So lazy days of summer is out and busy schedules with school buses are in. BUT FALL is one of my favorite seasons for many reasons, including jumping in leaf piles! So let's kick off the school year with 4 TIPS to make this fall the best yet...
TIP #1- SET THE MOOD FOR FALL- Breaking out the favorite sweatshirt when the colors turn can feel oh-so-good but getting back into "school" schedule can be hard for you and family. Eating, drinking, and sleeping right is key to this busy schedule. Colds are just around the corner so boosting those foods high in anti-oxidants and vitamin C are key. Also foods high in protein and vitamin B will enhance "brain" power as well as boost energy. And as warm drinks are becoming popular again green tea is a wonderful immune booster (so replace your favorite hot chocolate once in awhile with this :) ) AND don't forget the power of sleep! Getting you and family back on a consistent bed time will make you much more ready for tomorrow. An average 8 hours is needed for us to maximize REM sleep and allow ultimate rejuvenation/healing of all body systems.
TIP #2- TAILGATE TIMEOUT- We often think of beer, brats and cheese for football & tailgates but tweaking what you eat at these events will not only help with post game "gut rot" but also expand your taste buds to some really great food! First, you can still enjoy your football favorites but modify portion size. Second, replacing at each tailgate a not-so-healthy food with a healthier one. Examples? Grilled chicken instead of a brat, low calorie beer instead of the Stout, fruit & vegetable platter instead of the cheese platter, popsicles instead of the desert. Third, drinking water will also keep you hydrated for the long day, fill you up so you don't reach for 2nd & 3rds, AND will help minimize the not-so-fun effects of alcohol consumed. There are a lot of healthier food choices that can taste great! Just learning what they are can add the fun game day.
TIP #3- FAMILY DINNER TIME AND SLEEP FOR KIDS- Research shows that consistent family dinner time has been correlated to better grades and decrease behavioral issues in school. Whether it be an important issue that is brought up or a joke that creates family laughter dinner time seems to be an important way for kids and parents to communicate and enjoy each other. AND remember our first TIP? Don't forget sleep! It is very important for growing kids to get even more sleep than us (~10 hours/night). Research also shows that consistent sleep for kids will enhance brain function & boost energy, regulate mood... and maybe make those teenagers a little easier to be around. :)
TIP #4- JACK-O-LATERNS ROCK!- I've never stopped loving the activity of carving out my pumpkins...even if they don't turn out exactly as you planned. :) But did you know there is also an added bonus to making your creation and saving the pulp for pumpkin pie? The pulp of this fall favorite is high in vitamin A and C, and it's tasty seeds, called pepitas, are rich in phytosterols, which has been correlated with lower cholesterol. So bring on the PULP!