A Healthy Start: Kicking off the school year right

This is my third year of school, but the first time I’ve ever had to stock a kitchen for myself. I was SO excited for my grocery trip on move in day. Like, overly excited. I’m a dork. But it is something special to be able to finally decide for yourself EXACTLY what you want to be eating. No more trips to the caf and settling for broccoli and rice (again) because there are no healthy options! No more gazing with huge eyes in my home kitchen at the vast array of unhealthy snacks that I would love to chow down on.  My room is my space, and that decision making process is empowering.

And a little intimidating. We start school in a week, and while I love having my kitchen, I also realize it’s going to be a little bit of a struggle to find time to cook, workout, and maintain a healthy outlook. Here are some tips I’ve thought up to keep myself on the straight and narrow!

Tips for Kicking the Semester Off Right

1.  Fill your kitchen: if you have bad food in there, you will eat bad food. It’s as simple as that.  At the grocery, I focused mainly on fresh produce, a few healthy snacks (popcorn and pretzels are a favorite), and some protein options to keep my energy up. No chips. No candy. None of that oh-so-tempting fro yo.  I promise the amount of energy and happiness you feel will make up for those five seconds of joy as you plow through a pint of Ben and Jerry’s!

2. Declutter: After a long, stressful day of moving in, the last thing you want to do is unpack boxes.  And I definitely still have some work to do.  But in my opinion, it always feels better to clean up and just get the room done than it does to wallow in a half-unpacked hole for a few weeks.  You’ll feel more at home as soon as everything is in it’s place!

3. Make a morning ritual: this is a HUGE one for me.  I need some time to get centered in the morning and become my healthy happy self.  To get there, I need at least twenty minutes to sit with breakfast, a cup of coffee, and my devotional. Those twenty minutes change how I feel about my whole day.  Find something you really like that kicks you off on the right track. Meditating, jogging, journaling…there are so many ways to get there!

4. Get out there: if you’re looking to start a new healthier workout habit this year, it helps to start right away.  The first few days will definitely be difficult–I know the last thing I wanted to do this week was go for a three mile run.  But the hardest part of a new habit is starting it up, and there’s no better time than now, when you’re not totally bogged down by classes and homework.  Another good tip: don’t give up and don’t give in! There are days when I feel like I’m too busy to work out, but I know that even 20 minutes of activity will make me feel so much better about the day in general.

5. Organize your life: I am a planning queen, and I start early.  I recommend getting one planner for your life events, and one for class assignments, and keeping them current.  Knowing what you have on your plate makes it a lot easier to have time for fun! There is no bigger bummer than having to say no to plans because you have a last minute assignment you completely forgot about.

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