An expert’s guide to eating healthy at home
Working from home has its perks, sleep-ins, a quick commute and no more suit and tie but turning your home into the office has a big impact on our health. With the fridge in some cases just meters away and for others the pantry at an arm’s length, you’re not alone if you’re finding yourself spending more time in the kitchen than usual. We asked two of our Life First dietitians for their top tips when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet at home.
1. Snack city
Whilst you might not be heading into the city each day when 3pm swings around, your tummy often thinks it’s time to head to snack city. Snacking in between meals isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just make sure you are refuelling with healthy options.
Here is a list of dietitian approved snacks:
Nuts, seeds and trail mixes
Cheese on whole grain crackers, corn thins or rice thins
Celery sticks with 100% peanut butter
Carrot sticks with hummus
Natural air popped popcorn
Healthy homemade nut and muesli bars
2. Skip the rollercoaster
When work starts to pile up, a deadline is looming or you’re given some criticism on a project it’s easy to turn to sugary, calorie intense foods for a quick energy hit. If this is something that you can relate to, Life First Dietitian and Health Coach, Anthea Lee explains that “firstly acknowledging that this [stress or tiredness] is the main reason, will help you identify how to deal with this. Can your tiredness be addressed by managing your sleeping habits better? Can your stress levels be addressed using stress management techniques?”
Sugar isn’t a magical cure and the short high will often be followed by a mega-crash, a simple solution is having a glass or water, regular wholesome meals and healthy snacks on hand.
3. Take your mind off of it
With less time commuting and more time computing many workers are finding that they turn to the pantry purely out of boredom. Shivaun Conn, Senior Dietitian and Health Coach at Life First recommends offering your mind a couple of healthier distractions such as “going for a quick walk, patting your pet and stepping out into the sunshine.”
If you find yourself with one hand in the snack bowl and the other on the remote after dinner, try brushing your teeth! “This is a simple signal that your food intake has finished for the day,” Anthea recommends. Most importantly it is important to remember this is a strange time and it’s only temporary so don’t be too hard on yourself! “The aim is not to be perfect but to enjoy nourishing foods most of the time,” Conn explains.
4. Organisation is key
In order to keep your healthy routine in check, Shivaun recommends planning out your meal and food for the week ahead. “Create a shopping list or online order when you’ve had a meal, and are not bored or craving treats.”
Purchasing a selection of quality proteins is key for example lean meats, chicken, tofu, tempeh, fish, cheese, natural yoghurt, milk and eggs. Don’t be left in the dark and be sure to be prepared by choosing a selection of long-lasting quality proteins, Conn recommends “tuna, salmon, sardines, legume and lentils and some already frozen protein sources such as edamame, or frozen fish, dried protein sources such as legumes and lentils, or flours made from these, and shelf stable nuts and seeds.”
Once you’ve got the base set aside time perhaps on the weekend to do a few cook ups. Think of meals that freeze well and can work as both lunches and dinners. This can also be a fun activity for the kids so get them involved! It “means less work for you, and they will be more likely to eat the prepared food,” says Shivaun.
5. Don’t be too hard on yourself
Most importantly it is important to remember this is a strange time and it’s only temporary so don’t be too hard on yourself! “The aim is not to be perfect but to enjoy nourishing foods most of the time,” Conn explains.
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