(BPT) - Autumn is a busy time for families. Between back-to-school shopping, sneaking in end-of-summer trips, and getting back on track with your routine, you may find that you don’t have time to prioritize your wellness. However, the changing of the seasons is a reminder that you should review and revamp your routine.
To help you build good habits, registered dietitian Kristin Kirkpatrick, M.S. has offered the following four nutritional tips that can help you shape your new routine this fall.
1. Out with the old, in with the new
Before you can even consider what a new routine looks like, you must first determine your goals and set yourself up for success. To start, clean your fridge, freezer and pantry of foods that don’t belong in your new routine. For example, get rid of pre-made salad dressing from the pantry and invest in quality olive oils and vinegar.
Also, replace high-sugar foods that could inhibit your health for options that are satisfying, without the blood sugar roller coaster. If you’re looking for a sweet treat that you can feel good about, pick up a pack of Quest mini Peanut Butter Cups. These mini peanut butter cups offer 8 grams of protein, less than a gram of sugar and 1 gram of net carbs per serving. Keep some in the pantry and take them on the go for a delicious treat to enjoy anytime during your busy schedule.
2. Embrace the season of the new routine
New routines can occur any time of the year, but the beginning of a new season can jump-start the beginning of a new routine. For example, you can change up your daily nutrition by adding nutrient-dense seasonal foods to your plate.
As your kids return to school, consider adding more pumpkin and cruciferous vegetables or apples to your family meals. Or, if arugula was your summer salad, then kale may be your fall option. Eating seasonal fruits and vegetables isn’t just good for you, it can also get you excited about a new routine and help your family celebrate the season ahead.
3. Find your barriers and eliminate them from your new routine
Take some time to uncover what has held you back from healthy habits in the past so you can improve your new routine.
Have you struggled with lack of sleep due to poor sleeping habits? Then your new routine can focus on factors associated with getting better quality sleep. This could be as easy as putting the phone down an hour before bed and creating a bedtime routine to get your mind and body ready to sleep.
4. Take your time to get back in the swing of things
Changing your diet, exercise schedule and sleep habits overnight can be overwhelming and may discourage you from following your new routine. Instead of making drastic changes to your life, start small and take baby steps.
Start by adding one extra vegetable or fruit to your diet every few days or swapping a candy bar for a healthier option such as carrot sticks or nuts instead. If you slip up from time to time, don’t get frustrated or throw in the towel. It took time to develop your old routine, and it will take time to settle into a new one.
Embrace the spirit of fall and start incorporating good habits that will last you a lifetime. Using these four tips, you can create a solid foundation for a new, healthier routine this season.