After a long time of trying to get to know me, I finally found what makes me happy. It’s food, people! Food makes me happy. Eating food, good food, locally made food. Never stale food, hot food, happy food. Well, with this expensive lifestyle of loving food, while some of us are even struggling to prepare regular homemade food, nutritionists tell us that we should also eat healthily and limit some particular kinds of foods. Thinking about a meal to prepare alone could be exhausting! Much more having to cook daily with a job of 8 hours every weekday. Asides the obvious challenge of time, the underlying one, in my opinion, is, eating appropriately and working sedentarily.
Sedentary workers are people who sit and do little or no physical activity at work. This is what we popularly call the white-collar jobs. While a lot of people desire and enjoy this kind of job, it could have health side effects if we are not careful. Increased risk of heart diseases, obesity, are some of the potential side effects of this lifestyle. The reason is this; whatever you eat influences your productivity. For instance, a bricklayer will consume two wraps of Akpu conveniently and go back to work even stronger, but someone who sits at a desk in the office should not attempt that, in my opinion. The bricklayer needs the final decomposed sugar intake to produce more energy for him to keep moulding and laying blocks. The office worker will begin to feel sleepy because his/her work is more cognitive than physical.
I’ll tell you something interesting. A friend shared a 2014 clinical study of a corporate organization staff in Lagos, Nigeria. Out of 161 staff checked, about 60% had high blood pressure, and the majority of them didn’t know. I also find it imperative to say that when their BMI (Body Mass Index) was checked, only 6% had normal BMI. About 59% were overweight, and 34% were obese. Whew! This could cause hypertension. Could this be one of the reasons why people slump while working?
Another shocker for me when I saw the data was that people aged 25 and above were the ones who were overweight and obese. This tells me that the sedentary workers who are above 25 need to be more mindful of their lifestyle. You can start by checking your BMI.
If you’re like me who has a daily 9-5 pm job, then you should know that there are some disadvantages in the schedule, including not being able to cook and package lunch every day. Working daily shift jobs can be tasking, and while some people easily skip breakfast and eat only lunch, some eat whatever is readily available. Regardless, eating homemade food is cost-effective, and ultimately, you can control what you eat. Also, because food intake contributes greatly to your weight, which in turn affects your BMI and health, eating good food can never be overrated. I can hear some thoughts out loud already – “My schedule is the problem. I don’t have time to cook a meal before I leave for work”, “Making my meal is not as easy.” Not to worry, I have decided to share a few tips that will make this meal plan food almost a reality for you.
- Be determined to do this. Nothing fully committed to ends up getting done.
- Busy people, someone can come over to cook for you! We all get tied up with activities at different points in our lives, and it’s okay if a spouse, a friend, or someone you pay comes to get the job done. After all, this health investment will benefit you the most.
- Buy what you need for the week over the weekend, such as fruits, veggies to add to your food. I always prefer to go to the market on Saturday mornings so I can achieve this.
- Prepare some things the night before or preferably, during the weekend. For instance, Moi-Moi and stew can be made and refrigerated until when ready to eat.
- Wake up early on weekdays to prepare. Early to bed, early to rise, they say.
Sedentary Worker’s Meal Plan
Because my reason for this is borne out of love, I have whipped up a mini food meal plan just for you. It consists of meals (Lunch and snacks) to be eaten at the office every weekday. I tried avoiding much of starchy carbohydrates with a high glycaemic index such as bread, rice, spaghetti, etc. These can all prompt weight gain when inactive physically for long. Instead, I replaced them with proteins and other vitamins. I also added fruits and yoghurt to help deal with a sweet tooth craving. It’s a healthier option than soda drinks like coke, Fanta, etc. Remember when I talked about us and how sugar can be detrimental to our health? So, cravings for sweet stuff is obviously better replaced with fruits such as apples, bananas, etc.
I also realized that instead of eating heavy foods that could weaken and lower our productivity, we could eat less and do more frequent snacking. After the day’s hard work, we also need to end the day by having a healthy dinner and eating early enough to avoid the consequences of late-night eating.
Would you join me in the challenge of making your homemade food?
Have you ever followed a meal plan?
I’d advise you try following this.
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