Eat Well, Live Well - Settling into September
Get organised. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with the amount of stuff the kids need for a new school year, or by the 600-plus emails which greet you when you’re back at work. Think yourself into a ‘refreshed and ready to go’ mindset, and tackle the chaos head-on. Arm yourself with lists of what the kids need and, if they’re old enough, get them involved in preparations – choosing their own new pens and pencils or cleaning their own shoes shouldn’t be beyond them, and can help them feel more involved. Ruthlessly prioritise tasks at work– we all know which emails are important and which can be instantly deleted. And try going in an hour early on your first day back. It’s far better than staying behind at the end of the day when you’re tired. It will give you a peaceful hour when nobody will bother you and which you can use to get all those tedious administrative tasks (such as email deleting) out of the way.
Stick to your holiday resolutions once you get home. Sometimes the freedom that you feel while on holiday makes it easier to think about difficult decisions, or recognise that something in your life needs to change. If you’ve had a lightbulb moment on holiday, don’t let that feeling slip away. Summon up the confidence and certainty you felt while you were watching that sunset, or walking along that beach. Make this holiday the starting point for feeling better all year round, rather than just the two weeks of the year when you don’t feel stressed or overworked.
Make your memories tangible. These days, most of us just have precious holiday photos stored on our computers. That’s great for sharing on Facebook but there’s something about the feel of an actual photo album which really brings those magic moments back. Plus, of course, it can’t be deleted by accident! Just selecting, printing out and arranging your holiday photos in an album is a great activity for a rainy day. If you’d still like to take advantage of technology, many companies now offer ready-made albums or ‘photo books’ which you can design yourself online. And don’t stop there – try making a ‘memory box’ for holiday keepsakes, or get the kids involved in making their own scrapbooks.
Change the menu: It's easy to slip into a rut when it comes to meals - we've all been guilty of throwing together the eternal cheese sandwich for lunch day after day! But there's so much you can do to make this particular part of your daily routine a really pleasurable one. If you’re a cereal fan, be adventurous - try out some fabulous new varieties and rotate your favourites to keep breakfast fresh. For a special indulgent weekend, why not try yoghurt with fruit and honey, a breakfast muffin, French-style croissants or American-style pancakes? Find new quick and easy suppers by promising yourself that you'll make at least one new dish a week - it's a great way to start feeling excited about eating again. Pick a weekend evening so you've got plenty of time to experiment and get to know a new recipe. And ring the changes in yours and the kids' lunchboxes! Check out our recipes for fantastic lunchbox-friendly soups and stews, and pop in a snack like Ryvita MINIS, too. With three fantastic flavours including sweet chilli, salt and vinegar, and cream cheese and chives, they're an easy way to put a bit of variety into your routine.
And finally…look forward! There’s more to holidays and festivities than sitting on a beach, and traditional autumn festivities have their own magic. Celebrate the harvest festival, either at a local church or in your own home. It’s a wonderful opportunity to sample local seasonal produce and also to donate food to those who need it. And if you’re missing garden parties and barbecues, think ahead to family fun at the fireworks, or apple bobbing with the kids at Halloween.