Any mother can tell you that they have the most rewarding job in the world. Fostering young children's minds is a tough job; it keeps moms on the go and busy 24/7. There is no off button, and most mothers will tell you they are up before dawn and only go to bed when everyone else is already snoring. So, how do you stay healthy while staying on top of it all?
Feed your body, mind, and soul
Eating is not just to keep you alive; it is what keeps you happy, healthy, and most of all, content. Eating a balanced diet rich in all the right nutrients is key to staying healthy. While it is easy to forget to eat and grazing on snacks all day, that is not conducive to staying healthy in the long run. Even healthy snacks have their limitations.
One of the best tricks to being a healthy mother is ensuring that you eat at least one full meal a day. If the hustle and bustle of breakfast prevent you from sitting down to eat, try waking up an hour earlier and grabbing some breakfast before the whole family takes the kitchen by storm. A nutritious breakfast with a coffee and a great book is food for the mind, body, and soul.
Staying hydrated is a vital ingredient to good health. Experts suggest that everyone drinks at least 2lr of water every day. If you struggle to count glasses of water or don't have the time, grab 2 or 3 large gym bottles and fill it up with ice-cold water. Rotate the bottles in your fridge, so you are never without cold water.
Aim to drink at least two bottles a day. Set reminders on your phone to drink water throughout the day, and go for 5-minute walks to stretch your legs if you sit at a desk most of the day. Some people don't enjoy the taste of water; if that sounds a little like you, try water infused with mint leaves and fruit. Change the water temperature; warm water with a splash of lemon juice in the morning can kickstart your digestion and day!
There is nothing quite like a quick exercise session to get your heart pumping and the stress easing away. Exercising is more than getting fit. Health starts from within. Many moms feel that hitting the gym is as good as sitting in a therapy session.
A quick workout can help boost energy levels and mental clarity. Adding a short stretching routine to your morning can help boost circulation and energy. Healthy habits are sometimes simple changes that make you feel good instantly.
Hitting the hay
Sleep is when our bodies switch off and rest, the day's stress gets washed away. Most moms can tell you they do not get enough sleep. Everyone needs at least 7 hours of solid, decent sleep every night, moms are no exception. However, it can be hard to off completely and give in to a good night's rest. If getting a a decent amount of sleep in is a struggle, try to do 30 minutes of yoga or light stretching.
Yoga or stretching helps release physical frustration or pent up anxiety from the busy hustle of mom life. Try it on restless kids too! You'd be surprised at how well they take to a short round of exercise with mom before bed.
Meal planning for the whole family ensures that healthy eating habits are enforced. It will be easier to make better choices when the whole family joins in. Often, quick and unplanned dinners are not always the healthiest. A meal plan takes the stress out of cooking during the week. Try sitting down with pen and paper and planning your meals out for the week ahead.
Try to include at least one meal that the entire family enjoys. Remember that healthy eating does not mean that every night should consist of greens and nothing else! Eating a well balanced diet is key to staying on track with health.
The science of planning healthy meals
No matter how busy your life gets during the week, you will always be on top of dinner if you make time to plan. Ditch the junk food with a few healthier alternative meals that don't taste like cardboard or, worse, grass! If you plan to cook an extra portion or two, you can keep the leftovers for lunch the next day.
Try these handy meals that are great as leftovers the following day;
Homemade tortillas with fajita chicken strips
Tortillas are easy to make over a weekend and store in the fridge. There are plenty of tasty and gluten-free tortilla recipes out there. Instead of grabbing a bag of chips as a snack, eat a healthy tortilla with a drizzle of salad dressing and some salad leaves. A tortilla press (Uno Casa) and some dough can turn a Sunday into family bonding time; the children can help you prep the tortillas and other meals for the week ahead.
The beauty of a tortilla-based dinner is that everyone gets to pick what they want in their wrap, meaning the whole family stays happy. Mom is sure to be satisfied with a happy family and a dinner without arguing over eating vegetables again.
Pita bread, falafels, salad, and tahini is dressing the perfect dinner and a light lunch that the whole family can enjoy. Plan ahead, prepare a few extra portions of the falafel balls, store them in the freezer for a grab and go meal that can be reheated in a microwave within minutes.
You can use your falafel to replace meatballs in pasta dishes for an extra healthy option.
Sunday's dinner is lunch on Monday.
Remove Monday's stress by making an extra-large meal on Sunday, the leftovers can go into lunchboxes for everyone, and you can freeze additional leftovers for a meal later in the week. Sundays are for relaxing, not panic, sweating over a lack of bread for lunchboxes. By making an extra portion or two, Monday's lunch is sorted.
That way, you make sure that you start the week on a healthy note, with a decent meal! Studies have shown that if you start the week healthy, you will be more likely to stick to healthier choices for the rest of the week.
Start with small changes.
A healthy dinner that fills you up also helps prevent any late-night snacking. If you are a night grazer, try stockpiling your kitchen with more nutritious snacks and food choices like nuts, cheeses, and fresh fruits. Carrot sticks with homemade hummus go well with a movie or a great book. It is the little things that count! Small changes pave the way for significant improvements!