If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ll probably have sent that I have been partaking in a campaign with Seasonal Berries called #berriesnotbiscuits; focussing on including more berries into your meals and snacks during the working day to help increase energy levels. I know how tempting it can be, to reach for a quick, sugary chocolate bar or sweets during a long day at work, when you’re feeling tired and sluggish mid-afternoon. Obviously everybody is unique, but for me, when I used to snack on these things during my college years, they would always leave me suffering from sugar crashes and just generally rather.. bleurgh! When I’m low on energy and starting to get those hunger cravings, my body is more likely to start craving sugary foods and I want something that’s going to be quick.. and tasty. However, I honestly can’t tell you how different I feel energy-wise depending on how I’ve fuelled my body that day. I used to feel tired and sluggish all of the time and suffer from terrible bloating and stomach pain. Before I had any knowledge about food or fitness, I thought this was just going to be the ‘normal’ for me and had no idea that a few simple changes to my diet and lifestyle would have such a huge impact on how I felt.
I’m also someone who needs to eat quite frequently throughout the day and if I haven’t eaten in a while, then people will certainly know about it! I most certainly get very HANGRY! Although I work from home, the majority of my day is spent on my feet, running around the kitchen, styling food and setting up photography shoot.. so I’m pretty much non-stop from 8am. I then head to the gym around 5ish to train; so it’s important that I fuel my body properly throughout the day, in order to get through all of the work tasks planned and then feel ready to tackle my gym session. Fuelling your body is important at all times and not just before or after you train though; you need to make sure that you’re energised and ready for everything! I find that if I haven’t eaten enough throughout the day, this has a negative impact on my energy levels and I really struggle to concentrate and be productive. However, I also understand that it can sometimes be a little inconvenient to keep making food throughout a busy working day. To combat this, I tend to either prepare food in advance, or have lots of ingredients on hand, enabling me to quickly throw something together. I very rarely actually prepare entire meals before hand; I prefer cooking up batches of different things e.g. chicken, sweet potatoes, rice etc. and then being able to throw these together with some fresh veggies as and when needed. This way I can create lots of different meals with ease and they still taste freshly made each time! Even though meal prepping can be very handy and convenient, I much prefer creating fresh meals as and when I need them and I don’t always know what I’m going to fancy. So that’s why this way works best for me!
When it comes to snacking throughout the day, I’d have to say that I am a big fan. I tend to eat 5-6 smaller meals during the day, as I find this is what works best for me and helps to maintain my energy levels. Two of my absolute snacking staples are smoothies and protein porridge. My go-to protein smoothie is a combination of mixed berries, protein powder and coconut milk. Not only do the berries provide a delicious flavour, but they’re also packed with vitamins and fibre. As for my protein oats, berries are of course my absolute favourite toppings of choice and are seriously delicious when they become all warm and melted into the oats. If I don’t have much time and need something really quick when I’m in a rush or out and about on the go, I love to grab a box of fresh berries and just snack on those by themselves. They’re really refreshing, beautifully sweet and also really low calorie snacking options. For me, the most effective healthy snacking and meal options are those that I love the taste of and are also really easy to prepare. If you have to spend hour slaving away in the kitchen, then you might be more likely to reach for a less healthy, convenience food option. In lots of cases, preparation and making sure that enjoy what you’re eating is the key to a maintainable routine. I like to keep my nutrition simple and focus on foods that I love to eat and that my body loves too!