10 Simple Strategies for Busy Moms to Stay Healthy!
Ali Sweeney has teamed up with AETNA inspiring others to be healthier both physically and mentally. I was exited to contribute to this campaign to share my healthy tips!
Let's face it, everyone is busy and whether you're a mom or not, work, friends, and family, are all pulling you in many different directions. Sometimes staying healthy and fit or trying to lose weight is hard with so many other obligations in life.
Mother of 3, Homeschooling, cub scout leader, active in church, writing a cookbook, maintaining a blog, chauffeur to my children's numerous activities, house cleaner, cook, photographer, writer, shall I go on? You get the point and I'm sure you could list more than even I! But I have learned that if I want to maintain my weight loss I've achieved, stay fit and lead a happy, healthy life with my family, I need to be a priority. Because if Momma is sick, nothing runs smoothly. If momma is grumpy, everyone else will be as well. May not be the case in your home, but that is how it happens in my house anyway!
I've learned a few strategies that have helped me maintain my weight loss as well as keep me emotionally happy doing all the multiple things I'm involved in. You know, so you're not feeling like last on your TO DO list that never ends.
Each day it is a choice. But with each day is a new beginning. Forget what happened or didn't happen yesterday and focus on the here and now. The moment at hand. You'll be happier by not beating yourself up each day and discover, with daily choices, you are creating healthy habits that will become a part of your life.
Persistence and consistency is the key even if you fall a few times.
1. EAT CLEAN
Choosing to eat clean means to eat food as close to its natural state as possible. Fresh produce, lean meats, natural sugars, natural sugar free alternatives and staying away from processed, packaged foods and artificial ingredients keeps your body functioning well and your immune system healthy to fight off sicknesses and diseases. My blog exists for this purpose, to provide you with all the healthy clean recipes I make at home for my family. Healthy clean foods don't have to be tasteless or boring! I'm trying to prove that to you one recipe at a time!
Here's a great video from Ali Sweeney about Eating Clean.
2. MENU PLAN
Menu planning is key to sticking with eating clean and making healthy choices on crazy days with the children running to and fro to their activities. Knowing what you've got in your freezer and fridge and being able to have quick meals for busy nights is the only way to avoid ordering through a drive through window. I've got quite a few family friendly meal plans to choose from to help you with breakfast and dinner meals.
3. MAKE AHEAD HEALTHY SNACKS
Have you heard of HANGER??? It's when you are so hunger you get angry. Have you ever been like that? I know I get upset, ok pretty mean actually, when I've waited too long from one meal to the next without a snack. When hunger strikes if you don't have some healthy choices on hand you will surely eat whatever you can find in your cupboard. I've done this and it's miserable because it's often foods high in carbs that call your name. Then the guilt sets in. Who wants that feeling? Not me! I prepare healthy food and snacks on the weekend for the week ahead. Having something healthy to munch on is the only way for me to avoid overeating on foods high in carbs. Check out my Recipe Index for Healthy Snacks for you and the kids!
Ali Sweeney shares 100 calorie healthy snacks on this video clip!
4. TRACK FOOD
How much are you really eating? Do you have any idea how many calories you are truly taking in? If you're trying to lose weight this is truly the most important thing that I can not stress enough. Tracking food intake will help prevent you from eating extra bites off your children's plates. You will need to be accountable to yourself for portion control. I've said it before and I will say it again, I have Portion Distortion. My eyes deceive me every time. I always think I have less than I do on my plate until I go and measure it out and realize that what I thought was only a ½ cup of granola is actually 1 ½ cups!! Track your food and you will lose weight. The end.
5. EXERCISE DAILY
Exercise is proven to relieve stress. Don't we all have at least some stress in life? I've also discovered exercise keeps those happy hormones in me....well...happy! When I don't exercise I am grumpy. When I am grumpy the rest of my family sees my tension and life doesn't go as smoothly. Have you been there? I exercise 5 -6 days a week. I get up at 5 am to get to the gym or my basement and hop on the treadmill. Find at least 20-30 minutes of your day to move in some way and make it a priority. I can guarantee you it will feel so good not only physically but mentally. You will feel the difference in your emotions. And after some time of this becoming a habit on the days when you can't exercise, you will actually miss it!
6. ONCE A MONTH MOM'S NIGHT OUT
Once a month on the last Friday of each month some friends and I meet for dinner! In fact this month we changed it up and met for coffee on a Saturday morning! We've been doing this for years now and it's something to really look forward to. Doesn't cost a lot of money and doesn't take much time away from the family. Why it is one of my healthy strategies here? Because seeing your friends is important. You are more than just a mother and you need to reconnect with those friends that are also in the same place in life with children. It is like a healthy therapy session! Friends encourage us and support us, we need each other! If momma is happy she made time to see her friends then the whole family will reap the rewards of a happy momma!
7. DATE NIGHT
As much as I'd like to say this happens at least once a week with my hubby, it doesn't. Once a month if we have a sitter. It is surely a simple strategy to start trying to incorporate in life. Because hey, before you had kids, it was just the two of you right? Reconnecting with your spouse is just as important to mental health.
8. 20 MINUTE TIME OUT EACH DAY
My favorite part of the day!! I take a 20 minute TIME OUT!! I really do!! I send my kids to their rooms to read and I get my cup of coffee and I sit on my couch and I read a magazine or make a phone call to a friend or browse Face Book. You get the picture. A simple strategy that keeps me sane from all the hustle and bustle of my busy life. Even if you can do it every day, strive to try to have at least 10 minutes to yourself on most days. Even when I had toddlers they had naps or had to play in their room at 2 pm every day. Give yourself a time out each day because you are worth it!
9. CUT THE SUGAR
I wouldn't be where I am today if I didn't o this is very important step in life about 10 years ago when my daughter turned 1. Cutting out white refined and processed sugars and flours has been the biggest factor for losing my weight and being able to maintain it. Here's my personal story if you've never read it. Sugar makes you crave it more and more. When you crave it, you eat more and more unhealthy foods that can cause sickness and just an overall tired, sluggish feeling. When you eat too much, of course weight gain happens, it's inevitable. When you gain weight, who's happy about that? No one. I cut the sugar, cravings stopped. Get started today!
Here's a video from Ali Sweeney for a great beverage alternative to soda!!
10. SLEEP MORE
Last but not least you need more sleep! Most of us get only 5-6 hours sleep a night. That's just not enough. Did you know when you are tired your body tries to wake itself up the next day by eating more calories? Yes! So when you don't get enough rest your body overcompensates by causing you to be hungrier. Not helpful if trying to lose weight. Not helpful if trying to get up early to get in exercise either. Viscous cycle right? Try your best to get to sleep earlier or at least 7-8 hours a night as opposed to 5 or 6. Your body with thank you the next day!
I hope these simple strategies will help you reach your healthy living goals!
To find more healthy living tips and videos check out www.WhatsYourHealthy.com!!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of AETNA®. The opinions and text are all mine