As moms, we tend to put ourselves last when it comes to health. Bad habits make you feel lethargic, and it takes longer to complete your tasks. If your body is not getting the right nutrition, your energy levels are low, and your mind is not alert. With the lack of time as a constant deterrent, I try to incorporate at least a few simple steps that will boost my health and energy levels so that I can keep up with my kids and home.
Drink plenty of water
Yes, I know you’ve been told a hundred times before to drink lots of water, but here’s the thing, it is life changing! I used to put this off because I forgot or I did not have time. If you are determined and tell yourself that you need to be healthy for your family’s sake, it’s amazing how you find the time. Purchase yourself a bottle that latches close, set it high up somewhere, so your kids don’t touch it, because somehow mommy’s bottle is more wanted than any other. Make sure to drink from it at mealtimes, tea breaks, when you feed your kids, or anytime that you go to the kitchen. You will also feel less hungry and lethargic, look brighter, and your mind will be crystal clear.
Also, give each of your kids their own water bottle (different to avoid arguments). Give them a high five for health, or a tick on their good deed chart each time they finish a full bottle. Ensure that their bottles are accessible (like on the kitchen counter) so that they see it and remember to drink from it. Eliminate juice from their diet and only allow it on special days. If kids drink juice too often, they’ll get used to their drinks being sugary and will find water too bland. We need to develop our children’s love for water so that they don’t find difficult to consume it as adults.
Eat smaller meals more often
This will help you lose weight and have more energy. Do you notice how kids tend to eat often but less at one meal? It seems that we are given the skills from childhood on how to eat. My young children have three small meals and 1-2 snacks per day. It is a good idea to eat when your kids eat. Eating less frequent doesn’t help weight loss because your metabolism slows down and your body retains fat as a defense against hunger. Eating often speeds up your metabolism and makes you burn fat faster, so you can lose weight.
Breakfast should be your biggest meal of the day. It is the longest time that your body has been without food and it is the start of many hours of activity ahead. Eat a breakfast that includes protein and fiber; it will keep you regular, satisfy you until the next meal and give you more energy. A bowl of oatmeal topped with fruit and a boiled egg is a good start to your day. An example of a good protein snack is peanut butter with apples. Eggs can be prepared as deviled, scrambled or as an omelet with veggies. My grandmother wisely used to say, “Eat like a king in the morning, a prince in the afternoon and a pauper at night.”
No time to be healthy?
If you cannot find the time to make healthy meals or to keep fresh fruit and vegetables on hand, keep it simple. Sometimes we tend to make elaborate meals and snacks, then get overwhelmed and don’t stick to it. Try to make it easy and do things like:
- Make yourself a sandwich and load it with salad
- Cut up fruit and vegetables and store it in the fridge to keep on hand
- Eat nuts and seeds in the car
- Keep dried fruit in the house when you’re out of fresh fruit
- Have a bowl of oatmeal or whole grain cereal
The quickest way for me to get my fruit, vegetable and vitamin intake is to have a smoothie. Here is my recipe for an energy boosting, healthy, quick meal. This is great for your kids too and another way to get picky eaters to get more vitamins in their diet. My children think it is equivalent to having a milkshake and I am not about to burst their bubble! In a blender liquidize:
- 1 banana
- 1 cup blueberries/strawberries (or any berries of your choice)
- 2 tsp plain low-fat yogurt
- 1 cup orange/apple juice
- 1 cup frozen spinach
- 1 tbsp honey (optional for sweetness)
- a little water for thinning if needed
This is a recipe for one, tall glass. When I prepare this for my kids, I triple the recipe and give it to them in smaller cups. I use fresh bananas when I have it on hand, but to ensure that I’m always able to make a smoothie, I purchase bunches and freeze a few when they are ripe for later use. I like to use blueberries because they are super foods with high antioxidants and I can buy them frozen as well. To make your smoothie more nutritious, you can add a tbsp of probiotic powder and flaxseed powder, so read about the benefits of those powders. There are many smoothie recipes online and ones loaded with different supplements and powders full of vitamins. Find the best recipe for your needs and see how easy it is to get your power boost for the day. I feel energetic and satisfied after I have one, so it’s great as a meal replacement.
With every change you make, start simple, so you have a higher chance of sticking to it. Please note that these tips worked for me, but you should always research about healthy tips that are suitable for your needs and a professional opinion is always advised. Make time for your health; it is not a luxury but a necessity to be a better healthier mom!