This week our family had someone very important to us get a scary heart health wake-up call. It made Clint and I look long and hard about our own current lifestyle and think about ways we could start making some changes. While we choose a pretty balanced lifestyle, it felt like with the move and craziness of a new job and city we had been choosing “quick” instead of “healthy” when it came to family dinners and snacks.
On the other hand – life is insanely busy lately. I find myself having to take the five minutes I’m feeding Beau to BREATHE and SAVOR the minutes without making a mental to-do list at the same time. So, I’m still choosing balance, but also making some mindful, easy changes to our current habits to help us both lose a few pounds and most importantly feel better and healthier. I know that small changes can mean big health benefits, and being busy isn’t an excuse to being unhealthy.
- Skip processed foods. Making a low-fat pasta dish takes just as much time as a casserole with canned, cream soups. Over the weekend I made this simple dish that Clint’s mom used to always make for us when she visited: Boil spaghetti noodles. Chop mushrooms, tomatoes, green onions and chicken tenders and place on a cookie sheet. Pour Italian dressing over all of it and bake at 375 for about 30 minutes. Once it’s done, pour the whole mixture into the cooked noodles. Top with lots of parmesan cheese and serve! I’m adding it back into our regular rotation. Plus those fresh tomatoes tasted better than any canned sauce I’ve had lately.
- Choose exercise. Lately wanting to run outside has taken a back-burner to cleaning the house, getting through moving boxes, or simply doing our regular chores like bottle washing and laundry.I’ve found a gym nearby that also has a daycare, so there is now NO excuse for not running at least on the days that I’m with just Beau (T/TH). Clint isn’t a runner, but likes workout videos and walking with the kiddos. It’s all about choosing what you enjoy and DOING IT. Making it more important than another load of laundry or emptying the dishwasher, because we all know those will still be there the next day.
- Eating breakfast. I’m exclusively pumping (AKA starving all the time) so its important my breakfast includes protein or I’m starving an hour later. Instead of sugary cereal, I like whole-wheat bagels with peanut butter or a hard-boiled egg, grapes and cheese slices. I also usually grab a snack around 10 am because I’m starving. I love the Target Handful of Everything Mix, and I do my best to limit the serving size (it’s so sneaky!)
- Picking outdoor activities. Both of my boys are so happy when they are outside – whether it’s a walk, going to a park, or just being in our backyard. We love being in Ohio where there are tons and tons of Metro Parks close by. We recently explored Blendon Woods Metro Park and loved the playground, nature center and walking trail. When we are all outside we move more – so I’ve aimed some days to simply get out the door and walk SOMEWHERE. These boys are always finding something to explore and it’s always better than sitting still. And we just found these awesome new Native sneakers for Shep that are more Ohio-style (aka warmer). If you like the original Natives, you’ll love these too.5.Offer healthy options. Even if in the past your child may not have eaten the healthy food, there is always a chance that they will try it again, even if they see you eating it. This was the case with carrots – Shep always chewed them up and spit them out. But one day he actually started eating them. Whether it’s grapes, broccoli, apple slices or cucumbers, I usually add something to his lunch that’s a little risky, and he always surprises me. The same goes for husbands. My husband picks around veggies, but there are some that he likes. I always add a veggie to our dinner, and he’s usually open to trying it.
I’m not a trainer, and I don’t have a six pack, but it is important to me to help my family live a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Each day, I hope we’re getting just a little bit better!