We try to keep fit and healthy around Chateau Champagne. Sometimes we’re awesome at it, and sometimes we suck. But we love gleaning advice from other working mums who are absolutely nailing the healthy eating lark. That’s why we’re extra excited to be handing the blog over today to Jessica from Energetic Mama. Jess is a naturopath and a foodie, who believes in finding that balance between being healthy AND enjoying your life.
Here are Jess’s 10 tips on enhancing your energy as a mum
1. Look after your child’s mother aka YOU!!!
As mums we tend to put the needs of everyone else before our own which can never sustain us long term. Eventually it drains us – physically, mentally and emotionally. Putting ourselves first is necessary for our wellbeing and the wellbeing of our family. Just as the safety talk goes before the aeroplane takes off, if there is an emergency, put YOUR oxygen mask on first, then see to your children. They won’t have any chance of survival if they don’t have you to look after them. The same goes with your wellbeing, you need to prioritise time to look after yourself so that you can be more present, energetic and balanced as a mother. We need to make time to do the things that make us feel good, that bring us joy and make us laugh, things that fill up our emotional fuel tanks, only then can we look after our children and the rest of our family to our best ability!
2. Eat more Real Food
The food we eat is what fuels our body so choose your food wisely. The most important thing to focus on is real food. Real food is food that comes straight from a plant or an animal. It is food in its natural state, the way we were supposed to eat it. REAL food is nutritious and energising! There is no need to count calories when you eat REAL food! Vegetables, salads, fruits, nuts and seeds, eggs, chicken and meat are real foods.
The following tips can help you choose real food:
- Choose whole foods, straight from a plant or animal as much as possible.
- If you don’t recognise an ingredient avoid it.
- Choose local, free range and organic wherever possible.
- Get connected to your food again by growing your own, even if it is just a few herbs and lettuces!
- Shop at farmers markets. The food available is usually locally grown and seasonal, enhancing the nutrient value. You can support and talk directly to the farmers that have grown the food.
- If shopping in a supermarket, stick to the perimeters where the fresh fruits, vegetables, meats and other ‘real’ foods generally are.
3. Move that booty
Move your body in a way that you love every single day. You don’t have to do formal exercise, join a gym or run if that is not your thing! Do something you enjoy so that it doesn’t feel like another thing to add to your to-do list. Moving your body makes you feel good, strengthens your body physically, heightens your mood, enhances your energy levels and improves the health of every single system of your body. Get out of the mindset that you have to exercise to lose weight or you should exercise to flatten your tummy. Move your body because it makes you feel good and it will become something you actually look forward to!
4. Cut down on caffeine
All too often we are waking up to coffee and drinking too much of it as the day goes on. Yes coffee gives us an instant boost but it is also dehydrating and initiates a stress response in our bodies, increasing agitation, anxiety and irritability. Look at the way you are drinking coffee. If you are enjoying a cup with a friend, that is probably fine but if you are using it wake up and get through the day, you may want to change your coffee habit!
5. Snub the sugar
The evil S word! Sugar is all around us and we are consuming way too much of it. Like coffee, it gives us a quick boost but is quickly followed by a crash! Sugar affects our health negatively in many ways. It upsets our hormone balance, weakens our immune system, upsets our digestion and leads to weight gain. The more sugar you have the more your body wants. It takes some will power to cut down on sugar but it is worth the effort. When the sweet cravings hit, use natural sugars in fresh fruit, dates and raw treats such as bliss balls to curb them.
6. Drink smoothies
One of the main problems with our diets these days is we are lacking micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) which are found in abundance in fruits and vegetables. Smoothies are a fantastic way to pack a heap of these nutrients into your body really easily.
The basics of a delicious and nutritious smoothie are:
- A good high speed blender
- 1-2 pieces of fruit
- A handful of greens, and
- A liquid base such as water or coconut milk.
You can also add extras, such as:
- Fresh herbs
- Nuts and seeds
- Superfood powders
- Healthy oils and more
7. Get your levels checked
If you are regularly fatigued you may be lacking nutrients; iron, magnesium, folate, B12, iodine and vitamin D are just a few examples! It is also worthwhile getting your thyroid, adrenal and sex hormone levels checked. There are a number of ways you can have your nutrient and hormone levels checked, I would recommend seeing a naturopath with knowledge in this area.
8. Go to bed early
This one is a no-brainer but I am amazed by how many mums I see in my naturopathic clinic who complain of fatigue but are staying up until 11 or 12pm every night. Lack of sleep is one of the main drivers of adrenal fatigue that causes so much of the tiredness that I see in the mums I work with. Pushing through those early signs of adrenal fatigue can cause us to eventually fall in a heap so pay attention to what your body is telling you and go to bed a little earlier. It is amazing what an early night can do to your wellbeing. Aim for a 10pm or earlier bedtime with 30 minutes of screen free relaxation time from 930pm for a deeper, more restorative sleep.
9. Balance go time with slow time
When was the last time you stopped? Not to go to bed or to check Facebook or to drive the kids to their football match! I mean stopped, sat down, taken some deep breaths and tuned into yourself. Most of us live our lives in fast forward, multi-tasking to get everything done and thinking ahead to all of the things we have to do. This is living reactively, feeling like we only have time to do the things that need to be done and missing out on the important things in life like spending quality time with the people we love. The first step in making life more manageable is slowing down within yourself. It doesn’t have to be a long meditation, just commit to simply sitting down for 5 minutes, taking a few deep breaths, quietening your mind and tuning into yourself.
10. Do things that bring you joy
As a mum our days are often filled up with doing things for others. Think back to before you had children, what did you love to do? Is there something new you would like to learn now? Enrol in a course or start a hobby that brings you joy. Think about the things that make you feel good. Maybe you love swimming in the ocean, walking in nature, writing, singing, having a night out with your girlfriends or shopping with your mum. Make the activities that make you feel good a priority and schedule them into your diary.
Do you need more energy in your life? (Ha ha ha, sorry, silly question.) How many of those ideas are in your life right now, and what could you see yourself easily taking up?
Jessica Donovan is a woman’s holistic health expert who helps mums get their sparkle back and become a more energetic, calm and joyful version of themselves. She is a one stop shop for all things nutrition, stress and hormone related. Jessica combines her deep naturopathic knowledge with a realistic, empathetic, inspiring and down to earth approach to empower women to look after themselves and take charge of their own wellbeing.
Jessica created her free resource ’Top 10 Wholefood Pantry staples’ so mums can be well stocked to prepare healthy food quickly and easily. Grab your copy here http://energeticmama.com/pantry-staples