Hi Hayley,

I'm a professional gardener which means I spend my days outdoors in all
kinds of weather conditions engaging in really physical work. Some days it's great, but most days my body takes a beating from all the lifting, hauling, digging, overhead reaching for tree trimming, etc. In the past, I've had to have massage therapy on a regular basis to release my muscles from the effects of my job, and the MTs have commented that my shoulders/neck/pecs are tight and therefore create conditions for a sore back sometimes. I wake up at 5:30 AM to be on my way to work for 6:15 AM, and often don't get home until close to 5 PM, at which point I'm usually dirt-covered and exhausted. I'm not a morning person and generally grab a bowl of (healthy) cereal for breakfast, and I don't have much time to eat during the day. I'd really like to get your advice on developing an at-home workout routine (I've done yoga and enjoy it - would it be enough on its own?) and creating a vegetarian
meal plan which will fuel me throughout the day and keep me from diving into one big meal at the end of the day. Unfortunately, you're dealing with someone who doesn't like working out and loves lots of food, but I want to do better for myself.


You need to make time to eat, especially since you have such a physically demanding job, and you need to train yourself to eat more in the morning as well as find a way to eat throughout your afternoon while working. There are days where I am booked solid from 6am right through until 4 or 5pm and if I do not eat I am useless and completely starving when I get home which prevents me from working out because I am too hungry and that causes me to overeat at dinner.  On days where I know I am busy I bring a giant bag of snacks with me to work that I can grab at anytime which are quick to eat and fill me up.  Fruit, nuts, healthy granola bars, protein bars and sandwiches are ready to go so every hour I can take 2 minutes to quickly eat something.  You need to do the same.

If you are only able to eat two full meals a day then you MUST eat more than you are -- cereal is not enough for breakfast.  Here is a better option:

Take a serving size of steel cut oats (about ¼ of a cup) and put them into about 1/3 of a cup of plain Greek yoghurt before you go to bed.  By morning the oats will be soft, slice up a banana, grab a handful of blueberries and add 1-3 tablespoons of hemp hearts or chia seeds, some sliced almonds and enjoy.  This breakfast is full of protein, omega 3 and 6 and fibre. For your dinner make sure you eat a balanced meal of grains, proteins and vegetables.  If you eat fish and eggs then add that to your diet, but if not you should be eating legumes, beans, etc.  Soft shell tacos loaded with vegetables are a great option or try a vegetarian burrito or a garden burger with avocado, hummus on a whole wheat bun. 

For your workouts, because your job is very intense you should be focusing on activities that will help undo what your job does to your body (tight shoulders, pecs, etc).  Activities like swimming and yoga would be highly recommended as well as hiking or power walking.  These types of activities will not add any extra stress to your body and they can help you relax after a stressful day. Because you are busy you need to plan your workouts and schedule them into your day, taking advantage of when you might have more time (the weekend).  Pick 2 or 3 days a week where you head to your workout before you go home (this means packing what you need in a gym bag when you leave the house first thing in the morning).  Find a yoga class on your way home that you can go to or meet a friend for a walk because if you go home first I guarantee you will find something else to do besides exercise.

Exercise needs to be something that gets done each week. Just as we need to pay our bills, clean the bathroom and do laundry (activities we may not enjoy but know we have to do) we need to exercise. To make it as easy on us as possible find something that you enjoy to do and you never know, you may even look forward to doing it.

Attached - Dakota Fanning leaving the gym.