Every once and a while, amongst the hustle bustle of everyday life with four kids, I start to laugh at myself.
You know that saying, "I was such a better parent, before I actually became one"
Yeah that rings true for me.
I'm kidding, well kind of.
I just thought it would be so much easier to get everything done.
I pictured myself being that mom/wife who had delicious homemade meals prepared each night, who baked every Sunday so that the kid's didn't eat any processed foods, who never hit up the drive thru, who's kids never ate sweets and didn't even know about fast food.
I thought the healthy balanced lifestyle would be simple to achieve.
Boy was I wrong. That's definitely not our real life.
With travel sports, extra curricular activities, managing careers, kid's social lives, pick-up/drop-off and everything else that comes with life with kids, time is limited. Sometimes that healthy balanced lifestyle falls off the to-do list, and it's about sheer convenience.
That being said, over the past few years I do think that we have done OKAY at implementing a system that encourages a healthy + balanced life.
It definitely doesn't look the way that I pictured it would, but it works!
Today I thought I'd share My 5 Strategies, with the hope that I can both inspired you, and get you to share yours strategies with me in return!
1. I LOOK AT OUR SCHEDULE & MEAL PLAN ACCORDINGLY
I used to just plan 7 random meals at the beginning of the week and hope for the best. Then 5pm would hit, and I'd realize that after hockey practice and running around, I had zero time to make the meal I had planned to make - so we'd end up getting take-out instead.
Now I set realistic expectations for myself. I am not going to a big roast with potatoes and vegetables on days when we have lots of extra curricular sports, time just doesn't permit.
(Actually, let's be honest, I never cook roasts )
On busy days, I plan something simple or prepare it ahead of time. Tacos & the Crock Pot are my best friend!
[Our favourite meal on a busy night is Crockpot Chilli - You can check out my recipe HERE]
2. I GROCERY SHOP AT THE BEGINNING OF THE WEEK
On Sunday or Monday (especially on weeks when we have "the kids") I take my meal plan, and hit up the grocery store to get all the food we need for the week.
This is one of the most important elements of setting myself up for success - when we are prepared with healthy food in the fridge, the week goes more smoothly!
(And our take-out bill doesn't break the bank)
3. I PREP HEALTHY FOOD
I (try to) cut up and wash all the fruits and vegetables so they are ready for us while we are on the go! I also put them front and centre in the fridge so the they are the first thing that the kids see when they open the door.
It encourages everyone to make healthy choices!
As life has become busier, we've also started to purchase prepared food. Local fresh pressed juice and pre-made salad jars have become another one of my best friends.
4. I CUT US SOME SLACK
We are never going to be perfect! We are going to eat out, we are going to hit up the drive-thru, from time to time we are going to eat mac-n-cheese and chicken fingers and fries.
That's just life with kids.
Plus, we like our treats and I love my chocolate and wine.
So I cut us some slack, and recognize that perfection is unattainable.
Some weeks I don't get to the grocery store on Mondays, or I don't diligently plan out the meals.
Sometimes the kids refuse to eat the healthy food.
Sometimes we just want to treat ourselves and order that pizza!
We're all about the 80/20 rule (80 percent healthy and 20 percent not-so-much) - and some weeks we feel pretty good if we're hitting the 70/30.
5. WE SUPPLEMENT OUR DIET WITH A MULTI-VITAMIN
Even on our best days, I don't think we are getting all the vitamins & nutrients we truly need in our diet - which is why I'm all about the multi-vitamin! It gives me peace of mind to know that even on the busy, not so healthy days, we are still showing our body the love it deserves.
Reese and I both take Vitafusion™ MultiVitamins - and I have to say, it may be one of our favourite parts of the morning routine!
Vitafusion's gummy vitamins are chewy and so dang delicious, that it almost seems like you're having a treat!
I take the Women's Multivitamin - which is specially formulated to support the specific health needs of women, and Reese takes the L'il Critters™ Gummy Vites™, .a gummy bear shaped vitamin containing essential vitamins and nutrients for kids. Our biggest argument these days is over why she can't have more than two!
I also take Vitafusion™ Vitamin D3 Adult and Vitafusion™ Power C™ Adult Gummy Vitamins to support my immune system during cold and flu season!
So while many days I feel like I am a complete gong show, running around like a chicken with my head cut-off, living a heathy and balanced lifestyle is still a top priority!
These are the strategies that help us stay on top of our health!!
If you happen to have strategies of your own, please share them in the comments below! We're all a work in progress and there is always room for improvement.
ALSO, to help you stay on top of your health Vitafusion™ is giving away a $25 gift card to Shoppers Drug Mart.
To enter, all you have to do is tweet your top strategy for maintaining a healthy and balanced life @poptartdiaries and tag @VitafusionBalance!
GIVEAWAY is open to Canadian Residents only.