|School is back in session, and that means schedules are bound to get hectic with practices, retails and lessons, oh my! But with a little planning, busy days can be healthy, too.
With tips and suggestions from local experts, this school year can be a piece of cake -- only, without the accompanying obesity.
Health and nutrition are just as important as English and Mathematics, says Pa Bunk's Health Market and Café owner, Corey Williams. And they should be taught in early childhood.
"The risk of obesity, diabetes, cancer, etc. are drastically reduced if a person eats properly," he says. "The eating habits a child develops will most likely follow them the rest of their life."
Busy schedules oftentimes mean quick fast-food dinners, but Williams says last-minute decisions can be avoided with a little preparation.
"Just like I mention in the **NOTES** section of one of my recipes, preparing items such as boiled chicken or things that can be refrigerated and added to meals is a perfect, healthy way to go," he explained. "Also, keep things like fresh veggies, all natural/ organic cheeses, greens & frozen all natural/ organic veggies on hand can make it easy to throw together a simple healthy meal in a hurry. "
When dining out, opt for local places that serve healthy, all-natural and organic foods.
"Stay away from fast food!" Williams advises. "There is always time to eat an apple, fruit, yogurt, granola, a couple of slices of lunch meat, then later you can have a small meal."
He continued, "A meal is defined by most nutritionists as anytime you put food or drink in your mouth for consumption. You can have many small meals a day; one big meal and a couple small ones; or 3 moderate, healthy meals. If you eat small meals, your body uses them as you need them; if you eat larger meals, your body stores them to bridge the gap between meals."
Eating healthy doesn't have to be expensive, either. Williams encourages residents to "eat local."
"The farther your food has to travel from production to your mouth the more it cost and the more likely it is to contain preservatives," he said, pointing out the Saturday Market in downtown Murfreesboro and the Rutherford County Farmers' Market off Old Fort Parkway.
"Also, if you need to be budget conscious, then do some research. Buy the items like meat, eggs, milk and bread that are local or organic, then if your budget dictates you cut corners, then shop for all natural."
Always read ingredient labels. Simply because something isn't organic doesn't mean it is bad for you; likewise, just because it is organic, it isn't necessarily good for you.
"Try growing you own food!" says Williams. "It's fun for kids and it is the perfect way to know where your food comes from. Check out the Tower Garden. You can grow indoors up to 60 fruits and veggies year round. It's a product by Juice Plus and only takes up 4 square feet of space. It cost around $500, but the annual savings are far more substantial compared to buying those same products at the store."