Patterson Lakes Secondary College Scholarships

Why give out a scholarship?

Some of our Carrum based Doctors and nurses have had the amazing opportunity to work with some of the incredible staff and students over at Patterson Lakes Seconday College, through our “Doctors in schools” program.

At Atticus, we really value education and being involved and able to support the local community, and during our time together with these fantastic fellow local community members, we realised we all held very similar passion, purpose and values through our day-to-day life and work. Evident through the Patterson Lakes Secondary College Principal’s message on their website, which you can read below;

Why Patterson Lakes?

“For 50 years we have provided young people with diverse experiences in a caring learning community. The passion of our staff in providing students with the opportunities to chase their dreams is what sets us apart. The College has numerous partnerships with local community groups, seeing itself as an important hub of the local community.Patterson River prides itself on recruiting high performing staff who match the values of the school: Persistence, Excellence, Community & Respect; along with providing staff with excellent ongoing professional development and training. ”

After experiencing all of this in person through all of our involvement, we decided to take the next step to support our local community and specifically those younger members within it. As we have had a fantastic relationship with Patterson River Secondary College over the years, and from that we decided to provide two Patterson Lakes students with a scholarship. As Patterson Lakes and its students are a school with a very bright future, and we wanted to help out in whatever way we could.

We were proud to provide these scholarships to these incredible students

The two really hardworking and dedicated students that were selected were:

1. Thomas Year 10 – going into year 11

2. Linda Year 12 – going on to uni

What was the scholarship exactly?

Each winner received $2500 towards their future education, providing $5000 in total towards the future of two extremely bright and talented students whom will go on to go great things for themselves and their communities.

The students received their awards at their presentation night last year on December the 12th 2018.  Floyd, the Atticus Health Director, was absolutely thrilled to be invited to make a short speech and present the prizes to the well deserved winners. We wish them the best of luck and all the hope for their bright futures ahead.

We want to give particular thanks to Lisa Cavey – Vice Principal, Daniel Dew – Principal as well as all members of the Wellness Team, particularly Craig Waldron, for helping us make this happen.

Movember colouring competition winner!

Our winners from our Movember colouring competition!!

Thank you to everyone who entered! It was so hard to choose a winner, all of them were amazing! We cannot wait to see what you all come up with in the next competition!

 

FROM BITTERN – Ruby Radcliffe (7+ age group)

 

FROM CARRUM – Charlotte (6- age group)

 

We will be in contact with the winners later next week 🙂

My Favourite Mushroom Recipes

Stuffed Mushrooms

  • 3 slices sourdough
  • ¼ cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ bunch oregano, leaves picked and chopped
  • 1 tbs thyme leaves
  • ½ bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and chopped, plus extra to serve
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 50g pine nuts, chopped
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbs white wine
  • 50g parmesan, finely grated, plus extra to serve
  • 8 portobello mushrooms
  • Green salad to serve

 

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Tear bread into rough crumbs. Place in a bowl with olive oil and toss to coat. Add oregano, thyme, parsley, garlic, pine nuts, lemon zest, wine and parmesan. Toss to combine.
  3. Place the mushrooms on a lined baking tray, stalk side up. Divide the stuffing between the mushrooms and press down to compress slightly.
  4. Roast for 20 minutes or until the stuffing is slightly golden and the mushrooms are tender.
  5. Drizzle with lemon juice, top with extra parmesan and parsley leaves, and serve with a green salad.

https://www.delicious.com.au/recipes/stuffed-mushrooms-del-sunday/9L2NEqWD?current_section=recipes

Tofu With Garlic and Ginger Sauteed Enoki Mushrooms

  • 1 tbs each white and black sesame seeds
  • 2 tbs rice flour
  • 2 eggwhites
  • ¼ cup (60ml) sunflower oil
  • 600g firm tofu, cut into 1.5cm-thick slices
  • Coriander leaves and thinly sliced eschalot to serve

Mushrooms

  • 2 tbs sesame oil
  • 200g each enoki, shiitake and oyster mushrooms (or other mushrooms)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 5cm piece ginger, grated
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs rice wine vinegar
  • 1. In a bowl, combine sesame seeds and rice flour and season. Lightly beat eggwhites in another bowl. Coat each piece of tofu in the eggwhite, then the sesame/flour mixture.
  • 2. Heat half the oil in a large frypan over medium-high heat. Add half the coated tofu and cook until both sides are golden and crisp. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towel. Repeat with second batch of oil and tofu. Set aside.
  • 3. For the mushrooms, heat the oil in a large frypan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes until slightly golden. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a further 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the soy sauce and vinegar and toss to coat. Remove from the heat.
  • 4. Serve mushrooms and tofu with coriander and eschalots.

https://www.delicious.com.au/recipes/tofu-garlic-ginger-sauteed-enoki-mushrooms-del-sunday/Ssb4ZrPR?current_section=recipes

 

This is my absolute favourite, and a bit of an indulgent twist on a classic.

Mushroom Carbonara

  • 30g butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 10 fresh sage leaves, shredded
  • 200g button mushrooms, sliced
  • 400g spaghetti or linguine
  • 2 medium free-range eggs, beaten
  • 100g grana padano cheese (or vegetarian alternative), finely grated

 

  1. Melt the butter with the oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat, then fry the shallots for 5 minutes until softened and golden. Add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds.
  2. Add the sage and mushrooms to the pan, then fry for 3-4 minutes longer until golden and tender.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling salted water for 10-12 minutes until al dente. Drain and return to the saucepan.
  4. Quickly mix the beaten eggs into the hot saucepan with the pasta, stirring vigorously to coat all the strands, then add the mushroom and shallot mix along with the grated Grana Padano. Season with lots of black pepper, then serve.

 

https://www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk/recipes/mushroom-carbonara/

Try these out for in home aged care and let us know your favourite way to enjoy mushrooms 🙂

Saana

Rage Against The Machine

I read once that Clive Palmer used to spend up to 4 hours a day – just thinking.  Now I’m not saying that I agree or don’t agree with Clive Palmer, but rather that I can understand why it’s valuable to stop and think.

Many of my articles in the past talked about the speed of life, and how little we actually get a chance or even are accustomed to stopping and thinking.  Before I go further though, I must say, I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t confess (as many of you would know anyway) that I’ve lived my life fast.  Indeed it was that pace of action and production which defined me.  Yet all along I still hung on somewhere to that scene in Jerry McGuire, where he gets fired, takes the goldfish and starts again – rekindling a focus on meaning and relationships.  Apologies to anyone who hasn’t watched the movie – I’d say you should.

I started reading the newspapers more – much of the same old same old.  Like a circus really.  And don’t you ever stop and say – “what a load of BS”.  Vote grabs, self interest, people selling me food that’s unhealthy and killing me, but tastes so good.  Dammit.  More alcohol to solve everything.  And that leads me to ask – what the hell is my purpose in that ring, under the tent?  Why bother.

As my eldest son says about many things when pressed, “I’m not sure”.  But, coming back to the roots of the matter – is it good to think?  Is it a weak thing?  Is it a dangerous thing?  And – if you’ve read this far – you’d be simply asking – is Floyd having a “mid-life crisis”. I’m not sure.

What I do know is that it feels good to move in a direction you’ve thought through, and mean to move in.  To know that path is one you’ve chosen and not been led to believe is you.  “Led to believe” – by who? by what?

When I was younger I used to listen to a few songs from a band named “Rage against the machine”.  Man, what a name for a band.  I think since then, as an adult – I’ve always been cautious about becoming part of that “machine”.  What is the machine, and am I unduly paranoid?

Everyone is pushed and pulled to be largely the same.  For convenience and profit.  And if we stick out – boy – that’s trouble.  At that point, you might just need the courage to be called an idiot, and not care.  A defining moment indeed.

Returning to thinking and mid-life crises.  I reckon I’m getting closer to figuring this out.  As a kid, as you know, you first try to fit in, then when you’re a young adult – you dream your dream and try think of your life, as an individual…splendid.  And then sometime after that it slips away and you think, “Hang on, am I just part of a machine after all? What’s the point of that?  What do I think again?”  And that leads some people to search for that “creative” thing inside of them.  What it really seems to be is a need for self expression, to find oneself, connect with that person, and express that thing to the world.

Why is this at all important?  On the 29th of August it was RU OK? day.  A great concept, a great cause, a great day.  But if that’s the day we ask RU OK?  What happens after that?  Is it a case of 364 other days of I DON’T CARE IF U R OK. I’m too busy following my Facebook newsfeed and trying to work my own S*&^% out.

How well do we know each other?  And, if we really don’t know each other that well – why?  How did it happen? What led you there?  What forces are at play?  I put to you a thought.  That everyone wants our attention – including everything and one on social media and the internet. Now, it’s a known fact that lots of that attention getting and gaining is aimed at selling us something.  If this is true – then we’re getting sucked into the machine.  Consumerism.  “More”ism.  We’re buying things, doing things, holidaying – as a consequence of our attention being hijacked.  We’re told we need these things to be “normal”.  Heck – “they” did it/have it – we should too!  But you’ve only got so much attention right?  So you’ve got less left over.  Less attention left over to think about and focus on what that person in front of you is really saying.  To care about their body language.  Less left over to really follow the nuances of a conversation and let it be that a humorous point strikes and you laugh together as old friends would.  Less left over that you get to a point of asking R U OK? and that that person whom you have asked the very question, feels inclined to think that you really care about, or have time for, the honest answer.  And you yourself know, that you don’t really have the time for a deep answer. That’s the truth.

I write this article as no saint.  I write this article as a victim of the machine.  In the vice, on the treadmill.  I write this article knowing fully well I rushed my kids to school and I struggle to concentrate at times on what people are talking to me about because I hear a “bing” in my pocket and have a reflex itch to react.

They say mental health is in a “crisis” and there’s even a question about a “royal commission”.  All worthwhile debating.  My little suggestion here is to look at how the “machine” tries to influence you and really steal your attention.  And where does that all lead?  Is your pre-occupation with your social network and internet (as well as the ads on every which way side bar you look) – the wanfandangle out there in the world, detracting from the very thing that may be most important – your attention on the person and conversation right in front of you.  Do you know the person you are talking to well? What if you asked them more questions.  What if you knew them that little bit more?  Because only then, when you ask them R U OK? will they think you care enough to tell you the truth. Any day of the week.

Combating or balancing escalating attention grabs and distractions – is that why mindfulness rose to popularity and has almost become a necessary practiced form of mental self preservation?  Maybe. Buy me a mindfulness book for Christmas please.  Without questioning all such things, are we at risk of becoming a bunch of self absorbed, distracted, superficial, highly strung, zombies – I’m sorry to burst any bubbles, but I’m gonna say “yes”.  Take solace – it’s not our fault here.  We have been led to believe that this is what we, and our children, have wanted and need. When, the truth is that we are all the victims and addicts of consumerism gone wild.

As for my midlife crisis – I’ve avoided buying any Lamborghinis, although I did buy new tyres for the Landcruiser – heck I love white writing on all terrain tyres!  That’ll do me 🙂  And, I’ve realised that a large part of me solving things resides in reconnecting or deepening my understanding of those people close by and in my presence, making sure I laugh wholly with them.  And, to not let the white noise of my phone – the digital world, come in the way of that.  That takes effort, yet represents my rather literal, rage against the machine.

I hope everyone gets a moment to enjoy the beautiful sunsets which November in Melbourne brings 🙂

Dr Floyd Gomes
Managing Director

How to be sun smart?

Summer is coming, and we have already experienced a blissful tease of what is yet to come weather wise, including all the fun, events and experiences that warmer weather brings with it. To make sure you get to make the most of the upcoming summer ensure you’re up to date on your sun safety knowledge and protecting yourself and your loved ones against harmful rays!

As the past four years have been the hottest four on record around the globe. The heat across the globe in 2018 has already set all kinds of records, including the hottest temperature ever measured in Africa and the hottest overnight temperature ever recorded. Unfortunately, this temperature increase is expected to continue.

Extreme heat isn’t just uncomfortable, it can also have serious effects on our physical health, mental well-being, and cognitive ability. A number of studies show that as temperatures climb, we perform more slowly and more inaccurately on cognitive tests. This phenomenon affects everyone from students taking standardized tests to office workers trying to get through the day.

What To Look Out For:

Heat Exhaustion – Increasing body temperature
Symptoms: Heavy sweating, clammy skin, dehydration, tiredness, headaches, dizziness, nausea, cramps and a quick, weak pulse.
Solution: Move to a cool location, sip water, take a cool bath or put a cool wet towel over your body. If these symptoms persist for more than an hour, or worsen and include vomiting, seek medical assistance.

Heat Stroke – When a body temperature reaches 40 degrees or higher,
Symptoms: Similar to heat exhaustion, yet may have a fast, strong pulse, feel confusion, may be losing consciousness, and may stop sweating
Solution:
Move to a cool place, put cool towels over them or in a cool bath and seek emergency medical assistance.

Skin Damage: UVA causes damage to the skin, contributes to sunburn, and increases the chance of skin cancers. UVB rays trigger sunburn, and play a key role in the development of skin cancer.

Symptoms: Sunburn, Actinic Keratoses, Actinic Cheilitis, Age Spots, Moles, Rosacea, Wrinkles, Poikiloderma of Civatte

Solution: Protecting yourself with sun safety methods and always using SPF that protects against UVA & UVB, the Skin Cancer Foundation notes that you should look for the words “broad spectrum” on sunscreen labels, which means the cream/spray/lotion covers a range of UV wavelengths, SPF 50 is a good choice, reapply every two hours, and immediately after you sweat or swim.

 

Skin Cancer: Abnormal growth of skin cells
Symptoms:

  • Basal cell carcinoma
    Beginning in the basal cells in the outer layer of skin, basal cell carcinomas may appear as a pearly or waxy bump, as well as a flat, flesh-coloured or brown scar-like lesion.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
    Also in the outer layer of skin, this type of skin cancer forms in squamous cells. It often appears as a firm, red nodule or a flat lesion with a scaly, crusty surface.
  • Melanoma
    Melanoma makes up a small fraction of skin cancers, but it’s also the most deadly. Symptoms of melanoma include a large brown spot with darker speckles; a mole that changes in colour, size or feel, or that bleeds. A small lesion with an abnormal border and sections that appear red, white, blue or bluish-black; and dark lesions on your palms, soles, fingertips or toes, or on mucous membranes lining your nose, mouth, vagina or anus.

Recommendations For Avoiding Skin Cancer:

  • Avoid the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    These are the peak hours of sun strength ─ even in the winter and on cloudy days.
  • Wear sunscreen — at least sun protection factor 15 — throughout the entire year
    Reapply sunscreen every two hours or more frequently if you’re swimming or sweating.
  • Wear protective clothing
    Hats with wide brims and clothing that covers your arms and legs are helpful. Sunscreen doesn’t block all UV rays, which cause skin cancer.
  • Self-check your skin
    If you notice differences, consult your healthcare provider.

“Anyone can get skin cancer, but those at a higher risk include individuals who have a heavy exposure to UV rays, lighter skin, family history of skin cancer, prevalent moles, numerous severe sunburns in the past, weakened immune system and those who live in sunny or high-altitude climates,” states Dr. Cockerill , Mayo Clinic Oncologist, “Skin cancer is treatable

How To Use Sunscreen Effectively?

  • Always choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen for UVA and UVB protection
  • Use Sunscreen alongside protective clothing, such as wide brimmed hats and shading
  • Higher SPF will only provide a slight increase in UV protection, yet you will have to apply it more often
  • Apply generously, thoroughly and thickly
  • Apply even when cloudy, all year round
  • Always apply sunscreen generously, thickly and evenly to children 6 months +, alongside sun protection clothing. Always keep children under 6 months away from the sun.
  • Re-apply every 2 hours, as well as immediately after swimming and heavily sweating
  • Water resistant means that the SPF is maintained for up to 40 minutes while swimming or sweating, very water resistant means the SPF is maintained for 80 minutes – always reapply after swimming or heavily sweating
  • If using a sunscreen with insect repellent, only reapply every 6 hours, using a sunscreen without insect repellent every 2 hours or after swimming or heavily sweating
  • Creams are useful if you have dry skin — especially for your face. Lotions are often preferred for application on large areas. Lotions tend to be thinner and less greasy than creams. Gels work best in hairy areas, such as the scalp and a man’s chest or legs. Sticks are useful when applying sunscreen around the eyes. Sprays are easy to apply yet hard to know how effective your coverage is, so apply generously and evenly, potentially use a cream first and a spray later on to reapply

Points to remember:

  • Use sunscreen effectively as described above
  • Avoid burning
  • Be cautious of sun reflective surfaces
  • Wear protective clothing & sunglasses
  • Plan outdoor activities for less sunnier times of day
  • Avoid sun from 10am-4pm
  • Seek shade when outside and avoid direct sunlight
  • Use sunscreen on
  • Get regular annual skin checks done by your healthcare practitioner and self-check your body once a month. Seek medical advice should you notice any abnormalities.
  • Drink more water and stay hydrated as well as eating regularly and sufficiently

Mornington Running Festival

Book this in your calenders everyone! The Mornington Running Festival is on next Sunday the 23rd, and with the weather finally getting nicer, it’s the perfect excuse to get outside and do something social and active.

First launched in 2014, the Mornington Running Festival is partnered with beyondblue, which helps to raise awareness of anxiety and depression. This community event delivers excitement and a way to help people struggling with mental health issues.

Sign up and you can run across the Mornington Peninsula, with the start and end at Mornington park. You can choose to do the half marathon (21.1km), 10km, 5km or even the 1km dash for kids. Whatever your level of fitness, you can be a part of it! Come with your family and friends at 7am on Sunday, September 23. (also – everyone gets a medal at the end!)

 

Clara

 

Complex Carbs to Incorporate into Your Diet

Chickpeas
One cup of chickpeas packs an impressive 11 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber (one third of the minimum recommended daily fiber intake, which is about 30 grams). They’re also rich in calcium and phosphate, both of which are important for bone health.

Rolled oats
Rolled oats are packed with manganese, iron, folate, B vitamins, and other important nutrients. Regular intake of the soluble fiber in oats has also been shown to help reduce LDL cholesterol (that’s the bad kind).

Sweet potatoes
Although they’re as sweet as their name suggests, the sugar in sweet potatoes is released slowly into your bloodstream, thanks to the fiber that comes along with it. The starchy root vegetable is also high in vitamin C, which helps boost immunity, and beta carotene, which is linked to reduced risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

Butternut pumpkin
My favourite winter veg! Because butternut pumpkin is starchy but relatively low in calories, it can be a great swap for more calorie-dense potatoes and sweet potatoes if you’re trying to lose weight. It’s also high in vitamin E, which promotes healthy skin. Plus, it makes great low calorie comfort food (mashed, roasted, steamed – whatever!)

Black Beans
Beans are a good source of protein and fiber, the two key nutrients that promote satiety. They help you feel full longer and can prevent you from overeating at the next meal and snacking unnecessarily between meals.

Quinoa
While it’s technically a seed, not a grain (making it naturally gluten-free), quinoa comes with the same heart-healthy benefits as other whole grains, and works the same way in recipes like stir-fries, salads, and grain bowls.

Brown rice
Brown rice contains the germ, bran, and endosperm of the grain, which means it’s got more fiber, protein, and nutrients than white rice (which is just the endosperm, with the germ and bran removed). Its high fiber content makes it great for satiety and weight maintenance, and it’s got a slew of other important nutrients, such as, iron, zinc, selenium, and B vitamins.

 

Clara

Some Interesting Research on the Gut and the Brain

  1. The significance of the gut microbiome has been touched on before on this blog, but there is some interesting and relevant research that might change the way you think about what goes on between your brain and your gut bacteria!In one experiment, scientists observed two sets of mice: one group had had gut microbes, and the other group of mice were kept in sterile bubbles and had no microbes. The ones without microbes had less inhibition and were more prone to taking risks and exploring their environment. This meant more wondering about in open fields, and this reckless behaviour goes against years of mouse evolution and will likely lead them to getting eaten. These microbe-free mice also had memory-related defects. The two types of mice were put through some tests: they were given 5 minutes to explore two objects, and then the objects were removed for a while. One of the objects they’d seen was given back to them, along with a new one. The mice with the gut microbes only explored the new object and ignored the one they were familiar with, but the microbe-free mice paid the same amount of attention to both objects , behaving as if they’d completely forgotten about the object they’d just seen moments ago. It was thought that this memory deficiency in the microbiota-free mice was caused by lower levels of Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor (BDNF). BDNF is a powerful protein important for learning and memory; it stimulates production of new brain cells and protects existing ones, and low levels of it are linked to depression and anxiety. So can your microbiome influence personality? In 2011, a research group at McMaster University performed an experiment on two types of lab mice – one type were deemed anxious and withdrawn, and the other type were highly exploratory. They measured their extroversion by putting the two on a platform and seeing how long it took for them to explore the ledge and jump down (as expected, the anxious mice took longer). The researchers did a microbiota transplant between the mice and repeated the platform test – shockingly, the extroverted mice became timid and took far longer, with the previously anxious mice now unbothered by the ledge. Behaviour and anxiety changed depending on which microbes were living in their gut, and the newfound confidence was linked to more BDNF. Serious changes in brain chemistry are moderated by specific microbes in the gut. Of course, this is all research based on rodents, but it still stands to show that the gut is essentially a drug factory pumping out different substances that affect the brain. Now that’s something to think about when taking your probiotics!

     

    Clara

How Exercise Stops Your IQ From Declining

Finding consistent motivation to exercise can be challenging. Sure, we all know exercise is good for us in many different ways and that there’s no shortage of reasons to hit the gym, but in my opinion, keeping your IQ from declining is the BEST reason to exercise that not many people know about.

The first thing to know about IQ is that it’s largely heritable, and this isn’t debated within the current body of research. It’s long been established that the genetic component of IQ hovers around 70%. The other 30% is mediated by environmental factors such as diet and other things that maximise healthy brain development in early life, like quality of education / brain stimulation (this works both ways – smart kids seek out more environmental stimulation, and more environmental stimulation creates smart kids).

The second thing to know about IQ is that it can be divided into two types, known as “fluid” or “crystallised” intelligence. Crystallised intelligence is your accumulated knowledge and experience, meaning things like general knowledge, your vocabulary and ability to do maths, etc. Your crystallised IQ improves over time as you go through life and gain more information and skills. On the other hand, your fluid intelligence is your capacity to deal with novel information. This means things like problem solving, abstract reasoning, creative visualisation and pattern recognition. The two have a dynamic relationship; fluid IQ moderates how much information you can take in and how fast you can take it in, meaning a higher fluid IQ increases your crystallised IQ. While there is theoretically no limit on how high you can take your crystallised intelligence, your fluid intelligence is on more of a what-you-were-born-with basis. Both types of IQ continue to increase up until your early 20’s, where they peak. Unfortunately, this isn’t how it stays for the rest of your life – fluid intelligence declines rapidly with age.

Why?

It all comes down to your cardiovascular system. The brain is an extremely physiologically demanding organ and needs large amounts of oxygen to function efficiently. If you stop exercising as you get older, your heart isn’t providing enough oxygen to supply your brain cells with energy to maintain and grow. Exercise also promotes the release of certain neurotransmitters and growth hormones that are crucial to the brain’s overall health, contributing to better concentration and memory.

A combination of cardio and weight lifting exercise a few days per week can forestall that IQ decline as you get older – who can think of a better reason to workout?

Clara

Why Should I Meal Prep?

Oftentimes, when you are busy, your diet takes a backseat in your list of priorities. You feel like you don’t have the time or energy to make a nutritious dinner each night, and if you’re at work for lunch it either becomes take away or junk food. This is completely avoidable, even if you are super busy in your day to day life! I recommend giving meal prep a try, a method of cooking where you create several days worth of meals in one sitting, and section them out into containers so that you can just grab them and reheat them when you need! This only takes a few hours on say, a Sunday afternoon, or a Monday night, and you won’t have to cook for the rest of the week.

Personally, when I prepare my meals in advance, I do it on a Sunday so that I am ready for the new week ahead straight away. I prepare all of my dinners for the week, as I eat them at work, and then just make sure that I have enough of everything that I need for breakfast, lunch and snacks. This means that I have no excuse to swap one meal with an unhealthier one, as I have already planned and prepared for the healthier options. This also stops lots of little supermarket trips throughout the week as I have done it all in one big shop at the very start.

Another great reason to start meal prep is for your own accountability. If you are trying to eat a certain amount of calories per day (for either losing weight or gaining muscle, for example), you can have all of your meals measured out perfectly and prepared for you already. This means that you have no reason to eat out of line with your macros! It also takes away the decision making process of wondering what to make for dinner each night, making your life much easier!

If your diet includes meat, be conscious to only prepare food 3-4 days in advance and to store it properly in the fridge. Vegetarian meals are a great way to go for meal prep as they have less restrictions on storage time, and they can also save you money! If you are on a budget, meal prep is also a wonderful way to know exactly what you spend on food in a week, and you can see where it is all going. By buying and making things in bulk, you can save money as well! It is also a good idea to invest in some high quality, reusable containers that are the right size for your meals.

If you aren’t sure where to start with it all, have a look at these websites for some great ideas: Lunch Meal Prep Ideas, Dinner Meal Prep Ideas, Breakfast Meal Prep Ideas. Another great place to find inspiration is on Instagram, by searching #mealprep. Let me know how you go with trying out meal prep, if you do! I highly recommend it as a good way to maintain your health while having a busy schedule!

Ebony