Happy Thursday 🙂
Today I wanted to share some tips for helping you lead a healthy lifestyle and maintain a healthy and balanced diet. Now I fully believe that balanced is what is key here. I may be a vegetarian, but trust me I do not sit around and eat lettuce all day. Balance to me is a variety of foods, flavours, textures of both healthy and indulgent. I once read an interview with Miranda Kerr, in which she stated she likes to follow an 80/20 approach to how she lives her life. I took this on board and have done my best to follow through with this each and every day. Now you may not like Miranda’s figure, as everyone is different, but you can’t deny she just radiates health! What I love about this way of thinking, is that it isn’t about a crash diet, or bingeing on as many foods as you can before you go back to being ‘healthy’ it’s about taking care of your body and nourishing it.
(Photo cred: Miranda Kerr- Just looking like perfection as usual)
Don’t get me wrong, I sometimes take the 80/20 rule and flip it to mean 80% of every unhealthy, sugary and fatty food you can think of, but you know what happens after that? I feel tired, I feel like not working out because it won’t possibly help me after that and I feel fed up! I would much rather have balanced meals often and then once in a while have a pizza, or a really big piece of cake, whatever it may be. Whether you call it a cheat meal, treat day, fun friday, indulgence day, what I find is that this type of food always tastes better when you don’t eat it every day. So my advice is to prepare your food, plan your meals and then save that 20% for something extra special to treat yourself with. This could be once a week, or a smaller indulgence everyday, whatever works for you. But I wanted to share some meal prep tips as I have found that doing this is quite frankly the only way I stay on track!
Meal prep is something I have learned to do following the Tone it up plan. Every Sunday I will plan what type of meals I want to have and hit the shops. Making a list is the first thing you want to do, to make sure you pick up everything you need. It’s a struggle, but I do tend to go to the shops early so between 9.30am to 10.30am. This is largely due to the fact that you will need time to spend cooking in the kitchen. Once home, I generally just start cooking to get it done and dusted.
Depending on what you plan on eating in the week, your meal prep will vary. I generally plan for the first 3 days, as any longer your food won’t last. So the first thing I will do, is make a big batch of quinoa or Cous cous, you can choose whatever you like to fill you up. Rice is another good one. I make a batch, let it cool, place it in a sealed tub and place it in the fridge. I will use this for my lunch or dinner so really you want to be thinking about what you are likely to eat with this. Chopping vegetables is usually what comes next. I will chop carrots, peppers, courgettes, and mushrooms usually. What you want to thinking about is how can I speed up my meals, so chopping these will mean, the next day I can simply grab them from the tub and boil, roast, grill them with less prep time!
Next I will concentrate on my lunch for work. It is hard for me to plan my meals, as my tastes always change, but sticking to a basic idea of what I should include helps. So I will need a protein, lots of veggies, carbs and usually something sweet. When I say sweet I mean fruit, dried fruit, sometimes coconut water, a healthy breakfast bar, anything like that! So with that idea, you can prep your salads with the handy mason jars. Glass containers are slightly better, but I tend to only use them for my salads. I will add lettuce, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, cucumber, pepper and other yummy treats to the jar and seal it. If you like salad dressing, only add this in the day you will eat the product, otherwise your salad will be soggy and won’t last as long. After this I will usually cook my protein for the first two or three days. This includes boiling eggs, cooking vegetarian burgers/ chicken. I love the Quorn products! I then keep these in the fridge as well.
I don’t find the need to prep breakfast unless I plan on having this after the gym. So in this case, you can make a smoothie the day before, or perhaps some overnight oats? I prefer to eat before I exercise, so I will just make sure I give myself plenty of time in the morning to eat. That is also what is useful about meal prep, it allows you more time in the morning as you only need to grab you pre packed lunch from the fridge and head out the door, or a few extra minutes in bed!
These are just some of the steps I take to keep myself healthy. I find that if I don’t do this, I can get lazy, I end up purchasing a sandwich or something less appealing for lunch, and when I get home I reach for the easiest thing to throw in the oven! Without preparing, I am someone who lets old habits creep in. I’m not going to say I meal prep to this extent every single week, sometimes life does get busy and you do fall off track, but this is what I strive for, and I’m hoping to stick to this far more over the coming months!
Thanks for reading. What are your tips for staying fit and healthy?