What happened, happened: to resume habits! – Health & Wellness

The holidays, vacations and even a World Cup passed. It was an atypical December, perhaps with more events and social gatherings than normal. Some of them could be faced in a better way than others, but that is no excuse. What happened happened. It is time to resume the habits learned during the year. By the Nutritionist Delfina Pintos.

Where to start?
Mainly, Remember: What motivated the beginning of this change of habits? Make a list with the Why: Why do you want to achieve a healthy lifestyle? How will life improve, achieving this?


On the other hand, it is also a good idea to make a list of pros and cons:
List them!

This exercise will make it possible to weigh, in a more graphic way, whether the benefits of making a change are greater than the inconveniences that it can generate.
Once the initial motivation has been renewed, it is time to get down to work.

First of all, with a good cleaning. Check refrigerators, cupboards and other storage places. Remove food and/or drinks that are not part of the daily diet out of reach.

The home should be a safe place, where healthy foods are in sight and ready to be used in different preparations.

Second, after cleaning, prepare a weekly menu and a shopping list, taking into account everything that is needed to prepare them. In this way, you can make a smart purchase, knowing exactly what you are going to buy and avoid spending money on unnecessary things, as well as forgetting important foods.

Finally, at home, with everything you need, prepare everything that is possible to cook in advance. Today, free time is scarce, so if the goal is to improve diet and lifestyle, organization is essential. For this, the techniques of “Batch Cooking” are very useful.

But what is that? Batch Cooking literally means “to cook in batches”. That is, cooking in one day, the food of most of the week. In this way, it is easier to sustain the habit of eating homemade food, with natural foods, avoiding falling into ultra-processed or fast foods.

Having already an elaborate menu, it is easier to recognize which are the foods that can be left prepared. For example:

· Instead of boiling only the egg that will be used in the salad of the day, 5-6 are already boiled and can be stored in the refrigerator to be consumed on different days of the week. The same can be done with legumes or grains.

· In the case of vegetables, a variety of vegetables can be prepared in the oven, cutting into strips, seasoning to taste and turning on the oven for a single day. They can be stored in glass containers with lids in the fridge.

· With chicken, for example, it can be cut up and frozen, the breasts can be left already cut into fillets to make it easier to remove from the freezer and cook at the moment, elaborate hamburgers or homemade milanesas can be left, instead of falling for the purchased ones , where the ingredients thereof are unknown.

· The oven already turned on can be used to cook puddings, or oatmeal or whole-grain muffins that make breakfast or snacks easier for the week.

· Raw vegetables can be stored already washed and cut in glass containers, without seasoning to have quick access to salads when you get home.

Finally, it is essential to resume physical activity, if it was abandoned for a few days, then, again, planning is the key.

Detect the moments of the day that can be used for some type of activity. When exercise is not a habit, it is not a day-to-day activity, the first challenge is to find the time that will be devoted to it. Once you have your place in the routine, it is much easier to stick to this point.

A lifestyle change is a process, and as such, it has ups and downs. The important thing is, before each stumble, get up and try again.
NdR: Article published in the Educational Material of Icarus Centro de Salud & Longevidad, January 2023

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