A few times each year, I push the “restart” button on my healthy lifestyle routine. It’s typically at New Year’s, around spring (think “spring cleaning”) and again in September. September is a great time for me to regroup because of the new season and the new school year–it’s a time of “new starts” and I take advantage of that to see where I can improve or change my diet and fitness regime.
Usually it doesn’t take much tweaking. I’m pretty active during the warm weather months, plus fruits and veggies are very plentiful this time of year so my diet has been filled with mainly wholesome ingredients. But, I find that reworking things a bit can help to keep me motivated. September is the beginning of a whole new season of fall produce, which gets my creative juices flowing in the kitchen. I begin thinking about new meals to prepare for my family that are geared for cooler weather and use some of these in-season fruits and vegetables.
Having school back in session also makes a difference in my meal preparation. I’m dealing with school schedules, after school activities, etc. and many times I’m strapped for time. I find that I do more planning ahead during the school year and relying on my slow cooker so that meals are ready in the evening or finding recipes that require little preparation time. Fruits & Veggies–More Matters 30 Minutes or Less recipes work well in these situations since they’re quick, easy and nutritious. Another trick I use is to make a large pot of something during the weekend and make sure I have enough for leftovers for one weeknight. Spaghetti sauce, chili, soup or stew works really well for this idea. It really comes in handy to be able to heat something up on a busy night!
As far as exercise goes, now that the weather is starting to cool off I’m able to be more flexible with the timing of when I walk and run outside. During the summer I would have to limit my timing to very early in the morning or after the sun went down in the evening. On especially hot and humid days I would even have to cut the length of time down. Now I can enjoy longer walks and runs and go when it best fits my schedule. I’m really able to take advantage of the great weather and ramp up my exercise routine in the spring and fall.
So, while you might not be starting back to school this fall, let the new season guide you to freshen up your life. Assess your healthy lifestyle and make any needed tweaks like I do–you’ll find yourself even more motivated and that motivation will carry you through to New Year’s!