In our modern super highway lives, we can feel as though we are in constant motion, striving to produce our best in every area of our lives which can be quite a juggling act (sounding familiar yet?) so it is imperative that we eat well.
I know that most of us are juggling more than just one ball, in fact on the whole we are Olympic standard jugglers, with our work, child care, parent care, animal care and “you name it, I’ll do it” care balls, all constantly in the air as we deftly catch and relaunch them to keep life running smoothly. There is one ball though that most of us leave, lying dusty on the floor as we feel it comes last. It is our self-care ball. The one that is all about us.
However, to be truly successful in any and every area of our lives, we must put ourselves first and the one of the easiest way to do this is by making food and drink choices that best support our mental and physical selves.
My son is working hard on his exams at the moment and he often tells me he hasn’t had time for lunch. A friend who has reached a wonderfully old age tells me he has been working hard in the garden and that he too hasn’t eaten during the day. I am very upset when I hear both of my loved ones tell me this, especially as they sometimes say it it with, “I am working so hard, I don’t have time” pride. I get upset because I know that good nutrition is vital to their wellbeing, success and happiness in every area of their lives, and guess what, the same applies to you.
When we prepare for an important client meeting we make sure everything is 100%, our PowerPoint slides are perfect, the meeting venue is easy for everyone to reach, the timing works for everyone, someone is on hand with refreshments.
When you are planning do you ever think, I must make sure I eat properly before I go in? I must make sure I am properly hydrated? I know if I am not my concentration might be affected and my ability to give my best.
If you are properly fuelled you are giving yourself the best chance of being energized, full of vitality, and ready to face the day’s work and challenges. If you are not, you can feel exhausted and irritable, relying on jolts of caffeine and processed sugars to get you through the day? Which scenario best applies to you?
When we are busy, eating can become a fight between what you crave and what you know is going to nourish you as sadly they are rarely the same foods, then making good choices can feel frustrating and an added stress. The best way to avoid food stress is to plan your food in advance.
My food choices are rarely made on the day, they are made the night before or earlier – in the same way my work and home life is planned. It is unusual for my planned day to change so dramatically that I have to all abandon my choices, but it does happen and even that I am prepared for, so here are YOUtrition’s top 7 practical tips to eat your way to success.
YOUtrition’s Top 7 Practical Tips to Eat your Way To Success.
Spend one hour at the weekend planning for your week’s meals, making a shopping list and stick to it! Make wholefoods priority, not food products. If the label has ingredients you don’t understand, they belong in a laboratory, not your body. If you feel you might be tempted with other “treats” shop online.
Spend another hour prepping simple, easy meals for the fridge/freezer. Follow the mantra, cook once, eat twice. Any time you spend now will be gained back when you need it most. When you are tired and hungry at the end of a busy day and something nutritious is ready to be popped into the microwave or oven.
In the same way you plan your next day, plan your food. Are you at home or in the office? How much time do you expect to be travelling? Are you staying overnight? Call ahead, ask if there is a fridge/microwave you can use. Know your day and make your food plans.
Try to include protein and healthy fats at every meal. They keep fat burning, keep you feeling fuller longer than carbs and limit the mid-morning & mid-afternoon sugar slump.
Eat breakfast every day. Those who eat a healthy breakfast lose 30% more weight than those who don’t, and make better food choices throughout the day.
Never leave home without water and a wholefoods snack, a small banana, a boiled egg, handful of mixed nuts etc. – don’t be caught short and hungry or thirsty. Make sandwich bags for snack a must on your shopping list.
Stay hydrated. Limit caffeine. The shot of caffeine we use in the morning to get us going can also cause anxiety in an already stressed day. The same with energy drinks. Two cups of coffee is fine, then switch to decaff or herbal teas.
Remember that in every situation there is a healthier choice, even in a motorway service station, you just have to choose it!
Finally, dear ladies, in the words of Virginal Woolf,
“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well”