Back to School + Good Nutrition

Is It Possible?

Vegetables, fruit, seeds, cereals, beans, spices, superfoods, herbs, condiment in wooden box for vegan, gluten free, allergy-friendly, clean eating or raw diet. Grey concrete background and top view

One of the challenges of modern life is knowing how to mix our busy lifestyles with healthy eating — especially once school starts. We try to make sure our children have a healthy meal before they rush out the door back to school on time, but more often than not, we’re lucky to get any breakfast into our kids, let alone make sure it’s healthy.

And of course, on the way out the door they must also have a healthy lunch in their hands. The task of feeding our back-to-schoolers healthy, nutritious meals can be overwhelming — but it doesn’t have to be.

Fast + Healthy

The good news is healthy foods come in fast versions, too. You don’t need to spend 30 minutes preparing meals for them to be healthy. As long as you follow a few simple guidelines — like the United States Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate standards — to make sure a fruit or vegetable, a grain (preferably whole grain) and a protein are in each meal, you can ensure your children will have a balanced, healthy diet. There are so many easy options to fill each category — and some might even surprise you.

Healthy Options For Every Meal

Wanting to give your children healthy options and knowing what those options are aren’t always one and the same. Whether you’re simply looking for inspiration or unsure of what a “healthy” day of meals looks like, the following options are sure to keep your children healthy and happy.

Breakfast: A cold cereal that’s low in sugar (like Cheerios, Kix or Frosted Mini-Wheats) paired with a banana and yogurt (you can even use a Go-GURT) is a healthy, quick option for children of all ages.

Lunch: Pack a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with carrot sticks. Whole wheat bread, natural peanut butter and low-sugar jelly would make this lunch even healthier, but stick with what your child will eat. If that’s not enough food for your child, send two sandwiches and add a serving of fruit.

Dinner: Tacos provide a grain, vegetables and protein for a complete meal that’s healthy and your kids will love. Use healthier ingredients like corn or whole wheat tortillas with extra lean ground beef. Mix in black beans or refried beans and corn with the ground beef for extra protein and fiber. If your child is so inclined, avocado, salsa, tomatoes and lettuce add substance and vegetables.

Snacks: Whole grain crackers like Triscuits and Wheat Thins are great snack options, as are partial whole grain crackers such as wheat Gold Fish. Scooby Snacks, string cheese, yogurt, milk, fresh fruit and veggies, 100 percent fruit leathers and un-sugared dried fruit can be used for snacks to keep your little ones satisfied throughout the day.

Treats: Limit treats like cookies and candy to one serving per day — according to the package instructions — and combine it with a daytime meal.

Teamwork Makes The Dream Work

Last but not least, get your kids involved. Take them grocery shopping with you or let them pick healthy options from each food group to incorporate into their breakfast or lunch. Involving your children in the process will give them a sense of ownership.

Before you know it, you’ll go from lunch-time zero to lunch-time hero — all the while providing balanced, healthy meals throughout the school year.

Hypnotherapy is the application of the relaxed, yet highly focused state known as hypnosis for the purpose of achieving goals and creating lifelong transformation. Hypnosis is a natural state of mind with numerous beneficial characteristics.

In this natural state, our subconscious mind is open and receptive to powerful, positive healing ideas and imagery. In this state, we can learn to manage chronic pain, reduce stress, and change unwanted behaviors. But how and why does our subconscious work? Why can’t we just use our willpower to relax or reduce pain, eat healthier, or stop smoking? To answer these questions and more, consider the story of Chicken Little!

Chicken Little And The Flight Or Fight State

One fine morning, Chicken Little can be seen happily eating tasty corn in the barnyard, when an acorn suddenly falls on her head. Believing the sky is falling, she starts frantically running around, shouting, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” Chicken Little’s belief that the sky was falling was so strong that she convinced her emotions, which affected her behaviors and even her physiology. Her little chicken heart started to beat rapidly, her blood pressure went up, her cortisol levels increased, her immune system responses became suppressed, and her perception of pain increased. Chicken Little effectively, “stressed herself out.” What this story demonstrates is that our perceptions influence our autonomic nervous system. In the stress state, also known as the fight or flight state, the sympathetic nervous system is activated. Higher cognitive thinking decreases, and rational thought ceases. Our stress response is natural and designed to protect us from acute threats, but it becomes harmful when we live in that state 24/7. Sadly, many people are living today as if the sky is continuously falling. They are in a state of chronic, underlying stress, which puts them at increased risk of anxiety, depression, weight gain, sleep problems, and more.1

The Subconscious Mind Is Literal, So It Can’t Tell The Difference Between Fact And Fiction.

Living in a constant state of stress, predicting doom and gloom at every turn, means we are effectively saturating our subconscious mind with negative limiting beliefs or false truths. As Chicken Little shows us, this false truth can become our reality. Unlike our conscious mind, which is logical and analytical, the subconscious mind thinks in pictures and is literal. It can’t discern between fact and fiction and so believes what we tell and show it. This is especially true when experiencing a heightened state of emotion, such as fear. The subconscious mind is also the storehouse for all of our memories and beliefs, whether positive or negative. Although we like to think of ourselves as rational beings who make logical decisions, that’s not usually the case. It is our beliefs behind our emotions that drive our behaviors. That is why our conscious mind or willpower never wins over the subconscious.

Hypnotherapy Helps To Clear False Truths And Negative Imagery So You Can Achieve Your Goals.

Hypnotherapy is so effective for people because it works at the subconscious level. During a hypnotherapy session, we quiet the conscious mind so that we can speak directly to the subconscious mind. In the relaxed, yet highly focused state of hypnosis, we can effectively clear false truths and saturate the subconscious mind with healing imagery and positive healing ideas, also known as affirmations or suggestions. Hypnosis is a powerful state. On a physiological level during hypnosis, we shift from the fight or flight state (the sympathetic nervous system) to the resting or safe state, where the parasympathetic nervous system is activated. When the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, the perception of pain decreases (that’s how people learn to control and potentially even eliminate pain naturally). The immune and digestive systems get a boost, and higher mind problem-solving functions are supported.

What False Truths Have Resulted From Past Emotional And Physical Trauma?

People learn to rewire the brain to support their goals and to achieve transformation. Until we clear the negative beliefs and imagery that frequently result from past emotional and physical traumas, problems can remain or take a very long time to resolve. Pain worsens, self-worth suffers, unhealthy habits continue, and so on. Integral hypnotherapy does not involve reliving or talking through the details of past emotional or physical trauma. Integral hypnotherapists only need to understand what false truths resulted from a past trauma that may block a person’s ability to achieve their goals. They then work with the individual, using evidence-based protocols to reverse those limiting beliefs and saturate their subconscious mind with positive healing ideas and imagery that support their desired transformation.

You May Not Know It, But You Are Already Experienced At Self-Hypnosis!

Many people wonder if hypnotherapy will work for them or if they can be hypnotized. Although hypnotherapy is not appropriate for everyone, the vast majority of the population can learn to use their mind to achieve a state of hypnosis. Most people are surprised to learn that hypnosis is a natural state of mind that we all experience twice daily, upon waking and just before falling asleep. During these times, your brainwaves are predominantly in the alpha state – actually in the lower end of alpha and the top of theta. Experiencing the therapeutic benefits of self-hypnosis is grounded in science and human physiology, not magical or wishful thinking. To get the most benefit from a hypnotherapy session, you must be highly motivated to achieve your goals, have an open and receptive mind, and be willing to do the self-care work between sessions. A good imagination helps, too, as visualization techniques are heavily used.

All Hypnosis Is Self-Hypnosis.

No one can control your mind during hypnosis or make you do silly things or act in ways that are against your moral code. That’s a Hollywood myth that makes for a scary movie or entertaining stage act, but it is patently untrue. All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. You are responsible for your own mind and how you use it. People can learn to control their pain in hypnosis. That’s more control, not less. Learning self-hypnosis is a re-education process and a skill. A good hypnotherapist teaches you to fish; they don’t just give you the fish. In only a few sessions, people can learn the lifelong skills they need to achieve their goals. Changing the beliefs that are behind the emotions and behaviors is the key to creating lasting transformation!

Is Hypnotherapy Right For Me?

For help with pain and other ailments, your medical provider’s or mental health provider’s approval is required to add hypnotherapy to your treatment plan. While hypnotherapy may have many beneficial effects, it is not a substitute for medical treatment or psychotherapy.

Audrey Holocher is a Certified Medical Support Clinical Hypnotherapist specializing in evidence-based protocols for natural, safe pain control, stress reduction, and behavioral change. she has an M.S. degree in Environmental Science and Engineering, a B.S. degree in Food Science and Technology, and is a Certified Narrative Consultant and Master Practitioner in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). more information at