Aisling Connolly: Fitness, Diet and the life of a busy mum
Summer is underway, and I would like to have a positive seasonal influence on everyone by pointing out some simple changes that will help you get underway on a healthier lifestyle journey. There are endless complicated diet plans, exercise plans for the gym that you would need to carry a calculator in your gym bag in order to add and multiply the reps and sets and to be honest I know this can put people off.
We all know that Rome wasn’t built in a day and that we have to inject patience in to our lives when we expect change especially that of the human body. It can take weeks to see any physical changes and that can be discouraging if we don’t get started now rather than later. In order to see changes quickly it is important that you feel good yourself rather than focusing on looking good to start with.
It is amazing what the following changes can do for energy levels, mood changes, and overall enjoyment of life. Let’s give this a go – to make diet changes that will become permanent, you must not cut out carbohydrates but instead replace them with smart carbs.
If you have any white bread in your bread bin – put it in a blender and make breadcrumbs from it, put it in freezer bags and store in your freezer for treat days when making crispy home-made chicken or home-made fish fingers! –
Do not buy any more white bread!
White bread is one of our biggest flaws. I recently went home to Ireland for the weekend and as traditional mammy’s do, my mum had purchased an entire bread van delivery of soda breads, thick toasted white loaves, raisin white bread you name it. Of course she meant well and the entire family were home for the weekend and were in holiday mode, however white breads are full of salt and sugar and it makes us feel so bloated. If you can get your hands on a “Wheat – germ” loaf of bread, then go for it and see the changes it makes to your energy levels.
• Early Rising
OK, so maybe you’re a part-time worker or semi-retired or you simply don’t have to be up at 6am every day. Please make a conscious effort to rise up from your beds at 6am 3 mornings out of 7 and start your day with a glass of lemon and water and head off on a simple 2 mile walk. (This applies to those who currently don’t exercise at all and those who do) just make this leap and you will 100% see a change soon. These all lead on to one another.
If you are up early in the morning and start your day eating healthy and feeling fresh that pattern will continue through your day. The reverse of that can reduce success by 50%. In simple terms what I mean is that if you sleep in and focus on exercising last thing at night and start your day with white bread and bacon – the pattern of your day will be “sluggish, tired, negative” in comparison to the first suggestion.
Put some music on when preparing food – move whenever you can during your day. Set an alarm for every 35 minutes to make sure you have moved around enough in the day (This includes office workers. Stand up at your desk for 20 minutes if you can, It helps.)
Make a smoothie 3 days per week to accompany a smaller evening meal – an example would be • Smoothie ingredients (Kale or Spinach, a tablespoon of ground ginger, a full orange, 200ml of cold water, 2 ice cubes and blend together.
Your meal to accompany this smoothie (Small Breast of Chicken, a scoop of sweet potato mash sprinkle of goat’s cheese, broccoli, carrots and some piri piri sauce perhaps.
Drink at least 2 litres per day – space it out and try and be done with it by 7pm.