Today is about planning. We as health professionals tell clients to eat well and exercise. Sounds good right? There is so much information available that they should just be able to go do it on their own. I mean we do it all the time, right (mm huh?!?!). So here are some basic tips you can provide-oh and yes these work for you too!
Life is busy and when we get super busy we tend to “let our plates go”. I am guilty of this as much as anyone, but I’ve been working on planning ahead too and thought I’d share some of the things that work for me. Think of your own ideas that work for you and encourage your clients to find things that work for them.
Think ahead: Some people are great at cooking ahead and freezing items for later use. This is not really my strong suite-I have ideas of what I’d like to eat for the week and browse the ads for sales. Then I start thinking about what nights I’ll be home and what those evenings look like. I match my shopping list to this. Also, having staples like eggs, milk, greek yogurt, peanut butter, frozen veggies, fresh fruit, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, whole wheat bread, tuna and other pantry staples can be a lifesaver. These are great go-to items any time-especially when strapped for time. Keep some of these items at work too so that lunch is easy as well. At work bagged greens and cherry tomatoes are my “staples” along with eggs since we have them available here in the office.
Prep ahead: Cut up veggies ahead of time for easy meals and snacks. Another easy idea is to make hardboiled eggs to have for the week. Sometimes when I am running low on prep time, I’ll buy already cut up veggies (they cost more so I try not to do this too often). I might also buy these if I have a week where I won’t be eating at home much, so that I don’t waste (money and food).
Cook ahead: Some people are great at bulk cooking and freezing, but that isn’t something I do well. I will however make something on the weekend or a slower weeknight to eat throughout the week. Last week I made muffin frittatas and had them for breakfast, dinner and snacks all this week. Chili or other soups are also anther thing that work well for this. Even making an extra portion or two of a meal and packing it away for other days is an easy idea.
Plan it like any other part of your day. Make it a priority and even plan your days off from structured exercise. I have been doing this consistently for about 6 months now and it feels great. Until I made it part of my plan for the week, I would exercise sporadically. It is easy for something else to come up or to be forgotten if you don’t plan time for exercise. I even refer to some of my days related to my workout. Wednesday is Yoga Day! Here’s a photo after yoga class-don’t laugh at my pose I’m still learning and I had to break the pose to smile for the photo.
Final thought: Things can change very quickly so try to stick to your plan as much as you can. If one day isn’t so great, remember the next is a new day.