As a working mother, preparing food can become more like a battleground than a time for reflection or socialization. Due to a lack of time, maintaining a balanced diet while working can become very challenging. You have no energy or will power left by the end of the week to continue ‘being healthy’. A regular exercise routine is even harder to adopt.
So what should you do? Balancing work and diet can be a challenge, though, not an impossible one. Instead of ‘going all out/in’, add these 7 basic things to your daily diet to avoid exhausting your physical and mental reserves.
1. Start your day with Oats
Work-parenting is a difficultjob; especially when you’re making sure your kids don’t go to school on an empty stomach. It is important to take note of your personal dose of morning nutrition as well.
Since, there is not much time to fix a hearty breakfast for yourself, store your kitchen with boxes of overnight oats. As the name suggests, overnight oats are prepared a night before so that you can have a quick grab ’n go in the morning.
They are packed with fibre and provide you with the energy to keep going until lunchtime. Add fresh berries and ground flax seed to your ‘oat-full’ breakfast for an extra boost.
2. Nutrients and Beans
After a long, eventful day, you might be too tired to pay heed to your child’s tantrums so you end up cooking a quick but unhealthy meal. This is not a good decision for you or your family in the long run. So how do you check your nutrition intake and maintain your sanity with so much to do?
If there is anything healthier in a grocery store after lentils and peas, it’s beans.Essential for healthy functioning of your skin and to keep brain cells in check, beans are loaded with the nutrients our bodies crave. Dinnersconsisting beans don’t have to take up a lot of time in preparation. A distinctive bean-flavoured dish thrice a week and you have mastered the art of balancing motherly-work duties the healthy way!
3. Eat What Your Kids Are Eating
As a woman who balances work and family commitments, it is entirely legal to ‘steal’ food from your kids’ plates. If you’re like most mothers, you would want to include at least one healthy food item like a fresh fruit or cheese in your child’s daily diet. Instead of grabbing fried fish and chips at lunch, simply eat what you feed your kids.
This method will not only help you cut down on junk but your diet is also more likely to become balanced. The healthy uniformity of your child’s plate will encourage you to try other delicious foods that suit you and your family’s taste buds.
4. Think Green and Lean
Feel like you can’t let go of an irresistible urge to snack at odd hours during work? Switch to vegetables or lean protein in case of perpetual hunger.
If you have already eaten lunch, avoid foods that are easy to overeat such as bread and chips. A piece of fish topped with fresh carrots is better than oil-laden potatoes (if you are truly concerned about that expanding waistline, that is).
5. Experiment with Salads
The temptation to eat out or junk-binge increases drastically when you recycle the same recipes every day. A salad for lunch eventually gets boring to look at with the same piece of lettuce on the side and a hard-boiled egg.
To combat a potentially lasting boredom with salad lunches, experiment with new recipes each weekend to not feel miserable on a work day. Healthy eating should never be boring. You’re more likely to adopt it once you are internally satisfied.
6. Eat Water!
Ensuring that everyone leaves the house hydrated is another important task on a working mother’s priority list. According to the Boston-area certified health coach Danielle Shea Tan, ‘Fatigue, constipation and headaches indicate too little water input’.
In order to stay free of constipation and similardehydration problems, don’t just drink water but eat it too. Most fruits and vegetables contain more than 80 percent water. Pack a fruit lunch for yourself and kids every morning and fulfil your body’s want for essential liquids. Dandelion, Chamomile and other kinds of herbal teas such as breathe easy tea are another source of H2O that help curb chronic constipation and recurrent headaches.
7. Small Game Substitutions
Eliminate trail blazing single foods or make an honorary substitution for the afternoon pick-me-up snack. For example a gelato is always healthier (if not better) than chocolate sundae. These are only small reductions in calories, but these small changes go a long way.
Starting small gives your body time to adjust to change while providing you with the satisfaction that you’re doing something positive with your life.
As a working woman, you are the person in charge of your kids’ meals and diet. The above list is not comprehensive, but will give you a starting point to living and eating healthier.