Karl Henry: This is what should be in your shopping trolley this week
School of Health Week 4: This week, our fitness expert says planning is key
So how did you get on with last week’s homework? It was probably the hardest yet, making positive lists, spending time reflecting, HIIT sessions and the big spring clean, there was a lot going on. But you see, real health takes time, effort, patience, balance and above all else — trust and faith in yourself that you can do it.
The whole purpose of this series, is to show you just how doable real health is. Simply by taking it week by week, assessing the different aspects of your life — and not singling out just one — it can be achieved. So a big high five for getting this far.
This week let’s tackle the weekly food shop.
This is probably my favourite day of the week and something everyone should be doing.
It’s probably the single most important factor in getting you and your family healthy all year round. Simply by stocking everything you need for the week ahead, you are setting yourself up for success, health and making life a whole lot easier.
So grab those reusable bags, head off to the shops and try fill your shopping trolley with the following:
* Lean proteins: Lean meat, fish, chicken, turkey, lentils and eggs are all great sources of protein, they should be filling a fistful on your plate and build your meals around it, great for batch cooking too.
* Dairy: I know it’s a topical one at the moment, but unless a registered dietician or your GP advises you not to take it, then load up. Greek yoghurt and milk are staples in our house, great for recovery, brilliant for breakfast, what’s not to love.
* Colourful fruit and veg: Five to seven portions of fruit and veg a day folks, that’s what you should be having. Your shopping trolley should be full of colour — greens, orange, yellow, red and blue, the more colours the better, you will also be amazed at just how good value fruit and veg actually is, try it and you will be surprised.
* Nuts and seeds: Great for snacks, for breakfast in your porridge or yoghurt, full of goodness too. The obvious tip is to avoid any that are covered in anything. Cashew, Brazil and walnuts are all fantastic. Portion size should be a palmful — not a palm pyramid.
* Water: Big six packs of water can be super handy. They tend to be 1.5 litre bottles and one to two of these bottles a day will be your recommended water intake, giving you a visual goal to work towards each day. Especially handy if you are commuting, as you can place it in a backpack and just sip on the way into and from work
* Porridge oats: The breakfast of champions, cheap and full of energy, especially now that the mornings are getting colder. You can also make a whole host of things with oats, including your own granola. Porridge oats are a staple in our food shop each week.
Obviously there will be more things you can add; dark chocolate, the odd treat, sweet potatoes and so on, but this is a really good starting point. The key lesson from today’s column is planning for success when it comes to food. Getting that big shop is crucial, stock anywhere you spend time with the food and drinks that you want to eat and you are rocking.
Homework week four: Put down the phone and get motivated
* FOOD: So let's continue the learning curve. I want you to pick out four new recipes that you are going to cook this week. Don't go for the easy option either, let's aim to push your boundaries. As always, keep up the batch cooking so the freezer is full of yummy food.
* LIFESTYLE: Not everyone will like this task. This week we are aiming for phone-free meals. I want you to have one phone-free meal per day, it can be any meal, whatever suits you. Simply put your phone away or turn it off and just focus on the food, the people, the taste and the time-out to enjoy your meal.
Remember eating while on your phone is not good for your health.
* EXERCISE: HIIT last week was a tough one I'm sure. So this week the homework is to build your own week of exercise. I want to see what you have learnt over the last three weeks, remember to put some cardiovascular work and resistance work into the programme and aim for three to four workouts in total.
* MOTIVATION: Your motivation goal is to put your fitness to good use. Find an event, a race, run, walk, anything that appeals to you and sign up for it .
Don't sign up for something that you know you can complete easily, instead try something out of your comfort zone that you will have to work towards and then just knuckle down and go for it.
Health & Living