I don't think it will ever go away. There is an emotional stirring that happens for me at the end of August that is the perfect combination of summer grief and the renewed potential of fall. The aroma of this esoteric smoothie is the delightful combination of sunscreen and the vinyl off-gassing of new binders and plastic pencil cases. For just a moment I remember that smell from the state of ignorance I once had regarding its health and environmental implications, but I digress.
This is not a rant about how bad plastic binders are for the environment (they are awful), this is a call to action, adult version, for finding an excuse to stock our lives with a few simple tools to make the fall a renewed opportunity to take on the world, support good health and keep vinyl-high kids from running us wrangled.
Back to Life Supplies
Mason Jars - I don't 'can' anything, yet, every fall we toddle off to the grocery store for an updated collection of mason jars. We use them for everything; leftovers, smoothies, "mason jar lunches," you name it we've tried it. Much cheaper than other glass counterparts, these jars are small enough to fit in your bag and strong enough to be carried to school. Join the craze.
A Decent Blender - We have one "convenience appliance" in our kitchen, our Vita-Mix blender. While this may be an over-kill investment for many, we use our blender for at least two to three meals per day. Smoothies for breakfast and soup for dinner, this high-powered beast has enabled us to have sufficient creativity that we have long since rid ourselves of other counter clogging devices such as a microwave. If a Vita-Mix is not in your need or price range (it took me a while to prioritize this purchase myself), Consumer Reports has pulled together a comprehensive list of blending options. Remember, you need to look for something that can manage ice, vegetables and fruit, ideally without you having to chop it all first.
Little Life Box - Health has to be fun. If hitting the gym and baking kale chips sounds like a task rather than a joy, Little Life Box, may be just the thing for you. Started last year by a mother-daughter team from Montreal, LLB sends along a monthly box of healthy food, cosmetics and intriguing new products to get you and your family excited about healthy living. Opening our LLB has become a family affair, with my three-year-old eager to see what items will be coming next. It has been a great way to try things we may not otherwise have selected and challenge ourselves to substitute ingredients we had not previously used.
Coconut spread - With almond butter hitting the headlines with a recent recall, I thought it was a good time to infuse some variety into the world of healthy butters. Coconut spread, not to be confused with coconut oil, is a sweet version of its healthy counterpart. The spread tastes like coconut, contains less fat and is a healthy addition to toast or smoothies. I tend to keep a jar in my office and spread a spoonful onto rice cakes when I am craving something sweet in the afternoon. It is an excellent choice for anyone managing chronic digestive concerns as the medium chain fatty acids in the coconut are very helpful in assisting in the repair of the cells lining the digestive tract.
A glass water bottle - It is hard to keep up with the toxins found in the latest and greatest consumer plastics. I've got a suggestion, just stick to glass. Glass water bottles are easy to clean and now, much easier to transport. Silicone cases and even water bottle socks are making this time-tested option one the most popular fall health accessories.
Zombie Run - Technology has changed the way we go back to school. Forget the books, let's talk about apps. I am not a zombie fan, but this little pearl has the capacity to making running WAY more fun. Zombie Run 3 (yes, it is actually popular enough to have reached a third version) is a fun way to combine a run with, well, a zombie attack. If you find that fun and games are requisites to getting you moving, this may be just the app for you.
Goodbye pencils, paper and penny-loafers, back to school has taken on a whole new meaning. Get back to your healthy habits and renewed focus with some well-deserved supplies and a few options to help make it a little easier on your body to chase down the bus. Funny isn't it, how some things never change.