Often when we are working long, hard hours and dealing with gruelling commutes and hectic lifestyles it is easy to neglect our health and wellness and reach for quick and convenient foods throughout the day, when in fact it is at these times in life when we should put extra attention and focus on making good choices, to keep us fit and healthy and on top of our game. If we want to be performing at our best both mentally and physically we need to feed our bodies with the correct nutrition by prioritising eating well and finding ways that make it work within a tiring and busy schedule. Here are some simple tips you can follow that will help you focus and feel the benefits:
It goes without saying really that home-cooked foods are often the best option when trying to eat well. You can control the portion size and the ingredients so choose some good classic dinners and lunches that are rich in nutrients and that you enjoy cooking! Use your kitchen time as your down time for the day, put your favourite album or podcast on and enjoy being creative on your feet, and importantly turn off your office mindset.
Start your day right
Make sure you start your day as you mean to go on with a healthy and balanced breakfast. If you find it difficult to eat first thing in the morning or if you have to get up and out the house very early, try a breakfast smoothie that you can take with you on the go, you can add oats and fruit, nut butters and protein powder for a well-balanced start to the day.
The easy choice
Don’t get bogged down with ‘faddy’ foods and fancy recipes that people are telling you you should be eating, instead rely on simple easy to prepare recipes or one pot wonders that will take all the stress out of the process. Soups are great, they can be cooked in batch at the weekend and eaten throughout the week as lunch by reheating.
Always be prepared
Plan your weekly meals ahead and make sure your shop sensibly and ahead of time so you have all the ingredients you need ready and stocked so you have no excuses to reach for the phone and call for a take away. Become the master of the weekly shopping lists, and if you find it difficult to manage, set yours up with a food delivery service that repeats weekly and where you can make alterations from your desk, or alternatively try a food delivery services that provides balanced meals to your door.
Pressed for time
If it’s not your forte in the kitchen, make things easier for yourself and pre-chop your vegetables so when you get in from work the dinner is cooking before you know it! Fruit can also be chopped and prepped and bagged up ahead of time to be used in shakes throughout the week and this can save you a lot of time especially in the morning. Obviously most supermarkets will sell you chopped fruit and vegetables, but will often come with a lot of excess packaging, so be wary of your choices.
Take a break
We can all argue we don't have time to eat, but MAKE the time! Try and separate yourself from emails and meetings for 10-20 minutes a day to sit away from the computer and phone and tuck into something nutritious. A good meal will always be better fuel than snacking through the day. Be mindful also that by giving yourself that time each day your concentration will improve and you will be able to have a more productive afternoon.
Know your limits
Try cutting down on your alcohol and caffeine intake, it can easily become a negative cycle of drinking to sleep, then drinking to wake up and get active. Stop this cycle and sleep better, become more rested and less sluggish and lower your cravings for bad choices. Likewise, try and not overeat and keep a check on your portion sizes, overeating can also lead you to feeling sluggish, bloated and uncomfortable.
Keep on top of your nutrient intake by trying to eat a good balance of protein, carbohydrate and fats, which will help maximise your energy and maintain your body functions well. Vitamins and minerals are equally important and getting deficient can leave you experiencing fatigue, mental confusion or forgetfulness and dizziness.
Be schedule savvy
Know your meetings and events during the day, so you are aware if you are going to have to take an early lunch, or snack more in between meetings. And be sensible with your snacks, have some healthy options to hand at work and keep your fruit bowl stocked.
Make friends with tupperware
Tupperware will be your best friend and it will be key to sticking to your meal prep goals!