Do you ever have one of those days where everything just goes haywire? One of those days where despite the very best of intentions, your plans to eat clean and lean fly out the window, lost somewhere in a blur of annoying little tasks and big scary panicky ones?
When I was working 70+ hours per week as a personal trainer, days like that were the norm. I’d somehow manage to start my day 5 minutes late despite the fact that I lived a 10 minute walk from the city gym I worked at, and I’d spend the rest of the day fighting to catch up. There was always time for coffee of course, and an afternoon stop at the Melbourne Central candy store. My trainer colleagues thought it was hilarious that I’d sit there eating a couple of Reese’s Peanut Butter cups most afternoons in the staff room before heading out to scold another client for their indulgent weekend.
Somewhere in the midst of creating a profession for myself as a wise source of all things nutritious and healthy I forgot to set up nutrition habits to match my own busy lifestyle.
Regardless of whether or not you’ve ever dispensed nutrition advice to others I’m sure you can relate to the concept of not quite practicing what you preach on occasion.
For me, since then, and after finally having enough of insomnia, constant colds, panic attacks, and just feeling pretty crappy, I’ve made a concerted effort to develop smart habits that allow me to stay on track nutritionally even when life gets crazier than crazier.
And given that you’re a driven lady with lots of stuff on her plate I’m sure you too can benefit from these smart habits. Once you set them up you’ll never again find yourself lost for healthy food choices or tempted to throw good intentions out the window when all hell breaks loose.
10 smart nutrition habits you can’t live without
1. Pre-cut your vegetables. Do it at night after you clean the dishes, in preparation for the next day. Or do it in the morning. It takes 5 minutes, but the perception of a job already done when you get home the next night is incredibly satisfying. AND it will ensure you eat them
2. Pre-make your Green Smoothies. I make 1.5 litres worth twice a week. Even lazier than making it at night for the next day, but it works a treat. I drink it after breaky whilst driving to work, or after training with my protein. Sometimes both.
3. Keep the basic 10 in the house at all times. Just do it. You’ll never have an excuse not to eat well.
4. Nut out a quick weekly meal plan, or at least a quick 2-3 day meal plan. It doesn’t have to be a spreadsheet! Just jot down or at least mentally note what you plan to eat over the next few days. Make a note of the stuff that needs to be cooked, and make a shopping list accordingly. Obviously it makes sense to do this plan before shopping!
5. Keep back up protein options in the freezer at all times. If you see a good deal on quality protein, snap up extra. Always keep at least a few kgs of protein in the freezer for those times when you don’t get around to shopping or somehow underestimate what you need. This is on of my favourite nutrition habits!
6. Find fun ways to eat foods that can otherwise become bland. The latest thing in our house is green smoothie icy poles. They are so much fun! Alyssa has one in the bath every night. Okay, me too … paleo fish fingers are another big hit. What can you do to make bland or repetitive foods a bit more interesting?
7. Eat within 45 minutes of waking, 90% of the time. Have something ready to go. I like to eat leftover dinner meat most of the time. Some chicken and a few nuts. Or red meat. Whatever. If for some reason there is no meat leftover I’ll boil eggs. I do that the night before as well. Smart nutrition habits all come back to making life easier at the times when you’re going to be really busy! I even pre-cook haloumi and eat it cold the next day. BUT – you should always make extra when you do cook, so you should always have leftovers! I don’t cook every night but my fridge is never empty.
8. Be smart about snacking whether at work or at home. The thing I hear again and again from busy clients is they don’t get around to snacking. Or they turn to something junky. Keep a trail mix at the office and at home, some quality dark chocolate, some organic protein powder, even tins of salmon. I’m not a huge fan of tinned food, but it’s fine for a back up. And always bring a bag of those pre-chopped veggies, stuff like cucumber, celery and capsicum is great for snacks. Or more boiled egg and haloumi!
9. Have a post workout snack always ready to go. Any of the above would be fine actually, but a protein shake is the easiest and smartest option, especially straight after weights. Go for the Woman Incredible organic protein – it’s delicious! You still need to eat some solid food 30-60 minutes after that. That’s where your meal plan will come in handy.
10. Plan your treat meals in advance, even if only on the day. Stick with the plan. The easiest way ever to fall off the clean eating wagon is to indulge in a treat meal and then kind of just – keep going. Get around this by deciding in advance what your indulgence will be. AND – more importantly – decide what you will have from the next meal after that, to get straight back on track.
Those are my top 10 smart nutrition habits, and they definitely keep me on the straight and narrow clean eating path! What would you add to this list?
want more smart nutrition habits to make your life easier?
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And remember -
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