It’s harder to stay on top of your health and own well-being, when life is busy, and especially when you’re a parent and have someone else to look out for too! It took me around 8-12 months after having Rio to get back on track with my healthy habits, and even then, it was definitely not as consistent as before. And to be honest, I was fine with that, as I had enough on my plate in terms of looking after my first newborn, and for once in my life I wasn’t obsessing about my what I was eating and how much I was working out. I have so much more of a healthier view on wellness now; I want to eat wholesome and good food, so I can keep up my (much needed) energy levels, and I workout to be strong, not skinny. I also make sure I prioritise my own sanity, by actually scheduling in time to listen to some of my favourite podcasts, as well as setting clear, yet realistic to-do’s for the week, which definitely keeps everything on track. Since Rio started kindergarten, I’m finally 100% back in the game, and it feels so good! To make sure I stay on top of it all, it’s essential that I plan and prepare in advance every Sunday, so I’m ready to takle Monday morning, with more clarity and motivation. Here are the five things I always do…
1. PLAN A WEEKLY DINNER MENU
I love mapping out our dinner menu for the week, and although some things change last minute, with one of us going out, or we have a spontaneous sushi take-away; having specific dinner’s planned created for the week, takes away that stress about what we’re having for dinner, and also ensures that we only buy the exact ingredients we need, which means less food waste, and ultimately, we eat much healthier this way.
I have loads of amazing cook books, but I tend to take the majority of my inspiration from my Pinterest (I save recipes on a daily basis). I’m currently eating 80% vegan and plant-based, and the remaining 20% with fish, but the rest of the household eat more meat and dairy, so although I personally don’t eat it, I always factor that into the meal plan.
I usually plan a menu for three day’s at a time to ensure the meals are fresh, so Monday-Wednesday, Thursday-Saturday, and then Sunday is usually our ‘cheat’ day. I also like to make recipes with ingredients that can easily work for two meals, which again ensures less leftovers and food waste.
2. BATCH MAKE FOOD
I love batch making food! Not only does it save you loads of time, it always ensures that you maintain a healthy and wholesome diet, when your fridge is full of delicious food. Eating mainly plant based works best for me, with the occasional piece of fish or other seafood. I tend to batch make roasted veggies, grains, and various dips and sauces, which makes it so easy to concoct a plate full of goodness, be it for lunch or dinner.
I always roast sweet potato and cauliflower, which are both things which taste delicious and keep really well in the fridge. I love roasting them with lots of smoked paprika, cumin, salt, pepper and nutritional yeast. I also batch make quinoa and brown rice, which are both great to pop into salads, stir fries or as snacks. In terms of dips and sauces, I love making my own vegan pesto sauce (almonds, pumpkin seed, basil, oil, lemon & nutritional yeast), hummus (chickpeas, tahini, lemon, salt, cumin) and of course, cashew nut cheese (cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon, salt). For a sweet snack, I make my own almond butter, which is great on crackers, an apple or with banana.
Other go-to ingredients include avocado, kale, ruccola, lemon, nuts, seeds, alfalfa sprouts and beans. As you know, eggs used to be my go-to protein, but since discovering that I’m super sensitive to them, they’re no longer in my diet (nor is garlic, carrot, mustard or any dairy products).
3. SET PERSONAL TO-DO’S
Having a to-do list, is the only way I can keep everything on track. I know to-do list’s can sometimes seem stressful, but for me, they’re what keeps me calm and focused, as I know I’m slowly working my way through the things I want to accomplish. Every Sunday, I write down all the things I want to achieve that week, and then I break it down on a daily basis, choosing 2-5 tasks that I want to complete that day.
I used to get stressed and cross with myself if I didn’t manage to complete everything within a day – but fortunately, I have a much more relaxed approach to it now (which is definitely since becoming a mother), and whatever I don’t manage, I just move over to the next day. I don’t beat myself up when I don’t manage everything in one day, but rather pat myself on the back when I do manage to complete it all.
To try to get as much done as possible, I tend to set rough timings for each to-do, which in turn ensures that I’m being as efficient as possible. Like I said, to-do list’s can be stressful, if you make them stressful. For me, it’s my daily, weekly, monthly life map, which keeps everything together, and helps settle my otherwise busy mind.
4. SET YOUR WORKOUT PLAN
Planning my workout schedule is another thing I love doing, and really gets me motivated to stay fit. As of late, I have been exercising five days a week, which might seem excessive to some, but working out is also my form of my meditation, so it’s something I don’t ever feel like is chore. I used to dread it in the past, but I have finally fine-tuned what my body (and mind) craves. Monday, Wednesday and Friday I do Reformer Pilates – which is my absolute favourite work out ever, and is great for a post-natal body, as well as toning and working those abs. Tuesday and Thursday’s I go running in the park. I definitely have a love/hate relationship with running, but I’m really into it at the moment, and I especially love heading out in the fresh air. Saturday and Sunday’s are my days off, but being with Rio, I’m always on the go to be honest.
For me, my workout goals are no longer to be the slimmest; I want to be strong, toned and have good fitness. Since I started working out with this kind of outlook and a more positive intention, I’ve also seen so much better results (as I’m working out because I want to, not have to).
5. CREATE A WEEKLY PODCAST PLAYLIST
Last but not least, I’m really into Podcasts at the moment, and I have found so many amazing ones which I love dipping in and out of every week. The podcasts that I love I listening to, have inspiring interviews with various global leading thinkers, doctors, creatives, CEOs, spiritual luminaries, wellness experts – covering all sorts of thought awakening conversations, health, fitness, nutrition, self-help and so much more.
All depending on how I am feeling that day, and what I need, I try to tune into my go-to Podcasts at least 2-3 times a week. It really inspires and motivates me, tunes into my body and mind, answers questions, and boosts me with knowledge and self-help tools… Some of my favourites include (in no particular order):