Five tips to finding time to eat well
One thing I get asked all the time is how I fit it all in; working out, eating well, a full time job in the City with long hours, owning a lively border collie, writing a blog, dealing with brand enquiries and collaboration requests, creating social media content and most importantly spending time with friends and family and making sure I fill my weekends full of adventure, plus all the regular household chores. In my experience the quickest and most long-lasting way to lose weight is to eat healthily. After all you can't out train a bad diet. Believe me I've tried. With that I thought I'd share my top tips on how to find time to eat well.
1. Be honest - let's not sugar coat it, if you need more hours in the day the first way to find them is be honest about how you use your time. Have a proper look at how you use your time and work out if a task is a priority or just habit. For example, do you not have time to cook dinner because you get home on an evening and spend half an hour (or more) scrolling through various social media, blogs and catching up with friends on whatsapp. Can you do that on your commute home instead? If you don't think you have time to make a healthy breakfast be brutally honest with yourself, how long do you have in the house from waking up in a morning to leaving. This is where most people spend their time watching morning TV, doing their hair and make-up etc. I usually have between 15 and 20 minutes in a morning from getting in with the dog to leaving again for work. Is curling your hair for work a priority or can you use that time to make breakfast? Can you multi-task? I often ring my friends or my mum whilst I'm out walking or running. Mot only do I tick off two jobs at once and pass the time out running much quicker it means I have that extra 30-45 minutes I would have spent on these tasks separately to prepare and make a tasty delicious dinner.
2. Utilise routine - you're much more likely to do something if it's part of a routine. For me it helps to have a set protein routine for meals e.g. fish on a Monday, chicken on a Tuesday, a high carb meal on a Wednesday night ahead of an early workout Thursday morning. This doesn't mean your meals have to be the same every week but it helps you to buy and plan meals so that you're organised. If you have all of the ingredients in your fridge and cupboards you are much more likely to make that meal rather than if you need to get food on the way home.
A quick plait in my hair, instead of blow-drying it straight and doing my make-up on the train.
3. Be Realistic - there are a lot of people on social media whose job is blogging. They work really hard but they often work in their house and don't work set hours. Or perhaps they're students, live with their parents or they're really rich. Don't judge yourself against these people. When you see someone's snap on Instagram it doesn't mean they have just made that food before going to work, or that it took them 10 minutes to make. Have you ever tried making food look presentable for a photo? It can take a really long time (which is why when taking photos I have a maximum three snap rule) What I'm trying to say is work out what you can fit into your daily routine without killing yourself using every pot or pan to create a culinary masterpiece before work. I often pop two eggs on to boil whilst I'm getting ready, wrap them in foil and eat them at work. Or quickly heat three scrambled eggs in a microwave at work and add ham or salmon. Yes I prefer soft boiled eggs or poached eggs even but I don't prioritise sitting down at my dining table in a morning before work. I would much rather spend my time walking my dog or working out. Have a think what options will work for you and what you can incorporate easily and do that.
4. Find healthy convenient and convenience options
Use short-cuts where you can. Start sweet potatoes and butternut squash in the microwave for five minutes before heating in the oven and definitely don't spend time peeling them. Try things like Uncle Ben's rice and quinoa pouches. They only take two minutes to heat up which means that you can have a really quick lunch or dinner and avoid snacking on toast or biscuits when you get in from work. (This used to be a huge problem for me until I discovered Kallø rice cakes. They are now one of
my go-to quick healthy snacks). Unless you love cooking and never get hangry then short-cuts are key. There are so many of these tips it could be a blog-post of its own (let me know if you want this).
Quick options for dinner, breakfast and snacks.
5. Do a double up
Linked to four above is the famous double up. Make twice as much food on a night-time and take the rest for your lunch or pop it in a Tupperware and chuck it in the freezer for a night when you're home late. This isn't the same as food prep where you see people slaving away in their kitchen for half of a Sunday to make their meals for the week. I really don't like the idea of this. For one, who likes to eat the same thing every day? Plus weekends are for fun. No-one wants to spend a huge portion of time cooking when you could be out having an adventure.
I hope these ideas help. Many of these tips will also help you free up time in your day to squeeze in a 20-30 minute two or three times a week. I'd love to know if you have any other ideas to try.