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Because no one is an angel and can do things from scratch ALL  the time… It’s ok to have some shortcuts to up your health game and when you find them, share them! Check out some of our golden nuggets to make the road a little easier on your way to good health.

REMEMBER 80/20 – Balance is essential. Chances are if you try to be clean healthy and angelic about your health 100% of the time, you’re more likely to have a blow out which will ultimately make you feel worse and set you back. So do your best to eat, move, breathe and do all the things that you know are putting your best foot forward in health for 80% of the time, but understand that it’s just as important to allow room to move and play (have a glass of wine, eat an indulgent dessert) for that remaining 20%. It’s a great way of balancing the approach and puts us in a better position to create long term health.

PLAN AHEAD: When you first start doing this it feels like the 30-60min allocation of time on a the weekend to plan your week of meals is taking valuable time away from your play hours. However, consider the 60 minutes you might take EVERY SINGLE DAY of the week to shop, unpack, prep, cook and clean up if you’re not planning. Because that’s the reality. There are lots of ways you can plan. Our most recent discovery has been thanks to our friends at Hello Fresh who delivered a Family Box to our doorstep full of ingredients and the recipes to create meals from them. There were 4 meals in total in the box, serving two people per meal. We were covered for 4 delicious dinners throughout the week without having to do much at all except hop online and choose the meals we wanted to eat. SERIOUSLY how easy is that? That ordering took an entire 5 minutes, the box was on our doorstep a few days later and then our meals were ready to rock throughout the following week. Planing is so simple, and it will make your health and your life that much easier too.

GET MOVING: Every single day. Not 2 hours of exercise on one day and nothing for the following 2-3 days but aim to move your body 30 minutes in some way shape or form each day of the week. Dance, yoga, walking, boxing, weights, running, swimming – whatever floats your boat. We need to be mobile more often as our lives these days are becoming increasingly sedentary for a whole number of reasons. If you have a desk job, be creative in how you move away from your desk, in your lunch break or before or after work so your body is flexible, strong and healthy. The short periods of exercise each day will be of greater benefit to your health long term than smashing your body over a big session and then having to recover.

LEARN TO COOK: Yep, can’t avoid it because you got to eat! The sooner you get your head into the idea of cooking the sooner you’ll start enjoying it and your health benefits multiply rapidly! Cooking can be daunting at first, we understand that completely, so to simplify it for a start there are a few easy options:

      • Select some simple recipes and practice on getting them down pat to build confidence. Grilling chicken and making pesto. Rubbing herbs into fish and baking them with vegetables. A simple roast can all help you with confidence.
      • Seek guidance from those you know are good at it. Honestly, foodies are MORE than happy to talk, eat and ‘do’ food for hours that’s why they’re foodies. Years ago, our friend Tom Rutledge went from being a home cook to a contestant on Master Chef and has since established his business HELLO FRESH. Tom is savvy in the kitchen, but like most of us, is simply super passionate about eating and wants to make the cooking process just as easy and enjoyable as the eating part. What he’s done with Hello Fresh is make delicious food easy with step by step instruction and visuals to guide you AND he’s taken away all the other parts that might feel intimidating for you right out of the equation. Clever right?
      • Read one recipe a week, you don’t even to have to cook it but read something that you think you’d like to eat and go through the method before attempting to cook it in the weeks following. It will give you a more general understanding of how to do it, before you hit the kitchen and have fry pans on and pots boiling. Make sense?

SIT TO EAT Please please please, if there’s one thing you do today, sit down for your next meal. Why? Because when you sit and engage with your food your body recognises that time is for resting and digesting and prepares accordingly. When we hasten the process and try to eat on the run our bodies aren’t in a position to digest and absorb the nutrition well leaving us ultimately feeling dissatisfied and potentially craving more (and unhealthy) food later to obtain more energy. When we sit, chew, and eat consciously our body thrives from it.

CREATE A MEAL EXCHANGE  Whether it’s sharing a Hello Fresh box with your flattie, or setting up a meal exchange look at how you can work with those around you to create diverse healthy meals. Over the cooler months when the body craves more warming foods such as soups, curries and stews it’s the perfect time to make a slighter bigger batch, portion and freeze some, then swap some! Easy right?

BUILD LONG TERM HABITS The small simple steps you take now with your health with build long term habits that will ensure you have longevity with your health. Rome wasn’t built in a day, don’t expect your health to change over night either. Take small steps with food planning, drinking an extra glass of water, moving a few minutes more now and you’ll set yourself up for life.

Exclusive to Brown Paper Nutrition followers … (To purchase your own box with 40% off click here)

+ This is post is sponsored by Hello Fresh, but all thoughts an opinions expressed are the writer’s own.

Jacqueline Alwill

Jacqueline Alwill is a qualified, practicing nutritionist, personal trainer, whole foods cook and most importantly mother to Jet. She is committed to improving the health, wellbeing and happiness of all individuals.

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