Tips to Reach Optimal Health Before a New Baby- For People who Don't Like to Diet

5 Tips to Reach Optimal Health Before a New Baby (For People Who Don’t Like to Exercise or Diet)

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This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Updated: 2/12/2019

Every mom goes through a unique phase before she gets pregnant. It’s a time of preparation…

Time to start thinking about what kind of health I should be in before my pregnancy.

This is always a tough time for me. I typically make much better choices eating and exercising when I am pregnant or nursing than I do normally.

I’ve got to reign in all the emotions that come with eating, not just the eating itself. It’s an entire lifestyle change, a whole new mindset. More than just eating your veggies. 

I just like tasty food. And I’m not a dieter. And I hate exercising.

burger beside fried potatoes with drinking glass

But I also don’t want to be unhealthy or overweight, especially when there’s another little human who depends on me.

If only chips and cookies were nutritious… But they’re not.

So, I go through this terrible process before every pregnancy where I try to prepare my body for building another person- and that means being in good physical condition.

Nothing crazy, mind you.

Again, I am no dieter and I hate to exercise. All I’m aiming for here is being healthy in general.

No counting calories, or cutting out carbs altogether, or cayenne detoxing.

How do I get prepare my body for having a child- without going crazy?

1) Healthier Choices

Ok, we all know about this.

  • We know that refined sugars and carbs are bad.
  • We know that veggies are good.
  • We know that we should have a balanced diet with lots of colors.

So the first (Unavoidable!) step is to make a few healthier choices.

When I’m thinking about getting pregnant, I try to change my diet a few months in advance. Here’s some of the changes I make:

  • Take a prenatal vitamin. Ok, so I usually do this all the time, but it is especially vital now! (Click the image below!)

Nature Made Prenatal + DHA 200 mg Softgels – Rich in Folic Acid, Iron, Iodine & Zinc Value Size 90 Ct

  • Buy whole wheat everything. Tortillas, bread, buns, you name it. I can’t seem to function without carbs, so I at least try to make them a little better for me by choosing whole wheat.
  • Increase fresh veggies. I eat at least one veggie with each meal. No exceptions. Buy a variety of colors. This ensures that I’m getting a balance of nutrients from my food.
  • Drink water. Pregnancy requires a ton of water, even more than normal. Before pregnancy, I start getting used to that by increasing my water intake. There are great resources out there, like water bottles that help you track your water intake

Use this great water bottles that track your water intake! Perfect!! Click image below!

BELLYBOTTLE Original Pregnancy Water Bottle Intake Tracker with Time Marker and Weekly Calendar Stickers – Voted top Pregnancy Gifts must haves Essentials (PINK)

This also means giving up other drinks- especially those with high sugars (like soda) or high caffeine (like coffee and energy drinks- read here for more information on how to keep your energy up without the caffeine!).

And we all know that pregnancy means limiting or cutting out alcohol, so this is a good time to get started.

  • Just stop buying unhealthy snacks that I can’t resist. Chips, chocolate, ice cream, and cookie dough are a few of my weaknesses. I can’t have them in my house if I am going to make a change to being healthy. So I just don’t let them in the house.
  • Get through the cravings. It helps me to know that cravings for my favorite carbs and sugars should go away after a week or two of the new, healthier lifestyle. I just have to make it til then!

But that is only the first step!

2) Sweat and Stuff

Ok, seriously, who has time to exercise?

Nobody.

And who wants to exercise?

Nobody.

So how on earth does anyone ever get it done?

The only times in my life where I have been successful at keeping a consistent workout routine is if I am working out with a group. That way, they know if I am missing my workouts and they hold me accountable.

Effective. But I hate it.

My favorite way to get in some good physical activity is to play with my kids for 30 minutes to 1 hour every day.

group of children pulling brown rope

I love this, especially right before another pregnancy, because I just want to soak up my little ones before I have a baby that needs most of my attention.

It helps my kids cope with a new sibling because they get lots of mommy’s attention beforehand and it helps me feel connected with each child. AND I get my workout in. Let me tell you, it’s an intense workout.

Win, win, win.

Click the image below for some great family fun!
Backyard Discovery Oakmont All Cedar Wood Playset Swing Set

3) Use Water to Control Portion Sizes

Here’s a simple trick that I use to make sure I am drinking enough water and also monitoring my portions at meal times.

About 30 minutes before the meal (usually right as I am starting to cook dinner or lunch), I drink a BIG glass of water. Not your average 8 fluid ounce cup. A BIG cup of water.

That’s 3 glasses of water (one at breakfast, one at lunch, and one at dinner). Not the entire day’s worth of water, but a good start!

Again, if you would like some extra help keeping track, try these water bottles that keep you updated on how much water you need! Click the image below.
babyneü Pregnancy Gift Time Marked Water Bottle with Motivational Quote, weekly timeline stickers. Designed to help you reach your Daily Water Intake. BPA-Free, straw, sip top, carry loop(BABST Aqua)

The water fills up my belly so that I eat a more appropriate portion of food rather than helping myself to a heaping plate.

This trick alone is responsible for a significant amount of my pre-pregnancy weight loss.

4) Time Limits

Another pitfall of my everyday eating habits is that I allow myself to eat whenever I want.

  • That means if I want a snack between meals, I can have one.
  • If I want a midnight snack, I can have one.
  • If I want all the hobbit meals- breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner, and supper- there’s no stopping me.

If I’m working on being more healthy, I cut out some of these extra meals by setting rules for myself.

And, I don’t just mean lines in the sand, but firm, for reals, no joke rules.

grayscale photography of clock

  • For example, I don’t eat past 6pm.
  • I don’t let myself snack between meals.
  • I make my mealtimes consistent every day, such as breakfast between 9-10am, lunch between 12-1pm, and dinner between 5-6pm. And that’s the only 3 hours in the day when I am allowed to consume food of any kind.

I know, I know, it’s healthier to eat small snacks often rather than big meals. If I had enough self-control to do that, I would. But when I try to eat 6 small snacks in a day, I just end up with 6 big meals.

In that case, it is more healthy to limit myself to meals rather than trying to snack.

Please note that this is one habit that I give up after pregnancy. I find that snacks are a helpful way to keep morning sickness away, and you need more calories during pregnancy anyways.

5) Feeling Zen About Food

Emotions about food are difficult.

It is a tough topic for a lot of people. Media portrays a perfect body type that many people aspire to obtain. This brings up feelings of self-doubt, self-esteem, being in control, feeling accepted by others, health and wellness, confidence, and mortality to name a few.

Click below for a great resource on emotional eating!

When Food Is Comfort: Nurture Yourself Mindfully, Rewire Your Brain, and End Emotional Eating

Lots of big emotions are tied to food.

Success at changing a lifestyle takes more than just grudgingly following steps that you don’t want to do.

That’s where I went wrong for a long time.

As I have said many times, I’m no dieter. I’m no exerciser. I’m no good at counting calories.

These few tricks I have identified are the prefect mix (for me) of small and simple changes that I can handle. They are things that work for me BECAUSE they don’t send me into big emotions of frustration, regret for foods I have eaten, wishing for foods I can’t have, or self-punishment when I mess up.

At the same time, I find new ways to reward myself, to rejuvenate myself, instead of eating (many ideas are mentioned in this blog post). 

I can feel happy about my food choices without putting myself under intense stress for giving up a major part of my life.

In doing so, I control my feelings and my food.

Need some resourced for during pregnancy? Got you covered!

The Whole 9 Months: A Week-By-Week Pregnancy Nutrition Guide with Recipes for a Healthy Start

Motherwell Maternity Fitness Plan

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

Share this post with any parent who needs to feel Zen about their food!

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A Rockstar A Day Keeps the Children At Bay- Healthy and Natural Hacks to Boost Your Energy

A Rockstar a Day Keeps the Children at Bay- Healthy and Natural Hacks to Boost Your Energy

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Photo by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash

This post may contain advertisements and/or links for products and services that I value. I offer recommendations to products and/or services that I find helpful in my own life as a mom. I may receive a commission based on viewer purchases or interactions with these ads. You will NOT be charged any extra money. All prices will stay the same for you whether your purchase items/services through links found on this site or not! 

Updated 2/8/2019

Image may contain: text

As parents, we are always out of energy.

Between waking up during the night for our kids and catering to their needs all day long, not to mention the day to day grind of normal life (working a job, meals, laundry, dishes…..) there just isn’t enough energy to go around!

And with all that, it seems like the kids have energy to spare! So not only are we juggling everything, but we have to do it at a run just to keep up with the kids.

It’s exhausting.

And it’s never ending.

No weekends off, no holidays off, no 9-5 shifts. So it’s vital that parents get some much-needed energy boosts here and there.

These are my top hacks to keeping up with the kids when you’re out of energy.

(Please note- depression or anxiety disorders may need professional help of a doctor and/or counselor.  These steps should not take the place of professional help.)

1) Energy-Boosting Foods

What if I told you that you could boost your energy… and at the same time be cutting a few of those extra pounds??

That’s right. Who knew?

There are lots of foods that naturally contain the perfect ingredients to cure your mid-day lull. Look for things like fiber, protein (increases concentration and focus), and complex carbs.

Watch out for the short-lived high that comes with a spike in your blood sugar from things like starches and sugars (especially refined sugars) or caffeine.

Yes, they give you a quick boost in energy but this is followed by an energy crash that will leave you struggling to continue your everyday tasks. When you experience this crash, the natural tendency is to seek out that high of the sugar rush again! It’s a vicious cycle.

woman laughing and running in front of Lindley Park Pool building during day

On the other hand, the following foods provide longer and more stable increases in energy.

  • Yogurt
  • Nuts
  • Whole Grains
  • Eggs
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Salmon or Tuna
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Spinach or basically any dark leafy greens
  • Quinoa
  • Chia Seeds

BetterBody Foods Organic Chia Seeds 2lb, Non-GMO Great Taste, Contains 2300mg Omega-3s and 2g of Protein, Good Source of Fiber, Gluten-free, Use in Smoothies or Top Yogurt Soups or Salads

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  • Oranges
  • Pumpkin Seeds (Click the image below)

Lightly Sea Salted Whole Pumpkin Seeds, 2 LBS by Gerbs – Top 14 Food Allergy Free & Non GMO – Vegan & Kosher Certified – Dry Roasted In-Shell Pepitas from United States

Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Pumpkin Seeds, 2 Pounds

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Asparagus
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Hummus (Click the image below)

Casbah Authentic Grains, Hummus Chickpea Dip Mix, 6 Ounce (Pack of 12)

Lilly’s Hummus – Hand-Made Small Batch Hummus Variety Pack, Vegan, Non-GMO, Made with Organic Chickpeas, 2 oz Cups, 16 Count: 4 Roasted Garlic, 4 Classic, 4 Smoked Tomato Basil, 4 Roasted Red Pepper

  • Beets
  • Grapes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Pistachios (Click the image below)

Wonderful Pistachios, Roasted and Salted, 32 Ounce Bag

Wonderful Pistachios, Roasted and Salted, 1.5 Ounce (Pack of 24)

  • Sesame Seeds
  • Ginger

Besides all these great foods that help you feel awake and energized, there are great foods that help supplement your sleep. These foods contain ingredients like lactucarium, tryptophan, omega-3’s, melatonin, and serotonin, which can help you sleep more deeply and restfully- thus helping you feel more rested the following day!

Try snacking on one of these great foods just before bed to improve your sleep:

  • Halibut
  • Cherries
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Small amounts of Cheese
  • Lettuce
  • Chickpeas
  • Honey
  • Elk Meat (Click the image below)

BEST Premium Natural Style Kippered Cut Thick Strips 1.75 OZ. Elk Jerky – No Preservatives – High Protein – Low Carbs – Buy Multiple Packs & Save! (Elk Spicy, Spicy 1 Pack)

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Buffalo Bills 100% Exotic Game Meat Sausage Sticks (mixed 1oz sticks – elk, venison and wild boar)

  • Turkey

You can also save energy preparing meals using custom freezer meals. 

2) Don’t Forget Hydration

Water is a very important factor in keeping your body energized.

selective focus photography of girl drinking water

Being dehydrated can cause you to feel sluggish and lethargic. People often mistake feeling thirsty as feeling hungry, which can increase unhealthy snacking.

As we mentioned earlier, if I chose to eat a snack that is high in refined sugars and carbs, I will have a spike in energy followed by a crash. Lack of water can trigger this cycle.

Drinking plenty of fluids will decrease feeling tired as well as decreasing unhealthy snacks.

Remember that not all fluids are created equal. Watch out to make sure you aren’t drinking unnecessary calories or sugars.

3) Get Your Sweat On

Exercise increases serotonin to your brain. This directly increases your energy level.

woman doing yoga on stability ball

When I think of exercise, I immediately want to go crawl into bed instead. But exercise doesn’t have to be mundane.

Any activity that gets your blood pumping and your heart rate up will release endorphins.

My favorite way to get exercise in is to play games with my kids and neighbors. It feels great to spend some quality time with my family and also build a healthier lifestyle at the same time. That’s two things checked off the list!

Here’s some great activities to do with your kids that will also give you a great workout and get your energy up:

  • Tag
  • Freeze Tag
  • Trampoline (Click the image below)

Skywalker Trampolines 15-Feet Jump N’ Dunk Trampoline with Safety Enclosure and Basketball Hoop

Skywalker Trampolines Jump N’ Dunk Trampoline with Safety Enclosure and Basketball Hoop, Blue, 12-Feet

Stamina 36-Inch Folding Trampoline | Quiet and Safe Bounce | Access To Free Online Workouts Included | Supports Up To 250 Pounds

  • Dancing
  • Anything at the park- swings, climbing, etc.
  • Any kind of sports- soccer, football, basketball, baseball, volleyball, tennis…..

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SKLZ Pro Mini Basketball Hoop W/Ball. 18”x12” Shatter Resistant Backboard.

Field-In-A-Bag Set

  • Playing catch
  • Jump rope
  • Climbing trees
  • Piggyback rides
  • Foot races
  • Pretending to be an animal
  • Hopscotch
  • Playing Twister (Click image below)

Twister Game

4) Turn on the Tunes

Sometimes, we have done everything we can think of and we are still just tired.

These are the moments when we need a little pick me up.

silhouette of man and woman playing guitars

The first thing I do in the about-to-fall-over-from-pure-exhaustion moments is turn on the radio or Pandora!

A little bouncy music can change the mood for the day. Instead of moving slow and lazy, it makes me dance! I can get so much more done with some nice background music playing.

And the kids love it! It’s a great way to cheer them up too- since kids seem to feed off of the adults’ moods. If we are tired and lethargic, it affects them. Sometimes, they mimic a lethargic adult and are also tired…. And other times, they do the opposite and have enough energy for both of you!

In any case, music will get them moving to use up some of that extra energy while giving you the boost you needed to keep going.

Plus, music just makes us happy. We need that.

5) Hey, Good Lookin….

woman wearing pink dress while standing near black metal rail at daytime

When parents are feeling zapped, I always recommend putting on a cute outfit. Keeping your body image up is so important to life, but it’s also something that gets overlooked in the busy life of a parent.

So, if you’re so drained that you can’t keep moving, go change your clothes. Find something cute, pizzazz-y, spunky. Something that will put some pep in your step.

Give yourself a confidence boost and then go try again with whatever you needed to get done.

Don’t underestimate the power of your look.

Put on a fresh coat of nail polish, freshen up your lipstick, and get ready to feel amazing! 

Here’s some great products to help you out!
Beauty Glazed Pigmented Matte and Shimmer 35 Colors Chunky Eyeshadow Palette Pop Colors Blendable Eye Shadow Powder Make Up Waterproof Eye Shadow Palette Cosmetics

SHANY All In One Harmony Makeup Kit – Ultimate Color Combination – New Edition

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6pcs Matte Velvety Liquid Lipstick Matte Liquid Lipgloss Waterproof Lip Gloss

8pc Nabi Cosmetics Professional Selected Lipstick set of 8 Amazing Colors

Kleancolor Nail Polish – Awesome Metallic Full Size Lacquer Lot of 12-pc Set Body Care / Beauty Care / Bodycare…

Sinful Colors 10-piece Surprise Nail Polish Set

KLEANCOLOR NEON COLORS 12 FULL COLLETION SET NAIL POLISH LACQUER

6) Making Moments Count

If I’ve done all this and I am still feeling lethargic, it might be time to sit down and take a break to consider my own mental well being for the day.

Free Self Care Guide 2

Click here to receive your FREE Parent’s Guide to Self-Care! 

Some days just suck.

On those days, I try to see the silver lining.

Remember that the time you do have matters- even if it doesn’t seem like much. The time you have to sleep matters, so make the most of it. The time you have for “you time” matters, so make the most of it.

And the time you have as a parent matters. Yes, we are exhausted. A lot. But we are so lucky to have these wonderful kids in our lives. They bring so much fun and excitement. They keep life real. They make us carry on.

When things just suck, remember to make the moments count. Love your kids. Tell them and show them.

man carrying daughter in black sleeveless top

This will brighten your day and put the pep back in your step.

When you are too tired to do anything, just smile. (What about the days when you have nothing left to give? Read more here!)

Sincerely,

Mrs. S

Share with an exhausted parent!

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