The translator’s diet

The translator’s diet

In the sedentary world of office work, translators are probably among the most sedentary of all. We won’t take breaks around the water cooler or tea and coffee area. We don’t rummage about tin the stationery cupboard looking for staplers and biros. We won’t need them. We are attached to our computers. We stare at our screens like zombies and only a fire alarm or someone yelling, “Cake” is capable of moving us from our unnatural, statue-like positions. Last week there was an earthquake here, and even that didn’t make me leave my computer chair.

How long would you say you are inactive? Eight hours? Ten hours… twelve hours? Yes, it’s hardly surprising that we suffer from dietary problems, are overweight and eat badly.

Here are some tips I have found for improving your diet and hopefully your health. These are just my own ideas and, as would be patently clear if you could see me, they may not work for everyone.

Firstly, if you trance out, then there’s a danger you will stay in the trance when you are in the kitchen and just eat anything that comes to hand that doesn’t require cooking or breaking the trance in any other way. The only thing I can suggest is not buying the unhealthy stuff in the first place. At this time of year, ice cream is particularly dangerous. I can eat a litre of ice cream without even noticing or even tasting it. However, Oreos, peanuts, crisps and anything like that is just as bad. This morning I went to the market and filled the fridge with fruit, so hopefully I’ll pick at that instead.

Next, we all know you are not going to stop translating to cook yourself a healthy nutritious lunch, so the only thing you can do is plan ahead. Spend a couple of hours preparing your food for the week and freezing it or divide it into containers and store in the fridge. Although you might not be willing to make a mess in the kitchen and clear it all up again, perhaps sticking something in the microwave and then leaving the container in the dishwasher is more acceptable. If you eat something you have made in advance with healthy ingredients, you’ll be less likely to spend all day stuffing biscuits into your mouth.

And it’s been said a thousand times, but I’ll say it again, drink water. Always keep a bottle of water on your desk. If you don’t, you won’t drink, and if the water is there, then you’ll probably drink it and the experts say that having a stomach full of water will discourage you from snacking.

Now all I need to do is stick to it…

Writer: Juliet Allaway

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