If you have kids you might have just packed them off to school looking cute and gorgeous in their new freshly pressed uniform, like I have just done. And if you are anything like me you might be saying to yourself that you “need to get back on track” after summer indulgences, less exercise and little structure or routine.
And the sundowners with friends on the beach, rich indulgent dinners and delicious desserts with a loved one, carefree pizzas with the kids after a long and fun day mould the memories that we will remember. But, however lovely this all is, it is not realistic or sustainable for longer than the summer and routines must now resume. Easier said than done as your taste buds may have become more accustomed to a sweeter diet and your stomach may be used to eating more than usual and you are may be feeling sluggish, bloated and might even notice that your jeans feel tighter so all good intentions can easily fall apart as quickly as they are formed.
Here are my top tips to help you get back into a healthy and balanced routine.
1) GET HONEST & GO SLOW
Before you start you need to get brutally honest of about your eating habits, you could keep a food and lifestyle diary for a few days to write everything down (including food and drink plus exercise and any other unhealthy habits that have crept in). Then examine the list and compare it against where you were before the summer (you can also write this down too if it helps). Highlight all the things that have changed over the summer and make a commitment to change one thing a week starting with the easiest first. Don’t try to change everything all in one go as this sets an unrealistic goal which is more likely to fail.
2) MAKE HEALTHY SWAPS
You may have noticed from your food and lifestyle lists that you were eating more snacks, desserts or richer/larger meals and maybe drinking a little more wine than before, you probably already have them highlighted too (if you don’t then pull out your pen again!). Next thing to do is to swap out the unhealthy habits with healthier alternatives, the idea here is to fill yourself up with so much goodness that there is no room for naughtiness. Whenever you take out anything from the diet make sure you replace it with something otherwise your gets confused cravings are heightened.
Examples could be:
Swap your afternoon tea for a green tea (this also helps to get rid of mid afternoon biccies which don’t go well with green tea!)
Swap a glass of wine for kombucha (drink it in a wine glass)
Eat a small savoury starter so you are too full for dessert
Swap cakes and biscuits for homemade or shop bought energy balls (made with dates and nuts) or rice cakes with mashed banana and cinnamon
Naomi’s Top Tip: Start your day with I AM Lean or I AM Cleansed which are both super nourishing and help keep cravings at bay and increase satiety. If afternoon sugar cravings are your weakness then drink a miso soup which helps to restore electrolytes and keep sugar cravings at bay.
3) GET INTO ROUTINE
Creating a healthy morning routine will set you up for the day ahead and is more likely to keep you focused and motivated to make healthier choices as the day progresses. Personally I try not to look at my phone as soon as I wake up as I am on it enough as the day goes on. My routine looks like this:
6:00 Wake up, scrape my tongue (sounds weird but a great practice for detoxing and I have done it for years), then a hot shower finished with cold rinse which really helps to walk me up and energise my body.
6:30 Meditation and gentle yoga.
7:00 Warm water with lemon while I make breakfast for me and my kids
7:30 Eat a balanced and healthy breakfast (my fave meal of the day!)
8:00 school run!
8:30/9:00 Exercise of some sort
10 ish after a shower I am ready to start my work day
This is my general outline of what I try to aim for, it has taken years of tweaking and has to offer flexibility due to having 2 kiddies.
Find a routine that works for you that includes nourishing yourself in whatever ways feel good for you.
4) PLAN YOUR MEALS
Planning your meals is key to getting back on track as if you know what you are eating and when you are eating you will be less tempted to snack or make an unhealthy choice.
You could use a meal planner to note down your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for the week from this write your shopping list and make sure you schedule in a time to go to the supermarket.
Then spend some time batch cooking or prepare a few things in advance, a Sunday evening is the perfect time for this. Remember you can also make larger batches to freeze.
Naomi’s TIP: My motto is “cook once eat twice”. Whenever you are preparing a meal make extra and save the leftovers for lunch the next day (this is perfect if you are working and want to take a healthy lunch to work)
5) MOVE YOUR BODY
The summer holidays may mean that you have not been as active as usual and you might be focusing on your food choices but don’t forget to schedule in time for movement. Exercise doesn’t have to mean putting your body through a gruelling hour of high intensity training if that doesn’t suit you, it can be as simple as enjoy a walk in nature so keep your emphasis on regular movement over excessive exercise.
If you need any help or support to reach your wellness goals and start feeling how you want to feel then contact me and see how my 1:1 coaching sessions could help you.