As I’m sure lots of you out there will agree, life can be extremely fast-paced at times, and you wonder when/if things will slow down. Hectic work schedules, family life, finding time to see friends – there just aren’t enough hours in the day!
There are two ways to face this – either let it get you down, or accept it in a positive way and be as pro-active as you can to make the most out of each day. For me it’s the latter, and here are my top tips to help you through particularly hectic times in your life.
1) Start the day with a protein based breakfast.
Personally, a high carbohydrate breakfast such as porridge fills me up temporarily, before leaving me feeling hungry and lethargic an hour or so later. This will depend on your own sensitivity to carbs of course, but I prefer eggs or fish to set me up nicely so that I can work efficiently from the word go.
2) Drink plenty of water.
Get into the habit of drinking water throughout the day. It may seem boring at first, but to keep all your organs working effectively (including your brain) you must drink water regularly, and avoid the so called “energy” drinks which will give you a very temporary boost before leaving you feeling drained again. Plus, with the ridiculously high amount of sugar in these drinks, is it really worth it?
3) Make yourself a healthy smoothie.
Every day I use a blender to make a healthy smoothie which I keep in the fridge to have during an exceptionally busy time of the day. I use various ingredients including: water, vegetables, berries, avocado, peanut/almond butter, whey protein powder. I try to vary the ingredients to get as much goodness as possible from the huge variety of vegetables and fruits that are available.
4) Avoid alcohol.
It may seem like the perfect way to unwind after a long day, but try to avoid reaching for the beer or wine in an evening! While it may feel like it helps you relax, it will almost certainly disturb your sleep, meaning you aren’t getting enough quality sleep. Ideally you need to aim for at least 7 hours of undisturbed sleep each night (not easy with children I know!) but alcohol certainly won’t help matters. You don’t have to be “boring” or “unsociable” and never have a drink, but save it for the weekend or when you haven’t got work the next day.
5) Avoid late night snacking – especially sugars.
Whilst you shouldn’t got to bed feeling hungry, always avoid late night snacking. Ideally you should be eating a good quality meal approximately two hours before bedtime and therefore you shouldn’t be feeling hungry. If for some reason you are, avoid sugars, as they will raise your blood sugar levels at the worst possible time. Instead, have some water (you may be thirsty not hungry) and grab a casein protein snack such as Greek yoghurt or cottage cheese.
Following these tips certainly helps give me the energy required to feel alert and productive every day, and ensures that I wake up each morning excited for the day ahead.
Try them yourself, and let me know if you agree.