How to face nutritional challenges in your busy life

After my last newsletter talking about The Sunday Ritual I would like to make you familiar with two other very useful food preparation strategies, the Breakfast Ritual and Pre-cooking Protein.

The Breakfast Ritual

is preparing of your food every single day rather than preparing all of your food one day a week only. While you need to prepare your breakfast anyway, try to prepare and organise your food for rest of the day while making a breakfast.

You can get up a little earlier and prepare your delicious breakfast and foods for your busy day. A great strategy I really like and has saved “my life “ many times is to bring not just the meal you expect to eat but also your back up option. This way you will be ready if anything un-expected your happen. As an example, you may plan to have your lunch at work and then have a nice dinner at home. If you take both foods and something you didn’t count on shows up you can have your meal ready and still make a good choice, rather than skipping the meal or making a poor choice.

Now, you don’t have to bring two or more full meals, you can bring some homemade snacks such as protein bars, cottage cheese, yogurt, cut up vegetables, fruits or shakes. This will ensure you are going to have nice and good quality food over poor choices like crackers, biscuits, white breads etc.

Pre-cooking protein:

A good way to save time in the kitchen is to precook your protein food ahead for the week. You can barbeque, grill, oven- roast chicken, turkey, turkey sausages and refrigerate these foods until you need them. This precooking strategy will save you heaps of time during the week when you are busy and don’t want to spend too much time with meal preparation. It’s easy to take precooked frozen chicken breast fillets and have beautiful healthy food within minutes.

Use also beans, soups, stews as these all are very good for this and you can make a lot of it well ahead, separate in lunch boxes and take them with you when you need them.

All this can take a place while you chopping your veggies, doing your Sunday ritual or whenever you have a bit more time in a kitchen.

Why we need protein dense foods and where to find it:

Protein is important for everything from our structure, our hormones, immune system support and therefore without it we wouldn’t exist.

By including protein foods in your diet you will maximally stimulates your metabolism, improve your muscle mass, improve recovery, reduce body fat satisfy your hunger.

Here is a guide for protein food portions for better health, body and performance.

General guide of protein portion size for active women is around 20-30 grams of protein per meal which is equivalent to about 1 palm size.

Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 11.47.20 pm

 

And around 40-60 grams for active men which is equal to about 2 palm sizes

Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 11.47.31 pm

 

Other strategies which can help you to save time and have a good nutritious food all the time:

  1. Pre-chop vegies(carrots, broccoli, peas, cauliflower, green beans …) , organise them in plastic bags or containers and put in a freezer or take with you to your work and leave them in the fridge or freezer. Then anytime you have your break and time to eat simply take your prepared vegies cook them in the microwave and serve with tuna, eggs, precooked protein from home etc.
  2. Buy frozen vegetables pack, you can again organise it into smaller portions and take with you to your work and microwave when needed.
    You can have ready small bottle of extra virgin olive oil or some low calorie dressing just to quickly make you beautiful veggies.
  3. Buy liquid egg whites and microwave them over your vegies to get nice eggs with veggies omelette-scramble
  4. Make your Supershake the night before and take with you for your snack or lunch.
    I have found that generally the Supershake still tastes nice and fresh the second day in the morning.
  5. Use wraps instead of sandwiches, Pack your wrap with chicken, beef, salmon or turkey and stuff with your pre-cut veggies to have nice lunch ready.

7 Food types that hold you back to achieving your goals:

  • Soft drinks and fruit juices
  • Mayonnaise and most commercially available high fat dips and dressings
  • Sour cream and other high fat dairy products ( butter might be exception for cooking as it is more stable in high temperatures than olive oil, coconut oil for cooking is great as it is also stable in high temperatures)
  • High fat processed meats- sausages, bacon and related products packed with saturated fats, calories, sodium and even carbohydrates.
  • Frozen desserts and ice creams
  • Sugar and oil loaded sauces and dressings such as marinade, tomato sauce, barbeque sauce, hollandaise sauce etc
  • Better to use salsa, guacamole, low sugar marinades, different healthy oils(olive,

flex) and different vinegars

Most processed foods:

  • Snack foods(pretzels, chips, crackers, granola bars, cookies, cakes
  • Frozen foods( TV dinners, fish sticks …)
  • Instant foods
  • Whitened food( white breads, pasta, white rice)
  • Deli foods( lunch meat…)
  • Boxed cereals

References:

RYAN ANDREWS & BRIAN ST. PIERRE, Precision Nutrition, 2013 Calorie control guide for men and women John Berardi, Ryan Andrew, , 2012 The essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition

John Berardi, Ryan Andrew, , 2010 Precision Nutrition System