On April 11th, we published “How to Fit Healthy Habits Into Your Busy Work Schedule: Part 1”, exploring reasons it’s easy to slip into unhealthy habits, and providing insights for incorporating exercise into busy schedules. This post (the second part of our Healthy Habits series) will focus on nutrition.
When your workday consists of commuting to work, client meetings, court, and back home, it’s a feat to even predict when you’ll get a chance to eat, let alone what you’ll eat. Meal planning is one of the best ways to take control of the unknown. Taking time to plan your meals is sometimes all it takes to ensure there’s no guesswork and meet your health goals.
Another important aspect of nutrition is eating clean. If you refuel with whole foods instead of processed foods, you’ll have the energy you need to juggle all the balls you have in the air. Working plenty of protein and vegetables into your diet will help you achieve a popular recommendation of nutritionists: eating with nutrients in mind.
One thing that makes it difficult for lawyers to eat well is the time it takes to prepare meals. (We all know lawyers are short on time outside of work.) As far as meal prep goes, cooking and packing meals for the week in your free time is a good option. Here are some ideas for making quick meals:
- Blend smoothies to go.
- Embrace leftovers.
- Keep healthy snacks with you so you don’t have to succumb to an unhealthy option in a time crunch.
- Question your meal-prep habits to uncover more efficient methods.
It can be a lot to manage healthy eating. Some days you feel fantastic, and other days you might stumble. The most important thing is not giving up. As long as you look at your health as a journey and not as a destination, it’ll be easy to make it over any speedbumps that arise. Here are some tips for living a healthy lifestyle:
- Be mindful about the decisions you’re making. It’s okay to have a cheat meal when you need one, just be aware of it. Taking time to reflect on what you’ve eaten helps you realize what’s worth the calories to you.
- Remember it takes time to figure out a routine. As you go through major life events, stay positive as your body adjusts.
- Know when you’re being too hard on yourself. It’s important to maintain a positive self-image. Your reflection in the mirror and your weight on the scale don't tell the whole story. Keep the focus on the benefits of healthy living, and never beat yourself up because of your image.
- Know when your body needs a break. We're all human, and it’s impossible to be perfect all the time. If you are constantly hungry or are convincing yourself you can push past your breaking point at the gym, you’re putting unnecessary stress on yourself, which isn’t healthy. Listen to your body.
The decision to make healthy choices is a personal endeavor, something each individual has to be comfortable with on their own. Doing things that make you feel good will help you tackle your to-do list every day and defy any unhealthy stereotypes about the legal profession. If you see areas your firm could improve, make recommendations to your HR department. You could be the champion behind new policies that address a popular sentiment.