After reveling in the joys, stresses and change of pace that the summer holidays can bring, too often getting back into normal routines becomes particularly challenging once school, work and regular life starts up again.
Lack of a regimented schedule and a brain operating happily in ‘holiday mode’ make the post-holiday transition a little rough, and healthy routines we had down pat last year seem far away from our current reality. For many of us, this transition phase sees us prioritising healthy habits less. However, now is the ideal time to create new habits- so focusing on creating healthy ones means you’re much more likely to stick to them, rather than becoming stuck in routines (or lack thereof) that are less than ideal.
So, how can we make this transition a little easier, and get on top of our routines to establish some healthy habits from the start?Here are three ideas:
1. Make Family Dinners an Event
Studies show that those within families who have sit-down meals together have higher self-esteem, better mental health, healthier eating habits throughout life, and, amongst children, better academic performance, amongst many more benefits. Mealtimes give us a chance to connect and share bits of our day with one another, and for most families, they’re often the only opportunity to spend quality time together. Turn off the screens, set the table and light some candles (if you’re feeling fancy!) to make dinner time a more enjoyable experience for everyone.
2. Make a Big Salad Every Week
One big salad = many different meals. Have it as a side to main meals, in a sandwich or wrap, or as a main meal itself with some filling ingredients (e.g. tinned tuna or chickpeas, rice..). Make it a different one each week (or add different ingredients each day, such as dressings) for variety. There are countless different ingredients to add to make each salad unique- nuts and seeds, fresh herbs, leftover roast veggies, tinned corn kernels and beans, even fruit! Check out some of the salad recipes from The Heart Foundation for inspiration here.
3. Carve Out Time to Plan Meals
It could take as little as 5 minutes, but makes a big difference. Once the week’s meals are planned, add the ingredients required to your shopping list.
When it comes to your and your family’s health, if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed and would like some extra help, or are motivated to make changes but unsure where to start, or needing accountability, coming in to see me is a great next step. I can help you to find some direction with individualised advice, create realistic and sustainable changes, and reduce the burden that healthy eating can sometimes pose on us.
There’s no better time than now!