By: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA
Daylight Savings Time is a great time to spring forward into a new routine! As we turn out clocks forward one hour we may be dreading the “lost hour” of sleep; but instead use it as an opportunity to begin new healthy routines.
The 60-minute change seems minor in retrospect, but it can actually send our bodies for quite the whirlwind. For many of us, our daily routines run like clockwork. When that repetition is tampered with, our sleep, energy and motivation all might falter.
For a successful transition, ease into the change; it’s crucial for surviving the workweek, especially if you feel as though you can’t catch up on sleep.
Here are a few steps that I follow to facilitate a smooth adjustment.
- Jump-start your day. Avoid snoozing your alarm too many times in the morning. Allow yourself enough time for a healthy breakfast along with your morning coffee or tea. Studies show that a hearty ratio of carbohydrates to proteins is best for morning meals. Together, they provide enough “fuel” for lasting alertness and concentration. Try whole-wheat toast with one egg or egg whites or oatmeal with a tablespoon of peanut butter to get you started.
- Pack a lunch rich in protein and plenty of vegetables. Birds Eye® Frozen vegetables make it easy and convenient to add more veggies to your diet.
- Pencil in time for exercise. Exercise before work or during lunch for that extra energy boost. Waiting until much later in the day can affect your ability to relax and prepare for rest.
- Set a caffeine curfew. Mine is at 1:00pm; it could be another time for you, since we all have different sensitivities to caffeine. Either way, the goal is to promote an adequate amount of sleep each night and avoid anything that might interfere.
- Give yourself time to unwind. With the time change, your body is more likely to feel sluggish much earlier. Your internal clock wants to wake up an hour later each day, so it needs to rest well in the evening. Prepare yourself a hot cup of chamomile and cozy up with a book at your usual bedtime.
- Meal Plan: Take some time to plan meals that double up as good snacks or packed lunches. A healthy diet usually leaves room for about five smaller meals per day rather than three large meals. Dinner preparation is also much easier when your pantry is stocked and there are pre-cooked meals in your fridge and freezer.
Mexican Stuffed Peppers
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Makes: 4 Servings
- 1 bag Birds Eye® Veggie Made Riced Cauliflower, cooked according to package directions
- 1 Tbsp. vegetable or olive oil
- ¼ cup finely chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cup Birds Eye® Sweet Corn
- 1 can (15.5 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 4 bell peppers cut in half lengthwise, seeds removed
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Heat oil over medium-high heat n 12-inch nonstick skillet and cook onion, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes or until starting to brown. Add garlic, corn, beans, Riced Cauliflower, chili powder and cilantro. Cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Arrange peppers in 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Evenly fill peppers with cauliflower mixture.
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake 40 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with cheese. Bake five minutes or until cheese is melted.
Recipe by: Birds Eye®