I received a great question from a woman who’s doing my 30-Day Fat Loss Jump-Start program, and I think you might be able to relate with her, so I thought I’d post my response. Have you ever felt like you’re too busy or stressed out to stick with a new, unfamiliar way of eating? Well, read on – hope this helps!
I have been doing paleo for a while now; I had added potatoes and rice according to the perfect health diet website, and I had been doing well, I had gotten down to a size 8, and felt great. But then last year I had more job stress than I had ever had before, and fell off the wagon. Two weeks ago I started again, (no potatoes or rice this time) and thought you might help with navigating these stressful periods that derail my efforts.
It’s the long hours that derail me – when I don’t have time to eat well and stay on a schedule, and too tired to cook a healthy meal or to exercise. Tonight was that kind of night, I did manage to eat well, except for 2 Luna bars, which I had resolved to not eat (should have thrown them out). I did not feel like exercising tonight either – I usually do 30 mins. with the kettlebell. I am 58 yrs old with no health issues, except needing to lose about 30 lbs.
What advice can you give me to stay on track during long hours on the job?
This is a tough one because stress can make us feel so tired, hopeless, defeated, and everything else negative. It’s hard to stay on track. My first tough question for you is can you decrease your stress levels or work hours? Maybe talk to your boss about it, change your schedule, or ask for help so that you’re not doing so much work/so many hours? That seems like the first step, but I understand that sometimes there’s just going to be a lot of work stress
The other thing I’d suggest is just removing any no-no foods from your house or workspace (at least the workspace you have control over). Just don’t buy them.
I’d also consider looking into a personal chef. I know that sounds a little crazy and expensive, but you can usually find someone to come in once a week to bake, cook, and prep all of your meals in advance at a reasonable cost – maybe like $45-$80/hour. No more than a good massage would cost. That way you have all the food you need in your fridge or freezer, including healthy snacks.
If that’s not an option, I’d take one evening of your week – or every couple weeks – and just bake and cook like crazy. Make huge batches of soups/stews/any favorite meals. Make huge batches of healthy Paleo muffins or breads. Chop up a bunch of veggies and put them in bags for stir frys or salads later. Roast a bunch of chicken breasts or thighs, pork chops, or burgers with just salt and pepper so you can add them to whatever meal or snack you want later. Then everything is in your fridge or freezer.
If you don’t have time for that, the other option is to buy a lot of your meals pre-cooked from people like PetesPaleo.com or PaleoOnTheGo.com. They’ll ship meals to you so you can just heat them up when you want them. It can be pricey, but it’s definitely an option.
I hope that helps! Best wishes to you.
Wonderfully inspirational ideas, thank you!
I really like some of your suggestions, Neely. It is so hard to keep going when things get super stressful – all those ‘extra’ things we want to do fall off the end of our to do list. The problem is that out health shouldn’t be an ‘extra’! But, it takes time for this to really become a solid part of life when you’re not used to it. I think Jane is awesome for reaching out and asking for help
My advice would be: try out a slow cooker. They take so much stress out of meal prep, and just make busy work days that much easier. Plus, you can make some really delicious food really easily.
Good luck, Jane – I hope things settle down for you soon.
Great tips, Neely! I always prefer to do most of my cooking/prep on one day that way everything is ready to go. I rely on my slow cooker when I’m very busy so dinner is ready when I get home. I also try to exercise throughout my day. I will do 10 min of yoga/stretching in the morning, 10-20 min of walking with a few sprints thrown in at lunch and 10-20 min of some weight lifting or more yoga right when I get home. I don’t usually do all three everyday, but just whatever I can whenever I can. Even if I have a little break at work, I will walk around the block or up and down the halls or I will do jumping jacks, lunges, squats or push ups. My coworkers always giggle at me, but sometimes they join me. My mantra is progress, not perfection! :0)
I think it s a very good answer to her, and when we dont buy bad foods we dont eat them. I have buy an Instant presssure electric one and use it very often and freeze . Yhe pressure cooker take only 1/3 of the time from the regular cooking time, so less cooking time less power expense .
Frankly, didn’t like your answer. Wanted to hear something more “out of this world”so i could absolve myself from making any change!
Those were such PRACTICAL suggestions and perspective! I’m in the midst of a self induced ‘stress-stretch’ but i know it will end by mid February and i have booked some serious ‘cook’ time.
I’ve chosen to back off from pressuring myself to embrace the whole Paleo way during this time.
Ebb and flow.
Thank you, Neely, for posting this timely question. Much appreciated
Planning is the key. Squeeze in a cooking weekend day 1 shop and prep, day2 cook. You can easily prep food for a full month in 8 hours. Portion and freeze
I can definitely do a meal prep day. That’s a great idea.
Great timely article! I just went back to work (12 hour shifts…I am a Nurse) after an 8 month medical LOA. Started AIP in November. So far everything is going great, but I am not back up to a full 12 hr shift yet. I am also 58, and my job can be extremely high stress. Thanks for the tips!
great article , very inspiring
So true.Planning and advanced prep is what helps me the most in those stress times.