So I have just come back from the supermarket and it made me realise just how hard it can be to make healthy choices. The shelves are just stacked high with tempting products that can provide a quick fix in a world where we never have enough time. Looking at the shopping baskets and trolleys around me it was a mountain of colourful packets and boxes of ready prepared food, often with very little fresh food on display at all.
In my clinic, clients frequently tell me that they have ‘no time to be healthy’ or that in a busy week their healthy routine just flew out of the window….
Like all good boy scouts the only way to succeed is to be prepared. If you leave work late and hungry your chance of making a good food choice for supper is very low. If you have nothing in the house for breakfast how easy will it be to pick up a latte and a Danish on the way into work?
So make a commitment to your health with a bit of forward planning:
Set some time aside each week to plan what you are going to eat. The weekend is the obvious time to do this for most people. Prepare meals plans so that you know what you are going to eat. Find a new recipe to try.
Get stocked up
Buy food to your meal plans. If all else fails make sure that you have good store cupboard staples available. That way you will always be able to throw something healthy together. This might mean a trip to the supermarket, or it could mean setting up a regular online grocery delivery. Organic box schemes are also a great way to get a regular supply of fruit and vegetables and many now do an increasingly full range of general grocery items.
Batch cook / prepare AHEAD
- Set aside a little time to get a few dishes and snacks (if you eat them) prepared
- Portion out nuts and seeds to take to work as snacks
- Prepare bags with mixtures of fruit and vegetables that are ready to go to make smoothies
- Make a couple of salad dressings ahead of time that are ready to shake up in a jam jar.
- Hard boil a few eggs ready that are ready to go for a quick breakfast
- Prepare a batch of bircher muesli that can sit in the fridge ready for a quick breakfast
- Precook quinoa so that it is ready to make a quick salad
- Make a frittata or some egg muffins for an easy meal option
- Precut some vegetables to eat with a dip for lunch
It might not work out perfectly every week, but the more that you can get into the habit of planning how you are going to eat the better the chance that you have of making healthier choices and achieving your health goals.