To go from eating somewhere between seven and ten portions of fruit and veg a day to struggling to eat more than three, the end of university found me lose the health geek in me. A few things probably contributed to this. I no longer solely controlled my own food shop; I became a waitress and often accepted the staff food the job offers (in my defence, we waitresses have a tendency to get hangry); I had the money to eat out far more frequently than I ever would have at uni. Despite probably upping my workout game more than ever upon returning home, I no longer dreamt about avocados, sweet potatoes and eating raspberries from the punnet. Recently, alongside longing for my mum’s homebaked goods, I’ve been craving the me who got excited to cook nutritious meals from scratch. Here’s how I’m getting back to being worthy of my “I <3 Avocados” T-shirt. Yeah, that’s a real t-shirt.
I’ve created my very own (as in, this exists in my bedroom so no one else steals from it) healthy snack stash. At uni I used to have a whole drawer full of healthy/healthier snacks rather than our sweet tooth’s favourites. This way, even when I was writing up a PROS and CONS list as to whether I should just go and buy a bag of Minstrels or not, I had no excuses. To my snack stash I must go.
My dream snack stash
- Carrot cake Nakd bars (my new favourite flavour)
- Cocoa orange Nakd bars (which taste best after being warmed up in the microwave for ten seconds)
- Chocolate Trek bars
- Strawberry Urban Fruit packets
- Bear Super Sour strawberry and apple Yoyos
- Bear Super Sour blackcurrant and apple Yoyos
- Lindt 85% dark chocolate
Leftovers Meal prep
Being a waitress, it’s easy to make excuses about what I eat. Unconventional hours, however, don’t have to mean unhealthy meals (that will only make my stomach hurt for an evening shift). For this reason, meal prep is key. My meal prep, however, doesn’t involve bulk making five or so different meals (once I have moved out, I will certainly aspire to be that person) for the week. Instead I make meals that can easily be doubled or tripled in size, leaving me with lunch for the next day or a couple of “heat up in microwave before work” meals. I have been doing this once a week for the last month but I intend on upping my game as of this week.
My favourite leftovers
Cooking from scratch is the best part of eating mindfully. My aim while at uni was to have one portion of fruit and veg in my breakfast, two in my lunch, four in my dinner and then make up the rest in snacks (looking back, that annoyingly healthy student infuriates me too). It is far easier than we make out to chuck in excess fruit and veg into our meals. Even if I succumb to the PROS section of my Minstrel or to not Minstrel list. The easiest way to get back to healthy is to spend some time in the kitchen.
Exercise: just do it
My gym is just a mile run away from me which has meant, while my food choices have been questionable at times (who really NEEDS to eat a whole pack of Oreo Egg ‘N’ Spoons in one hour?), my Strava has seen a lot of action in the last year.
Keeping up with the cardio (and the rest of it)
- Write a weekly workout plan on your phone. Plan out your every gym trip (what you’re doing there), run or other activity and even any walking you do! Your list will hold you accountable and, once you tick off each activity, you’ll feel more motivated to continue to complete your goals.
- If you’re waking up early to exercise, put your whole outfit beside your bed so you can get out of bed and straight into your gear. If I feel 100% lethargic upon hearing my first alarm sound, I will fall straight back to sleep if I’ve not got myself prepared the night before.
- Getting some workout classes in is often a great way to get back to healthy. Test out a few classes with some friends and you’re sure to find one you couldn’t live without, even on a weekly basis. Nothing makes me happier than going to legs, bums and tums with my mum and ticking it off my weekly workout plan.
Now to go and pop my swimming costume next to my bed. A Sunday swim (and an inevitable blocked ear) is my favourite way to wake up (that is if I’m being refused croissants and strawberry jam).