08 Aug 2022

Healthy Living: Get balance in your life and diet

With the Nutri Coach Debbie Devane

Healthy Living: Get balance in your life and diet

Aim for three meals a day and include a maximum of two nutritious snacks, such as a piece of fruit with four to five nuts

Can you believe it's been over two months since the children finished school! And to think we have another three months before they go back in September (hopefully).

You're probably sick of hearing 'I'm starving' and 'there is never anything to eat in this house!!!'

This makes it very tempting to reach for the processed convenience foods such as, pizzas, chicken nuggets, chips etc.!

And this is okay occasionally, it's when it becomes part of your daily diet that it causes issues down the line with your health and your waistline!

You might remember my article here a couple of weeks ago where I give you my top tips on how to stall the covid stone?

Well I'm back this week to give you more tips on how to help you on your family get some balance back in your life and your diet.


One of the best things you can do for yourself is to get into the habit of planning your family meals, this will save you time and money.

Planning meals in advance ensures you use up the ingredients you have before buying more, therefore preventing waste. Get the whole family involved by allowing everyone pick a meal and agreeing to trying each other’s meal.

There is a meal planner in my 28-day rescue plan, download it free from my website and get writing!


Write a shopping list for the ingredients you need to put your meal plan into action, this will save you time wandering around the shop wondering what to buy and save you money as you will be less likely to put unwanted items in your trolley.


Plan for leftovers to be used the next day as lunch, for example leftover chili is delicious the next day, heated in a wholemeal pitta bread or wrap with grated cheese, avocado and salad.

Leftover roast chicken is so versatile and can be used in salads or wraps, my personal favorite is to make an egg fried rice with it. Leftover potatoes can be mixed with a tin of tuna, onions, peppers and some herbs to make lovely fishcakes for lunch.


If your family are great at coming up with the meal plan ideas but not so great at helping to prep or cook it, then lighten your load by prepping once to eat multiple times.

Chop and wash a variety of veg all at once, then place them in an airtight container in the fridge to use as snacks. Carrots, celery, peppers all make great snacks to dip in hummus or cream cheese.

Double your recipe ingredients and store them in the fridge or freezer and you will have a meal ready to be cooked when you want it. This works great for curries, just pop your chicken and veg that has been marinating in the lovely spices into a pot with a tin of coconut milk, simmer for 20minutes & you have a tasty meal on the table that the whole family will love. Check out my curry recipe from my 28-day guide free to download on my website


It’s important to remember there is no specific food or supplement that will prevent you from getting Covid-19 or prevent you from gaining weight. However, a healthy balanced diet that’s low in sugar and processed food & high in nutrients that support the immune system such as, vitamin c (berries, tomatoes, peppers, citrus fruit) vitamin A ( sweet potato, spinach) vitamin D (oily fish, mushrooms) zinc ( meat, shellfish, dairy) is the best thing you can do for your immune system and your waistline.


You’re probably sick of hearing “I’m hungry” but by having set mealtimes and including snacks will help to keep your blood sugar stable.

Skipping meals is never a good idea, going long periods without eating causes your blood sugar to drop, which leads to fatigue and cravings for sugary snacks and stimulants (think the 11am/3pm slump).

Aim for three main meals a day and include a maximum of two nutritious snacks, such as a piece of fruit with 4-5 nuts, vegetable crudités with hummus or sliced apple dipped in nut butter or try out my no bake energy balls for a sweet treat.


When you eat carbohydrates alone they quickly get digested and converted into sugar, which is then absorbed into your blood stream causing a spike in blood sugar.

However including a source of protein with your meal or snack slows down digestion.

This leads to a slower absorption of carbohydrates, therefore a lower rise in blood sugar, so less of the fat storing hormone insulin is needed, and protein will help you feel full for longer resulting in less snacking.


I know I sound like a broken record with this one, but it really is vital, every cell in our body relies on water to function properly. Drinking water has many benefits, including boosting your metabolism and suppressing your appetite.

When you don’t drink enough water, your body receives mixed signals from the hypothalamus, which is the part of the brain that regulates appetite and thirst, so a lot of the time when we think we are hungry, we are actually thirsty!

Aim to drink two litres of water a day.

This can be achieved by starting your day with hot water and lemon, adding lemon slices, cucumber and mint leaves to a jug of water and sipping throughout the day and having some herbal teas.


Personally, I find by using the same refillable bottle and sipping it every time I pass it really helps to get my two litres a day.


The healthy plate guide is an easy way to make sure you are having a well-balanced meal, just fill half your plate with vegetables, ¼ your plate protein/healthy fats e.g. chicken, meat, fish, eggs, lentils, and ¼ your plate low GL carbohydrates e.g. sweet potato, brown pasta or rice, quinoa.

Do you have a nutrition question you would like answered or a topic you would like to see me cover? If so just pop me a message, contact details below.

Debbie Devane from The Nutri Coach is a qualified nutritionist and health coach, Debbie runs her clinic from the Glenard Clinic in Mountmellick and also offers one to one and group online consultations. Debbie is also Nutritionist to the Offaly GAA senior footballers. For more information or to make an appointment email Debbie at

Ph: 086-1720055

Facebook: The Nutri Coach @debbiedevanethenutricoach

Instagram: the_nutricoach

To download your free 28-day plan go to

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