Long hours, physically draining work and little time off. These are not the ingredients for a healthy lifestyle. Thousands of chef’s share pictures of them eating a frozen meal in the two minutes they have free; an easy enough joke to empathise with. Humorous as it may seem, it’s not a long term solution. We’re going to have a chat today about a few minor changes you can make to your life in order to be healthier.

Variety is not the spice of life

In a perfect world, your diet would consist of a wide variety of healthy vegetables, fats and proteins. But if that’s not possible, it doesn’t mean you can’t eat healthily. Rather get into a rhythm. Bringing consistent breakfasts, like grapefruit and toast with butter, and lunches, such as salads with turkey, mean there are fewer opportunities to graze and indulge. Once you’re into the habit it’s easier to keep it up. When time is the enemy, simplify; you don’t need to eat complex foods. A salad can be just as quick to assemble as a microwave meal is to heat.

Keep healthy snacks on hand. Again, these don’t need to be complicated. Fruit, pretzels, rice cakes with peanut butter. Having healthy snacks around will make it less likely for you to snack on unhealthy foods. Another consideration for being healthy- when working long hours, you need energy. Sugar is only going to get you so far. Do yourself a favour and put the right foods into your body so that you can function at your best. I’m not saying don’t ever treat yourself- just make it the exception, not the rule.

Keep active

No one could say that working in a kitchen isn’t physically demanding, but it’s good to get regular, proper, exercise. If motivation is the problem, try structured training. Crossfit gets a bad name for it’s enthralled following, but they’re enthralled because… they like it. Exercise programs which involve group training mean you’re more likely to show up and keep coming. People will encourage and motivate you. If your schedule means there’s just no way, try going for walks on your days off. I know that it seems superfluous (one walk does not a fit person make), but it’s the difference between an all or none mindset and allowing steps in your life. One walk is better than no walk. Do what you can, when you can.

Keeping your skin clean

As metrosexual as 2019 seems to be, most men still don’t want to have a skin care regimen. Chefs work in hot environments for a living, which means your skin is going to need a little extra TLC. Heat plus grease plus long hours, and a relatively unhealthy lifestyle (generally) equals bad skin. Again, you don’t have to go straight to thrice daily cleansing and moisturising with weekly facials and face-masks. Any little helps! Try keeping some wipes handy, or just washing your skin at night, to make sure you don’t trap all the bad oils in your skin as you sleep. No one likes bad skin, and it’s not embarrassing to want to take care of that. There are products for every budget, and a wealth of information online about how to get started.

When you feel better, you perform better. Making any changes to your life to create a healthier lifestyle will give you the energy and confidence needed to thrive.

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