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You Can Do It! Tips on Staying Healthy for the Busy Mom

I’m going to start out by saying I am NOT a nutritionist, dietitian, or fitness instructor. I’m just a mom who, like a lot of other moms, wants time to exercise and eat healthy. Over the past year, I worked hard to find a plan that I can stick with to stay fit. Luckily, I had a major goal to work towards that helped me find a routine and stick to it. We had a trip planned to the Dominican at the end of 2017 and my goal was to be confident in a two piece swimsuit. Let me reiterate the word CONFIDENT. Not skinny, toned, or whatever you’re “supposed” to look like. I wanted to feel confident

Diet
I struggled to find a diet change that I could stick to. I tried going vegan and vegetarian. I researched the Paleo diet. None of these fit my lifestyle and after a few days, I would quit and move on to something else. Eventually I came across the clean eating concept. This basically means eating less processed foods and foods as close to their natural form as possible. I cut out boxed mac and cheese, frozen pizza, and basically everything we had in our cupboards. I started buying more vegetables and making more meals from scratch. Meal planning and prepping became the new norm as it was easier than scrambling at the last minute every night to cook a healthy meal. 

Exercise
The lack of time and motivation to exercise is such a common theme among moms. We’re tired, we have no spare time, and when we do have spare time, we want to sleep! Committing to physical activity is a struggle. One thing that helped me motivate was to remember it’s not a contest. So what if your neighbor ran a billion miles today and works out 7 days a week. If all you have time for is 10 minutes of physical activity, that’s great! Every little bit helps. I was able to settle into a routine that worked for me and didn’t take up a lot of my time.

A Few Tips 
I’m going to reiterate again I am not a health or fitness expert. These are just a few suggestions that worked for me. 

Breakfast: I found a meal replacement shake that was healthy and affordable. Vega powder can be found at Target for about $40 and lasts around a month (depending on how many shakes you make). Here is my favorite breakfast shake recipe that kept me full all morning:
-1 scoop Vega protein powder
-1 cup blueberries
-Handful of spinach
-Spoonful of almond butter
-1 cup of almond milk
Blend together until smooth. 

Exercise routine: With some help, I compiled a list of short exercises that gets your heart rate up but only takes about 15 minutes to complete:
-push ups
-squats
-sit ups
-lunges
-crunches
-jumping jacks
-plank
-side leg lifts
-donkey kicks
-burpees
Do about 50 seconds of each of these with a 10-15 second rest in between. I got in the routine of waking up a little earlier in the morning and doing these before I got ready for work. 

I also started running. I know, I know. Running sucks. But when I say run, I don’t mean marathon running. I started running in the evenings after my son goes to bed for about a half hour which equates to roughly 2 miles. It’s just enough to work up a sweat and feel good.

These are just a few suggestions to help meet your goal. My goal was to get in better shape and gain confidence, and to add to my success I ended up losing weight without even thinking about it. I did what worked for ME and what made me feel good. Take things in moderation. I had a shake for breakfast 3-4 days a week instead of everyday. I exercised 4-5 days a week instead of 7. I still indulged in beer, bar food, and pizza delivery every once in a while. Some days were easier than others, but I didn’t overdo myself. Set your own pace, find what works for you, and remember that whatever you’re doing is enough! 

Do you have a routine for staying healthy?  If you’d like more options for fitness, check out our Guide to Fitness & Wellness.

 

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