So many people I know start the week with the best of intentions; tupperwares brimming with kale and nutribullets clutched to replace that hastily grabbed croissant. Then half way through the week, whether it’s a couple of meals out with friends, the office biscuit tin lurking temptingly or hectic schedules they find themselves stressed and not eating or feeling their best.
We make excuses that we are too busy to cook, we have a million other things we place higher on the to do list. But when the going gets tough it’s more important than ever to prioritise looking after yourself through good nutrition. Preparation is key, it might not seem like the most adventurous idea but prepping food helps you keep on top of the week in the most simple of way and feeling your best.
Failsafe Breakfasts -
Breakfast fuels us for the day ahead and sets the tone for our energy, digestion and mood. Hurriedly snatched snack bars and eating on the go don’t give our body a chance to properly digest and end up with a rollercoaster of sugar highs and lows. So try and take a little time to sit down and eat breakfast whether it is a simple bowl of failsafe breakfast combination or something more elaborate, focus on making the time to eat your meal.
Failsafe breakfasts are the ones you always have in the cupboard, that don’t require a lot of thought or time but are healthy, fulfilling and provide a good base for additions. Porridge and granola are perfect for this, full of fibre and throw in a handful of frozen berries, a splash of almond milk and some nuts and you have a healthy balanced breakfast.
I always encourage my clients to think of their food groups at each meal, and that includes breakfast, which often lacks protein. Protein for breakfast is really important to help stabilise our energy levels and sustain us, so dollop a spoonful of yoghurt, nut butter or a sprinkling of seeds to boost your breakfast protein.
Double Up & Batch Cooking –
When you are cooking double up the servings, whether it’s grains, roasted vegetables, lean proteins or leftovers cook extra and then store separately in the fridge. Even if you don’t feel like eating the same combination with the individual elements separated you can assemble them in different ways or with whatever else you have in your fridge. Committing a little extra time when preparing food always pays off in the long run with the smugness of a full fridge and easy healthy meals and packed lunches.
Make friends with your freezer -
When you don’t have the time or the urge to cook but still want a healthy nourishing meal, turn to your freezer. A little preparation when cooking creates many easy back–up suppers after a long day. It is also very cost effective and a great way not to waste food. Stews, soups, cooked grains, chopped vegetables and curries all freeze well and are easy to double up the portions when cooking. Divide prepared foods into individual portions and it’s ready to go when you need it.
Let go of the guilt -
Far too often we associate food with guilt. We set out in the week aiming to eat healthily but get waylaid then beat ourselves up about not being perfect, going through a sequence of health highs and lows every week. If you feel that you haven’t made the healthiest choices or indulged in a few heavy meals, don’t give up, throw in the towel and say “I’ll start again on Monday”. Each meal gives you an opportunity to nourish your body and make healthier choices as a positive step, rather than a cycle of guilt and over indulgence. Nobody is perfect all the time and that is part of balance so embrace the small changes you can make.
Written by London-based Nutritionist Antonia Magor.
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