stalking following Jessica Cox on Instagram about six months ago and I was absolutely enamoured with her beautiful food images. Jess is not only an amazing foodie but is a highly qualified nutritionist. I have been to see her as I needed help to tweak my diet to ensure I was not only getting the optimum nutrients for maximum energy and health, but also hopefully stabilising my weight at the same time. The advice on balanced eating she has given me to date has been invaluable and I feel I am well on the right path to a fantastic healthy lifestyle I can maintain into the future.
Here are 10 things Jess knows about balanced eating for busy working mums.
- Start your day right: Ensure your breakfast and lunches contain a combination of your macronutrients, this being carbohydrates, protein and fats. This will provide you with long lasting satiety and reduce cravings for sugar between meals. An example of this would be a brown rice, veggie, chicken and cashew stir fry, or a toasted rye wrap with avocado, spinach, grated beetroot and smoked salmon.
- Don’t skip breakfast: Eating breakfast really does amp up your metabolism for the day. When you’re a mum it’s common to focus on getting the families breakfasts and lunches sorted leaving no time to look after yourself, causing you to be late and run out the door without breakfast. Make it a priority to have your breakfast too, even if its while you are preparing sandwiches for the kids. After all, mums are the queens of multi tasking!
- Snack regularly: Include a morning and afternoon snack with protein to keep your metabolism charging along and to avoid energy slumps (leading to chocolate cravings in the afternoon). A good tip is to include some sweetness with your protein snack, like a handful of pistachios with some raisons or a few dried apricots.
- Watch the carbs: Keep your carbohydrate (or grain) portion of your main meals to just roughly one-third of your meal. For example, if you have the above stir-fry, ensure only one-third of the meal is brown rice.
- Make your vegetables the star of your plate! Aim to make half of your meal vegetables. These vegetables could be roasted, stir-fried, braised and stewed.
- Become best friends with your slow cooker. Don’t have one? Buy one. It’s the best investment kitchen piece you can have. Either in the morning (or the night) before pop in vegetables, meats, legumes, stock and some spices of choice, with some starchy root vegetables such as potatoes or sweet potato. This is a fantastic one pot meal that can serve the entire family and provide leftovers too.
- Watch mindless eating. By this I mean eating left overs off kids plates just to save waste without thinking about it as ‘eating’. Kids left overs can go to the dog, chooks or be composted. Mindless eating often leads to overeating in general.
- Be mindful of reward eating at night. Often by the end of the day it can be a common habit to overeat as a ‘reward’ for making it through a hectic day. Wait 20 minutes before going back for seconds. Nine times out of 10, you will not want it and that craving (along with the emotional response) will have passed.
- Stock your cupboards with quick and accessible snack food and proteins that can be used to throw together nutritious meals. Nuts and seeds such as brazil nuts (rich in selenium and an important nutrient for thyroid health) and pumpkin seeds (high in zinc, vital for hundreds of enzyme functions within the body) are great choices. Canned tuna, salmon and even sardines are quick proteins that can be added to left over vegetables or wraps.
- Get expert help: Unsure about what’s right for your body and your needs? See a nutritionist: an expert can help you gain critical education to enable you to achieve your personal health goals.
Jessica is a passionate foodie and qualified, practicing Nutritionist with a Bachelor Health Science (Nutrition), with over eight years of clinical experience. Jess is the founder and business owner of the successful Jessica Cox Nutritionist Clinic based in Brisbane, Australia. The Jessica Cox Nutritionist Clinic (JCNC) treats all facets of health conditions, though specialises with ongoing digestive issues and food intolerances.
Jess is also the creator of the Jessica Cox website and blog, which is an expression of everything she loves rolled into one, including her passion for creating recipes that catering for food intolerances. Jess is available for consultations at her clinic based in Brisbane, along with Skype and Phone consultations for national and international clients.