7 Health Tips: for Mom Life
We basically all know what to do to stay healthy. Eat wholesome, real foods, exercise a few times a week, get 8 hours of sleep and hydrate to name a few. But in real world mom life this is not always easy to accomplish.
We want to do these things, but sometimes shit happens. And I don’t know about you, but for me, my health was being put last on my list of priorities, even though I know how much it should be #1.
Below are the TOP 7 ways to improve your health and energy with a moms spin on how to actually get these things accomplished during your busiest of days.
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1. EAT YOUR GREENS: Adding more dark leafy greens to your diet has a ton of health benefits. It can improve your circulation, strengthen your immune system, improve your energy level and even clear congestion (just to name a few). There is no reason you should deprive your body of these vital vitamins and minerals. That is of course, if you forget to eat most of the time to begin with because you have kids hanging off you. Yes it is super easy to do, and it is also super easy to forget to do. The easiest way to get more greens is to have a soup or smoothie or green juice. Bonus you can make a lot of these things kid friendly and even hide the green coloring so if your kids are picky about it, they won’t even know.
2. GET ENOUGH SLEEP: This one feels down right laughable as mother. Of course I want more sleep. When people have told me to go to bed earlier or get more rest, I kind of want to punch them in the face! I would love to sleep a full 8 hours every night and not be interrupted. But I have two toddlers, so the chances of me getting that to happen are pretty slim. I am going guess you are probably in a similar situation. I have found that by setting myself with a routine BEFORE I go to sleep to relax my body, will help me get a more restful sleep even if it is interrupted and not even close to the 8 hours.
If you are a SAHM, PLEASE listen to your body, when your kids nap, if you are tired. Just lay the fuck down for 30 minutes. YES, you have a billion and one things to do and your mind is racing with what you need to accomplish. But if you actually take that time for a few minutes to relax and just settle into yourself, I can almost guarantee you will get a hell of a lot more done in your day. It took me a while to accept this, so if you are not there yet, I understand because I still have a hard time accepting this one. So, here are a few reasons why you should rest when you can:
When we are tired we are way more likely to reach for a sugar snack or caffeine fueled drink. These things are not going to improve our health, they are just going to perpetuate the fatigue and brain fog. And when we don’t get enough rest our hormones which regulate our appetite (Leptin and Ghrelin) are totally disrupted. This can result in us not actually being able to tell when our bodies are full and having us reaching for those junk snacks! If you are trying to improve health, energy and weight loss- it is crucial for you to make that time for yourself.
3. REDUCE STRESS: I put this after sleep, because it is another DUH moment. Like, of course you don't want to feel stressed! You want to be a happy, calm, thriving mama. But reality is you're most likely overwhelmed and stressed. Normal, so don’t feel bad. But I want to teach moms how to have this not be your norm. It is possible to reduce the stress, by making the time for yourself and doing things you enjoy. Self-care is essential. Talk to your spouse, family or get a sitter and get yourself up and out. Get that pedicure, schedule a massage, go sit in a bookstore. Taking ONE hour away once a week to replenish can do wonders. Of course as you get better at asking for help and finding the things that can reduce your stress you should start to incorporate it as a daily activity. But for now, try asking for ONE hour a week just for you.
I have worked out where after my kids go to bed, I am sure to spend 30-60 minutes just on myself. I leave the pile of laundry and other shit that NEEDS to get done and focus on me for a bit. Makes all of the difference.
‘Feeling stressed can create a wide variety of physiological changes, such as impairing digestion, excretion of valuable nutrients, decreasing beneficial gut flora populations, decreasing your metabolism, and raising triglycerides, cholesterol, insulin, and cortisol levels.’ – Mercola
4. DON’T SKIP MEALS: You have probably heard this one before! Our body needs fuel to function. So when it is deprived it literally screams out for food. And usually it screams out wanting things like pizza and chocolate! Keeping our bodies fueled, will nutrient dense foods will give us the energy we need to keep up with our littles. I have a big issue with eating breakfast and I know when I take the time to eat how much different my entire day goes! Be sure to make the time to eat 3 - meals a day and have snacks when needed.
5. HYDRATE: On average, as a woman, we should be drinking 9 cups (2.2 liters) of water per day. It is SO easy to forget to drink when you are constantly going. But you must hydrate! Best tip, get a liter bottle of water and keep it by you. I love this one, it is 32 ounces and I make the effort to drink3 of these a day! If you are not used to drinking a lot of water, make a goal to start with a liter or two. You will feel a huge difference in energy and your skin might start to look better too.
Tip, if you are addicted to caffeine and soda start to cut your consumption in half for one week and replace with water (unsweetened iced tea and water with lemon or other fruit works too!) and see how you feel.
6. EAT FAT: A little goes a long way, so you don’t need to over do this. But increasing your healthy fats (and starting to crowd out the empty calorie snacks) can improve your energy levels. Healthy fats also promotes protection against depression and heart disease AND it does wonders for your hair, skin and nails!
Choose things like nuts, seeds and avocados and when cooking use olive or coconut oil. If you want a quick snack to make at home loaded with healthy fats for a burst of energy try these!
7. MOVE YOUR BODY: Has working out fallen to the bottom of your list of things to do? Yea, don’t feel bad me too! Once I started to incorporate a fitness routine back into my life I started to feel so MUCH better. I don’t have to tell you the benefits of exercise, the list is ridiculously long. But for us as moms, one of the best things is that it improves our energy levels and gives us better mental clarity.
No one form of fitness will work for everyone so you do have to find what works best for you. If you have been out of a routine for a while start slow. Grab the babes and go for a short walk. I personally have trouble getting the walk to work out most day with my littles. My routine is to do at home workouts (my favorites; Jillian Michaels post pregnancy and Tracy Anserson Express- these are both short workouts -like 10-20mins tops- that I can actually fit in and look forward to!) Find what works best for you, but start incorporating some type of movement other than just picking up your kids!
A NOTE FOR MOMS WITH BABIES UNDER 6 MONTHS: Give yourself a fucken break!!!!!! I know you probably don’t want to hear it and I feel kind of weird even dishing out this advice with having young ones myself (they are currently 18 month olds). BUT I am here to share my experience and what has worked and hasn’t in hope that it can help other moms out. So here it goes.
I beat myself up so much for not having my shit together those first few months, for not working out, eating better, letting laundry pile up, having unopened mail. My life was a mess. My body and mind still needed to heal but I put this crazy pressure on myself that I had to have things be a certain way. This just made my already present postpartum depression worse and it took me longer to heal.
The best advice I can give you is to just be present with your little one. It gets easier. After six months things shifted a little but it wasn’t until around their first Birthday where I was able to spend more time to myself, feeling okay with asking for that and starting to improve my physical health more.
We each have very different experiences with pregnancy and the postpartum period. Stop comparing and thinking about what you THINK you need to do. Your intuition will guide you if you can stay present. Enjoy the early months as much as you can, things change and get easier in some ways and crazier in others. It is a wild fucken ride.