Planning, planning, planning. It's not the sexiest of topics but it is crucial if you want to create a healthy lifestyle. We need to have structure our lives to make sure we eat regularly and we have the best and most efficient access to good food. So I've pulled together some tips in this little article to help you make the most of your time and to improve eating habits.
EAT REGULARLY TO MANAGE WEIGHT
I've written in the past about the benefits of eating regularly. There is research that eating a good breakfast helps towards weight management by reducing the urge to snack and overeat during the day. Ideally your breakfast will be balanced with carbs, good fats and protein. If you're in a hurry, try overnight oats which you put in a sealed container in the fridge with milk and yogurt then all you add is some fruit and seeds in the morning. This is a good 'on the go' option too.
Eggs are a perfect morning food. I timed the preparation of a boiled egg the other day - total 6 minutes with coffee and toast ready to go when the egg was ready. It doesn't take long to eat either. Even quicker is a slice of good quality toast with a protein topping like peanut butter, tahini or cream cheese. The addition of fruit and some seeds makes it a perfect option. Breakfast isn't hard, you may just need to get up a little earlier! If you're not hungry for breakfast it might be because you are eating late at night. Try to bring your eating earlier, say no later than 9pm, to see if you are more in the mood for food in the morning.
if you want to know more about eating a balanced diet you can read my article HERE.
Out and about if you know you wont have access to a healthy choice then make the effort to take lunch with you. Dinner leftovers can sometimes be eaten cold the following day so perhaps make extra with that in mind. Maybe you have access to a microwave at work to reheat? Ready cooked pouches like Merchant Gourmet – Lentils, Grains, Seeds & Chestnuts (merchant-gourmet.com) are a very easy choice for a lunch on the move. Just add some chopped raw vegetables, some feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, a little olive oil and seasoning and off you go!
Never allow yourself to get over hungry. Have in your bag or desk drawer some nuts, seeds and dried or fresh fruit to help stave off hunger pangs. Eat what you need to banish the hunger and then stop. If you get over hungry you'll be far more likely to grab whatever is avaialble, which is more than likely going to be a sandwich and crisps (not terrible per se, but there are better choices as you know). You also run the risk of being so hungry when you get home that you overeat before supper or pick all through dinner preparation so that you end up not really wanting your meal, or overeating.
PLAN YOUR MEALS & SHOPPING
Think about planning at least some of your meals each week. This will help you avoid that uncertainty at meal time which leads to takeaways and quick, less nutritious options. Get the recipe books out for some inspiration and include some different foods every week to expand your nutrition. Once you've planned, create a dedicated list for shopping.
Try to schedule a regular time each week to go food shopping. By making it a routine of using a list every week, you will save yourself time and guess work, and reduce the temptation to buy foods which are less healthy which will take you away from your mindful eating habits. A supermarket home delivery is a good way to avoid temptation. And lastly, never shop when you're hungry!
KEEP A WELL-STOCKED PANTRY
Always have a well-stocked store-cupboard or pantry. You can read more about this in my blog article HERE.
BATCH-COOK TO SAVE TIME LATER
The is one of the easiest things to do for meal planning. If you're cooking something which will freeze then make double and store for another day when you have no time to cook. If you're chopping vegetables and you will be using the same the following day in another meal then chop two lots, and store in a box or air-tight bag in the fridge. Grind some seeds and keep in an airtight jar in the fridge - all ready to add to soups, smoothies, casseroles, on salads and cereal.
The big message is not to compromise on eating. It is vital for your health and energy so plan it just the same way you plan your work or your family activities.
Hope that helps with your mindful eating. As ever, just get in touch if you want any help with making it all work for you. Lori xx