Photo credit: Di Lewis
Being a mom is freaking hard! I love my daughter SO MUCH, but sometimes I miss my old life.
If I could send a message to the pre-mom version of myself, I would tell myself to enjoy the quiet moments.
Being a mom means we wear many hats! We run our family, our home, work (whether that’s in the home or not) and more. The stress is real and we often put our own health (and sanity) last.
In the long run, not taking care of yourself will have a huge negative impact on your health, your happiness and your family.
Creating healthy habits doesn’t have to be difficult, expensive or overwhelming. It’s important to make one change/improvement at a time.
To help you make some quick improvements, I’m sharing some of my favorite healthy living hacks.
Stop counting calories
Please! I’m seriously begging you. Counting calories is one of the worst things you can do for your health. This usually leads to eating chemical filled synthetic ‘franken-foods’ that are void of any nutrients just because they’re low calorie.
Always go for quality over quantity. Make it easy and just eat real food.
Eating real food will help you lose weight, have more energy, balance your hormones, sleep better, reduce inflammation….there is no end to the benefits of eating real food.
Create a meal plan
I know this can sound like something else that you need to add to your never ending ‘to-do list’.
The good news is it doesn’t have to take too much time to create a meal plan that will then last you for months.
‘How?’ you say. I created a blank six week calendar that I fill in with pre-planned meals. I then rotate through those six weeks a couple of times.
I have two of these plans, one for cold months (with soups and chilis) and the other for warm months (salads and grilling). You can get a copy of my blank six week meal plan here.
Remember to allow days for socializing, going out to dinner and leftovers.
If creating a meal plan still sounds overwhelming, this is the amazing meal planning service that I recommend to my clients.
I heard that sigh. I know exercising may not be the funnest thing in the world, but it is a MUST if you want to be healthy.
There are seriously so many options out there now…gyms, YouTube videos, at home paid programs (DVDs, websites, etc), mom groups…the list goes on.
These programs include all types of exercise, from 10 minutes to an hour, any price range for any skill level.
Which means there is literally no excuse!
Use your smart phone to your advantage with healthy apps. Some awesome healthy living apps are:
Healthy Living by EWG.org. This app rates food, skin care products, cleaning products and more based on their level of toxicity, breaks down each ingredient, lets you know if it’s a possible allergen or carcinogen (and everything in between), and recommends clean products.
Fooducate is an amazing app that helps you track your food intake, exercise, macros, sleep, hunger and more. You can scan packaged foods and Fooducate gives it a letter grade based on sugar content, artificial ingredients, GMO’s, etc. Fooducate will also make recommendations for a better product. You can personalize it with your info like age, health conditions, goals, etc.
Calm has been my favorite guided meditation website/app for years. If you want to meditate but have a hard time quieting your mind, Calm is for you. They have free programs as well as paid.
Thankful for – Gratitude Diary. This is a new app for me and I totally love it! I love practicing gratitude but need reminders because I’m a busy mom/entrepreneur. This app has hundreds of small gratitude statements like “I am thankful for friendships”, “I am thankful for oxygen”, and many more. You can also create reminders that the app will you on your phone. It’s so awesome to get a couple “I am thankful for…” reminders every day. Practicing gratitude is so much easier now!
Please don’t attempt to begin using all of these at the same time. That can lead to overwhelm really fast! Baby steps are best when making transformations. Start to use one of these suggestions, make it a set habit and then move on to another one.
Which of these 4 tips will you commit to implementing?
As we know better, we do better ~
You can also find Bri on the following social media platforms:
Eating healthier doesn’t mean we need to give up snacks and treats. In fact, I wholeheartedly encourage healthier substitutes because otherwise you’ll feel deprived—which is typically what diets do—and no one wants to feel left out or like they “can’t have” something. When this happens, our natural tendency is to rebel.
Therefore, I’ve come up with ways to still eat chocolate and satisfy cravings using better ingredients.
Today I’ll share with you one of my all-time favorite smoothie recipes and where you can get a healthy chocolate “milkshake” recipe that is AMAZING!
So, who else loves the combination of peanut peanut and chocolate?
When I gave up processed sugary chocolate, I searched high and low for a healthy chocolate substitute and discovered that cacao powder in a smoothie, along with other ingredients, would do the trick.
For clarification, the chocolate is CACAO powder, not COCOA powder.
To simplify the production of making a smoothie, I use a Magic Bullet. You can, however, use a blender, but the Magic Bullet helps keep it simple because you make a smoothie and can drink it from the same cup. Less clean up!
I found a great peanut butter option at Trader Joe’s that contains Flax & Chia seeds, so you get omega-3s too! But you can use Almond Butter or other types of natural peanut butter, which doesn’t include brands like Jiffy and Skippy, not even the ones labeled “natural”!
Here are the ingredients:
- 1 banana
- 1 1/2 cups of Coconut Water (can substitute Water, Coconut Milk or Almond Milk)
- 2 tablespoons of Peanut Butter
- 1 tablespoon of cacao powder
Use less Coconut Water and add a handful of ice cubes if you like a cold, icy-like drink!
Put all ingredients in a Magic Bullet cup or blender and blend on high for 45 seconds to a minute.
Drink and enjoy!
If you use regular peanut butter, you can also add chia seeds, flax seeds, camu powder, or a teaspoon of honey. Experiment with the tastes and textures to find exactly what precise combinations work for you. As with diets, not everyONE works for everyBODY.
Also, you can find some more smoothie and healthy recipes on my Fitness & Nutrition board on Pinterest. And for more healthy, nutritious filled chocolate recipes, get The Earth Diet recipe book!
Here’s a pic of the Chocolate Shake on page 87.
Stacey Crew is “The Kitchen Health Coach” based in Charleston, South Carolina. She is a Certified Wellness Coach & published Author, and owner of Stacey Crew Wellness. She helps individuals achieve their health goals through a 4-prong approach of understanding the individual’s wellness needs, educating on specific topics, empowering the individual to make informed decisions, and providing accountability—all in a supportive environment. Stacey is an Amazon best-selling author of The Organized Mom: Simplify Life for You & Baby One Step at a Time and author of the soon-to-be-released Nourish You! Transform You & Your Kitchen for Healthier Eating.
Connect with Stacey @staceycrew on Facebook and Twitter and @staceycrewwellness on Instagram
Thank you to the sponsor of this blog post: The Andell Inn, Kiawah Island!
This is the first installment of a series of “local” Peaceful Living Travel blogs! I am writing these with my Carolina tribe in mind. But, don’t stop yourself from indulging in reading these blogs OR visiting the places I’m covering just because you live further away than the Carolinas. Because these places are ALL WORTH THE TRIP!
Whenever I mention Kiawah Island to my friends here in Charleston, the common refrain is, “Oh it’s beautiful there, but so expensive!” Well, I am here to tell y’all it really is within reach both physically and financially.
We are entering a great era in which bliss is chic and a centered, grateful heart is the coolest accessory. It’s amazing to watch things like yoga, meditation, and mindfulness become mainstream. All of us are benefiting from the focus on well-being and healthy living that is finally sweeping through the western world.
As this happens, many ancient eastern traditions are becoming more commonplace. This is especially true for meditation. Today, people are talking about it and actually engaging in the practice of meditation now more than ever before in the west.
But as mainstream as meditation is today, many folks are still getting acquainted with different types of meditation and how it can help. Today, I’d like to enlighten you to the amazing practice of a walking meditation.
In traditional meditation, you sit still for a certain amount of time and either participate in a guided meditation or quiet your internal dialogue in a zen-based meditation.
In walking meditation, you are literally walking and moving throughout your meditation. As you walk, you focus on your breath. You also focus on the physical sensations of walking such as: the sensation of the ground under your feet, the movement of your limbs, and the sights and sounds around you.
During a walking meditation, try your best to focus all of your attention on the act of walking and all of the sensations that accompany it. Similarly to a sitting meditation, you take note of a thought that is vying for your attention but you gently let it go and re-focus back to the act of walking.
Given that walking can be an incredibly sensory-rich experience, it is almost easier to practice thought control and quiet your mind in a walking meditation. If we compare this to a sitting meditation (wherein we have very little sensory experiences to focus on and distract us from our thoughts) a walking meditation is simply a delight for the senses and extremely fertile ground from which cultivating a quiet mind is less strenuous and more accessible for all of us.
But here’s the magical part of walking meditation: It teaches us in vivo that we can adopt a meditative state of mind anytime, anywhere.
As you practice walking meditation and enter a meditative state, you start to experience the certainty that yes- you can bring peace to any moment. Your spiritual self does not have to lay dormant until you have a quiet opportunity to whip out your meditation mats again. You can bring peace to your mind in the here and now, even as you take your morning walk.
Guest Blog by: Diane Webb, LMHC. Diane is a psychotherapist in upstate New York that specializes in anxiety reduction, post-traumatic stress disorder, overcoming depression, transpersonal therapy and achieving emotional peak performance. For more information and how to work with Diane, visit: The Peace Journal Connect via Facebook Here: The Peace Journal Facebook
Do you ever hear the tapes that play within?
“You are TOO old to…”
“You are TOO young to…”
“You are TOO sick to….”
“You are TOO scattered to..”
There are moments in my life (large moments) when I too have these tapes play. I gave up the opportunity to try to apply to multiple colleges because my tapes played:
“I don’t have enough money to pay the application fees.”
“My parents are too busy paying for other things to help me.”
Now, to be clear, I never heard these ideas from my parents, specifically. I only heard background conversations they had about money that I placed my own perceptions on. Perceptions that actually hurt me instead of worked for me.
Do you notice how you might not even try something because of the perception you may have placed on it? Be aware, sometimes these thoughts are debilitating for you and your potentially awesome life!
How do we break these barriers?
To begin, we must first look at the task at hand. Are we asking the questions and looking at the concerns we may honestly have, before we finalize our thought? Have we placed a wall up by what we perceive to be truth, instead of looking at what may actually be true?
Three years ago in November, my husband and I spent our anniversary in a cabin in Ellijay, GA with my love. I woke one morning with a short children’s story book in my head and immediately got up to write it down. After I finished I read it to my husband, to which he replied, “you may have something there, Britt.” With this new confidence in mind I began to search for ways to publish it.
I asked friends who were editors, I asked friends who were authors, friends who took writing workshops, all to no avail. The majority of advice I’d received was that I “need an agent.” Well, how? How do I get an agent? That answer did not come easily.
It seemed as if publishing a small children’s book was unattainable.
Had I stopped searching for answers and instead listened to the tapes that played:
“I can’t find an agent.”
“I need an agent, I’m not good enough for that.”
“This is a PIPE DREAM.”
“What am I thinking??”
The opportunity that came to be, would have never come.
It was a rainy afternoon and I made my way to Charleston for a Women’s Conference where I would have the pleasure to teach Laughter Yoga to a group of entrepreneurs, as a way to break the ice. I had a fabulous time with all of them and received business cards – one in particular from a publisher.
Two weeks later, I contacted her just to ask, “Do you publish children’s books?” A resounding, “Yes!” came through my inbox. To make it even more sweet, she had an illustrator that worked with her as well! I was ecstatic! After a successful meeting with both of them I was excited to learn that they would work within my budget to get this dream of mine completed.
If I had listened to those tapes. . . oh, those little tapes, I would have never experienced what is now turning out to be something better than I could ever imagine.
Perhaps we, “TURN DOWN! FOR WHAT?”
For our SANITY, that’s what… Turn down these lil’ tapes that may play and live your fantastic dreams, my friend!
Until we meet again, off or on the yoga mat.
Brittney Hiller is a professional yoga teacher, speaker, and founder of Effervescence YogaSpa and author of The Little Laughing Yogini.
She loves living a life of inspiration, joy, and happiness! She genuinely teaches others how to create and live in their own happiness through her Yes To Possibility! Coaching Program and Laughter Leadership Certification Training launching Dec. 1st! Find out more here. She may be reached personally at email@example.com