I can't even believe it's already back to school time! I live close to a college campus so it's always fun when all of the students come back and you get all of that energy thrown back into the community. But with that come some common stresses for both parents and students, so this week I've got my top 3 tips for back to school success!
1. Make Healthy Choices on the Run :: Fall is a busy time of year which means we are on the run more than normal. To stay healthy on the go I try to always pack snacks with me in my purse like a bag of almonds or cashews, low sugar beef jerky, healthy protein bars like RX, Rise or Epic bars or my on the go egg cups! If you haven't packed a snack or find yourself in a total pickle when you're out, I've created a list of healthy, quick food items to pick up at fast food restaurants.
Chipotle :: This is an awesome choice when you're on the run and need a quick lunch or dinner. Order the salad with veggies, beans and your choice of protein and top with guac and extra lettuce. Hold the dressing.
In N Out Burger :: Choose a protein style burger (no bun) without cheese for a great on the go lunch or dinner on the cheap!
El Pollo Loco :: Another great, inexpensive but protein packed meal. Shoot for chicken and steamed veggies here.
Starbucks :: Try the bistro protein box which includes an egg, peanut butter, cheese, fruit and a piece of whole grain bread. Ditch the bread and you're golden with this on the go snack or light meal.
Jimmy Johns :: Ever heard of an unwich? Order one at Jimmy John's when you're there next. It's a sandwich without the bun so you get the goodness of the sandwich without all of the extra gluten and carbohydrates.
Burger King :: Ever think you could make a healthy order at Burger King? You can! They now serve a grass fed burger that you can order protein style which means no bun. Get this when you are short on time and looking for an inexpensive but tasty meal.
2. Sleep :: As schedules change and more activities are thrown in, sleep is normally the first thing to go. But, with the less, your brain doesn't perform as well which meals lower grades and less focus at school or work. To maximize the time that you do get to sleep, be sure to do the following
Blackout rooms :: Whether it's your room or your kids room, make sure that there is little to no light when you go to sleep. This could mean installing blackout curtains, removing outdoor lights and taking our night lights. You'll sleep deeper and therefore feel better on less sleep.
Limit Electronic Devices :: Blue light from electronic devices tells your brain to stay awake and inhibits the production of melatonin. Be sure to put away electronic devices at least 1 hour before bed so that your brain gets ready to sleep and gets you the rest you need for the evening.
Supplements :: Try chamomile in the form of tea before bed to help you wind down. It's naturally relaxing and will help you get a good nights rest. You can also incorporate lavender into your nightly routine by spraying it on your pillow or showering with lavender scented soap before bed. Lastly, try a melatonin supplement if you find that you or your children are struggling to fall asleep at night.
3. Power Your Brain :: Whether you are headed back to school or putting in more hours at the office, your brain needs to perform at the highest level throughout the day. To make that happen, think about adding in brain power foods to your day wherever you can. Some of the best brain foods include broccoli, whole eggs, kale and wild salmon. Do your best to stay away from sugar as it will cause a major crash an hour or two after you eat it. This can lead to hormonal imbalances, lack of focus or concentration, grumpiness and not to mention, it makes your body hold onto weight too.
Back to school is a hectic but also exciting time. If you put these tips into practice you'll find that you and/or your student will feel better and therefore perform better in the classroom or at work. Start by picking just 1 tip to focus on this week and then slowly add the others in as you get more comfortable and at ease with your new schedule. If you have more tips I'd love to hear from you in the comments! Happy back to school!