I recently went back to a desk job after a few years and it really encouraged me to be more mindful and proactive when it comes to preparing meals. Starting your back to school/work season mindfully can make all the difference, from how you approach the day to navigating your way through it. Here are some tips that I hope prove to be helpful!

1. Plan your meals – put everything together the night before so that morning runs smoothly and
nothing gets forgotten. Set the coffeemaker the night before. Put your takeout mug right next to the coffeemaker or kettle (if tea or hot lemon water is more your thing). Defrost your frozen oatmeal breakfast smoothie that was prepped on the weekend. A simple way to have a great supper ready to go when you get home is to use a slow cooker. Prep everything the night before and put the cooking dish in the fridge, covered. The next morning just pop it into the heating unit and turn it on. Dinner should be simmering as you walk through the door at the end of the day.

Meal planning tools are really important. Here are some links to free online meal planners with
recipes included:


A new meal planning site, for minimal fees, can also help, since it groups all of the best bloggers’
recipes and allows you to choose a week of menu planning based on your taste preferences:


You can also check out my Pinterest page at: www.Pinterest.com/nutritionmtl/

And some great downloadables for menu planning and grocery shopping are:

http://thecottagemarket.com/2017/01/free-printable- meal-planner- set.html
http://dearcrissy.com/free-printable- meal-planner/

2. Plan your activities – know what’s coming up so that you can support your activities with planned snacks and meals. Give yourself enough time to get from one place to another without stress. Say no to things that are overwhelming. And make sure to schedule in some fun!

3. Plan your outfits – put your yoga clothing in your bag the night before. That way when you’re in a rush, or when you wake up not quite motivated, your better judgement will have your back. Make sure all of your laundry is done and put away for the week so you’re not running around for that perfect shirt without a clue where it’s hiding.

4. Find balance between work and play. Balance studying with pleasurable activities. Studying
outside is still studying – disconnect by focusing on the way a leaf blows in the wind or how a squirrel eats a nut. Schedule in something to look forward to every day, even if that means committing to ending the work day at a certain time.

5. And if you need reminders, and sometimes we all do, keep some positive affirmations around. I
like to keep a reminder on the lock screen of my phone that reminds me to “BREATHE.” Little post-its around your computer may also help. Here’s one to get you started eating mindfully: “Don’t chew your worries, your fear, or your anger. If you chew your planning and your anxiety, it’s difficult to feel grateful for each piece of food. Just chew your food.”  ― Thich Nhat Hanh, How to Eat

Enjoy a happy back to school, a happy back to work, a happy fall season. Step into it peacefully and mindfully, and you will find balance through this transition and positivity in more trying moments.