Nutrition has a powerful impact on how we feel. There are so many new books coming out about how what we put in our bodies affects or minds. Though the science of nutrition may be complex, eating a healthy well balanced diet is not. Here are some tips and resources that can help you keep your mind and your body running smoothly all day.
- Eat breakfast and include some protein. Here are some ideas to consider. If you are vegan, here are some ideas for you.
- Bring healthy snacks with you. Everyone I know has described a situation where they find themselves hungry but not near nutritious food and resort to eating something that while filling the need in the moment, inevitable makes them feel worse later. Easy problem to solve: start putting portable snacks in your purse, gym bag, briefcase, pocket…whatever you carry around. My go to is nuts and berries—basically gorp. It is very portable, doesn’t need to be refrigerated, is small, can be eaten relatively quickly if needed and maybe best of all, does not require any prep. If you want more ideas, check this out
- Get in the habit of meal planning and advanced food prep. This is a hard sell but if you take it on, you may learn to love it. It helps you save time and money, could lower stress around preparing nutritious meals and inevitably decreases food waste.
There are several ways you can do this—some more extreme than others.
- Pick one day a month and shop, prepare and freeze meals for the entire month.
- Frozen Assets: Cook for a Day, Eat for A Month by Deborah Taylor-Hough
- Fix Freeze and Feast: The delicious Money Saving Way to Feed Your Family by Kati Neville and Lindsay Tkacsik
- Make enough food for leftovers. You can take them for lunch the next day or have dinner already prepared when you get home
- Chop enough vegetables for two or three days of meals. This is especially helpful if you like to eat salads. Cooking dinner or throwing together a salad for lunch is so much easier if you don’t have to do the prep.
- Get a slow cooker or MultiPot and have food waiting for you when you get home from work.
- Eliminate processed sugar from your diet. Crazy idea, right? Sugar is a drug. If you think I am exaggerating, read this article. If you struggle with depression, fatigue, brain fog or irritability and you tend to eat a lot of processed sugar, you might want to consider cutting back or giving it up. See above about healthy snacks.
- Drink lots of water. By the time you feel thirst you are already dehydrated. Dehydration can feel like hunger. Nothing more to say here, just do it!
- Try to just eat when you eat. No watching TV or, scrolling through Facebook or reading a magazine. Just eat. Taste your food. Take your time and enjoy the beautiful meal you cooked…or bought or microwaved.
- Eat with other people if you can. Check out this article if you are wondering why it matters.
- Be grateful. The Latin gratia is the root of the word we use for a prayer before a meal. Grace is a way to say thank you before you eat. It slows you down, connects you with yourself and the food that is about to nourish you and acknowledges the enormous gift of having enough to eat.