Hey moms, does this scenario ring a bell? Do you spend hours meal planning and prepping the most beautiful Pinterest-worthy meals for the family, but when it comes to your mealtime, it ends up being whatever you can grab between meetings or errands? Why do we do this? We pour everything into the family, sometimes at the expense of ourselves. And it’s not that we don’t want to take care of ourselves, it just that we’re too exhausted and busy to!
Well, this Mother’s Day, let’s give ourselves a gift. The gift of self-care. Nutrition’s impact on stress, mood, and overall health truly goes hand in hand with any other self-care activity. So, how does one go about incorporating self-care into mealtime? Here are just a few ideas:
What to eat
Look for balance in your plate, both in color and content. We’ve heard since grade school that eating the rainbow ensures that we give our body a wide variety of nutrients essential to support long-term health and wellness.
Now, what does balance in content mean? Have you ever had a hunger pain, grabbed the easiest thing you could find (like a banana), and scarfed it down only to feel hungry again in 15 minutes? Well, a banana, while incredibly nutrient dense is not balanced in content, it’s mainly (healthy!) carbohydrates. In order to balance our meal choices and provide sustained energy we need to also incorporate protein, and/or healthy fats with our healthy carbs and fiber. These nutrients literally slow down the absorption of food in the body, keeping us full and satiated longer. The next time you grab a banana, also snag some nuts or nut butter. A quick afternoon snack could be a handful of veggies and this protein and fiber packed edamame dip. These snacks will fuel your body and brain until the next mealtime.
When & Why
Just as important as what you put into your body is the when, why, how, and where. Starting with when, there’s no magical time. Listen to your body’s cues and eat when you’re hungry. This helps stabilize blood sugar levels, making you feel more energized and balanced. Honor your hunger, but also take a moment to assess that feeling. Are you really hungry or is it actually boredom or maybe stress?
How & Where
Next time you eat, take a quick assessment. Where are you eating? What are you feeling? Are you distracted? All of these things impact our food choices, how much we eat, and even our digestion. At your next mealtime:
1. Unplug. Step away from the computer, phone, or tv to create a more peaceful and mindful mealtime.
2. Slow down. Meals should not be a race, but a time to enjoy your surroundings, company, and food. This will also help with digestion and your ability to listen to those hunger cues.
3. Be mindful. Take your time to see, smell, savor and swallow every bite of your food. We tell our kids to slow down and chew, but do we?
Now, how can your Vitamix help with all of this? Not only does it blend up delicious creations that you can sit back, relax, and enjoy with all of your senses, but it also turns everyday ingredients into nutrient dense meals in under 60 seconds!
And While some of this may sound a little ‘hippie’, I’d say those hippies have it right. When we practice self-care in nourishing our bodies, we are better able to participate in life with joy and exuberance, and to pour into ourselves as much as we do our families.
Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms, mamas, and mommies out there!