Emma, 42, works from home most days. For exercise, four times a week she walks for an hour and 15 minutes. She avoids drinking alcohol from Monday until Thursday but enjoys a few wines over the weekend. She doesn’t drink coffee or fruit juices, preferring water and tea. Because carbs make her feel bloated and uncomfortable, she doesn’t eat a lot of them and particularly avoids them at night, believing this will help control her weight.
Leftover baked beans on one slice of Vogel’s.
Cup of tea. Very rarely do I have anything to eat at morning or afternoon tea times.
Pumpkin soup. Was starting to get hungry.
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Chicken and mushroom burritos. We call Monday “Mexican Mondays”.
Cup of tea
Mikki Williden’s nutrition quick fix
You have a good understanding of how food affects you. Choosing a lower carbohydrate diet to help manage your weight and digestive issues is a smart move. However, there is nothing magical about avoiding carbohydrates at night — it’s more to do with the amounts consumed across the day. Working from home can limit overall physical activity. Outside of the walk, incidental activity will likely be lower than for office workers — as the trips to the staffroom, to the printer and even from the car at the start and end of the day all add up. Our overall health risk increases when we are less active throughout the day, independent of the structured activity session. Try using a step counter such as a Fitbit or use your smart phone to track the number of steps you do during a day. At home, get into the habit of moving away from your workspace at least every hour to do a load of washing or take a walk to the letterbox.
You didn't appear to consume a lot of food on this day and it also seems light on nutritious sources of fibre. Though baked beans are touted as a healthy choice due to their fibre content, they are really high in sugar, with a can of beans offering 50 per cent beans, 50 per cent sauce and 18g of sugar in a 220g serve. There's 4.5 teaspoons of the maximum six teaspoons added sugar, as recommended by the World Health Organisation, gone before lunch. Ouch! Instead of opening a can of beans, choose an easy dinner such as the quick homemade baked beans. The leftovers would be awesome for breakfast, with a lot less sugar but still good protein, fat and fibre. Some spinach on the side would bump up the vegetable content as that also appears a little sparse on this day.
Soup is a great winter choice; adding coconut milk to it would help ensure you are not extra hungry by dinner time and, therefore, more likely to over eat. Likewise, serving the burritos on a bed of salad with guacamole would help increase fibre and energy.
Mikki Williden is a registered nutritionist and lecturer at AUT University, where she lectures in public health nutrition and sports nutrition at the School of Sport and Recreation. Read Bite articles from Mikki or visit mikkiwilliden.com for more.