To follow on from my post, ‘Do you read food labels?’ I thought I’d write this post to share what has helped me.
Understanding food labels
To understand food labels on packets and tins, there will be times that you have to work out the salt, fat, sugar and saturates, as not all packets and tins have the red, amber and green indicators to help you quickly decide. But if you take the time to work it out, it will be all worth it in the end.
To make it easier for yourself, use the food label decoder, like the one below. I printed this off the British Heart Foundation website, by downloading the ‘Eating Well’ booklet at the end of their page. I laminated it and I have this in my purse, so it is always to hand. (I printed off two of these booklets, so I had a complete booklet to refer to, as it has useful information in there.)
I also signed up with ‘Change for life,’ when they started doing sugar swaps and since this, there has been other different information that I refer to from time to time, that they send via email, or from when I visit their website.
Planning what I eat
I asked some of my Facebook friends if they planned what they eat. Most of my friends said they planned for the week ahead, in what they were going to eat. I have never done this myself, with it just being me and no one else to plan with. So tips were shared on how they planned. I thought I’d give it a go and started with a weekly menu on A4 size paper. I did not include my snacks on it, but I knew what snacks I’d have come mid-morning and mid-afternoon.
Breakfast time I mostly have cereals, as this is quick for me. I’d have something like Weetabix, porridge, or shredded wheat, which I change from one day to the next. This would follow by a piece of fruit.
I have also started recently having overnight oats, so this has made a change to what I usually eat and it is filling.
Lunch is where my meals are bigger, than dinner. This is because with me working till late and not long before I go to bed when I get home, the last thing I want is something heavy on my stomach. It also makes me last through my shift at work, so I don’t feel hungry too much.
Only meat I have is chicken, rest of time I have fish or something else, to make a meal.
I am known to snack mid afternoon, more than any other time. This can be sometimes boredom, than being peckish. I always make sure that I have fruit, or nuts to hand. Sometimes I will have carrot and cucumber sticks, to dip into houmous.
I mainly have semi-skimmed milk, but occasionally I have soya milk too. But that is a personal choice, than a reason behind it. I don’t add sugar to tea or coffee, but this is nothing new, as I have been doing this since I was a teen.
Since I have started planning my meal ahead, the only thing that has changed now, is that I don’t write the menu on A4, instead I write in a notebook. I include my snacks in this.
Your nurse is a good place to go too
Seeing your nurse about healthy eating is a good place to go, which was something I did, to make sure all I had read, I understood well and what I was personally doing, was correct.
As well as healthy eating, being active also plays a part in staying healthy. I have an exercise bike in the living room, so I can go on this while watching TV. I do 30 minutes, three times a week, along with Pilates at least once a week and I walk where I can.