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6 Tips for Effortless Eating + Ultimate Self Care

Lara Dalch is a Certified Health & Nutrition Coach in Seattle and founder of Dalch Wellness. Learn more about Lara’s fall online health coaching program, 6 Weeks To Effortless Eating And Ultimate Self Care, here. Program begins September 24.

The fall can be an exhilarating time of new beginnings and fresh starts; but – boy! – can it be exhausting too! With new commitments, social and work engagements at every turn, and “back to school” activities for many, how’s a girl to stay on top of eating well and feeling great?

Effortless eating. That’s how.

And it doesn’t have to be hard. Master these healthy habits for busy people and you’ll be full of energy all fall (and winter!) long.

  1. Keep frozen veggies (and fruit) in the freezer at all times. Pair some veggies with a whole grain and fish or lean meat, and you’ve got a healthy, nourishing meal in minutes, even if you couldn’t pick up fresh produce. Or make a smoothie with frozen berries, some nut butter, and almond or coconut milk for a satisfying and portable breakfast.
  2. Use canned beans. Another great short cut to quick and energy-packed meals. Make sure to buy “no salt added” varieties.
  3. Cook once. Eat three times. Don’t kill yourself cooking elaborate meals every day. When you do cook, make enough food for at least three meals. Store extras in the refrigerator or freezer for ready-made, heat-and-eat meals later.
  4. Make enough grains for the whole week. A corollary of number 3, but particularly useful with grains (brown rice, quinoa, millet, etc.), which can be stored in the refrigerator for several days.
  5. Learn 2 -3 easy recipes by heart. Take the time to make a few recipes enough times that they become your go-to dishes when you’re too tired to think. Make sure they include ingredients that you’re likely to have on hand. At least one of them should be a “one-pot meal” like chili or a stir-fry.
  6. Never leave the house without a healthy snack in your bag. If meetings or cocktail parties run later than expected, no problem! Just have a snack and feel your brain kick back into gear…and your cravings for sugar and caffeine disappear. Some ideas for portable snacks: nuts, Larabars (or other no-sugar-added energy bars), Purely Elizabeth Granola Minis, apples, bananas.
  7. Take a deep breath. Make this a several-times-a-day activity. Just a deep breath. Notice how it clears your head and renews your focus.
  8. Develop an “I need a break alarm” and listen to it. Learn to tune into the signals from your body telling you it’s time for a break. They’re different for everyone but might include headaches, feeling spacey, or losing focus several times in an hour. Stand up. Take a walk. Get some fresh air. Have a glass of water. Just move for a minute. Voila – renewed focus and energy for whatever the new season tosses your way.

And if you’re out of quick veggie ideas for dinner, here’s one of my favorite fall recipes.

Maple Thyme Brussels Sprouts
by Lara Dalch, Certified Health and Nutrition Coach; Founder of Dalch Wellness

Makes 4 servings.

1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, finely chopped teaspoon (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
1 teaspoon maple syrup
Sea salt and ground pepper to taste

Sauté Brussels sprouts and thyme in olive oil until Brussels sprouts are tender and a little browned. You can tell they’re done when they turn a gorgeous shade of bright green, about 5 minutes or so depending on size. Drizzle with maple syrup, add salt and pepper, toss, and serve.

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