Here we all are, still in lockdown, and if you're like any of my patients, some bad habits may have formed - especially after Christmas.
The New Years Resolutions are long gone, but that's okay. It doesn't have to be all or nothing or as James Clear puts it, author of Atomic Habits: "habits are not a finish line to be crossed, they are a lifestyle to be lived" .
Small changes make all the difference and by introducing some of the below quick and easy tips into your routine I'm sure you'll feel better.
Reduce time in the kitchen AND eat better
Batch cooking! Thai curries, Bean Chilli, Cottage Pies, Ratatouille, Moussaka, Roasted Veggies, Soups - making dishes that are easy to cook in bulk mean you can freeze them or save them for lunch or dinner the next day.
Get a slow cooker. You can make many of the above suggestions in one of these, turn it in the morning, and by the time you've turned off from work, dinner is ready. You can also get some for about £20 now.
Cook your grains all at once - rice (brown please!), quinoa and couscous keep for a few days, so cook a big batch at the beginning of the week, making it easy to add wholegrains most meals without having to cook. Especially in winter, reheat the grains to make any meal warming.
Food delivery boxes! These are a game changer. I am currently obsessed with Oddbox as I love the fact I am saving food from going to landfill. I've also been recommending to my clients to use Mindful Chef or Gousto for their dinners so that they don't have to think of what to cook for dinner. This takes the pressure off planning at least one meal a day and ensures variety.
Meal prep and planning ahead. Trust me, this will make cooking a lot easier and quicker. If you just spend 10 minutes each week deciding the week ahead you will stop yourself snacking, skipping meals or binging on frozen pizzas. It provides routine, structure and can often save you money as you can bulk shop. Make it visible by buying a meal planner so the entire household knows what the plan is - this one can even be put on the fridge.
Keep yourself sane
Maintain a routine. Sounds easy enough right? But then you check the clock and it's 10 minutes before your first Zoom call of the day. Waking up and getting dressed at the same time each day will ensure you maximise your day and make you tired in the evening. Getting dressed is just so mentally you're telling yourself it's work time.
Regular exercise - aim for a minimum of 7,000 steps per day. This is so important now that everyone is limited to the rooms of their home.
Look out for your mental health - do not ignore it! Deep breathing, meditate, yoga, walking, calling a friend or seeking professional help will help. It's a tough time for everyone - you are not alone.
If you're into apps I recommend Headspace, Calm and Audible.
Dedicated work space. If you haven't created this already, try to establish one soon. This is so you can create seperate spaces in your home - places where you work are often stressful, and safe spaces where you can relax. The work laptop should not be in your bed! So when you move into a new area at the end of the work day, your mood will instantly improve.
Stay connected with family and friends - schedule in VC’s, phone calls and if you are on your own, doing some outdoor exercise with another person (socially distanced of course).
If you want to reach out, receive some further healthy lifestyle tips or suffer from digestive issues or hormonal imbalance, I'm offering free 20 minute consultations.
Registered Nutritional Therapist
Kelly is a Registered Nutritional Therapist who focuses on positive physical and mental wellbeing, achieved through diet, lifestyle, sleep and exercise. Having struggled for years with IBS and hormonal imbalance, and increasingly frustrated with the lack of support and helpful advice from her GP, Kelly began her own journey of healing the body from the inside out. After seeing huge improvements she quit her job to study nutrition and focus on harnessing the healing powers of food to help other people in similar situations.