Raise your hand if being a mom keeps you busy morning, noon and night! Now, raise your hand if you have found your well-though-out plans for healthy living fall by the wayside as you desperately run from one practice/class/errand to the next.
That happens to me more often than I like to admit. Things will be going well for a while, but then life speeds up and we find ourselves falling into the habit of eating out more often, sending the kids to school with lunch money instead of a homemade lunch (and my kids are the ones who would pick three desserts and a few crackers given a choice), eating boxed mac and cheese for dinner. Not that those things are terrible, but they certainly need to be done in moderation.
Small, but practical changes can make all the difference. They can help you stay on track, or get back on track if you’ve fallen off.
Here are some wellness hacks that my family uses:
Plan your meals for the week
This tip can be as difficult or as easy as you make it. I’ve seen some great blogs about planning each and every meal, “bean for bean”, for an entire month. I wish I was that organized, but I’m not.
Instead of having a specific meal set for each night, we have a more general menu that gives me wiggle room to use leftovers or items from the freezer. For example, Mondays are sushi and stir-fry night. If I have leftover veggies, chicken or beef from previous meals, they get tossed in the wok. Add a little soy or teriyaki sauce, and you have a great new meal.
For an added health boost, make one night vegetarian night. Not only is a meatless meal once a week healthier – it is also cheaper.
Exercise with the kids
Can’t find time to exercise? Try finding something you can do with the kids! I have some aerobics videos that I love to do with the boys. They have fun jumping around while I do my best to keep up with the instructor. We all get a good laugh when I get off track or off beat. Heck, dad even joins in sometimes…and that’s always good for even more laughs!
We all have a great time, and the kids get to burn off a little energy and learn about the importance of exercise at the same time.
Walk and take the stairs
Get in a few more steps each day: park a little further away from your destination; get off of the bus a stop earlier; take the stairs instead of the elevator; or walk up and down each aisle of the grocery store instead of just the ones containing the items on your shopping list. Everyone’s day looks different, so take a few minutes to review your schedule to see where you can add a few extra steps or a flight of stairs.
Get plenty of sleep
It can seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. But skimping on sleep is not the answer. Not for you or your kids. Lack of sleep has been linked to any number of health problems, including obesity and depression.
Make small substitutions in your diet
When you focus on making huge changes, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed or get off track. Instead, try making small substitutions in your diet. They add up over time, and before you know it, you will be on the road to a much healthier life. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Substitute your favorite piece of fruit for one unhealthy snack each day
- Substitute water for one cup of coffee or soda each day
- Substitute Silk Soy Milk for regular milk once each day
Keep healthy snacks in the house (and make sure they are easily accessible to the kids)
Every Sunday, fill baggies or reusable snack bags with fruits, veggies and other healthy snacks, like whole wheat crackers. Store the snacks in a kid-accessible cabinet or container in the fridge. These easy-to-grab snacks are ready all week – whether you are packing lunch, grabbing something for the diaper bag, or encouraging the kids to get their own healthy snacks when they get home from school.
Another great healthy snack that is always a hit in our house is a smoothie. Smoothies are the perfect way to add some extra fruits and vegetables to your kid’s diet. If done right, they won’t even know the veggies are in there! Our favorite is Silk Soy Milk, spinach, strawberries and almond butter. For a little boost, add your favorite protein powder.
Make breakfast the night before (or better yet, have the kids do it)
Overnight oatmeal is one of the best things that I discovered as a mom. I make it at night (with help from the kids), and then pull it out of the fridge and warm it up in the microwave in the morning. You can even eat it cold if you are in a real hurry. It makes the mornings much less stressful.
Blueberry and Banana Overnight Oatmeal
This recipe makes breakfast time easy and delicious. My kids usually eat multiple bowls of it each morning. On top of that it is easy to modify – add strawberries instead of blueberries and applesauce instead of bananas, and you’ve got a whole new flavor. Every kid can make his or her own favorite.
- 3/4 cup Silk Soy Milk
- 1 1/4 cup Old Fashioned Oats
- 1 1/2 cup blueberries (can substitute your favorite fruit)
- 1/2 cup banana, mashed (can substitute applesauce or yogurt)
- Pinch of salt
- Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
- Cover, and refrigerate overnight.
- In the morning, serve cold or reheat in the microwave.
What are your favorite wellness hacks?
This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.