This week we’re celebrating Mother’s Day with our friends over at Fitbit. Whether you’re a mom or you just happen to have one, you’ll find great tips and advice for staying healthy and happy all year long. (Oh and don’t forget, mom makes a great addition to your Fitness Tribe!)
Motherhood is great. Sure, I can get all sappy and say it’s a gift, which it absolutely is, but it’s a demanding gift that comes with its own unique challenges. With a little planning (I mean, who’s better at planning than moms?) we can put those difficulties to bed.
Try these 10 tips to make it your healthiest Mother’s Day yet.
1. Have a “pick-free” week Many of my “mom” clients say they don’t eat chicken fingers, candy, or mac and cheese. And truth be told, they don’t really eat a full portion of them. However, the few bites of French fries and cookies that you “pick” at from your kids’ meals can add up. For one full week, skip the kid picks. It will be both eye-opening and slimming.
2. Try turmeric Are you familiar with turmeric? It’s the spice that gives curry powder its yellow hue, and you may very well have it in your spice cabinet. Take it out and sprinkle it on eggs, veggies, or grains. It’s a very powerful mood-booster, has strong anti-cancer properties, and it’s anti-inflammatory, too.
3. Start the week skinny Take an hour or two on Sunday to plan a weekly menu, create a grocery list, and hit the supermarket. I recommend trying at least one new recipe or ingredient per week, and planning at least one fish or seafood dinner for the family. Winging it and weight loss often don’t go together
4. Go for glass Many moms are aware of BPAs, those chemicals lurking in many plastic bottles and sippy cups. But if you think BPA-free is the way to go, I’m not convinced. What’s replacing BPA might not be much safer. The best bet for you and the kids: glass water bottles and food containers. Still on the fence? The class of chemicals found in many plastics is called “obeseogens.” Yup, as in “use me and up your risk of obesity.”
5. Play! Think of your children as mini personal trainers. When my kids shoot hoops, I do too. A client just came and told me, “Instead of watching my kids play soccer, I joined in. They loved that I was playing, and I got in some extra exercise.” Win, win!
6. Carry afternoon ammunition Moms are known to pack snacks for the kids and nothing for themselves. And then if you’re lucky, there will be a few extra Cheddar Bunnies to spare. (You can do better than bunnies!) In every purse, stash a snack. I like nutrition bars by Zing and Health Warrior. You can also wash out an Altoid tin—we call this a “nutcase” at Foodtrainers. Fill it with pecans or sunflower seeds, both filling and belly-slimming snacks.
7. Snack on cooking crudités Dinnertime can be a doozy. Many of my clients say they taste and graze so much while they’re cooking that they aren’t even hungry for dinner, but they still eat. The solution? Set out some cooking crudités—sliced, raw carrots, cucumbers, or bell peppers. They’re perfect for when you want to munch on something, but need to stay conscious about those “cooking calories.”
8. Be an early bird Speaking of cooking and dinner, “when” to eat is a dilemma for many moms. Do you dine early with the children or wait for your partner to come home in a couple of hours? Having an early-bird dinner is much better than a double dinner.
9. Watch where you work I wouldn’t pay bills or return emails in the kitchen with the fridge staring right at you—it’s just too tempting. One stressful email or big bill could send you over the snacking edge.
10. Make tea, the skinny nightcap It’s so easy to crave a treat once the kids are asleep. But one treat often turns into two, and, well, you know the story. Instead, try nighttime tea. I love one made by Pukka with lavender, a natural relaxant. It’ll save you calories and help you unwind before bed.
Hey all you moms, which of these tips will you be incorporating into your life this week?
Lauren Slayton, M.S., R.D., is the author of The Little Book of Thin and creator of the Foodtrainers blog. She holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University and has appeared in Allure, In Style, Cooking Light, Self, WebMD, and The New York Post, and on Good Morning America and The Today Show.