Better Health for Busy Moms
When deciding to get healthy, you should aim towards a realistic goal weight and start a nutritious lifestyle. Begin by going for your physical and your blood tests if you are prone to headaches, feeling fatigued and checking on your cholesterol level. It's high time you take note of what your body is telling you. Pregnancy and the toll of motherhood makes a mom deficient in necessary vitamins and proper nourishment. Eating healthy foods and losing excess fat, instead of turning to quick meals and sweet binges is needed. An unhealthy lifestyle can cause high cholesterol, which leads to a stroke or heart attack, and high sugar levels, leading to diabetes. As busy mamas, we sure don't need this added burden on our plate, and as Muslims, we are bound to look after our bodies and maintain good health.
I highly recommend finding out about your vitamin deficiencies and start taking the right supplements. I know from my experience that a vitamin D deficiency causes headaches, so instead of popping a painkiller, try maintaining your vitamin D levels. Prevention is always better than cure.
After speaking to my doctor, a naturopath, a dietitian and reading many articles on women's health, it seems there is a consensus. The most common vitamins recommended for women are a women's multi-vitamin, calcium, vitamin D, omega 3 and a probiotic (please research what's best for you before taking anything I have mentioned). Drinking lots of water throughout the day and increasing your intake of fruit and vegetables goes without saying. I know you're thinking it's the same ol' story, because no one tells us how to accomplish this with a busy lifestyle. So here are my busy mom suggestions:
♥ Invest in a good 'mom-only' bottle and refill your bottle regularly while storing it on top of the fridge from little hands. Also, keep bottles of water in the car, around the house, and on your nightstand. If you find it easier to buy bottled water, make sure to recycle the bottles, so you don't harm the environment in your efforts to get healthy. If you're like me and enjoy hot drinks to cold beverages, get your water consumption by having hot water and lemon in the morning or drink herbal teas with no milk or sweetener. You can fill a carafe in the morning, so it is on hand throughout the day.
♥ As far as eating green vegetables, sometimes you can resort to a superfood powder, which is a concentrated form of green vegetables. One scoop can be added to your food, juice, or in a smoothie when you can't fit those greens in any other way. See my smoothie recipe here: Smoothie Recipe
♥ If you are out of fresh fruit, keep dried fruit on hand. I buy things like banana chips, dried, flattened bananas, dried mangoes, prunes, dried figs and dried apples, to name a few. You can also have chocolate covered dried fruit when you get your chocolate craving.
♥ If you drive a lot, don't find an excuse to grab take-out, rather keep a bag of nuts or dried fruit in the car so you can munch on that till you get home. It will satisfy and control your salt or sugar craving.
♥ Stop adding junk foods in your shopping cart. If you don't have it, you won't eat it. Anything that has high calories or hardly any nutritional value, refuse to put in your cart. When you pass up temptation, it gives you a feeling of accomplishment. If this is too harsh or at weak moments, give yourself one particular day in the week to binge on the foods you love.
Our mind is a beautiful thing, and we need to change it to feel differently by disciplining ourselves and adopting new habits. Incorporating a few necessary changes can cut down unnecessary bad traits, and this is a good start to becoming more aware of your health.
Whether you start with one small habit or decide to change all your habits at once, make some change and do it for your well-being. As a mother, you are always seeing to everyone else's needs, so it's important to take a step back and focus on your health, first and foremost.