Before having my girls, I had tried so many different ways to be healthy - detoxes, going raw, cutting out food groups. I believed to be fit and healthy I had to exercise until I was exhausted. A gym session was often something I did to burn off the calories from the indulgences of the night before. Since becoming a mum, my perspective on a lot of things has changed and the main one is, health. Health on an emotional and physical level. I believe women should be nourishing themselves emotionally and physically rather than punishing themselves and that being healthy is all about balance. And when you’re a mum, there is no more time more important to be looking after ourselves, because by looking after ourselves, we can better look after those we love and care for. But we're so busy spinning plates, raising children, pursuing careers, ferrying kids to and from nursery and school, helping with homework…I could go on here, but you get the point - it's all too easy to get lost in it at times and forget to make time for 'me.'
Here are some simple things you can do to help you make some healthy changes in your life and improve with your health and wellbeing on both a physical and emotional level. Because being healthy isn't about how much you weigh on the scales it's about how good you feel, inside and out.
Breathe. It's what keeps us alive but it's rarely something we think about. Find time in your day (in bed, in the shower, in the car, on the train, at your desk) to really focus on your breath. Stop and take 10 slow, long belly filling breathes.
Eat real food (ditch the packaged foods and go back to basics)- it’s cheaper and healthier. Crowd out your plate with fruit and vegetables.
Eat every few hours and include protein, wholegrain carbs and quality fats at most meals.
Once you’ve got a good base diet, you’ll naturally be more motivated to move your body.
Choose a form of 'movement' that you enjoy. For me, that’s a mix of yoga, strength and high intensity interval workouts. All done at home, most often done in barefoot and in my pyjamas, all less than 30 minutes with little to no equipment needed. I enjoy it because I can squeeze it in and 20 mins (3-4 times a week) has given me results. Minimum time, maximum results. That's what works for me - but something different might work for you. Whatever gets you moving.
You don’t need fancy shoes or workout gear to exercise. I often do my workouts barefoot in my lounge or in the garden.
I focus on feeling strong and healthy rather than counting calories or restricting foods. I've done that in the past and it didn’t nourish me and made me ill.
I eat dark chocolate, drink wine and coffee - just not too much (most of the time!)
Work on your self care, download a meditation app (I use Insight timer and Headspace) and listen to it for 10 minutes before bed at night, when you can. Meditation isn’t just for hippies and yes, you can do it.
And it’s ok to fall apart and feel overwhelmed. Take a deep breathe, get some fresh air, nourish yourself with a green smoothie, or homemade soup and get an early night.