When i first started to get into health and fitness, i spiralled into a bit of a rabbit hole. I got wayyyyy to strict and hard on myself and wayyyyyy to annoying to be around.
- NO white CARBS EVER
- 3 alcoholic drinks MAX a week
- I MUST EXERCISE EVERY DAY, even when i’m feeling shitty.
- I MUST take body photos every week to track my progress
…..Blergh – boring. I ended up too skinny, annoying, and incredibly un-fun, and my family quite frankly was worried about me. I don’t regret my regimented regime however, i feel i needed to get to that point to then be able to bounce back to a happy, healthy medium. I had to re-learn WHY it was important to practice restriction in motivation. To learn that things like chocolate cake on a Friday night, and slobbing around the house on a Sunday, or a sneaky burger with a friend on a sunny Saturday at the pub weren’t lapses in my judgment that i needed to punish myself for – they were part of life. They made life! Indulgences are so so important, and are actually a very vital part of staying healthy and fit.
Alcohol – There’s no doubt we live in a booze heavy society. ‘Why aren’t you drinking?’ ‘You’re not pregnant are you?’ These are just some of the responses i get when i happen to opt for a juice or sparkling water. Of course, I DO drink, i love a glass of vino on a Saturday night, or a gin and tonic on a Friday after a busy week in the office. However, one of the rules i live, and choose to live my life by – is two alcohol nights a week. It doesn’t matter if they are big nights, small nights or medium nights. It could be a Friday/Saturday combo, a Wednesday/Saturday – doesn’t matter. As long as i stick to my two nights a week rule.On holidays, the rule is broken of course; but in my normal life – this is what works for me, and helps me to live a healthy, mindful life.
Exercise – The general rule I live by during the week is 5 days of exercise of week, but preferably six with one strict rest day. I try and do 3-5 days of HITT training, and two days of fat burning cardio (for me this is usually a nice long power-walk). If for some reason i am exhausted, or would prefer to spend the night with my boyfriend who i haven’t had the chance to spend at evening with in a while, then I don’t sweat it. If I break my rule, it’s not the end of the earth. But generally, i just change my rest days to fit around whatever i happen to tweak. It works for me! And it keeps me sane. Exercise for me, is my me time and my stress reliever. It’s very important for my mental health, as much as my physical health.
Carbs – During the week, i try and limit my carbs to ‘non grain based’ for two out of three of my main meals a day. So for instance, i’ll have oats for breakfast – but then my carb at lunch might be sweet potato, and i’ll stick to meat and greens for dinner. If i opt for a brown rice stir-fry for lunch, i might have a green smoothie for breakfast, and an omelette for dinner. If i have done a particularly huge workout, i’ll pop a grain or heavier carb into another meal, to fill myself up! On the weekend, bring on the bread…yes i will have a pizza at that new oven baked sourdough place on the corner, or hell yeah bring on the cheese and dip evening! This decision allows me to get the most out of my body. My workouts..work better..and my mind and body is less sluggish during the week.
Fruit – I am a fruit fiend. I adore fruit. But I try and exercise moderation. 2-3 is the recommended serving a day, but if i am being honest – i am in the 2-4 bracket, and i am comfortable with that. I have a HUGE sweet tooth, so if an extra piece of fruit saves me from reaching for a lolly or a chocolate, fine by me! I have a banana every single day, either frozen in a smoothie or cooked into a healthy cookie or bread. Other regular fruits i consume: apple, kiwi, mixed berries, or fresh orange juice)
Fibre – Whenever i go on holidays, i always notice a significant lack of fibre in my diet. I seem to operate better with more than the average human. Chia seeds are a daily must for me, PERFECT for filling me up..and um…flushing me out. I also tend to consume a few prunes a day. Which are great for helping along your digestion. Broccoli and spinach is also a daily staple for me.
Dairy – Yogurt is my dairy of choice. No added sugar greek yogurt, to be exact. I eat it every morning, because it’s a great pre-biotic, and really helps keep my gut in check. I try and have two serves max of dairy a day so my second serve is usually some feta cheese with lunch or a frothy coffee. But there are a lot of days when i just have the one serve. I find too much dairy sends my skin a bit gross, and makes me feel a little bloated and off.
Red meat – This is one i am working on. I don’t eat NEARLY enough red meat. The best way I have found to incorporate it into my diet, is cooking it up in meal prep for weekday lunch. Usually in the form of lasagne.
Period prep – The week before my period i always, without fail, start to crave everything and anything sweet. So, to help stop myself reaching for the office chocolate jar – I prep myself a naughty but nice healthy treat to snack on of an evening to keep my cravings at bay. It’s honestly my life saver. I’ve just gone through a healthy apple crumble phase, and right now i am well and truly on the double choc raw brownie train.