I start the morning of the 3rd with a glass of warm water and lemon to help clear the gut and alkalise it along with three Detox capsules from the kit - these bind toxins and allow accelerated cleansing of the gut. I then jump in the shower and afterwards I skin brush. I like to put a little body oil on the brush to really keep my skin looking fresh and revitalised. After 30 minutes I then have some porridge with honey and a sprinkle of goji berries.
“For lunch, I have either a warm salad with lots of veggies and either lentils or quinoa and for dinner a lovely fresh soup. I tend to be more gentle when it comes to exercise - either Pilates, yoga or walking are my exercise of choice with a bit more yoga during the detox and more walking.
“I find this really resets me and by day four my energy, mood and creativity are through the roof. It’s such a great time to just think about myself and my body- get aligned again and hear what my body says."
PT Zanna Van Dijk is being greener by cutting down her energy consumption.
"January is an amazing opportunity for people to renew their motivation. One resolution I actioned a couple of years ago and have stuck with ever since is drinking three litres of water a day. I find it easiest to get a one-litre bottle and work my way through it three times, so I can track it as the day passes.
“I am going to be using scheduling to stay on top of my fitness and work/life balance goals. I love a good to-do list. My three main goals for 2018 are: have one day off a week, to establish a work-life balance, train a minimum of three days a week – with my busy schedule it can be hard to stick with a regular workout regime - and to continue to take control of the energy I use in my home. I started making small sustainable swaps to support the planet in 2017. A sustainable lifestyle can be started year-round, and not on a certain date!
“I have recently had a free smart meter installed and have been tracking how much energy I use in almost real time – in pounds and pence. It’s me extra careful in the kitchen – only boiling the water I need in the kettle, washing my dishes in a bowl instead of under running water, and focusing on cooking one-pan meals instead of using multiple cooking devices.
“I’ve stuck to showers instead of baths and reduced my shower time by a minute. Instead of always putting on the heating, I put on an extra layer first, or do an at-home workout to get my blood pumping.
“If I need to put the heating on, I set it to one degree lower than usual – every little counts, and I genuinely can’t feel the difference! I also close the curtains at night to keep the heat in, and I often let my hair dry naturally rather than using a hairdryer.
“In 2018, I’m planning to stick to as many of these sustainable swaps as possible. I do love a bath though, so I might cheat on that one from time to time. Check out my blog “Tracking my Energy Use: What I Learnt” at zannavandijk.co.uk to find out more about my challenge to reduce energy waste with my smart meter.”