I know that sounds odd but think about it. If you want to adhere to a healthy lifestyle in the long term, it must be convenient to implement. Otherwise, sooner or later, you will abandon it.
As moms of very small children, we are often overstretched. When getting barely adequate sleep is a luxury, exercise and other healthy habits take a back seat. I know. Because, since my second one was born, I have not managed to get to the gym or even go for a brisk walk. I have to balance, looking after the kids, spending some time on my writing, doing a few household chores etc.
With my older one, I could go to the gym when she was asleep (since papa works from home). But now, my older one is awake, even when the younger one is asleep, and she wants my company. The older one also goes to school, so I have to make time to drop her off and pick her up.
With the two of them, my schedule is incredibly busy. But I really wanted to restart some cardio exercises, because I really feel a lot better when I do them.
I tried going for a walk when I take the kids down to play, but then it becomes a stroll because I have to keep an eye on them.
I realised that, if I want to exercise regularly, it must be from home. So as a birthday gift, my husband got me an exercise bike. They are available at fairly affordable prices, way cheaper than an ipad. They are fairly compact, and fit in the corner of a room. They are exactly what I use in the gym. Except now:
I don’t have to waste 10 precious minutes going to, or coming back from the gym.
I can do it while the older one sits in the same room doing some colouring and the younger one sleeps.
I can even address occasional questions she has.
I can formulate arguments and thoughts, for my books and articles while I exercise.
I am home, so if the baby wakes up when I have finished only ten minutes of my work out, I can stop and resume in a few minutes, if I can make her go back to sleep, or try again at a later time.
Since I am home, I don’t necessarily have to do it when the baby is asleep. I can do it, when the sisters are busy playing together, because if there is a problem they can easily interrupt me and so my mind is at peace. Sometimes watching them play also serves as entertainment while I exercise.
Now what about eating healthy? I found that most of the unhealthy food, we consumed, was in the form of snacks. It is difficult to whip up a quick healthy snack, if you are not prepared, or if you have not thought it through before. So the key is to make it convenient to whip up a healthy snack.
To do this:
Make a list of healthy snacks the family will enjoy. They must be tasty, or there will be temptation to resort to junk food. Here are some ideas, my family likes:
Besan Toast (Brown bread dipped in batter made with chick pea flour, water, salt and cumin, and cooked on a frying pan with one teaspoon of oil)
Rawa dosa (Unlike regular dosa this does not require soaking. Convenient!)
Cucumbers and tomatoes (Refreshing and you can add chaat masala if you are craving chatpata)
Corn and peas microwave boiled and lightly salted (The corn and peas need to be kept, shelled in boxes, in the fridge, ready for use)
Finger fruit like grapes, strawberries and bananas depending on the season
Dry fruits and nuts
Brown bread and corriander mint chutney sandwiches (Keep green chutney made in the fridge)
Identify the ingredients required for your list of healthy snacks, and try to keep the refrigerator and kitchen cabinets stocked with the ingredients.
Avoid keeping junk food in the house. It is better to indulge when you are out, so the house is not associated with easy access to junk food.
Happy healthy living everyone :)