Back to School Back to Basics - Greenwich Moms

By Alexa Fishback MS, RD

Cheers to the new school year, Parents! While the joys of early summer days are real, by Labor Day we are spent. We have done all the good summer things and we justneedschooltostart.  We’re ready to reengage with our old friend, routine.  The kids may not admit it, but they are ready for it too.  We mom’s need to refocus on ourselves. It’s time to get back to the basics – nutrition, exercise, and sleep. Here are some tips to PLAN your fall for the greatest health success.

NUTRITION (WEEKLY PLANNING)

  • Get in the meal planning state of mind. Sit down with your phone calendar every Sunday and loosely plan 3-4 dinner meals based on the logistics of the upcoming week. You may not stick to it perfectly, but it’s still helpful. 
  • Then, do one large grocery shop to get ingredients for these dinners, as well as all breakfasts, lunches and snacks for the week.  If possible, bring your partner or a kid to the market – it gets them actively involved in their nutrition and they can help manage the grocery load. 
  • Here is an easy system to for weeknight dinner meals: 
    • Monday Night: Winner Winner Chicken Dinner: Chicken night (whole roasted or barbeque pieces)
    • Taco Tuesday: AKA Ground Beef or Turkey night (tacos, burgers or pasta w/ meat sauce)
    • Vegetarian Wednesday: Use Pantry Ingredients (lentil soup or a chickpea stew, perhaps a curry?) 
    • Fish Market Thursday: Visit the fish store as supplies from Sunday are dwindling and less fresh (shrimp stir-fry or salmon with old bay) 
  • Plan for some well-deserved cooking breaks each week – one night a week go out to dinner, one night order in, one night eat leftovers, one night plan for your partner or kid to make dinner – if my math is correct this leaves you with only 3 nights of real cooking, a reasonable and achievable goal. 
  • Prep fresh fruit and veggie snacks for after school. Put in a bowl on the counter or in the fridge so when kids come in the door they have something EASY to grab right away.
  • Try a cleanse like my AaHa Restart program (next one is Sept 19th – sign up at www.AaHaRestart.com/sign-up). Reset with us for a week, eat clean on our team, and jumpstart a healthier you.

 

EXERCISE (MONTHLY PLANNING)

  • Plan your workout goals one month a time.  Sit down with your phone calendar at the beginning of each month and set reasonable goals based on the logistics of the month.  Aim to workout 5-6 days a week – cardio, weights, yoga repeat.  The rewards are worth it. Just do it. 
  • Jumpstart your fitness with an online challenge – try a Peloton Program, I recommend Stronger You, which can span from a week to a month. Try a new class you have always been interested in.  Breathe in, then out.  
  • Whatever it is– PLAN it and treat that exercise like a meeting you can’t skip. 

 

SLEEP (SEASONAL PLANNING)

  • During the summer we rarely have the same waketime everyday which means bedtime gets wacky. The start of school gives us a routine wake time, from which you can count backwards to create a solid and reasonable bedtime. Adequate sleep looks like 7-9 hours for adults, 8-10 hours for teenagers, and 9-12 hours for a younger child. Plan for this this FALL.
  • Bonus – the start of school is a good time to make new rules with your kids regarding screen-time.  Whatever works for your family – none M-TH or an hour or two after dinner – make a plan and stick with it. Kids, like puppies, do well with structure and guidelines.

 

These tips and tools may sound basic, and they are…by design. Back to school = back to basics. Plan your nutrition, exercise and sleep habits this fall and stick with them.

Hala’s Fall Recipe 2023: Easy Weeknight One Oven Roasted Salmon & Cauliflower

Ingredients & Method:

  • Preheat oven to 400 
  • Cut 1 head of organic cauliflower into small florets
  • Arrange on a cooking sheet lined with nonstick foil
  • Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste
  • Bake at 400 for about 30-50 mins – the more caramelized the better
  • Bonus – sprinkle pine nuts on the cauli when it is about halfway done and roast

 

Once cauliflower is in the oven – start on the salmon:

  • ½ pound of salmon per person, preferably wild caught
  • Place on cooking sheet lined with non-stick foil
  • Rub with a bit of Olive Oil and Old Bay seasoning to taste  
  • Bake at 400 (in the same oven as the cauliflower) for about 13-15 mins to desired internal temp

Sign up to spend a week eating clean with our AaHa team – Monday September 18th – Friday September 22nd: www.AaHaRestart.com/sign-up 

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