Ok so they say you should write what you know right?! Well I studied nutrition and continue to study it through my working life in an effort to improve quality in my café. I have a 2 and a 4 year old at home and I have just entered my 3rd trimester on my 3rd baby. I live a pretty busy life but I thoroughly enjoy it and I strongly believe that if you can manage your health both mentally and physically and your wellbeing you can enjoy life. Here is my list of important factors to aid in that happy life.
Vitamins and minerals
This may seem like a very general heading but I take the V’s and the M’s very seriously!! I take a good multivitamin every morning with a smoothie or fresh orange juice. Taking vitamin C with your multivitamin can help with Iron absorption. Vitamins and minerals can be consumed throughout the day in many forms. A good green juice is an excellent way to give your body a hit, a vegetable soup or mixed berries with a good yoghurt giving you antioxidants and probiotics. In the evening a fresh piece of fish is always an excellent option with a plate packed full of veggies, a chicken and vegetable stirfry or a mixed grain and veggie salad. See our Salmon salad recipe, it’s delicious with or without the salmon. A deficiency in any vitamin or mineral can tip the balance mentally or physically so it is important to monitor them. Especially when pregnant or breastfeeding because certain vitamins and minerals deplete during these periods such as iron, calcium, vitamin B and many more.
Again a general title but another important one for your body and mind. Exercise produces endorphins, particularly when done out in the fresh air. Its not always possible to exercise outdoors but getting some form of exercise is proven to boost your mood. Lifting weights in the gym is hugely beneficial to strength mobility and heart health. Yoga/ Pilates again hugely beneficial to strength and mobility but also flexibility and mindfulness/ meditation. A rigorous walk or run for 30 minutes can unleash your endorphins. Exercise decreases stress, relieves anxiety, improves sleep and relaxes the body and mind. I could write pages and pages on the benefits of exercise but the point here is to advise you to move, even if its walking to the school to collect the kiddies or bringing them to the park. Take a few extra trips up and down the stairs. Whatever you do be mindful of the benefits because you will feel better and as a result your work and family life will improve.
Time Out for Mama
This could be time out for a walk as previously mentioned or going to the gym. Put a dvd on and take 20 minutes to yourself by lying on the bed and meditating or ask for help. My first boy came along 4 years ago and I wanted to do everything myself, he was my baby and my responsibility and I didn’t want anyone else doing my job. Fast forward four years and 3rd baby on the way, send out the memo. I want help whenever possible!! Grannies, aunties, siblings, friends, whoever wants to help out and give me an hour to myself please do….. Now I know more often than not the free hour is usually spent cleaning, cooking or washing but recently I made the decision to include my children in them activities. It can be messier than it was starting out but I feel happy in the knowledge that I’m teaching my children some life skills. My boys love being involved in the cooking, they help to divide up the washing and they are trying to make their own beds. Especially Sebastian, he recently turned 4 so he feels like the big boy doing his chores with me. I know, I know people with older children are probably laughing at this, its not going to last and I know it won’t but sure make hay while the sun shines! At the moment being 7 months pregnant with two boys to take care of I will take any time-out possible and as a result I feel happier than ever.
Keep that head up and smile. Think about what makes you happy when you feel yourself getting down. Gratitude for what you have is one of the best ways to lift your spirit. But I am a very tired pregnant mother with two energetic little boys and my hormones are throwing my emotions all over the place. This makes it very difficult for me to just turn my thinking around. Its almost as exhausting as the things that were exhausting me in the first place. What seems to really work for me at the moment is smiling when I am in the shittiest humour possible. The thing is, because I am feeling livid with everything, tired, emotional and stressed out, it seems psychotic to just smile. It is a bit nuts to be smiling when you’re feeling that way but it will make you laugh because of this. In fact when I smile in these situations I have to try so hard not to laugh out loud if I am in a public place alone (only I’m allowed to know that I’m a tad crazy). This completely turns everything around because I forget the feeling of anxiety and anger and I smile. It turns my mindset around and I start to think of funny things that make me laugh. It makes me want to call my best friends and laugh with them.