Cinderelee, Cinderelee

Do you ever feel like all you do is cook and clean?? Here is an example of 5 minutes in my life:

I’m doing the dishes.
“He hit me!”
Time out. Back to dishes.
“I’m hungry!”
Prepare snack. Back to dishes.
“I need something to drink!” (At which point I say something like, how do you ask, and you know how to get your own water)
“I don’t waaaaant waterrr!”
Roll eyes. Continue doing dishes.
“So and so spilled water!”
Get rag and clean up the mess. Dishes… Again.

This is exactly what happens whenever I do anything that needs to be done, and more so if I am doing something I (gasp) want to do, and this is why my workouts take place outside of my home! And I’m totally aware that it is my fault that the kids think I’m a slave, When my daughter first began communicating with words (Very early) I did basically anything she asked because I was encouraging verbal communication. Now everything is a demand, and they all look at me like I’m nuts because I want a please and thank you. I’m venting a little, honestly usually they are very polite, but they have those days where I feel like Cinderella. Today I spent the afternoon running up and down the stairs doing laundry, vacuuming, preparing food (So glad we had snap peas and carrots, because that made snack time simple.), mopping the floors, you know typical mom jobs, and I was interrupted multiple times during each chore. It gets so frustrating! And it certainly didn’t help that the kids were all cranky today. I don’t know if it’s a full moon tonight, or what, but these kids have been emotional, snotty, crabby and irritable all day.

It’s a thankless job, being a mom. regardless of how your kids treat you, you will still get out of bed before you want to, you will clean up messes that you did not make, you will prepare food, (and in my case spend time researching, reading, pureeing, and discussing their food) you will make beds that have somehow been filled with dishes, wash, dry and fold laundry and pull hot wheels out of pockets, vacuum cheerios, pull stickers off of walls, comb tangled hair and never read that (dusty) book you left on your bedside table. And for some crazy reason, when your babies say I love you, your heart melts and you are recharged.

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The way it was, and the way it is now

A couple years ago I lived on fast food, I refused to go to the grocery store and I hated cooking. I also smoked a pack a day. I am ashamed to admit that while I was pregnant my food group consisted of Taco Bell, Del Taco, and Carl’s Jr. I quit smoking the week I found out I was pregnant (more because I was too nauseated to even think of a cigarette) but I had every intention of smoking the minute I left the hospital. I had no intention of breast feeding, either. Thinking back, I was so self destructive. No wonder I was depressed!

It was not until my daughter, Jo was born that I began making healthier choices, I think at that point my baby was real, up until then it was just this parasite sucking the life out of me. I made the decision to breast feed, even though I had no milk (milk production is strongly influenced by your mindset, the more you look at, love and connect with your baby, the more milk you will produce. And I think since my mindset was so far from parenting my breasts had no idea that they had a job to do.) Luckily after weeks of pain and sleepless nights, she finally latched. That experience is the one I look back at and think, wow, something was finally bigger than me. I had been so self centered my entire life, and this little person changed everything.

When Jo was about 14 months old I gave up fast food. I started going to the grocery store and slowly making healthier and healthier choices. By 19 months I had not spent a night away from her. I literally had no life, and that is when I started getting restless. Coincidentally this is when I weaned her, I’m sure that had a lot to do with the sudden loneliness that took me over. This is when I had to throw myself into another project, Project Me. I am still perfecting it.

The biggest change I made was cutting out meat. I am a pescatarian, I started out as one, actually, but if I have learned anything about healthy habits I know that they evolve. And my diet has continued to get cleaner and cleaner. A pescatarian does eat fish and sea food, but no other meat, no cow, pig, bird etc. And I do still eat eggs (Cage free!). Why did I give up meat? At first because I noticed that I made healthier choices when meat was not involved. Because, let’s face it, I may have given up fast food, but the temptation for a jalapeno burger and fries from Carl’s Jr was still there. You can easily gain weight when you make a change like I did if you do not add guidelines. Example: If you stop eating meat and switch to cheese pizza from Toppers instead of pepperoni… That is not any healthier, so if you make a change, be sure to incorporate it further than simply, I’m not eating that food anymore, commit to making your meals healthier.

Like I said, at first I gave up meat to encourage better choices. That is when I began watching documentaries. Food Inc. and Food Matters and more recently Hungry For Change. Now i have moral issues with eating meat. However, my kids do eat meat (grass fed, cage free, free range, no hormones added yadayadayada). And they don’t eat meat often. I still give them meat because I want them to make their own choices when they are old enough, for now I feel that it would be unfair to force a meatless diet on them because then they will never be able to choose for themselves, and unlike religion, if I took meat away now, their bodies would never be able to process meat. After research I found that green veggies are full of protein, calcium, fiber, vitamin c, folic acid… The list goes on. So I limit meat, and cut out dairy. The trick is getting kiddos to eat green food!

It has taken years, and I’m sure more changes will come, I can see my diet shifting slightly every few months, maybe I will switch to a plant based diet, for now, I focus on buying fresh fruits and veggies, and avoiding packaged foods. I work out 5 days a week, usually I run 2-3 miles and I do yoga or Pilates to work my core. Personally, I need my workout time because it is the only real “Me Time”. I encourage you to find some YOU time. While nourishing your body, and your children will go a long way, giving yourself that gift of time allotted just for you, doing something you want to do, especially if it is a physical activity will make the biggest difference!!

*I mention religion because it is another moral decision, and while I won’t choose their faith, they will always have a chance to make that choice
**I understand, however that MANY parents take meat out of the house, and I support that choice!! I also support families who do eat meat, I just ask that you know where your food is coming from
***I was inspired to write about my diet after reading my friends blog (http://rachaeljordanpages.blogspot.com/2012/07/child-autonomy-im-vegan-but-my-toddler.html?spref=fb) You should check her out, especially if you are vegan!

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This is my first time

Being a mom you tend to lose yourself. My goal is to find myself, nurture myself, love myself and help my children learn to do the same for themselves. My job right now is to nurture them, feed them, parent them, love them, and encourage them. That is a huge job, and I just don’t have a lot of time to do those things for myself, even though here I am writing about how I need to love myself. Accountability. That is one purpose for this blog. The other is to share my journey and encourage other parents out there to do the same.

One of the best ways to love your kiddos, and yourself is changing your diet. I don’t mean go on a diet, I mean a life style change. And baby steps is the way to go on this one. If you incorporate healthy foods into your life they will eventually take over. Swap your white rice with brown rice. One of my secrets to feeding my kids and myself veggies is pureeing veggies and then freezing them in baggies (don’t forget to date and label the bags!) I throw pureed carrots into the pasta sauce (Try spaghetti squash or wheat pasta) Nobody will know they are eating carrots! I put pureed kale in smoothies, spinach on pita pizzas. you name it, I try to sneak veggies in there!

Now this part is all about me, but it makes a huge difference for the entire family. I work out. I go running five days a week, and I add some Pilates or yoga. If I don’t my anxiety is out of control. The nice thing about working out is that I feel better about myself, I am more confident and when I reach fitness goals I am so proud of myself! (And it doesn’t hurt to have an hour to myself a couple days a week, either!) But lets go back to baby steps. Just like slowly incorporating healthier food into your diet, slowly add physical activity. Walk to the park with the kids, or the dog, or your significant other. Just walk once a day. Slowly build yourself up to going for a jog, or maybe lifting weights. Make goals and start small.

I plan to post recipes, journal my challenges, and document my successes!

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