Parent Fit – Part Five

When children arrive, all your health goals go out of the window right…? This week: How to use food as a real lifesaver

In this series we’ve been looking into ideas that actually support a healthy lifestyle when children arrive (or any other life situation that turns your world upside down).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: You may find this hard to believe, but I’m not actually a midwife J . Please do not take these ideas as prescriptions, see your health professional before you do anything.

Give yourself the gift of nourishment

How would you describe your relationship to food? You may have not been asked that before. For some, food is simply fuel. For others, there is a lot more emotion attached to it. For years, I have used food as a way to de-stress, for comfort and often as a reward for all those greens I ate during the week! I’m still a work-in-progress on that front.

It is very common for people to change their eating habits (eat more, less or different) during times of stress. So as you can imagine, when children come along, the challenge is this:

A tired, stressed body needs good nutrition more than ever but all you want is a biscuit!!

So how can we approach this?

1) Make the call. You can have the best diet plan in the world, but if you haven’t made the decision to live a certain way you will always fall back to old habits. Quick tip; it’s always better if you and your spouse are doing this together

2) Meal plan. Decision making is exhausting. When deciding whether you need to go to the toilet or you can hang on becomes a life or death decision, you know energy levels are at crisis level. At this point, the last thing you want to do is think what to have for dinner, go out to shop for it then spend an hour cooking. You also don’t want to go down the slippery road of having chocolate digestives for a third meal in a row. Spend a few minutes planning your meals for the week, then shop for the ingredients (they even deliver these days!)

3) Throw junk away. Yes I know, it goes against everything our mothers banged into us for decades. “Children across the world are starving”. Yes I know mother, but at the rate of my weight gain I’m going to be the size of Africa in a week. After you’ve meal planned and got the food in, throw away the junk food that you know you’ll reach for.

4) Get colourful. The female body literally goes through trauma when giving birth. The different coloured foods provide different healing and energising nutrients that your body is craving. And men, you need them too!

5) The rule of one. There will be moments and often days where you just need something. This does not make you a bad person. If you have to have something, have it, have one. Sit down and enjoy it

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