Ever since I was a child in school September has always felt like a new start, another chance to do my best.  September has always symbolized back to routine and with summer coming to an end so does life at the cottage, family camping trips and barbeques and patios with friends.  I know you are all with me when I say that, once again, I indulged this summer.  I probably ate a few too many servings of tortilla chips and guacamole, I attended one too many barbeques and spent one too many Friday afternoons on a patio with a glass of Rosé.  As much as I hiked, mountain biked, swam and ran, a few pounds have made their way onto my body and are ready to insulate me for the winter. 

I do not believe in diets as they are rarely successful and most who attempt a diet either fail or gain their weight back.  But now that my fall jeans are a tad snug (have any of you tried to put on your favourite cords yet?) I know I need to shed the leftovers from my summer of fun.  In no means is this a diet, or is it a cleanse, but I challenge you for the next month to put a greater focus on your nutrition and your health. 

The most important change you should make first is your sleep.  If you are sleep deprived you will never be able to shed the extra pounds.  Go to bed at least 8 hours before your alarm is scheduled to wake you up. 

Next, try not to drink any calories.  This means no juice, or fancy coffees (yes, non fat lattes would be in this category) or alcohol or pop.  That leaves you with water and black coffee or tea. 

Every morning attempt to start your day with a healthy breakfast.  If you are someone who thinks they do not have time to eat breakfast you need to set your alarm 15 minutes earlier or prepare it the night before so it is ready for you in the morning.  Starting with a healthy breakfast will set you up to be successful for the rest of your day.

Cut out processed foods from your diet; if it comes in a package do not eat it.  Fill up on fruit, vegetables, lean proteins and complex carbohydrates.  I know you hear this all the time but it is how we should be eating, it is not as hard as you might think and you may even be surprised as to how much you like it.  You will have to plan and make sure you have these foods ready to go in your fridge and pantry so this means going to the grocery store two or three times a week.  (I usually go to the grocery store daily to ensure that my produce and meats are fresh).  Use these cooler nights to stay indoors and experiment with new recipes. 

One piece of advice I must pass on is do not try and do it all at once.  Start with improving one meal in your day and once you have mastered that then work on the second and finally the third.  Maybe because of your career you are forced to eat out a lot for lunch and it may take some time to work on changing your meal choices so improve your breakfast and dinner first, increase your water intake, get more sleep and the lunch transition will come easy.

Just like when you were in school and your teacher handed you the year’s outline you need to create your own outline for the fall, set your goals and then make your plan to achieve success. And do not fret if you find yourself with a glass of red wine in your hand or eating a piece of chocolate after dinner, simply wake up the next day and try again.  No one is perfect.

Attached - Lea Michele at the gym the other day.