Filed under: General Health
4. Grocery shop appropriately.
I wrote an entire blog post on this, and it is an area I emphasize with my clients as a few simple changes can make all the difference.
In a nutshell -
- shop once, at most twice, per week
- make a list and stick to it
- make the list based on planned meals for the week
- write your list in the order you are going to buy the items
- shop the perimeter of the grocery store
- don’t shop hungry
- don’t shop with the kids
- and if you really want to be anal, group your food on the conveyor belt according to where you will put them away at home
5. Making Meals In Bulk and Ahead of Time
Food prep is king when it comes to eating healthy. How many times have you come home from work, looked in the fridge hoping for something to eat only to decide to order out pizza or some other less than ideal choice? This is where planning ahead and/or making bulk food items is key.
I highly recommend creating a dinner schedule for the week, prior to going grocery shopping. See how nicely that ties in with Tip 4? This way you will have what you need, when you need it and there won’t be any need to order pizza.
In addition there are weeks where you know will be busy – kids schedules, work meetings, what have you. On those weeks making meals ahead of time in bulk can be a life saver. I highly recommend meals like My Wife’s Chili, it works beautifully there, or stews of all varieties. I also recommend cooking chicken breasts in bulk on Sundays and/or Wednesdays, that way you have a quality protein source ready and available when needed for stir-fries, salads, wraps, etc.
As an aside, it is also important to schedule 10-15 minutes for yourself in the morning or at night, whichever works for you, to make your lunch and at least one other meal/snack for the day. This even works well on days you aren’t working, and will facilitate quality food choices and minimize temptation to eat junk.
While definitely out of the realm of health and fitness, scheduling housework (to a degree) can be very helpful in getting your life organized. When your life is organized, your health can be a priority.
What I mean by a schedule is simply being mindful of the work. Often times cleaning can be put off, and then when you go to tidy up say the bathroom it turns into a 3-hour scrubbing marathon. Instead be mindful of picking up after yourself, and spend 5 minutes before bed tidying up, doing a few dishes, emptying the dishwasher, wiping down counters, etc.
Sharing the responsibility is key to success in this one, so make sure communication is there. You can only make vacuuming so efficient, but the point is to not let this stuff get away from you where you have to scramble for hours to get caught up. Doing housework in small, manageable chunks makes life much easier and again puts you in control, rather than it controlling you.
Bonus Tip – Do as much prep as you can the night before. For example set the coffee, make the next day’s meals, write down the next day’s to-do list (so your mind is not running when you are ready for bed), take a quick peak at your schedule, lay out clothes, pack cell phone/wallet/keys/gym bag, do pretty much anything and everything to have yourself ready to attack tomorrow and be in charge of your day and your life. The more you can get done the night before, the less chaotic your mornings will be.
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