By: Amy Shapiro
With Fall right around the corner, the reality of a different “Back to School” season is starting to hit home. Most of us will still be working from home, working out at home and eating at home so what better time to touch on healthy “WFH” habits? I find Fall to be an invigorating time of year with the crisp air, changing leaves and earthy seasonal veggies. Now the tricky part is, incorporating all these into your daily routine. Let’s get started!
-Start your day with Water - Yes, you read that right, water NOT coffee (don’t worry, coffee comes later). As we sleep we tend to lose water and wake up dehydrated, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Caffeine is a natural diuretic (causes us to lose water) so we want to make sure we hydrate before we caffeinate! I recommend 12 oz of room temperature water (add some lemon for vitamin C) upon waking. You’ll see over time your energy will increase, your appetite will even out and your digestion will be smooth sailing!
-Create an eating schedule - When you work at an office, you naturally find yourself eating on a routine. However when you WFH, that schedule can get pretty wonky which tends to lead to overeating, under eating, low energy, headaches and more. I usually recommend breakfast within two hours of waking up, lunch three hours after that and the same for dinner. If you find dinner comes greater than 5 hours after lunch, add a 100 - 200 calorie snack to keep you going.
-Eat Mostly Plants - It’s not news, but it is important to repeat. Fill at least half your plate with fruits and veggies at every meal. This allows for lots of fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and immune boosting support along with low calorie, filling foods that will fill you up and not fill you out. So go on, add berries to that smoothie, greens with your lunch and roasted veggies with dinner. Add dressing or hot sauce for that extra kick!
-Move all day long - Sure, it’s important to get in your regular workout, but one and done doesn’t really cut it these days. We lack the extra movement from commuting daily and it’s easy to fall into a couch, desk, bed slump. Take your conference calls outside, stand during zoom sessions, take a lunch time hike or a post dinner stroll with a friend (or a podcast) and get some fresh air daily. It will increase your productivity, energy and keep you fit as well.
-Fermented foods FTW - With immunity at the forefront of concerns these days, we want to eat ourselves to wellness, when possible. Add fermented foods to your diet daily and reap the benefits of good for you bacteria. They help keep you regular, while fighting viruses and bacteria from the inside out. Sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, Greek yogurt, Kefir and sourdough bread all fit the bill. If you find that fermented foods don’t agree with your stomach- try adding a probiotic supplement to your diet instead.
Amy Shapiro MS, RD, CDN, is the founder and director of Real Nutrition, a NYC-based private practice dedicated to healthfully and successfully guiding clients to their optimal nutrition, weight, and overall wellness. She is internationally recognized for her individualized, lifestyle-focused approach, which integrates realistic food plans, smart eating habits, and active living. Through encouragement, education, and the right “tricks of the trade”, Amy believes that anyone can achieve their nutritional goals while still enjoying the foods and flavors they crave.