6 Tips To eat Healthy During the school year
I hate it when stores bring out back to school supplies in the middle of the summer.
And yet, here I am, talking about school in the middle of July.
Today we’re talking about how I manage healthy eating during the school year.
Healthy eating just isn’t the norm anymore. Unhealthy foods are more convenient and, quite frankly, more delicious.
Sometimes it feels lonely to be the only one who brought your own lunch or is passing on dessert. But my body is sensitive to certain foods, and I want to make the best, healthiest decisions for my body so that it can thrive.
I enjoy eating healthily. It makes me feel better when I eat the right foods, and I want to make sure that I am able to do that during summer AND during the school year.
And that’s why I’m putting together this handy little guide for you.
I know that it’s difficult to be the one person in the room who’s giving a second or third thought about what they're eating, but keep in mind that there’s nothing to be ashamed of if you are trying to take care of your body and nourish and fuel it with healthy foods.
Going to the point of obsession can easily become too much, but if you are taking a balanced approach, you are doing yourself a huge favor by paying attention to what you eat.
Without further ado, I’m going to give you six tips to help you eat healthy during the school year.
#1 - Own It.
Don’t try to cover it up. Don’t try to hide it. Be that person who eats healthy food.
I know that the desire is there-- the desire to fit in and to eat like everybody else and to share Pirate’s Booty and Cheez Its.
But the reality for me is that it would also come with acne, eczema, and overall decreased health, all because I was determined to fit in.
So let me tell you: it’s better to be the person who owns it. Eat healthy food and be darn happy about it. Be glad that you’re eating in a way that makes you feel your best and that is best for your body.
Other people will be okay with it, and if they’re not, too bad for them.
#2 - Plan in advance.
Prepare your meals and snacks in advance to make sure that you know what you’re going to eat, when. Make sure that you have all the foods you’ll need for the week.
It helps to have a few different ideas that you can rotate for snacks and lunches. I typically take salads or leftovers from dinner last night, along with fruit and some dark chocolate.
Sometimes, I find myself hungry with nothing to eat but whatever junk is in the vending machine or that my friends offer me. That’s not a fun decision to make-- Chips Ahoy cookies or being hungry until I get home.
Make sure that you have the right amount of food ready for the day.
Plan in advance-- preparation is key!
#3 - Take plenty of snacks.
It’s best to always be prepared, ESPECIALLY if you have after-school activities. It’s easy to take a cookie someone brought to share, but if you come prepared with snacks, you’ll have other options. Sometimes it’s easy to fall into the trap of convenience, but as we’ve all been told once or twice, the easy way is not always the best way.
But you can make easy yummy by taking some great snacks with you wherever you go. (I take beef sticks just about everywhere.)
Some of my favorite snacks to take are:
There are lots of great options!
#4 - Be ultra-polite.
There’s always those times when teachers or classmates offer you something unhealthy, and you don’t want to be rude by declining, but you also don’t want to eat it.
I want to start by saying that you don’t have to explain your way out of it. People can’t control what you eat.
Just politely and respectfully decline-- you can say something as simple as, “no thank you, I’m not feeling very hungry right now,” if indeed you aren’t feeling particularly hungry.
Come up with lots of things you can say, and remember that most of the time if you are honest, people will understand and respect your decision.
Here are a few of my go-to’s:
“No thanks, I’m full.”
“Dairy makes me break out, but thanks for offering!”
“Thanks for offering, but I’m not very hungry right now.”
“No, thank you.”
Be polite, be respectful, but also be confident enough to say what you want to say. You don’t have to apologize or over-explain your decisions.
#5 - Know why you do it.
I live a healthy lifestyle because it makes me feel better. It especially improves my skin. I am very prone to acne and eczema, and my diet can make a night and day difference.
Why do you choose to eat healthy? Many adults jump to thoughts like an eating disorder or trying to lose weight, but there are people out there who just want to be the healthiest, most energetic version of themselves.
You want to take care of your body and fuel it properly-- that’s nothing to be ashamed of, so don’t feel bad about it!
#6 - Pack your own lunch.
School lunches are infamously unhealthy or gross.
Just bring your own lunch, and then you’re in control of what you eat!
Yes, it takes more time, but in my opinion, it’s TOTALLY worth it. Especially if, like me, you’re sensitive to common foods like dairy and eggs, packing your own lunch is super important.
Meal prep at the beginning of the week is a game-changer for that. It saves time and makes it easier for you later on in the week.
Healthy eating can feel isolating, but it doesn't have to be! If you love eating healthily, people will be okay with it, and eventually it won't even shock your friends that you decline a donut. (Not that you can't have treat and still be healthy.)
When you find healthy eating to be a struggle, keep these tips in mind:
These tips can also be applied to other social situations and other places that you may go.
I hope this has been helpful! Know that you’re not alone-- you are capable of eating a healthy diet and not feeling socially isolated at the same time. Also, healthy can be easy when you come prepared.
You got this :)