When life gives you lemons, makes lemonade like Beyonce!
Sometimes it just feels like things are going against you right? Maybe you want to make positive changes to your diet and lifestyle but your purse strings are tight… or you really want to meal prep and plan your eating regime but other things going on in your life or your work schedule make this feel impossible… oh and then there’s shift work! Shift work is the worse! But you know what guys – you have to be positive – you are the consequences of your decisions… come on, i’m going to help you make some good ones, get you feeling healthy with some healthy living tips and spread my Protein Haus love out to y’all!
I spent years working shifts as a gym instructor, and the shifts would rotate, so 1 week i would be on early 5.30-2.30pm, then mid shifts 10-7, and then the lates 2-10pm. Oh and not forgetting some weekends thrown in for extra havoc! So i know what’s it like and i’m not shy to admit that i found it really challenging – i’m naturally an early riser so i found late shifts really hard, in terms of my energy levels, my meals, even my own exercise routine. So, here’s some key tips to keep my shift workers (and the rest of you too!) feeling at the top of your game:
Exercise – it doesn’t matter when, just make sure it features somewhere in your day! There are so many studio classes around now that offer off-peak classes in mid-morning and afternoons check out www.1rebel.co.uk . I always find exercising first thing is best but if you start work super early this might not be possible. In this case, try and get a quick 20 min run in on your break – it might sound silly, i can hear you saying, “like what difference is 20mins going to make?!” but it will burn a few hundred calories, help balance your hormones and crucially it will make you feel good… and there is nothing more effective at keeping your diet, exercise and positive mindset on track than the feel-good factor! If you are going to exercise after your shift, then make sure you don’t eat loads beforehand as eating lots of food tends to make you sluggish, and you will be far more likely to head to the sofa rather than the gym! Having said that, even if you have overdone it and eaten the whole canteen, find the determination and courage to force yourself to exercise on that full belly! Yes you will feel uncomfortable and you’re unlikely to be physically able to push yourself as hard in your workout as you would normally, but this doesn’t matter – what’s key here is that you will still gain the feel good factor by challenging yourself and showing commitment, you will still feel better burning some calories rather than none (or worse indulging in more on the couch when you should be sweating them out at the gym!) and finally, the discomfort you feel from having eaten too much beforehand will teach you a lesson and you’ll be much less likely to make the same mistake next time!
Food choices – if your exercise needs to happen after work, then choose small and simple meals to keep you fuelled beforehand. I would recommend:
– 1 grilled chicken breast with some tomatoes
– 1 protein bar
– half a sandwich
– fruit salad with a plain yogurt
– 1 banana and 5-6 raw almonds
You need to be having one of these snacks every few hours in order to keep you energised!
Cutting Costs – being healthy on a budget is possible i promise! Simply buy some tupperware and prep at home, the ingredients themselves are all cheap. Some ideas for brilliant budget eating include:
– Tinned tuna + some lettuce + little olive oil
– Eggs on toast
– Beans on toast
– Rice cakes with some nut butter
– Grilled chicken with a veg thats on offer on the supermarket
– 0%fat free plain yogurt topped with some raw almonds (almonds are much cheaper if you buy in big bags)
– Whey protein, buy a large tub online, grab a shaker, add water and it gives you a quick meal. If you need more substance make with milk and add a banana!
I have ‘budget but healthy’ recipes, meal plans and helpful tips in my Keep it Clean ebook too if you want lots more ideas on this: http://proteinhaus.co.uk/shop
Exercise doesn’t need to cost the earth either – most boutique workout studios offer budget and first time offers, such as ‘try your first class free’ or a special bundle deals for new joiners. ‘Pure Ride’ in Moorgate have a half price offer on a 10 classes pack right now! (https://www.pureride.co.uk) And most gyms will let you have a free guest pass to ‘try before you buy’ …so go try, you don’t have to buy!! Or shop around for a budget gym, there are so many around now and offer so much value for your money it’s great, for example Pure Gym (https://www.puregym.com) or ‘Move Your Frame’ in Shoreditch offer a great price for classes www.moveyourframe.com. Take your own homemade post-workout shake with you, with some ice cubes in to keep it cool whilst you’re working up a sweat, and you’re onto a winner, living the healthy lifestyle! Plus of course don’t forget that ‘exercise’ means moving so do absolutely anything YOU want, that makes YOU feel good, and just make sure you do it at least 4 times a week. And don’t forget the complete awesomeness that is YOUTUBE – an unlimited array of different exercise routines and workouts ALL completely free with a wifi connection! Type in “30 min home workout” and be amazed at how much choice you have, pick one and give it a go, it won’t cost you anything!
Wheatley Wisdom / Healthy Lifestyle / Top Tips
– Have a least 1 smoothie or protein shake per day, every ‘how to be healthy’ guide will tell you this! lol
– Eat at least 2 portions of green veggies a day, a portion equals a fist size, so double that up for x2!
– Have a good source of protein at least every 6 hours (from: seeds, nuts, beans, fish, dairy, hemp, meat, chicken).
– Always carry some gym kit in your bag! When the mood takes you or if you get an unexpected break from work, you can squeeze a workout in.
The Zzzzzzs – getting enough rest is also really important to keep you sane! If you are like me and wake up at 5am, run around doing shizz, then work a late shift until 11pm, get home, eat and finally get to bed at 1am with just 4 hours until the next alarm clock… then you need to consider if your body is getting enough time to repair and recharge (hmm, note to self!) You can balance this out by trying to catch-up on some extra sleep in the day – get up early to exercise and then have a little nap before you start work, even if you don’t sleep but your body just feels rested.
I hope this helps – above all, keep it positive and you’ll be stronger for it!