I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor.
Henry David Thoreau
Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
World Health Organization, 1948
Youʼre a dedicated mama now. Your journey to motherhood may have taken a number of paths – fertility treatments, carrying multiple babies, bed rest, a c- section, or an adoption within the community or a foreign land. Now is the time to get your body back, meaning to re- embody yourself and create a healthy, balanced lifestyle as a mom. Time and energy are limited and life needs to be pared down to it’s essence. We believe the necessities to strengthen your newfound maternal dedication are a nourishing diet, joyful movement, spending time doing the things that you love, renewing yourself and reconnecting with your partner. A balance of all these things integrate into a balanced lifestyle.
There are numerous diets being promoted such as a low fat/high carb diet where pasta is considered a health food or the high protein/ low carb diet, where it was okay to eat a lot of meat but no bread. At Massage For Moms we believe that an organic, whole food, low glycemic diet which is balanced with carbohydrates, protein, fiber, healthy fats and natural sugar is the best approach to eating. We also believe that to help ensure long term health, supplementation with a high quality vitamin is crucial.
Itʼs been shown that high glycemic foods are causing major imbalances in our bodyʼsʼ systems. What is high glycemic? Its how fast a food breaks down into sugar in your blood. Very simply put, high glycemic foods break down quickly, flooding your system with sugar and very little nutrients. This begins a cascade of physiological responses in your body, leaving you craving carbohydrates within a couple of hours of eating. A low glycemic food breaks down slowly, providing you with longer lasting energy and is usually a higher density nutrient food.
Can you guess what food is the highest on the glycemic index? White flour – it spikes your blood sugar faster than table sugar on your tongue. So, forgo the muffins, cold cereal and bagels and choose foods that incorporate whole grains, fruits, vegetables and nuts instead. If youʼre confused about what to eat and have carb cravings that wonʼt quit, join our Get Your Body Back Jumpstart Group for support to get you from where you are to where you want to be.
Joyful movement is more than exercise. Itʼs about finding the way that your body loves to move. There are many options – hiking, running, spin class, belly dancing, hula-hooping, pole dancing, ultimate frisbee, yoga. The list goes on and on. As a parent, itʼs important to schedule your exercise time in, arrange for childcare, then drag your body there. You may need to get creative at first – baby boot camp, mama and baby yoga, family hikes, pushing a jogging stroller, tag team parenting. Once you figure out what works for you, your joyful movement wonʼt feel like a chore. The result is that you will feel revitalized and wonderful in your body.
Years ago, couples had children because thatʼs just what you did. Child rearing has become a conscious choice that people are making because they want to experience and enjoy a family life. Parents are excited about sharing their passions with their children and discovering what their children are passionate about. Itʼs extremely satisfying sharing activities and taking time to do what each family member loves to do. Just a side note here, children need far fewer toys and belongings than we think. Too much stuff is draining. Go through your childʼs belongings and only keep what brings enjoyment and donate the rest.
Most of what you do as a parent – working, feeding your family, exercising and spending time together is all output. Even if you are passionate about your work and are very organized so that every meal and snack is a healthy one, itʼs all still output. This is why you need to be sure to take time out to renew yourself. Take the morning off and get a massage while your kids are at preschool. Take a nap or a bath while your child is napping. Sit in the sun while your kids play at the park. Meditate during soccer practice. Get in bed with a good book in the evening. Take care of yourself regularly in the ways that feel deeply nourishing to you and you will feel revitalized.
Mothers and babies are wired to bond deeply at birth. This intimacy is vital for the emotional health of your baby, but often puts dads and partners second in line. If you are raising your child with a partner, it is vital to frequently set aside time to reconnect as a couple. Find small ways every day – a hug, a walk, a heart to heart talk plus something more on a weekly basis like date night. Create the structure of your routines that are solid at the core because of the deep connection of intimacy that you have with your partner. Make reconnecting a priority as it serves the whole family.
The Healthy Mom lifestyle is about feeling your best while raising your children. It’s a lifestyle that supports the long term health of your body, mind and spirit so you can feel wonderful in your new life.