Is it really that time of year again? Where did the summer go? The kids have gone back to school, the CNE has come and gone, and we’re all trying to squeeze in the last few days of holidays before officially getting back into our routine. I have to admit, I’ve let my daily routine slide somewhat this summer, a feeling I’m sure at least a few of you can relate to. Meal prep isn’t as on point as it was, I’m getting fewer workouts done, and I’m sleeping in! And while those can all be wonderful feelings, it’s now time for us to switch gears and get focused again.
One of the biggest challenges we face can be the planning and preparation of healthy meals, which becomes increasingly difficult as our schedules get busier. Arguably the most important thing for you to do is: plan ahead! This helps to ensure that your meals aren’t a stress – in fact, you may even find that you enjoy cooking again!
Here are a few tips to help you ease into September, allowing you to get back into the swing of things:
- Batch cook on Sundays and plan to have a consistent weekly meal plan: This makes shopping easy and takes the thinking out of deciding what to have for dinner (here’s looking at you Taco Tuesday!!)
- Get the kids involved in making lunches: Make it fun by setting up an assembly line and make it a game.
- Write your meal plan on a white board: Keep the whiteboard on the fridge so the whole family is involved.
- Make a little extra dinner for leftovers: Even if you don’t have a family, you can still meal plan, but remember to make a little extra at dinner. That makes for the best (and easiest) lunch the next day.
- Smoothies in the morning can be prepped the night before: Put all your ingredients (except the liquid) in the blender and leave in the fridge overnight. Then in the morning just add water or nut milk, blend, and go.
- Create lunch size Tupperware meals for the week: Just grab and go! (If you haven’t picked up on it yet, I’m a BIG fan of grab and go when I’m strapped for time)
- Batch cook and freeze in meal size containers for dinners: All you have to do is pull one out in the morning to thaw, and then you’ll have a quick dinner on the table in no time after work. This works really well with chili, soups, tomato sauce, cooked ground turkey or chicken, etc... At night, all you have to add is a salad and voila, dinner is served.
I know that it can be daunting to anticipate all that fall brings, but I assure you, with some planning and following these simple tips, you (and your family) can have a seamless transition into a beautiful (and healthy) fall season.
Dena Ryde, Personal Trainer & Certified Nutritional Practitioner, Adelaide Club