I am a working mom of two awesome kids. One is six and one is four. Sometimes I wonder if being a mom gets easier as they grow, or if the difficulties are just shifting. One thing I know for sure; when I am at home with them all day, life is harder. Stay at home mom‘s deserve an annual medal of honour!
For myself, with these busy kids and also two dogs and a needy husband (shh, I know all husband’s are like that), how do I manage to eat healthy and stay on track? Like seriously, when am I supposed to whip up one of those meals that look so simple on the cooking channel? Ready in ten minutes or less? Yeah, right. Not with all the commotion in my house.
And I know all of us have thought at one point in time ‘yeah, I’d look like her if I had my own personal chef too’ !
There is no simple solution that will make all the hustle and bustle of life disappear, but there are some tips and tricks to make things run smoother.
Here are some of my secrets to eating clean and still keeping up with the family.
Stock healthy items in your kitchen. Here is a grocery list of items to keep on hand…
- plain greek yogurt
- slivered almonds
- steel cut oats or quick oats
- raw organic honey *
- organic eggs *
- natural chicken/beef/fish or tofu/beans/lentils if vegetarian (lean cuts preferred) *
- protein shake or superfood supplement
- apples/pears/berries (if out of season, I keep frozen)
- canned tuna
- premade or stuff to make salad
- avocado oil
- coconut oil
- balsamic vinegar
- Do yourself a favor and get a high quality aged balsamic vinegar from a specialized store. This will enhance your salads and your cooking and make you fall in love with this vinegar
Meal plan and meal prep ahead for success.
We all know that life is busy. When we have those moments when the kids are in bed or at your parents for a few hours, all we want to do is either rest or catch up on all the chores in the house. Well, make the #1 chore to take care of your fuel so you can manage better physically and mentally for the rest of the week. I know this might be a bit of a stretch for some (actually thinking of themselves), but it’s important!
Every week, either my hubby or I will do the following… (it’s ok to delegate to someone as well)
- boil eggs and peel them and store in the fridge (they keep for up to a week)
- wash, peel and cut veggies and prepare a huge salad to keep in the fridge
- prepare mason jar oatmeal to go (recipe can be found here http://www.lindsaymurphyfit.com/overnight-oats)
Every other week we prepare meats. We season and cook our meats and have left overs in the fridge for a quick grab. Then we freeze portion sizes into individual packages. These portions are perfect to grab to throw on a salad or lettuce wrap or grab to add to a lunch bag. I prefer to only use chicken and fish for this purpose, but my husband also does beef.
Other foods that freeze very well are green beans, broccoli, sweet potato, asparagus, and rapini.
Think of your food in food blocks. Don’t obsess over calories! Food is fuel and each food item serves a purpose for your body. Making smart choices is a better way to decide what goes into your mouth – not necessarily the calorie content; we don’t have time for that anyway.
Here is how I break down the food blocks…
To keep things simple, let’s only use the top 3. Here are the rules for the 3 blocks.
Always eat a block of protein with each meal (lean protein, eggs, nuts, seeds, beans)
Always try to eat a block of vegetables per meal (can be interchanged with fruit 1-2x per day)
Eat only 2-3 (1/2 cup) servings of carbohydrates per day
These are the first 3 things you can do to start eating healthy at home and when on the run.
This is part one of the series. The reason why I am breaking it up, is to not overwhelm you. Slow and consistent change is the way to sustain the methods. It’s not a temporary diet, it’s a lifestyle you will fall in love with and want to sustain!
Lindsay is a health and fitness enthusiast and is passionate about helping others transform their lives. After having children, she found it difficult to use the traditional methods to get fit again, so she has created an online health and fitness community to support like minded men and women and using methods that work for the busy family.
Lindsay believes that it’s not only our physical bodies that need to be fit, but as well as our heart and minds and she incorporates these into her coaching approach.