Living Well: Food & habits

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One of my favourite past times is going out to eat. It really is my favourite thing to do! Either with friends, the husband or with family – I really look forward to trying delicious food. I love it when celebrations are focused around a meal and I love the atmosphere of dining out. Even when having a night in the focus is normally around what shall we eat???

Lately I have been trying to be more conscious about what I eat and how much. I’ve pored over websites and blogs but I’m finding it all a bit over whelming if I’m honest. I don’t feel like I can completely overhaul my diet and I don’t really want to. I know what’s good for me and I know what’s not good for me but I want to find a balance. I want to be a more conscious eater.

With that being said this is what’s been going through my mind this past week or so.

1// Hungry, eat. Full, stop – I’m a naturally slow eater so much so that my husband consistently teases me about it. I rarely finish a meal and I believe that is due to my eating speed and recognising when I feel full! I grew up being told that I must clear my plate and not waste food and although that mantra is a good one in some respects I don’t think you should eat more food than you need. It’s hard to know when you are full if you rush your food down so take your time and enjoy every mouthful.

2// Portion control – We have two different sets of plates in our household. Our normal sized dinner plates and our BIG dinner plates. Sometimes we have to use the bigger ones as we’ve made such a big dinner – whoops! We have to stop using these. If our dinner is too big to use a normal sized plate then our dinner is just too big!

I am trying to be better with how much snacking we’re doing too. It’s so easy to open up a share bag of crisps or chocolates and just munch through the bag without even thinking about it whilst watching a movie or favourite TV show. Lately I’ve poured some of our favourite treats into a bowl and that is our portion for the night. My favourite treats are cheesy Doritos, Skips or M&M’s and they are reserved for the weekend.

3// Treats – On the theme of treats I think it’s really important to only eat what you really really enjoy. As I’m limiting the treats and only at weekends I’m being really conscious with what I have as ‘my treat’. I don’t want to waste my treat time on something I’m not all that excited about eating. I don’t drink fizzy pop and I very rarely eat dessert when out for dinner because I don’t fancy either. I am not a believer in withholding something you really love and I certainly don’t beat myself up for eating something I enjoy. It’s all about balance.

4// Feeling too tired/ lazy to cook – Oh convenience eating you are my Achilles heel! Whilst we do eat healthy and varied dinners throughout the week; at least once per week we’ll order take-away. And it’s usually pizza or Chinese! We normally do this on a Friday night when we’re exhausted from the working week and believe we deserve a night off from cooking. I’d like to at least halve this and only have a take-away once per fortnight if not once per month. I think we just need to plan our meals better and either make enough food on a Thursday night that we can eat left overs on the Friday or save an easy to cook meal for that night instead. I’m sure our bodies and bank balance will thank us for it.

5// Fruits & Vegetables – Our dinners always include either plenty of vegetables or a large salad but I could certainly eat more of them during the day. I probably eat one piece of fruit a day too. It’s likely I’m only getting 3 of my recommended 7 a day so I need to work on that. I’m planning on either a banana or an apple with breakfast and switching to salads for lunch including tuna, cucumber, red onion, tomatoes, grated carrot and avocado with another piece of fruit. I should be getting to at least 7 a day.

6// If you don’t buy it you won’t eat it – We’ve stopped adding ‘treats’ or just food we know is not good for us in our weekly shops. We order food online and have it delivered. Ordering online has been such a game changer for us health wise and budget wise. I use the search tool to find everything we need to buy that week.  I can type in the ingredient we need and search just for that. It stops us browsing aisles and picking up things that catch our eye. Plus if we do pop something into the virtual shopping trolley I usually take it back out again before completing the order.

If anyone has any easy/cheap lunch time ideas that I can prepare at home and take into work please let me know and share in the comments below x

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