Back to School - The Mindfulness Toolbox Part 2: Nutrition


Written by Georgia Tetlow, MD and Jill Maddock, PIM Office Manager

As mentioned in last week’s post, back to school time can be a challenging time of year, full of adjustments that require flexibility on an emotional and physical level for students and parents alike. At Philadelphia Integrative Medicine, our team combines the best of conventional and alternative medicine to inspire and give you the tools to be well. Below, we give three simple suggestions that may help ease you all into this time of year. Part 2 of our Mindfulness Toolbox series focuses on the importance of nutrition.

Optimal nutrition in your diet is a constant need and becomes even more important when exposing our minds and bodies to change and stress. Supporting a healthy gut and mind through proper nutrition and supplementation can increase focus, improve memory, balance our mood and keep us energized throughout the day. In turn, our students can get the most out of their time in the classroom and even have energy left over for homework and family time in the evening! Choosing foods like organic fruits and vegetables, grass-fed beef, wild caught fish high in Omega-3 fats can help us to achieve these goals

1.The Environmental Working Group (EWG) does a wonderful job helping consumers navigate the often confusing world of organic food. They create yearly lists of the Clean 15- produce that is safe to buy conventionally since it is low in pesticides and the Dirty 12- produce it is important to buy organic due to high pesticides. This is a wonderful guide for grocery shopping!

2.To keep lunches healthy and interesting for kids and yourself, try switching this up from the usual lunch of sandwiches and follow some tips in this article: “10 Sandwich-Free Lunch Ideas for Kids and Grownups Alike.” PIM always recommends using gluten-free and organic products if possible.

3. Try this Energizing Green Tonic smoothie by Dr. Andrew Weil for breakfast below. It’s a quick on the go breakfast that you can prep in the blender the evening before. To make it sweeter, add an entire apple instead of just half. Add a serving of your favorite protein or supplement powder to keep you going a little longer. I like to use 1-2 teaspoons of organic hemp protein powder.

1 small cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks

1 stalk celery, cut into chunks

1 green apple, peeled, cored and cut into chunks

1 cup loosely packed baby spinach -- or arugula if you have high oxalates!

4 romaine lettuce leaves, torn into pieces

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon finely chopped peeled ginger

Pinch of sea salt


  1. Put the ingredients and 2 cups of water or non-dairy milk of your choice--coconut, cashew, almond, etc.--into a blender and puree on high speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth.
  2. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve if you like and serve chilled or over ice (or just drink it up!)

Interested in learning more about PIM? Register for our upcoming group class: Optimize Adrenal Health to Reduce Stress with Annmarie McManus, MMSc, PA-C, PT, IFMCP and Georgia Tetlow, MD, ABOIM. Admission is FREE!

If you or your loved one has ongoing stress, mood or hormone imbalance and, please consider scheduling an appointment with Annmarie McManus, MMSc, PA-C, PT, IFMCP, our certified Functional Medicine PIM provider.