As a Nutritional therapist my daily work life is very varied. No two days are the same which is great and partly why I love my job so much. I mainly work from my office in our home, but I also give nutrition workshops within Carlow to various community groups. So depending on the day I could be seeing clients on-line or delivering a workshop in-person.
This is what a typical working day looks like for me
I organise my working hours so that I can pick up my three girls from school and bring them to their various (and numerous) hobbies. For this reason I offer both morning and evening clinics to my clients on-line, with Saturday morning appointments once a month.
I try to get up most mornings before my kids. This allows me to catch up with myself before the chaos of the day really begins. I always start my day with a 500ml glass of warm water. This really wakes me up and I feel like I’ve already drank a large portion of my water for the day. If it’s a dry day I’ll have this while walking outside in the garden, especially in the summer.
Four mornings a week I usually do a weights session, if it’s summer time I’ll try do this outside. Much like the water, doing this first thing for me means whatever the day brings I know I’ve already done my exercise. My day can feel full on between work and home life, so doing this first thing for me means that I’ve already done something for myself.
Once the girls get up it’s all systems go to get them ready for school. The girls like to make their own breakfasts and each has their own favourite. Juliette will have Greek yogurt, home-made granola and fruit; Willow a kefir smoothie and some nuts; and for Amabel porridge made with raw cacao powder and banana.
When the girls were small I got into the habit of having my coffee first thing to wake me up. It was something I never felt I needed before and would have normally only had my coffee at my first break in work. Even though I’m a nutritional therapist I can still fall back on unhelpful habits. It took having a look at my day as a whole and prioritising an early night when they were small to get me back on track. Now I’m back to waking up refreshed and not feeling like I need that coffee first thing.
Morning work day
I practice intermittent fasting, so I’ll have my breakfast after I’ve dropped the girls to school. Besides giving my digestion a longer rest overnight, having my breakfast in the calm after the rush of getting the girls to school gives me time to relax over it. I don’t do long fasts, but really use this tool to make sure I don’t eat too late and give my digestion a proper break.
During the week breakfast mainly consists of a smoothie bowl. This is a smoothie combined with yogurt, fruit, and a selection of nut and seeds. This mixture keeps me full all morning but I can also mix up the different elements so that I know I’m supporting my gut with much needed variety. For the smoothie I use homemade milk Kefir so I’m getting in more beneficial bacteria and add in some fruit and half an avocado.
If it’s a Monday, I use that morning to catch up on some of my admin for my business and check in with clients for the week ahead. For the rest of the week I could be out with my workshops in the community, seeing clients on-line right up to lunch or updating a clients protocol and notes from a previous session.
My husband also works from home so we generally have our dinner together during the weekdays. Our girls get a hot dinner in school, so we’ll do a salad, or soup in the winter, for us all for tea in the evening. As I’ve a tight schedule on the mornings I work, I work off a weekly plan for our meals. This is a 4-week rotating plan so I don’t need to think about it much, except to jig it up from time to time with new dinners, or as the seasons change.
Dinner during the week day is something quick like a curry, stir-fry, frittata or fish. I keep the longer, more time consuming meals to the weekend when I’ve more time. If I’m not doing a one-pot dinner that already has lots of vegetables, I’ll use lots of frozen vegetables or others that I’ve baked in the oven to give variety. These baked vegetables will last a couple of days, or I’ll use them later for the salad in the evening.
Lunchtime sees the end of my working morning. Juliette, our youngest, is still on the earlier pick-up from school so I’ll be picking her up and doing her homework with her before her sisters come home.
The afternoons are generally full with getting homework done, catching up with the girls, hobbies and getting housework done. However, I have my client App, Practice Better, on my phone so if a client needs to chat me with I can keep in touch during the afternoon.
Come 4pm, my husband finishes work and the girls go off with him to the farm if they don’t have hobbies. Depending on my client appointments and my husbands work on the farm, we’ll share the drop offs to hobbies for the girls in the afternoon and evening.
The evening time sees me working 1-to1 with clients on-line and putting together protocols and client notes based on their sessions. From time to time I also run my own 4-week courses and free webinars in the evening too.
Our evening meal again sees the girls putting together their own salads in summer or having soup and sandwiches in the winter. I try to have a selection of baked vegetables, salad vegetables like peppers, as well as quinoa or leftover rice or pasta so everyone can make up their own plate. I try to have some oily fish in mine as the girls are not fussed on oily fish, but I’ll have chicken and cooked ham for the others too. We aim to have our tea by 6.30pm, sometimes earlier if there are hobbies.
In the summer if I don’t have clients booked in we’ll go for a farm walk, or sometimes a swim in the river, before bed. The girls are getting older now, so bedtime has gotten later, but we try to have them in bed for 8.30pm on a school night with reading time for the older two.
If I have a client I could be working until 9pm. When that’s the case I’ll always have a Pukka Night-time tea to help my head relax before bed. If I don’t I could be wide awake for hours after being on-line however this tea works every time.
If I don’t have a client I’ll read my book in the evening time. I’m not much of a TV fan and much prefer to un-wind in this way. Before bed I’ll try to do some stretches and then it’s lights out for me by 10pm!
As for many busy working parents my day can be full on and feel like a juggling act most of the time! Making sure my whole family has nutritious food is important to me. This has to include me, myself. What helps me with this is making sure I’ve our meals planned for the week ahead, and where I can, I double up on portions when cooking to give me a break somewhere else down the line. If I don’t do this, invariably it’ll be me that I’ll leave off my list. I know only too well that if I don’t look after me I’ll be the one left exhausted and frazzled. So while the plan doesn’t always go to plan, for the majority of the time I know that we’re all being looked after.
I’m practical in my own approach to maintain my health, and this is what I want for my clients too. If you’re interested in learning what you can do to improve your health, even if you have a chaotic family and work life, book in for a free 20 minute health review call and we can see how to start you on that path.