We’re busy people. Each day the hours flash past, often before we’ve even realised what’s going on we find ourselves getting ready for bed. We mumble something about feeling like a hamster in a wheel. A tired hamster. An exhausted hamster – that had a lamb curry take-away dinner at 9pm (with zero vegetables) because we haven’t had time to do a grocery shop or because we just don’t have the energy to make anything.
We’re all busy in our own way – with our own set of demands and priorities. If we allow our lifestyles to dictate our health and wellness then we aren’t taking responsibility for ourselves and living our lives feeling as good as we could be. We owe it to ourselves to plan ahead for those inevitable busy days. To provide ourselves with healthy and easy options that will boost our nutrition, vitality, sense of wellbeing and our quality of sleep. It’s never too late to turn the ship around… and we’ve all been there.
Nobody is saying that it’s practical or appropriate to go for an hour-long meditation when you have a stressful day packed with deadlines and meetings. But a few simple plan ahead habits will go a long way in helping you stay best equipped – to line you up for positive habits in the evenings, a time when so many of us fall off the healthy wagon.
5 Simple Habits for Improved Health & Nutrition:
1- Plan ahead.
Plan for the fact that you know you’ll be time poor and lacking energy or inclination for cooking when you come home late. If possible, get a grocery shop to be delivered to your home (to save you the time from having to go to the shops yourself). If you don’t have this option, then make sure that on weekends you go to the shops and get what you need for the week – plan your week’s meals in advance… make them healthy. Remove any junk food from the house if you’re trying to be healthy or lose weight. It is all too tempting to grab a packet of chips instead of making yourself that nutritious mushroom omelette!
2- Cook ahead.
Cooking in bulk on the weekend allows you a ready supply of food for the week. You could cook protein rich meals that are simple to make, quick to re-heat and work well with fresh vegetables and salads that would come in your weekly shop. Cooking ahead using easy methods like slow cooking means that you can take the hard work out of meals, ensuring that something is always to hand when you need it (in the freezer) and the consistency will develop into a money-saving and health-promoting habit. Once you have the hang of preparing dinners, you could move on to preparing lunches in a similar way.
3- Have healthy snacks to hand.
Every day ensure that you have at least two decent snacks to hand, such as a piece of fruit and a little pack of raw nuts. They can be easily kept in your handbag – perfect for emergencies. These are brilliant if you’re needing to eat on the run and they’re also also great for those 3pm crashes where you are famished and all you want is a bar of chocolate. They also keep the mega-hungries at bay- meaning that you will be less likely to binge eat on inappropriate foods at dinner time.
4- Keep yourself well watered.
Monitor your daily water intake and make sure that you’re getting enough hydration. Aim to have 6-8 glasses of water daily and measure this into a bottle that you can carry around with you and keep at your desk, to sip from throughout the day. At first you will find yourself on the toilet far more than normal however your body will adjust and the clarity, energy and health benefits from the appropriate hydration far outweigh the inconvenience of a few extra loo trips.
You’ll be amazed at how less hungry you feel too… dehydration is often confused with hunger.
5- Get enough sleep.
Rest is paramount for success in every facet of your life… good lifestyle choices, emotional stability and your overall state of body health and wellbeing. It dictates how much energy you have for other incredibly important practices like exercise and it also determines your productivity. Getting into a good routine with a regular wind-down routine and limiting work related activities for the hour before bedtime can help with this process too. A regular bedtime with a regular wake-up time also allows you to get acquainted with your body and its rhythms and to spot any health alerts as they appear.