Sometimes when we finally get home at the end of a hectic day we can feel completely exhausted. Our eyes might feel worn out if we have been looking at a monitor all day or driving lots. Our bodies might feel heavy and lethargic, like all they need is to sink into the sofa and flop. Cooking dinner might be the last thing you feel like doing yet a good meal is the one thing you really need.
When we feel zapped from all that the day has thrown at us it is a really risky time for making bad nutrition choices. Rather than thinking fresh and healthy, we might be tempted to go for something processed and prepared for us, something that takes little effort.
Here are some top tips for making your evening nutrition better. Food preparation really can be less of a chore and much more enjoyable. Mindfulness is the answer!
1) When you get in from work always get yourself a hydrating drink. Water is best. Most of us find ourselves dehydrated by the end of the day and this can fool us. Sometimes we mistake thirst for hunger and so snacking becomes a real risk. A glass of water before you do anything else will get you thinking straight, it might also slow down your want for a glass of wine or a beer from the fridge!
2) Sit down whilst you have your drink, if only for 2 minutes. Sit and just notice your breath. If you can close your eyes and just enjoy that feeling of giving your body and mind a complete rest. If you have children buzzing around then encourage them to sit with you and have a drink. It will do them good to chill out too.
3) If you are worn out cook something simple. Healthy does not need to mean complicated. Yesterday I did a big tray of roasted vegetables, some new potatoes boiled and we had some tinned fish with it. Totally delicious, ready in 20 minutes and very easy to do. I just pop the veg on a teflon sheet and put it in the oven on 200 for 2o minutes. Kids love the colours, Noah likes to make traffic lights out of the veg on his fork before he eats it.
4) Whilst your food cooks try and take the opportunity to sit down again and enjoy some quiet time. It could be meditating if you can leave your food alone for 5 or 10 minutes. Simply focus on your breath. If you feel you need to get on and do jobs then be mindful whilst you do them. If you are emptying the dishwasher then really focus on what you do. Each time your mind wanders bring it back to the task at hand. Try putting things away without making any noise, that is a brilliant way to check you keep paying attention.
5) Finally, when your food is cooked leave it to stand for 30 seconds whilst you take some deep breaths. Put your hand on your tummy, below your belly button. As you breath in feel you tunny expand and as you breath out feel it flatten. When you are calm before you eat you get so much more nutritional benefit from the foods that you eat. Stay calm and chew slowly. Your food will taste better than ever.
On our Revitalise Day Retreats in Leicestershire we serve amazing fresh and simple food that is really delicious. You will leave with lots of ideas which will help you to enjoy the cooking experience more.