For a while, I’ve recognized the importance of all-around wellness. We all know that to have a healthy, balanced life, we need to start the day with a healthy breakfast, continue through two more well-rounded meals and a healthy snack, or two, during the day, and get fair amounts of exercise. And, if you’re an active reader of my blog, you also know that I’m a firm believer of me-time equaling wellness.
Oh my goodness. Reading through that list and knowing that’s just the edge of all a busy mom needs to do to be well and balanced makes life seem rather unmanageable.
I don’t make it to the gym every day. And I don’t cook healthy every day. Sure. I plan to. But there are certainly days and nights (and weeks) when there is so much going on between baseball, karate, music class, and baths and bedtimes that a healthy meal gets skipped. Or a workout. Or a breath of fresh air.
It’s life. I’m a mom. I’m a busy person.
So, in shuffling and balancing it all, I try to stick to a few key ideas that keep me healthy enough to get through each day.
- Exercise often. I know I can’t every day, and, really, I don’t want to exercise daily. But I actively look for opportunities each day where I can squeeze in Pilates, a floor routine, aerobics class, or even a rigorous walk to the bus stop or playground. When all else fails, running around with the kids is exercise… as long as I actively make it that.
- Breathe. Yes, breathe. Deeply and with attention. There’s a great article at Balanced Life Skills that shares “breathing all the way into our diaphragms, deeply, is so important for our health and even our thinking ability.” When you concentrate on breathing, you’re focusing on making your breath go through your body. You’re stretching your insides and cleansing them. Fresh air helps your body breathe. Makes sense.
- Take some time alone. We have a family rest hour where all of our family has to find something to do alone for about an hour each day. Sometimes we fall asleep; others, we read. I’ve even found that there are times that I want to do nothing more than color. What’s important is that everyone takes time for him or herself, including Mom.
- Start my day eating healthy, and end my day eating healthy. In between, eat healthy. There’s no way around it. What you put inside you affects your mind and your body. I’ve been spending a lot of time learning about eating healthy and encouraging my family to do the same. I know that role modeling is the best way to encourage my children to live a healthy lifestyle, and that’s something that encourages me to eat healthy. Just as important, I also recognize that my body feels better and responds when I eat healthy. How do I do it? My typical day starts with a healthy breakfast, usually cereal, because cereals are the easiest and fastest (we’re always in a rush in the morning.) Sometime around 11, I usually break for a very quick snack, often a piece of fruit or a bowl of dry cereal with whichever kids are home. Lunch each day, for me, is often a yogurt, salad, or vegetable sandwich. (I love cucumber, tomatoes, and veggie cream cheese.) In the afternoon, I’m a snacker, as are my kids. So I try to cut up a fresh veggie and put it out on a plate. Peppers, cucumbers, carrots, and zucchini are super popular. Some of my kids like to dip, so I try to put out a dip with more vegetables or herbs inside, like spinach or dill. Finally, our dinners each evening are usually fresh and include a vegetable, meat, a grain, and often fruit. We’re so into a routine that everyone knows the expectations. If you want seconds, you have to eat your vegetables, and that goes for my husband and me as much as my kids.
Moms, we can’t do it all. We can’t be the perfect parent who works out, eats healthy 24/7, and is active and involved in our children’s lives. But we can prioritize to make sure we do our best to be healthy.
I was recently sent two samples of Kellogg’s FiberPlus Cereal, in flavors Berry Yogurt Crunch and Cinnamon Oat Crunch. The Berry Yogurt Crunch became a crowd favorite. We love the mix of fruity, sugary berry, sour yogurt, and the crunch of wheat and rice.
Cinnamon Oat Crunch became a snack food in our house. All three of the kids asked for a bowl of this cereal (dry) for a snack. I found myself snacking on it as well two days in a row. I imagine it will be excellent mixed with Greek Yogurt, too. I’ll have to try that!
Studies have shown that women need fiber in their diets for several reasons, including the following, so I know it’s important to make sure I’m including fiber in my daily diet.
- lower risk related to any heart diseases;
- low rate of obesity (when you combine high fiber and low fat intake diets);
- low risk for gallstones;
- less likely to need gallbladder surgery
- (most likely) lowers cholesterol level