Summer is over. For some of us, the return to routine after a summer of vacation, social events and laid-back days is a bummer. For others, it is a welcome change. Whichever camp you fall into, this change of seasons and routine can be a good point for a little reset. The kids go back to school while you get back to you – focusing on what makes you happy and healthy. Here are a few easy things you can do to take care of yourself and get back into the swing of things.
Plan a Few Meals
Meal planning can seem like an overwhelming chore if you have grand aspirations to plan out week’s worth of all meals and spend an entire day meal prepping. It is exhausting just thinking about it! Instead, why not aim to just plan a couple of dinners for the upcoming week and leave it at that. Write down on a notepad or on your phone just 2-3 meals. Ideally, these are meals that you are comfortable cooking and you know you and your family enjoy. Never plan for more than 1 new recipe each week.
Just planning a few meals is no big deal, right? And when you know what you are eating for diner and have the ingredients in the house to make it you won’t spend as much mental energy worrying and thinking about what you are going to have for dinner that evening. The meals are likely to be much healthier than what you would grab from take-out. Even planning one meal per week is better than no plan at all! If you’re ready to tackle a little bit more meal planning, check out these easy meal planning tips.
Eat a Few Veggies
Let’s be honest, most of us don’t fill up half of our plate with produce at each and every meal which is the recommended amount. There’s lots of good reasons to do so, including their prebiotic benefits, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, fiber and adding volume and variety to meals. Don’t let veggies be an afterthought at your meals. If you or your kids don’t love veggies, try some of these tips and tricks. Make it easy to grab them on the go by either chopping up veggies as soon as you unpack your grocery bags or just buying the pre-chopped ones available at most grocery stores. And don’t discount frozen veggies. They are super-convenient and have just about the same nutritional value as fresh.
Drink Some Water
Going about your day even a little bit dehydrated can make you feel sluggish and foggy-headed. Get an insulated water bottle to keep with you as a visual reminder to drink more. If you get busy and forget to drink try setting an alarm every hour or so to remind you to take a few sips. Unfortunately, you can’t make up for not drinking much during the day by drinking a lot at the end of the day, so the best thing to do is to make it a habit.
Get Some Sleep
Researchers are learning so much about the value of a good night’s sleep and the effect that it has on our well being and metabolism. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to prioritize sleep. While most of us don’t have the luxury of sleeping in, try going to bed just 30 minutes earlier if you aren’t getting a full 8 hours. Then you can gradually push bedtime back by another 30 minutes until you are getting as much sleep as you need. While that may sound impossible if you feel like you don’t have any extra time in your day, you will be more efficient while you are awake if you get enough sleep which can make up for that extra time!
Check In with a Dietitian Nutritionist
In addition to giving you pointers for which foods are going to help you feel your best, your dietitian will help you to fit all of this into your schedule in a way that works for you. A lot of people feel like they know what they should be eating but putting that into practice every day can be challenging on your own. At Nourish, our dietitians work with you to come up with a plan that is going to be easy and enjoyable for you. Because we work with clients on the long term, we are right there to change things up when life changes for you. And did you know that most health insurance covers nutrition counseling? We’d love to meet you!