Personal image and self-mastery has everything to do with pampering yourself, looking good, feeling good, and of course, nourishing your body.
As a busy mom, I know what it’s like to juggle work, the babies and everything in between.
Don’t deplete yourself…or worse, don’t fuel your body with junk!
If you expect to be optimal for all areas of life, you’re going to want to read these helpful tips from my good friend, Denise Chiriboga, of FitTritious.com!
While some are sad to see that the summer is over, others love the ‘restart’ that the change in season seems to bring. It’s almost like the half-year reset button is pressed as soon as the hot weather winds down, the kids go back to school, summer office hours are over, the summer vacations are over, and office hours are now spent in the office instead of on the golf course, or the backyard pool (for those lucky enough to have that luxury!) It’s back to the regular scheduled program for most people.
This is also a time when many people get serious about trying to lose some weight, start to hit up the gym again, and try to make better eating choices and habits.
For many others it’s also a time when life starts to get crazy again; dropping off and picking the kids up from school, late night meetings at the office, sports or music practice for the kids. And the goals you want to make to get back into shape, or eat better just seem to have a time or place to fit into the craziness of it all.
But just because you might not be able to make it home in time to cook doesn’t mean your nutrition has to suffer. Here are some tips to keeping your meals and snacks healthy throughout the year; even on those nights or mornings you just don’t have time.
If you know Wednesday nights are the nights your kids have soccer practice, and that means no time to cook, plan for it. And I’m not talking about ordering pizza. I’m talking about having a nutritious meal ready and planned before you walk in the door when you get home. Maybe it’s something cooking in the crockpot like a chili or a soup, or even a whole chicken. (Seriously it’s so easy and so tender when a whole bird is cooked in the crockpot) Or maybe it’s repurposing that leftover meat from the night before and making chicken wraps, which can be eaten on the go.
Shop on the weekend, and once you get home, package it in such a way that you are more likely to use it during the week. When healthy foods are easy to grab and go, you are more likely to eat them. So when you get home from grocery shopping, why not pre-portion snack bags with carrot and celery sticks, add a tablespoon or two of some nut butter or hummus. Or maybe some homemade trail mix with mixed nuts and dried fruit. Boiled eggs are a great on-the-go breakfast or after work or pre-gym snack. This way it all gets done at one time instead of taking time to portion it all out every night, which you are less likely to do. If you’re really hard up for time – you can buy pre-chopped veggies, mini carrots, and already boiled eggs at the grocery store, if you don’t mind paying the premium that is!
If you have a fridge in your workplace, keep some plain yogurt and berries for a snack or meal. No fridge? No problem, buy 10 pieces of fruit for the week, some quick cooking oats, and you’ve got fresh fruit for snacks and a 2-minute breakfast. You just need to add boiling water and chopped fruit! Keep other snacks like nuts and seeds, whole grain crackers in your desk for when you need them. Oh and get some really good quality dark chocolate, I’m talking the 75-85% stuff. Not the sugary milk chocolate stuff.
Make sure to drink at least 8 cups of water a day, and sip it throughout the day. (Juice, coffee, pop and energy drinks don’t count towards your water intake! They’re loaded with sugar and other additives you should stay away from, and coffee doesn’t hydrate your body.) Don’t wait to drink water until you feel thirsty, by that time it’s too late and you’ve already started to become dehydrated. Lastly, many people who don’t drink enough water confuse their sense of thirst for hunger, leading them to overeat, and pack on unnecessary weight.
I’m being literal. Make sure you always have a piece of fresh fruit and some nuts and seeds with you when you leave the house. Because ‘hangry’ (hungry + angry) is not a good look on a woman! Fruit is great on it’s own, but even better if you pair it with some healthy fats like nuts and seeds which help slow down digestion and keep your blood sugar stable longer, which means you will feel satiated for longer and won’t be bothered by food cravings shortly after.
Try to bring your own lunch from home 90% of the time. (And don’t say “I forgot my lunch at home” if you never packed it in the first place!) On the days that you legitimately need to go to the food court for lunch, make the healthiest choice you can. The best places are the salad bar restaurants, or the salad and antipasto bar at the grocery store. Stay away from soups as they tend to be very high in fat and sodium.
Instead of joining in on the Friday junk food extravaganza, make sure to have a bar of really good quality dark chocolate in your desk, and eat a square or two. I’m talking the bars of 70%-85% cacao, not the milk chocolate sugary stuff. If you’re not used to dark chocolate yet, give yourself some time, and it will grow on you. The best thing about dark chocolate is you can’t really, and won’t really want to eat a whole bar, all you need is a couple of pieces. Unlike milk chocolate that goes down so easily, but leaves you feeling like you need to chug a litre of water just to get the sickly sweet taste out of your mouth.
You don’t have to be perfect. Just make meal planning, and eating healthy food a priority. If it’s a priority you will make time for it. And don’t beat yourself up over having splurged too much one day. Keep on keeping on, be mindful of what you eat, and if you are going to indulge, do so openly and without guilt.
Denise used to work on Bay Street in the finance industry, but concerned herself more with online recipes and fitness than with stocks! She is now a FitTritionist specializing in everything fitness and nutrition for pre and postnatal moms and loves coaching moms in her business FitTritious.com. You can usually find Denise in the kitchen cooking or baking up healthy food with her daughter and son.
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