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It’s back to school time which means it’s time to get back into a routine! Although it may be difficult to get back into the swing of things, a routine can be quite helpful for your health. Meal planning, scheduling regular physical activity and self-care time are the keys to success to your diabetes management.

 

Tip #1 Keep an agenda 

  • Using an agenda or your phone calendar can help schedule your tasks and activities, including exercise, meditation, meal planning, medication timing, etc.

  • Scheduling tasks in advance can help with time management. This can help decrease your stress, which can overall help improve your mood and health, including your blood sugar.

Tip #2 Meal planning & eating balanced meals

Meal planning will not only save you time and money, but it will also allow you to have your meals readily available to avoid getting off track from your healthy eating habits.  To get started:

  • Choose a day & time to plan your meals for the week, example: every Sunday. Get inspiration from your favorite cookbooks, magazines or web sites.

  • Make a grocery list. Making a grocery list may seem time consuming, but with time it will become part of your routine and can ultimately save you time. A grocery list can help you stay on track while you’re grocery shopping and help you avoid buying any extra items. Tip: never go grocery shopping while you’re hungry – you’ll end up buying more than you need!

  • Prepare what you can in advance. Cut up veggies for snacking during the week or for making stir fries. Batch cooking can also save you time; cook larger quantities of chili or soups and freeze for later. You can also prepare a batch of oatmeal to have for your breakfast during the week. Recipe: Overnight oat: rolled oats, chia seeds, 1 tbsp of nut butter of your choice, add milk, frozen berries and slivered almonds. Enjoy!

  • Prepare for last minute meals: Busy day and nothing planned or prepared for tonight? This is bound to happen from time to time. Make sure your pantry has a few key ingredients for last minute meals. Always keep fish or chicken filets as well as frozen veggies in the freezer. You can balance that meal with a few whole grain crackers or a slice of bread.  In the pantry, keep whole wheat pasta, onions and canned tuna. Roast some of your frozen veggies and you’ve got yourself a balanced meal! Other must haves include: eggs, cheese with less than 20% milk fat (M.F.), nuts, seeds, nut butters (if there are allergies in your house, try roasted chickpeas and WowButter), quinoa, canned and/or frozen legumes.

Tip #3 Keep your body & mind healthy with regular physical activity

  • Boost your energy and mood with daily physical activity. Exercise can be done in so many different ways. In fact, it’s important to vary the type, duration and intensity of your activity to help achieve the health benefits of activity.

  • If you’re new to exercise, start slowly and over time aim to reach 150 minutes per week of cardiovascular activity (i.e. walking, jogging, biking, swimming, etc). Start with 5 to 10 minutes a day and gradually increase the duration.

  • It’s important to have fun while doing it! Find an activity that you enjoy to help make it part of your regular routine.

Tip #4 Relax with self-care

  • Stress management helps improve your overall health. Everyone has different ways to manage their stress; some use exercise and/or meditation. Phone applications like Calm and Headspace can be used to help you relax on the go. Make some time to watch a comedy show, talk with a friend, read a book – whatever keeps you happy and calm.

  • Sleep is key! Don’t forget to aim for a 7 to 9 hour undisturbed sleep. Speak to your health care team if you are having difficulty with sleeping.

Back to school is certainly a busy time of year! Following these simple tips can help you adjust to your new routine. Don’t forget to book your next appointment with your diabetes team to discuss any adjustments or tips to stay healthy with your diabetes!