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by Sam Wilson

Mum of two gorgeous boys and the owner of samwilsonfitness, a company dedicated to female health and wellbeing.

Ok ladies, this is a big one and something that comes up time and time again in conversations with clients and friends.  One of the biggest causes of us failing to stay on track with our nutrition is a lack of organisation.  It's a huge misconception, largely fed by social media I might add, that you can be healthier without committing a little more time and thought to the process.  No.  In order to get ourselves on track and more importantly, stay on track, we have to plan our time.  This blog should give you some tips that you can apply to your lives to help. 

Time is huge these days isn't it?  It's all you hear about.  I don't have time for this, I don't have time for that, I'M SO BUSY!  Yes, we are all a little too busy (another blog!), but we can manage it in a better way.  Let's have a look at potential causes of failure when it comes to eating well and being consistent:

  • Children's clubs and timetables issues
  • Having younger children and not feeling able to focus on cooking and preparing food
  • Having a bad day and not wanting to cook at all
  • Opening the cupboards and sighing!  What am I going to cook for dinner?!
  • Not planning the week's meals and just buying whatever takes your (hungry) fancy when in the supermarket. 
  • Even worse than the one above, shopping with children.  I like them to come and help choose the vegetables when I have the time (there we go again with the time), but frankly, I do prefer to do it alone.

Through experience myself and coaching other women, I can tell you that nobody gets it right all of the time.  If you can cook to plan four out of five weekdays, then you are WINNING.  You will feel in control, you'll feel great through good food, you'll be calmer which will help with family life in general and you will be WINNING.  It just takes a little foresight.  So let's have a look at what you can do:

  • Get yourself a good cookbook.  Learn at least the basics of how to cook.  I can't overstate this enough.  I used to live off of the plainest food when I lived on my own.  My husband is an ex chef and has taught me the basics.  I'm not afraid to cook anymore.  I can't say I love it, but I love the effects of it.  My boys also get involved (yes it's a little messy but it's not all the time).
  • Get yourself a good nutrition plan or learn to plan one yourself.  This is invaluable.  Choose a variety of different foods and perfect the ones you love.
  • Create a timetable of what you will be eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Also plan in snacks otherwise you'll be reaching for the crap.
  • Write a shopping list and get EVERYTHING you need for the week.  Too much money is spent on those quick trips to the shop!
  • If you cannot go shopping without being distracted, then order online.  I've recently discovered online grocery shopping and it can really help.  You definitely spend less.
  • Set aside a morning or an afternoon to batch cook several meals.  Things like stews, chillis, bolognese sauces, fish pies; meals that will freeze well and only have to be bunged in the oven.  If you can do this whenever you know you've got time to focus, then it won't be such a chore.  There's nothing better than knowing you only have to turn the oven on when you get in!
  • It's hard cooking after school pick ups sometimes.  The children quite rightly want some attention, they may have homework to do or you may just want to spend some time with them, chatting about the day.  You could try and get them involved in the preparation if they're old enough or if not, set them up with colouring, some Peppa Pig ;), toys, whatever will hold their attention for at least 20-30 mins if possible.  You can then crack on with the food. 
  • Plan your week around your commitments.  Take out frozen foods in the morning so they're ready to go when you get in.  Use bags of salads and vegetables to save time.  Do the meals that require more time consuming preparation for when you do have some time.
  • Choose simple meals that taste good and are healthy, yet are easy to cook.  Roast fish with roasted vegetables.  So easy and everybody will eat it. 

Above all, realise that not everyday will be perfect and you'll just have to let that go, but with careful planning at the weekend, a decent shop where you get everything you need, it CAN be done!  As long as you realise that it does take a little more time initially, you won't be disappointed.

Don't stand in the way of your own success.  If I can do it, you most definitely can as I am no Nigella ;)

Hope this helps ladies, let me now if it does!

Sam x