An easy guide to finding a better work-life-eating balance

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Achieving a positive work-life balance – where your career, social life, and family life are all equally fulfilling – seems like the ultimate goal, doesn’t it?

But what if we told you that the work-life balance you’re aiming for might not be as satisfying if it doesn’t include a third element: food?

Molecular nutritionist Dr. Emma Beckett tells SBS that we should all aim for the more holistic goal of achieving work-life-nutrition balance. This is because food is a key component that we all need to consider when creating a lifestyle that meets our mental, emotional, and physical needs.

“If you’re too busy at work or at home, it’s much harder to make nutritious food choices,” says Dr. Beckett, senior lecturer in the School of Environmental and Life Sciences at the University. University of Newcastle.

“So it’s very important that we think about food and how it relates to our work-life balance, because your work, your personal life and your diet are all holistically interconnected. We usually don’t give ourselves enough credit or time to think about it.

Time for holistic change

Achieving a balanced diet is eating well. But it’s also about getting fulfillment from good food in a very personal way.

For some people, finding a healthy balance will allow them to work hard all day and take a break to eat a nourishing lunch. Or, maybe it could give them the space to have breakfast in a peaceful way before the start of an energetic day.

However it applies to your life, balanced eating should synchronize your personal priorities of eating, working, caring for family, socializing, and having time for yourself so that you feel physically well. , emotionally and mentally.

“I don’t want to make people feel guilty and say things have to be perfect all the time, because they don’t have to be,” says Dr. Beckett. Sometimes we are busy and tired. We make a less than optimal food choice just to survive and respond to professional or personal pressures. Its good.

“But in the long run, what we ultimately want is more than survival. We want to find a work-life-eating balance that works for us to thrive.

Balance your dietary needs with the realities of life

There is no single solution to achieve nutritional balance. But in general, says Dr. Beckett, it revolves around your relationship with food and your perception of eating.

“If you put too much pressure on your career or family life and see food as fuel to get you through the day, or as a reward for getting through the day, then you’re not going to thrive physically. mentally or emotionally,” she says. .

“Remember that food is an experience. We have taste buds for a reason.

“We want to find a work-life-eating balance that works for us to thrive.”

Dr. Beckett recommends considering these five elements when creating a personalized eating plan that allows you to “balance” the dietary aspects of your well-being with the other parts of your life.

1. Think about your cultural values

“Our genetics, where we come from and how that influences what we find palatable, our religious practices and our traditional understanding of what food means will make a difference in what we prefer to eat and what balance means. for us.”

So take the time to reflect on your cultural values, but be careful not to let them overwhelm you.

2. Keep it simple

Culinary satisfaction doesn’t always require fancy dishes. “It’s not necessarily where we all find joy in food. You can eat simple and easy foods.

“For example, you could start the day with something quick and easy for breakfast, like a high-fiber cereal that you think tastes good. It’s about eating healthy meals that fit into your everyday life.

3. Routine versus mindfulness

Some people will get more pleasure from food if they eat mindfully. But if that’s not you, don’t worry.

“For some, being very routine about their diet will work and bring satisfaction. For others, the joy of eating is found in variety and spontaneity.

Find what works for you and stick with it.

4 times

The only thing that is fixed in our life is time: we cannot create more of it. “So we have to make decisions about where we allocate that time, and in doing so, convenient foods can sometimes be healthy foods.”

Dr. Beckett cites frozen vegetables, canned beans and tomatoes, dry pasta and wholemeal bread as examples of healthy time-saving staples.

5. Eat what you like

“Diet culture wants to tell us that there is a right way and a wrong way to eat. So everyone wonders which fruit, vegetable or whole grain product they “should” eat.

“But if you eat the fruits, vegetables and whole grains that you love, then it will be easier for you to eat well and you will be more likely to achieve a better work-life-eating balance.

“So remember: it doesn’t matter which one you eat. Just eat the fruits, vegetables, and whole grains that you love that fit your life, and keep it simple. If you do that, everything else will fall into balance.

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