You come home from work exhausted and head straight to the couch.
As you lay down, staring at the ceiling, you hear your stomach growl.
With a bit of self talk, you get yourself to stand up and head to the fridge.
As you open the fridge door, you think “Dang, I forgot to meal prep AGAIN this week!”
All your thoughts are confirmed as you stare at uncooked chicken breasts, raw veggies, some uncut fruit and condiments.
You debate for a moment if you have the energy to cook up a chicken breast.
“Screw that,” you think, “I mean trail mix counts for dinner, right?”
“Or wait, Chinese takeout sounds really good…”
“Yes, yes, crispy, deep fried egg rolls are DEFINITELY what my body needs right now!”
Grabs the phone, orders take out, and voila, dinner is served.
Everyone knows this feeling. This is a great example of being unprepared for the “non energetic” moments in life. These are the moments when it is hardest to stick to your nutrition plan or general food principles that you know serve your body best. When you are in your off hours, that is when you are most likely to slack on your nutrition – grab the donut at the office, swing through the drive-through, or order the Venti Peppermint Mocha at Starbucks. So let’s get strategic to dodge some of these pitfalls! By optimizing your peak hours, you can prepare for the times when you don’t feel 100%.
Going back to the time tendencies quiz you took, recall what time of day you are at your best. There are a number of things that you can do during these peak hours to support healthy food choices at other times of the day. Meal prepping and smart grocery shopping are the two most tried and true ways to keep your nutrition on track during the times that you don’t have the energy to think about how you should be filling your belly.
Here are some activities to fit into your week during times when you are at your most energetic!
- Grocery shop – It’s common knowledge to avoid grocery shopping when you are famished, but take that a step further and also avoid the grocery store when you are completely and utterly exhausted. Approach the aisles when you are feeling your best and have a plan for what to pick up at the store. After all, meal prepping is awfully hard to do without groceries…
- Meal prep – Spend an hour or two getting food ready for the coming days. This is a time investment you will not regret, as it is one of the most impactful changes you can make for your health. I’ll write a future blog post on my favorite things to meal prep!
- Meal plan – Look at your calendar for the week and see when you have dinners, happy hours and other social events planned that may affect your nutrition. How are you going to balance out your week so you can still have a glass of wine at happy hour while achieving your nutrition goals. Remember friends, it’s all about balance.
- Have fun with food!! – Try a new recipe, cook with friends, dance to music in the kitchen while you bake paleo banana bread (yes, yes I’ve done that). Rather than fearing food, have fun with it! Learn to love time spent in the kitchen, making nourishing recipes.
Plan these activities into your schedule, but also remember that there aren’t rules to all of this. Many people feel that they NEED to get their meal prepping done on Sunday, but guess what… If you grab lunch at the salad bar on Monday and meal prep on Monday night, the sky won’t fall. Allow yourself to be flexible. Are you a morning person who doesn’t have to go into work until 10am? Why not grocery shop at 8am, before work? Give up the rules of when we are “supposed” to accomplish these tasks and allow yourself the freedom to do them when is best for you! Cheers to smarter choices in the grocery store and dance parties in your kitchen 🙂