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© 2017 Vancouver Dietitians

September Survival Guide - our tips for heading back-to-school or back-to-work!

 

All too soon, summer has come to an end. Whether you’re going back to school, work, or sending your kids back to school, we’ve got some tips on getting back into your healthy lifestyle routines!

 

 

Keep a calendar
 
It’s time for the morning classes, afternoon pickups, multiple activities, long hours of studying…the list goes on and on! It’s easy to become overwhelmed with the sudden overload of commitments. Having a small calendar which you can bring with you will help keep you organized, alternatively you can also use a calendar app on your smartphone. This can even be helpful for planning ahead each week or month and adding time to prepare meals, exercise, or practice self-care.


Although it can be difficult to find time to exercise, it is also a very important component of a healthy lifestyle. Exercise can help with managing stress, improving body image, mental clarity, digestion, and reducing your risk of developing illness or disease!

 

Exercise doesn’t have to feel like a chore - find an activity you actually enjoy doing such as walking, jogging, hiking, yoga, dancing, lifting weights, biking, or joining a sports team! You can also use a calendar to remind yourself to be active as well as to set aside time to be active, even if this means setting aside time for a walk.

 

Part of being your healthiest includes managing your stress as much as possible.  Making time for yourself will help manage your stress, which has been linked to reducing your risk of chronic disease, illness, improved digestion and energy levels, as well as improved mental health!


Find an activity you enjoy doing which also relaxes you, whether that's  practicing yoga or meditation, knitting, baking, playing with your dog or cat, taking a bath, or reading quietly - self-care can take many forms!
 

Having difficulty finding time to exercise outside of work? Try incorporating a short walk during your lunch or coffee breaks, or use the gym while your children are in their swimming or skating lessons! 

 

Prep meals ahead of time


Eating healthy can feel like a challenge when trying to manage a busy schedule and maintain all of your commitments. Homemade meals and snacks are not only healthier than eating out, but they are also easier on your wallet!

 

Meal prepping is a great way to make having healthy, homemade meals and snacks easier. Try to find a day and time that works best for you to prepare some meals and snacks for the week. Another time-saving tip is to intentionally make extra at dinner time and use the leftovers for lunch the next day.

 

Here are some meal and snack ideas that will be easy to prep ahead of time or make in large batches for use throughout the week: 

Breakfast

 

  • Greek Yogurt Pancakes - making a big batch of these on the weekend can give you quick and delicious weekday breakfast ideas. They are also packed with protein, giving you a great start to a busy morning.

  • Overnight Oatmeal - These are super easy to prep for multiple breakfasts at a time. They don’t require any cooking! Just make the night before, then enjoy in the morning or grab on the go!

  • Carrot, Apple, and Oat Morning Muffins - Save time by making a batch of these nutritious muffins. Packed with veggies and fruit, they are a great morning pick me up, or also work well as a snack during your day.

  • Pumpkin Spice Muffins - Making a big batch of these on the weekend gives you a great breakfast or snack to grab on your way out the door during a busy week. 

  • Vegan Smoothie Bowl - Pre-portion all of your fruit and vegetables into Ziploc bags and freeze, then just grab the bags and throw in your blender to make this veggie packed smoothie bowl! 

  • 4 Ingredient Breakfast Smoothies - Try some of these customizable smoothie ideas! They are a great way to start your day. By following our tip and prepping your ingredients ahead of time, these can be a super quick on-the-go breakfast that will keep you filled up for the busy morning ahead!

 
Snacks

 

  • 4 Minute Pita Chips - Need a quick snack? Try these paired with hummus or black bean dip for an easy and nutritious choice!

  • Roasted Beetroot Hummus - Save money by making your own twists on hummus. Making a big batch can give you enough snacks for the whole week, try experimenting with your own flavour combinations. This also pairs perfectly with our 4-minute pita chips mentions above!

  • No-Bake GF Energy Bars - These are a great snack to pack for an energy boost during a long day. They can be made in large batches on the weekend and can even be frozen to keep longer!
     

 Lunch/Dinner

 

  • Vegetarian Chili - This warm dish is perfect for the cold weather coming soon. Packed with veggies and protein, it’s a great idea to throw together and take the leftovers for lunches during the week. You can also freeze this recipe for up to 3 months!

  • Hearty Bean Stew - Like the chili recipe, this stew is great to make in a big batch then pre-portion for quick lunches or dinners that is packed with protein and fibre. You can also freeze this recipe for up to 3 months!

  • Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers - Make these ahead of time, have 1 or 2 for your dinner and then pack the rest in to-go containers for easy to grab work or school lunches!

  • Click here for more easy, 12-minutes or less recipe ideas to try!


Get creative in the kitchen by adding different fruits or vegetable into our recipes above, you might just find the next best combo!

 

Having delicious meals and snacks made ahead of time gives you something to look forward to each day, and minimizes the temptation of eating out. It will also keep you from having to buy breakfast or other meals at coffee shops and restaurants - you’ll be surprised how quickly these money savings add up! 
 
It may take a while to adjust to this upcoming busy September month, but we hope all these tips and recipes help make everything a little easier. Make an appointment with us and we can help you set up a healthy plan to keep your eating habits on track. Comment below what kind of recipes you want us to try this coming fall! 
 

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