Friday, March 28, 2014

Healthy Living: Family Edition

Good Morning, everyone!  I have some wonderful Friday reading for you all, just in time to get us ready for a healthy, spring weekend!!  My new cyber friend Caitlin (love the internets) has graciously offered to share with everyone her secrets as to how she balances being a Mom- taking care of her family and herself without going nuts, and promoting a healthy lifestyle.  Enjoy!


OK, I’ve got it all figured out. I will make myself a delicious chicken salad for lunch. It will have home-grilled chicken with my special recipe of spices, fresh tomatoes, boiled eggs, red cabbage and oil and vinegar for dressing. For the kids? I’ll just pick up McDonald’s. Wait, what? This is a terrible idea. Leading a healthy lifestyle isn’t just for adults. It’s for kids, too. I know that they get a lot of their ideas about food and exercise from me. But, if I let them believe there’s a double-standard between what adults should do and what kids should do, they’ll grow up with bad habits. The fact is that health is, and always should be, a family affair.

Healthy Household
There are so many good reasons to have a healthy family. I’ll start with me. If I eat right and exercise, I am healthier and happier. I get sick less often. I have the energy to do fun, active things with my kids. If I’m in shape, I’m more likely to encourage my husband to get going, instead of just putting on another movie and becoming couch potatoes. If we like to eat healthy and be active, our kids will see that. I make it a point to get my exercise in before my day starts. At the very least, I’ll do a quick workout video in the basement. Over the years I’ve accumulated a small library of workout routines from Beachbody. Some are only 25 minutes (like the new T25) and others up to an hour. If we lead by healthy examples, our children will be better off.

Group Dynamic
In the past, I have tried to adopt lifestyle changes alone. It is so much harder. Everyone else is pigging out on junk food while I sit there with my protein and vegetables. Actually, since I learned how to really cook, they are the ones left out in the cold. The food I make is totally awesome, and it just happens to be healthy. I decided that instead of joining them in their misery, they could join me in living. This past week I made a new chicken dish that, to my surprise, was a favorite for everyone! We eat well together, and we exercise together. That way, no one is left out, and we all keep each other motivated.

Stay Simple
That doesn’t mean I’m not still crazy busy, though. I have a lot to do as a busy mom! So, I try to keep our lives as simple as possible. On days when I know I won’t have much time to prepare dinner, I get out crock pot and have dinner cook itself. That way, by the time my husband gets home dinner is ready with minimal effort. And, it smells so good that no one wants to go out to eat. I patently refuse to overschedule my kids’ activities. They need time to just run around and be aimless, and so do I. That time, actually, is some of our best family fun, and it is almost always active.

Reasonable Indulgences
We like to eat well as a family, and sometimes that means we want a treat. We try to make the best of produce as it comes out year-round. We always have a variety of fresh, raw fruits and vegetables that anyone can grab from the counter or fridge. Kids don’t care if it’s healthy, so long as it tastes good. In the summer homemade ice pops are my go too. They’re full of healthy fruit and yogurt and perfect for a hot day. For birthdays, we go to the cupcake store or grab an ice cream cone. It’s OK, and we don’t feel bad about it because we do it in moderation.

Getting the family on a healthy track can seem like a lot of work. But, I found if I model the right behaviors and encourage everyone else to get on board, it’s not so hard. They see me healthy and happy. A healthy happy mom makes for a healthy happy home.

Agreed 100%.  Great way to kick off the weekend!  Let's get in some playtime outside and some fresh spring veggies.  Have a great weekend!

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