Get out of your own way and make healthy eating easier!
In part 2 of my ‘Get out of your own way ‘ blog series, I want to share how I make healthy eating as EASY as possible. I honestly find food management effortless and I’m an incredibly busy woman. But it really is because I get out of my own way and dedicate a bit of time focusing on what works and ensuring I look at solutions rather than barriers. I use very simple strategies combining positive food principles, simple planning ideas, delivery boxes and mega easy recipes – that I can implement at home and when I need to eat on the go. I also have clever but extremely simple ways I get my children to eat as healthy as possible. And they all like and dislike different foods too! Again, that would be easy for me to make a big deal but with my ‘Get out of your own way’ mindset I just crack on with what I can do and let go of the rest.
What I find with many of my clients, is that they make healthy eating way more complicated than it needs to be, with way too many ideas and recipes, too much pressure on themselves to eat really well all the time (meaning when they fall off their focus they tend to sabotage it, telling themselves they’ve failed!). And other issues I find are planning too far ahead or not far in enough, not allocating just a little bit of time each day to think about what they need to do. And most importantly what is going to work and actually be implemented! As you know I’m about less talk and more ACTION! Successful food management is about finding things that work and repeating them or adjusting them from time to time. But in an information overload society, we get pulled into other ideas, more options, rather than just focusing on a few that work well for us and our families if applicable. Plus many people don’t realise that healthy food really can taste amazing and is easily put together with a few simple, cheap and delicious ingredients too!
I see people get in their own way a LOT when it comes to healthy eating. Don’t let that be you! Make sure you’re not the roadblock to you eating better and being consistent with healthy eating.
GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY with these 10 things that I do day in day out, year in year out!
1. We don’t need to eat perfectly to be healthy. I follow the 80/20 rule. 80% as healthy as possible, 20% less so! Sometimes this can go up to 90/10 and sometimes (for example on holiday), it can drop to 70/30 and very occasionally 60/40. But my commitment is to eat as well as I can as much as I can. We are mainly wheat, dairy and sugar free in my home but that doesn’t mean we don’t have these things now and again or when we’re out. Having a sandwich on the go can be really enjoyable rather than a stress, so long as the majority of your food is really healthy. We are living in a culture where extremes are trendy and in some ways easy, but strive for some balance and some imperfection if you can. As this keeps you out of the all or nothing approach! I make mistakes with food management, recipes and choices sometimes and that’s OK!
2. Simple food prep 1-2 times a week – This is non-negotiable as far as I’m concerned. I have 2-4 things that I make each week and it doesn’t take long at all. My easy veg soup, baked sweet potatoes/butternut squash, quinoa salads, boiled eggs and little sauces and dressings that are SO good for you and sex up any salad or side! Without this I wouldn’t eat as well as I do, there is NO magic formula. And it literally take a few minutes to think about what I need and less than 30 minutes once sometimes twice a week. Being clever with your time and choices like this goes a LONG long way!
If you need ideas, check out my Autumn food prep hacks blog HERE
3. Plan your food around what you need to do work / kids wise – I never start with the food! Don’t think about what you want to eat, think about what you need and what time you have to prepare / cook food. What have you go going on in your diary? Do you really have time to create a complicated healthy recipe after a 14 hour day? I look at what I’ve got going on and really think about what is going to work best and whether I’ll be able to implement it! For me, it’s looking at my day, my children’s clubs and working around that. And another thing I teach on my Food Management Made Easy program, (details below) is to plan your week and day backwards. Most people do the opposite!
4. Really good staples – My current favourites are Tilda pre cooked quinoa/whole grain rice packets, tins of beans or lentils, frozen boxes of chopped garlic and onions (I make these myself once a month – 2 cloves of garlic and 1 large onion in each box and shove them in the freezer – massively removes the resistance to making things that start with those ingredients!). I always have a herb box on the go or a couple of fresh herb packets such as parsley and chives. Organic eggs, feta and houmous, sweet potatoes and in the freezer frozen peas. I also buy organic greens on sale from Waitrose and freeze them – so easy to make a green veg stir fry/medley with some garlic, chilli, ginger and pop alongside a veggie burger. My favourite veggie burgers are the Strong Roots kale and quinoa ones and the Goodlife Nut burgers.
5. 2-3 day planning – One week is too much and one day not enough in my view. I personally prefer 2-3 days or 3-4 days. Here is a FREE 10 minute audio on my reasons behind this and some further examples, and see below for a 3-4 day breakdown for my week ahead 🙂 CLICK HERE to listen, taken from my 10 Minutes a Day bootcamp. I don’t use a microwave for health reasons and so planning can also include when to take things out the freezer (frozen onions/ garlic and green veggies as mentioned above and organic bolognaise). I have a 3-4 day food planner on my kitchen noticeboard and I check in with it every night and take what I need for the next day.
6. Mindful Chef – I love Mindful Chef so much and have been ordering for over 2 years now. I order 3 meals for two people and because I’m by myself, that means I get 3 dinners and 3 left over lunches. They now have 15 minute meals too which are SO good. I also sometimes make them up, eat half and freeze the other half. I always choose meals that have the least prep / faff. They do have amazing but slightly more time consuming ones so I’m clever with what I choose. Also I tend to prep them 30-60 mins ahead of me putting them together. Sometimes me and the boys share a Mindful Chef meal (we made this jackfruit curry last weekend and it was awesome!), other times I sit with the kids whilst they have dinner and then I’ll put mine together afterwards or once my youngest is in bed. Mindful Chef has helped me discover really simple meals and if I have a recipe I love then I’ll repeat it or adapt it buying the ingredients myself. Some of you will know that I’m an ambassador for Mindful Chef which I am SO proud of. They have just announced that they have helped provide over 1 million meals for children in poverty with their One Feeds Two Campaign. People often challenge the cost, but a ready meal cottage pie and bag of spinach from Waitrose comes to about £7 and when my clients total up what their lunches cost in M&S or Leon, you can see why more and more people are using them. And my twin sons love helping me prep the meals and having boy-Mum time in the kitchen. We get excited when the box arrives to see what’s in there and it also teaches the boys about more unusual ingredients and inspires them to try different foods too 🙂
7. Healthy sauces that make ‘normal’ things taste great – I have got these from Mindful Chef recipes I’ve had in the past and I’m always amazed as to how healthy they are and how you can use them for anything. These are my three favourites. The dill dressing made with coconut yogurt – I add capers to it too! Salsa Verde (seriously simple, off the scale tasty) and this Sesame Slaw is so awesome, I make it up and use it over 2-3 days.
8. Start the day the right way – We usually start the day with a family veg smoothie or veg juice. Favourite veg smoothie concoctions at the moment are the Waitrose frozen spinach, kale, kiwi and mango mix, a banana, oat milk, chia seeds and water. My boys are not great with veg but they will drink these and my easy veg soup. We make it a joy not a chore – the tunes get cranked up and we all get involved. It teaches the kids the importance of healthy eating and most importantly that healthy eating can be fun and EASY!
9. Know what to take when eating on the go – I work remotely a lot and I often eat my home made breakfast and lunch in my car or local coffee shop (I’ll order a peppermint tea if in a coffee shop and most are happy for you to eat your own lunch. If they challenge it just say you’ve got extreme dietary requirements and allergies!) My favourite things are soaked oats (oats, chia seeds, coconut flakes, nuts, seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg and oat milk) – all mixed up in a Tuppaware and then left in fridge overnight. My quinoa rice mixes also work well in a Tuppaware (TOP TIP – if you are using lettuce leaves or larger veg ingredients, chop them up in the box with a pair of scissors so that you can eat easily with one hand/a fork!). I sometimes make flapjacks – CLICK HERE for some healthy flapjack ideas, I take soup in a flask, and I often have left over Mindful Chef meals, no need to heat them up usually either, just as tasty cold in most cases!)
10. Work on your mindset! It’s so easy to complain and get stressed. But you can turn this around with thoughts, solutions and yes, you’ve guessed it – getting out of your own way! If you’re going into healthy eating and food organisation with a ‘this is a ball-ache’ mindset, guess what, it will be! Ask yourself WHAT IS MY OBJECTIVE with healthy eating? And then FIND THE SOLUTIONS! As me a my co-coach Gill on teach on BEST, ‘Practice makes permanent’. It took me quite a few attempts to work out what works best AND I have to change and adapt as my kids / home / work situation change. And of course I get bored with things and switch things up. But one of my favourite quotes by Roald Dahl is “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm”… So just get stuck in with a smile on your face!
This week’s food planning for me looked like this. Usually I would do 2 planning blocks – hear more about why I do this on this FREE 10 minute audio on Food planning I mentioned above (CLICK HERE to listen).
Also I should just say that me and my children sometimes eat all together and other times I sit with them whilst they eat or I’m in the kitchen doing things whilst they are eating. As I say, all my 3 children like different things so my food planning might seem more difficult than most. But there’s not much I can do other than work with what I’ve got!
|Sunday||All – Roast dinner
(variants: Harry had pasta instead of potatoes, I had veggie burgers instead of chicken. Tabitha has potatoes and veggies as she doesn’t like chicken)
|Me – Tuna / bean / salad mix on some rocket
Boys – fried eggs on toast and bowl of veg soup
Daughter – scrambled egg on toast and broccoli (she eats a lot of veg and chooses green veg over chocolate – nothing I’ve done myself, she is just like me and eats all veg – opposite to my boys)
|Monday||Me – Tuna / bean / salad mix on rocket with peppers
Kids – Boys have packed lunch – wheat free seeded ham wraps, olives, clementine, grapes, packet of crisps, mini dark chocolate beetroot muffin
Tabitha has wf wrap with peanut butter, hoummas and crudité, olives and ½ packet of crisps or some plain popcorn.
|Me – Mindful Chef meal – Ginger and Tamari haddock with brown rice noodles and pak choi
Kids – Spaghetti bolognaise with WF pasta. The sauce is 30% organic mince and 70% veg and inc half a tin of red lentils – I sit with the kids and sometimes have a mini portion of what they’re having and then cook Mindful Chef meal once my daughter has gone to bed or when the kids watch a TV show together.
Harry will have with sweetcorn, Monty peas, Tabitha peas and broccoli.
|Tuesday||Me – Left over Mindful Chef meal as I’m working at home
Kids – lunch as above
|Me – Boiled eggs and salad ( I will boil up 6 organic eggs so that I have enough for lunch tomorrow and a snack the following day)
I will also bake up some sweet potatoes so I have some for lunch tomorrow.
Kids – veg sausage and eggs on toast and beans (smaller dinner as pancake day!)
NB we don’t usually have pudding at home, maybe once every 7-10 days but we do always have pancakes on pancake day.
|Wednesday||Me – Left over boiled eggs and sweet potato with salad
Kids as above
|Me – Mindful Chef – Honey and ginger salmon with rainbow slaw
Kids Baked fish and pesto wf pasta
Harry will have with sweetcorn, Monty peas, Tabitha peas and broccoli.
Second half of the week (this may change depending on plans and I don’t usually do the second part of the week until Wednesday – but I wanted to show you a whole week!)
|Thursday||Me – Left over Mindful chef from last night (I have this cold and might add some salad)
Kids as above
|All – home made mushroom risotto. Me and my daughter will have with greens and the boys will have some baked chicken with it
I’ll make up a quinoa / bean / herb salad mix too – takes 10 mins
|Friday||Me – Salad mix made night before with some houmous||Me – Mindful Chef Italian tomato ragu and butter bean mash (will freeze half for another time)
Boys mackerel with egg noodles cooked with ginger, garlic, chilli and Tamari
Tabithas left over risotto with greens / raw peppers
|Saturday|| My twins love to cook and once a week at the weekend we choose and try a new meal to make. We haven’t planned this one yet!
|Recent meals include:
Turkish lamb pilaf in the slow cooker
Thai chicken risotto
* 2-3 day food planning from 10 mins bootcamp – CLICK HERE
* SELF-CARE eating plans and food book which is a 49 page E-book taken from my SELF-CARE bootcamp – CLICK HERE to get access
* Access to a Facebook healthy eating kids video – please note you need to be on Facebook to access this and join my secret group as I can’t share it, but it’s 75 minutes of top tips and mindset around healthy children’s eating. CLICK HERE to access (and when you are in the group, search videos or search ‘healthy kids top tips’)
Programs that could help you:
Food Management Made Easy – CLICK HERE for more details! This is quite a few years old now and I will be updating it next year and putting it into an express version but it’s on sale from £125 to £29 and the content has helped hundreds of women positively adjust their food management for life as a result! It also includes a 28 day photo food diary webinar from my children, daily and weekly planning strategies and lots of other helpful and inspirational content.
NEW! My happy healthy family course will be out later in the year
If you’re a parent I’d love to get your feedback on any struggles that you have with your children/family’s health, fitness, food and mindset as I put this program together. CLICK HERE for my anonymous survey link!
If you have any questions let me know and remember that I now post my food diaries (including a lot of my children’s too!) over on my Janey Holliday business Facebook page!