This article originally appeared in Tallahassee Woman Magazine on page 41.
As a mom of four, I have experienced the back-to-school dash for more than 16 years. We are purchasing supplies, reestablishing a routine, getting everyone out the door on time and doing multiple drop-offs. The pressure is on parents to ensure kids have everything they need for the day.
Before we know it, we find ourselves in a fast-food line grabbing a sugar-loaded coffee drink for breakfast. We arrive to work without a nutritious lunch planned. We grab candy or soda to make it through the afternoon slump. Forget a workout—there is no time! Evenings are consumed with pickups, sporting events, homework, dinner and catching up on work.
How can we realistically prioritize our own health and create healthier habits as we head into this school year?
PACK YOUR LUNCH DAILY
Pick out a cute new lunch bag and keep it packed with non-perishable healthy snacks. Some of my favorites are nuts, protein bars, beef jerky, dark chocolate, healthy energy drinks, and meals prepped using leftovers. My cooler stays packed and goes everywhere with me. I cannot tell you how many times the contents have saved me from the concession stand, fast food or the unexpected.
SWAP OUT THE COFFEE DRINKS
Waiting in line for coffee drinks is not only a time and money waster, but the nutritional information is shocking, and likely slowing your progress. Purchase a blender instead and blend healthy mixers with coffee protein powder. Mix, pour, and take it with you to the drop-off lines. My personal favorite vitamin and protein-packed frappe is below--and check out just how much healthier it is for your body!
My Personal Favorite Homemade Coffee Frap
1 scoop coffee protein powder
1 scoop chocolate protein powder
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup water
1 cup ice
1/2 frozen ripe banana to sweeten
Fresh organic greens
1 tbs almond butter
Top with almond or coconut whipped cream
Top with cocao nibs
Blend and enjoy!
PREP MEALS AHEAD
We can all relate to arriving home late, with no meal planned, too hungry to cook, and finally offering cereal to the family. Or fast food and eating out becomes a habit, which makes it more difficult to eat healthy. The key to avoiding these patterns is meal prepping—and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Many times it looks like this: grilling meat in bulk, roasting veggies, chopping, and cooking a couple of simple meals ahead. I spend about 1-2 hours per weekend on prep. No time to prep? We have some amazing meal prep companies in Tallahassee that will deliver meals right to your home.
One of my favorite quotes is “you don’t rise to the levels of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems.” Systems are what creates a consistently healthy lifestyle. Need motivation or ideas to execute a healthy plan? Follow Lisa @imagebylisa or @imagebylisahealth on Instagram.