How to Create a Visual Healthy Eating Plan

How to Create a Visual Healthy Eating PlanSummer is fast approaching, and if you’re anything like me you’ll be in a blind panic that the only summer clothing that still fits you is your flip flops!

I have taken part in every possible healthy eating regime known to man, purely for blogging purposes of course! So, what have I discovered? Ultimately, I’ve realised that I have absolutely no willpower whatsoever – zilch, nada, nowt! I begin full of enthusiasm and dedication to the cause, but it rarely lasts. The problem here is not the regime; I know so many people who are at their ideal weight and loving a new found confidence after following a specific routine. I understand that my problem is inside my head, and unless I can ditch the self-loathing, I will never crack this.

However, one of the personal development tools I’ve started to use that does help me to stay on track is taking photographs of my favourite healthy meals and designing a meal planner around the images. I’m a visual person and, therefore, I find it motivating to see results and imagine myself living this. When I wrote my first self-help book, I created the phrase Dream It, Live It, Become It, and I find this affirmation to be true in every aspect of my life.

I thought I’d show you what I meant about a visual meal planner by giving you an example below. I stick my planner on the fridge door which helps me to stay on plan as we creep ever closer to strappy tops and hot pant weather.

The first thing I do is find a photograph of myself that I love. One that shows me at what I perceive to be ‘my best.’ That could be an ideal weight, or a time when I was happy, confident, or just feeling balanced.

Then, I add photographs to my visual meal planner, leaving space for me to write notes, recipes, or ingredient lists. You could also add a target date if you’re working towards a specific event like a wedding or holiday.

One of my lovely blogger pals, Ritu, who writes the But I Smile Anyway blog has lost weight recently. She is the one who inspired me to photograph the meals I loved and create the visual healthy eating plan. You can read some of Ritu’s healthy eating posts HERE.

Keeping track of your food via a food diary/journal is an important step to staying in control. It’s far too easy to forget all about that deep fried Mars bar you had after lunch if you haven’t written it down. Planning my meals takes away the stress of ‘what’s for dinner?’ but writing down all the main meals, as well as the little bits that I munch on throughout the day helps me to understand my eating habits better and make necessary changes. I talk about meal planning more in my new book, How I Motivated Myself to Succeed which is due out later this year.

It’s not too late to lose a few pounds or organise your meals before the sun decides to show itself, and we embrace the summer months. Start today. Whip up a delicious curry, spaghetti Bolognese, or salmon and veg then take a picture of it on your phone. Collect them as you go and build up a visual healthy eating plan. You could go a step further and start an Instagram page or Pinterest board to collate your images.

I’d love to hear about your top tips for staying on track with healthy eating or weight loss. Feel free to share your stories in the comments.

Want to know about my meals?

From L – R and top – bottom:

Porridge Oats with milk and berries

Avocado and pepper crush with bacon on ryvita

Teriyaki salmon with wholemeal spaghetti and courgette

Wholemeal toast with natural yogurt, cinnamon and berries

Feta and spinach omelette

Chicken with spinach and tomatoes

Eggy Bread (fried without oil) bananas and blueberries

Chilli prawn linguini

Cajun chicken kebabs with homemade chips

Inspirational ABBA logo

Exciting news! I have been nominated for the Most Inspirational Blogger Award at the 2017 Bloggers Bash!

The criteria is: Who consistently inspires you? Is there a blogger that’s thought provoking and inquisitive? Or perhaps they have become a muse to you with constant provision of inspirational content or imagery? Who’s the one blogger that’s touched your heart? This is the nomination for them.

I would love your vote so please feel free to follow the link and cast your vote. Thanks x

Prioritise Your Daily Tasks and Reduce Stress

Prioritise Your Daily TasksI have a confession. There are certain times when I am totally unorganised. I try to blame it on the moon cycle but to be honest, it’s all on me! At the moment, I’m trying to work on four projects at the same time, and instead of being productive, I’m procrastinating because I’m overwhelmed. Deep down I know that I’m creating a false stress because if I just got on with it, then I would be able to enjoy the creative rewards of achieving these tasks.

The ever increasing to-do list on my desk taunts me daily. I sit at my computer and work through it, but at the end of every day I still haven’t finished, and I end up adding to tomorrow’s list.

I’m stressing about it! It’s causing me to have sweaty palms and to dread opening my office door. I’m losing sleep over it, going off my food – oh, okay so I’m not that bad, but it is causing me unnecessary angst, and there is a very simple solution to reduce this stress.

I need to choose one project and make it a number one priority and then when it’s finished I can move onto the next one.

  • Over to you:

Do you push your most dreaded tasks to the bottom of your to-do list? Putting the gruesome jobs to the back of your mind (and must-do list) causes tension to rise, blood pressure to spike, and all the physical issues associated with stress to tumble forward. In the deep recesses of your mind, you know the tasks are still there, lurking like Gollum in a dark cave.

How do you think you’ll feel when it’s completed? When I’ve finished my work, I know I’ll feel elated, relaxed, and able to enjoy my creative time without the guilt of undone chores hanging over me.

So, today, I am challenging you to complete one task that you keep shoving to the bottom of your to-do list. Approach it with one hundred percent commitment, and if you manage to achieve it today, I want you to reward yourself.

The rest of your to-do list will still be there in the morning!

What can you prioritise to free yourself from stress? Is there something on your to-do list that once complete will make everything else easier? I’d love to hear from you so feel free to share your stories and tips in the comments.

15 Ways to Boost Your Wellbeing #Selfcare

15 Ways to Boost Your WellbeingI’m quite a positive person, even when I’ve been knocked down, I have an annoying habit of bouncing straight back up again with an even wider smile. Walking the personal development path means I embrace all lessons – good and bad – and I learn what I can so it helps me grow emotionally and spiritually. It’s all very wonderful to have this mind set, and it certainly gives me plenty to write about, but recently I was chatting with a friend who isn’t having such a great time at the moment. They are feeling dejected, anxious and find themselves wishing the days away.

I’ve had so many moments where I feel the same way, and sometimes I bottle it all up, just like my friend. Although I love evolving who I am and putting the self-help tools I use into daily practice, I know that occasionally I’ll disappear into my inner self and forget to engage with the world, or reach out for an understanding ear. Read more