Wow! 2020 has been a weird year. The obvious difference being the pandemic of Covid-19 that brought the world to a stop. It has seen us all at home with no gyms to work out in, no trails to run, no classes to attend. Add to this the inability to get to the markets for fresh food and the twenty-first century convenience of home delivery, and you have a recipe for falling off the health wagon. The internet is FULL of ‘get slim quick’ programs promising to help you lose that Covid-19. Not the virus, the 19 pounds of fat you might have accumulated over four months of being cooped up watching Netflix and snacking on Oreos.
I too fell victim to a little laziness over this period, so I thought it pertinent to help us all (me included) get back to our healthy selves.
Here are just a few things I am doing to get myself back on track. I hope you find them helpful too. If you have any more to add to the list, please add them to the comments below.
- Get out of your pyjamas and put on your exercise clothes! It sounds obvious but it works. If you need to, set an alarm to wake yourself up and get straight into that active wear. If you don’t exercise first thing in the morning, wearing the clothing is a constant reminder that you need to exercise.
- Schedule your exercise. I have a whiteboard in my home gym that I change each week which reminds me what I plan to do for the week. It’s right there looking at me every day I go in, so there is no ignoring it. I know many of you don’t have the luxury of a home gym, so a piece of paper stuck to the refrigerator or your bathroom mirror works just as well.
- So, the gym is closed? Your home is a perfect place to exercise. You do not need much room at all. I have stairs, so I run up and down them. I have a workout called Buns of Steel that involves walking, running, squatting, lunging etc. up and down those stairs. It goes for 45 minutes and it KICKS MY BUTT!
- Search the internet (here is a good place to start – I load new content each week). A lot of companies are waiving their join fees, just to get you online to try out their programs. Have a look around and see what works best for you.
This is the place where most of my clients tell me they go astray. And I do too. Opening the fridge or the cupboard becomes a habit of boredom and one that it is important to nip in the bud early.
- If you respond well to notes, then posting them around your house is a good way to remind you to stay on your plan. It’s best to be humorous and not self-critical. Positivity empowers you to make good choices, negativity only demeans you.
- It sounds obvious, but start your snacking experience at the checkout (or Amazon cart). Avoid buying the tasty treats that are not good for your waistline and instead stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, hummus. You can’t eat a whole pack of cookies if you don’t havea pack of cookies in your pantry.
- Remove trigger foods already in your house. For me that is cookies and corn chips. If they are there – I eat them.
- Research shows that people – especially kids – are more prone to eat fruits and vegetables if they are pre-prepared. A great tip is to wash your produce as soon as you get it home and get it ready for snacking immediately. Cut up carrots, cucumbers and celery and put them in clear containers front and centre in the fridge ready to chomp on at a moments notice. Place bowls of fresh fruit in obvious locations around the home.
- If your family is not on the same page as you, have a respectful conversation with them asking for their help. Ask if they can stash all their unhealthy snacks to the back of the pantry away from your grasp and that they not offer them to you when they indulge.
Swaps for mealtimes
This might not be rocket science or even news to you, but it’s good to be reminded of the basics.
- Cook without oil – use stock or water instead. Oil has 9 calories per gram and is the easiest way to add unwanted pounds to the body. Oil is also inflammatory and inflammation is the root of all disease.
- Add veggies to EVERYTHING. Vegetables a chock full of vitamins and phytonutrients, water and fibre. Pound for pound, non-starchy veggies are the most nutrient dense and energy dilute foods on the planet. Eat them up in large qualities. If your kids are dubious, you can always puree them and sneak them into all kinds of meals from soups to stews to pasta sauce (that’s a topic for another blog).
- Avoid bread and flour products.This is hard for me too. Flour is highly processed and has a lot of the nutrients of the grains removed. If you do eat products made with flour, make them yourself at home so you know what is in them and only use organic whole grain flours. I even know people who mill their own Einkorn berries!
- Avoid processed fake meats. Yes, it’s so easy to just put a burger on the grill or throw a few not-chicken nuggets in the air fryer. But they are highly processed, high in calories and do not assist your health goals. (Besides – who can eat just 4 nuggets?)
SAMPLE DAY OF EATING
Breakfast Choices (choose 1)
Oatmeal – 50gm Organic oats, 1Tbs Flax Meal, Fruit Compote (recipe HERE) , Almond Milk
Green Smoothie – Banana, Orange, Mango, Cucumber, Carrot, Greens (LOTS), 1 Tbs each Flax Meal and Hemp Seeds, Water
Scrambled Tofu – Recipe HERE
HUGE salad with lots of greens, carrot, radish, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, edamame, snap peas, spring onions, whatever you fancy. Top with hummus, beans, oil free dressing, blueberries, seeds. Go crazy.
Dinner Choices (choose 1)
Easy Bowl– ½ head broccoli (steamed), black beans, Einkorn berries (or grain of choice), salsa, roasted squash, cilantro.
Pesto Pasta– 75 gm Lentil pasta squiggles topped with 1 serve of Forks Over Knives Pesto (make it yourself with tofu – it’s yummy). Toppings cherry tomatoes, grilled mushrooms, broccoli.
Vega Chilli and Sweet potato (recipe coming – email me if you want me to send it to you)
I will add more suggestions over the coming weeks.
I hope you found this information helpful. I’m always interested in what works for you, so please let me know in the comments below how you are getting back on track after the lockdown.