Tuesday, 1 April 2014

How to stay motivated with healthy living

Last week I participated in Meat Free Week to help raise money for Bowel Cancer. Did you know one of the leading causes of bowel cancer is the over consumption of meat? Now there is nothing wrong with meat at all (I actually quite like meat - especially chicken) but we are consuming up to 3 times our daily recommended amount.

So this got me thinking – how do we stay motivated to eat a healthy balanced lifestyle?

I pitched the question on Facebook the other night and I loved what My Yellow Heart came back with "meal planning mostly, and not letting my husband anyway near the supermarket. He buys ridiculous amount of naughty food!". Yes I think most husbands are like that, I know MJ can’t go past chicken chips on sale or blocks of Cadburys on sale. But yes menu planning is a really big help.

I know I know, you've all heard it before – menu planning, but it really does help. Every Wednesday night (cause I do the food shopping Thursday mornings) I sit down with a pen and paper and write up the shopping list for the week. Down one side of the paper I write up the days of the week, check my calendar and see what’s coming up the following week and then I work out what to cook for dinner for each night. This way I'm using up what’s already in the cupboard, freezer and fridge and it’s helping me only buy what we need, also after a tiring day at work I don’t need to think about what to cook as I already know.

Another way is to not deny yourself the occasional treat – at least once or twice a week I will eat a chocolate biscuit or 2, or I'll share a block of chocolate with my husband while watching a movie, or have a bowl of ice-cream. There is nothing wrong with treats when you have them as treats. If you deny yourself you are more likely to overindulge and binge. So have a few treats here and there each week, you'll find you enjoy them even more when you treat them as special.

Don’t beat yourself up when you slip up – we all do it, even the most health conscious people out there have a bad day, week or month. All you need to do is recognise you've slipped up and start again. If you are hard on yourself you will slip into guilt and eat worse and most of the time more. 

Don’t judge of other people - healthy looks different on everyone. Just because they drink green smoothies and the thought of one makes you want to puke – that’s fine. Just because they’re vegetarian or vegan and you love a nice piece of steak - that’s fine. Health comes in many different shapes, sizes and food lifestyles so get ideas and inspiration for others but don’t compare and judge yourself against others.

The one thing that keeps me motivated is reminding myself of how I feel when I eat poorly. It doesn't always work – take today as an example – I was in the lunch room at work and saw a chocolate cream biscuit, without a second thought I took it and ate it, but within 10 mins I wished I hadn't as I got a sugar headache which I always get when I eat those biscuits. If I had of taken the time to remind myself how I feel when I eat those biscuits I would have remember I feel poorly and my eyes hurt. 

You feel better when you eat better, you feel lighter, have more energy, can focus more and think clearer.

So just remember to be kind to yourself and treat your body with love and respect and you'll notice such a different.

Do you have any tips to share? What do you do?

I thought I’d share with you a recipe I made last week during Meat Free Week (original recipe found here)

Vegetable Curry 


450g par-cooked potatoes, cubed
2 tbsp plain oil (not olive)
1 onion, chopped
450g frozen or fresh peas
225g green beans (I used frozen corn and board beans instead)
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
½-1 tsp chilli powder
½ tsp salt
1 tsp brown sugar
125ml/generous hot water
1. Par boil the potatoes. Then heat the oil in a large pan and lightly fry the onion.

2. Add the spices and fry in lightly for a minute.

3. Add the potatoes, peas and vegetables and fry for a few minutes, adding a splash of water if necessary to prevent sticking.

4. Add the salt, sugar and the hot water.

5. Cover and simmer until all vegetables are cooked, adding a splash more hot water if required. Serve hot.

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1 comment:

  1. That curry recipe is so good! I'make that quite regularly. It is super yummy when you make it with a dahl as well. I then don't worry about rice and just have it with a chappati bread.
    I'm with you sis, menu planning makes life so much easier. In fact I don't know how I ever cooked or shopped before it.


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