Hey hey! Did you all know that National Nutrition Month is right around the corner, beginning March 1? I actually wasn’t aware this month even existed (it’s hard to keep track of all of these #nationalloveyourcatmonth and #icecreammonth, isn’t it?!). But, I am for it. I am for it because I would argue that the best thing we can do for ourselves – especially as moms – is to take care of, honor, and nourish our bodies. And that starts with nutrition.
By definition, nutrition means the act or process of nourishing or being nourished. And to me, nourishment looks a little bit different than just what food we intake daily (though that is critical). It is the sum of all of the things that we do, say, and consume with our physical, mental and emotional bodies. Because if I am going to be fully nourished, it has to be a more comprehensive approach.
As moms, we are often the last to get nourished. We have seasons where work is busy because of a big meeting so we are burning the midnight oil, barely sleeping 5 hours a night. It’s hard to build in time to exercise because of the aforementioned sleep deprivation or, frankly, lack of motivation. Our weekends are packed with birthday parties for the kids, hosting family in town and catching up from the week. We go to bed with makeup on. We drink wine and sometimes order Papa John’s because it’s faster and easier. We are the first to serve and the last to consume. We delay our doctors’ appointments but are always on time for our kids’ annual checkups. The list goes on and on.
I think it’s time for a nourishment breakthrough for moms. It’s time to remove the guilt of being selfish and change the perspective of what it means to be selfish… to nourish ourselves well so that we may be the best we can be for ourselves, our family, our friends, our colleagues.
At this time last year, I said, “no more!” And I said yes to making some changes for ME that were hard (ahem, painfully hard) but the payoff has been tenfold of what I could have ever expected. I nourished myself. It was not a month of nutrition, but a year. And it is still in full effect.
Are you ready to rid yourself of malnourishment and hear me out on ways you can increase health and wellness and self-care in your life? It may not be easy, but ladies, it will be worth it.
- Wake up at least 1 hour before your family. Make your coffee. Pray. Read. Prepare for your day. In silence and in the stillness of the sun slowly rising. It’s magic, I promise.
- Commit to 30 minutes of exercise a day. I don’t care if you are 100 pounds or 200 pounds – you must move your body every single day. For your heart, your brain, your mood and of course, to fit into those jeans. For me, this commitment (which is from 6:30am – 7:00am) makes me nicer, calmer and more clear-minded throughout my day. Not sure about you but those adjectives definitely come in handy with raising a toddler and being a wife. #justsayin
- Push yourself on your faith journey. Where are you? Do you go to church? Temple? Where does your family stand related to God? Jesus, Vous Church and being on a team at church (with my daughter!) has literally transformed my life and fills my cup each and every week. Faith matters. Don’t wait another day to get nourished spiritually.
- Create a skincare routine, even if it means spending a bit more money than you would like to. Ladies, the aging process is real, just FYI. I will be 39 in a month and for about 5 years I have been disciplined with a morning and night (admittedly, not every night) routine. I use Rodan and Fields which I love and would recommend. But the brand doesn’t matter, the process and routine do. It’s like a 5-minute facial two times a day. Your skin deserves it!
- Travel… without the kids (gasp!). Last year I went to Italy with my best friend (who has 2 kids) for 8 days. And when I tell you I came back better, more joy-filled, rested, and recharged I mean it all. It changed my year. Moms, we NEED time away from the kids for more than the negligible hours we sleep at night! Space away from your husband is honestly good, too. Do it. Please, I beg of you.
- Do one thing for yourself every week. This could mean going out with girlfriends. It could mean going to a movie solo. It could mean taking a bath. Watching your Netflix series in peace. Writing. Painting. Reading. Identify at least one thing that brings you joy and do it.
- Make your doctors’ appointments. NOW. Repeat after me… NOW! For me, every year I do: dermatologist (my mom has had skin cancer 3 times and I grew up in the 80’s when sunscreen was optional), dentist (did you know your teeth suffer tremendously while you’re pregnant?!), OBGYN and annual physical. It may be more or less for you, but we do it for our kids, so why the heck would we not be doing it for ourselves?
- Pay attention to the food you eat. I grew up with a mom who was on a different diet all the time and as such, I don’t diet. I just try to educate myself on food and try to eat well, splurging here and there when I want to. Just like exercise can increase our mood to be better, food can decrease it. Start making some necessary changes. Chances are you know what those changes are but if not, here are some things I do. I cook the majority of our meals at home. This way I know exactly what I and my family are eating. I rarely go to fast food chains – maybe once every two months. I used to drink one Diet Coke a day. Now, maybe one a month. I am a work-in-progress but I believe these small changes are making a big impact.
- Last, identify things in your life that are NOT nourishing you. The antonym to nourish is neglect, hurt, discourage. Ask yourself, what is hurting you? What is discouraging you? Are you discouraged after scrolling through Instagram for an hour? Then stop doing it – or at least limit your time to start creating new habits. Do you have a friend in your life that you feel is hurting you? Maybe it’s time for a break-up.
You are in control, dear ones! And I would argue that if you spent more time nourishing yourself, you would start seeing some incredible life improvements. At work, at home. With your thoughts, your words. With your actions and energy. You will see a positive change, as will those around you. You can do it. I know you can because I did – and still do. Of course, I slip up. I am not perfect. But, these habits are instilled in me and have left me feeling nourished more than I could have ever imagined.
Editor’s Note: If you’re ready to take the next step on your journey to better health, take a look at our newly released Health & Fitness Guide from Miami Moms Blog! There is no shortage of gyms, fitness studios, and health coaches here in Miami, so we’ve compiled a list to make your search easier. Check it out!