Fuel up, Mama! No, put down the coffee pot, put down the energy drink, put down the pep pill! Truth is, the things I just listed are nice added bonuses for extending your energy, but they’re not all that necessary. I’m going to explain why!
Let me give you a little background on myself first. I’m a wife and a mom: we have three little girls. Their ages are 4 ½, 3 and 1 ½ years old and they consume A LOT of my time and energy, but I try to keep a little in reserve for my evenings with my hubby and a little in the tank for the task of managing my demanding nutrition business! My goal in keeping my business alive and kicking is to teach as many people, especially women and moms how to be their own nutritionist.
Pretty much on a daily basis I am told by one person or another that they can’t believe I have three kids because of the way I look. My response is; I look this way because I have three kids. Because I’m an extreme optimist, I like to take that as a compliment and hope they mean that I look fit for being so “bogged” down by my children. Perhaps what they don’t understand is I am not held back by my children, but I am inspired to live more fully because of them.
Almost all women that have had the privilege of becoming a mother have felt that they would do anything for their child! This was so true for me as well. I had already become a certified nutritionist before getting married, but delved in entirely once I started having kids. I will do anything for my kids, including sacrificing unhealthy food choices in our home. The other purpose of revamping our pantry was to be able to endure the “circus”, meaning the daily task of caring for children! They bring out the best and the worst in us, right?
As we were taught in our very basic Health Ed classes, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Let’s not take that too far, they’re all important, but starting your day off right with a purposeful and powerful breakfast sets the tone for your energy and overall health of your day. To properly fuel, breakfast should be eaten within the hour of waking, in order to break the fast. The only exception to this is if you go straight to exercise, which is waking up your body in the same way. You still want to eat immediately following your workout. This isn’t always easy with kids, that’s why I said purposeful. You have to make it a priority to take care of yourself!
Another important thing to remember when “fueling up” is to combine your macronutrients(protein, carbs and fat). Combining these will not only stabilize your blood sugar bringing out the best, most necessary hormones in you, it will also cause your body to burn fat for energy. Fat is in fact the most condensed form of energy for our body to use! The combination goal, in general, should be 50% carbs, 20% protein and 25% fat. Believe me, taking care of kids will bring out the worst in those of us restricting carbs!!! Carbs are the quickest way to energy and eating them correctly paired can do no harm!
Besides the combining correctly and eating within the hour of waking, keep in mind the frequency of meals it takes to maintain that stable, happy mama mode all day. Eating every 3-4 hours will not only keep your energy levels up and keep you burning fat for energy, it will also give you back your pre-baby body much, much faster! Finally, the last important thing to remember is to even out your meal sizes. Rather than big meals and tiny snacks, try to keep all your meals relatively consistent in size. Studies show this is much more satisfying and will help us with satiety for much longer. We know our days don’t revolve around us, so be sure you’re giving yourself the best you can!
Fueling for motherhood will give you the best shot at living each day in the moment, enhance your memory for when you don’t have your camera and increase your longevity of your happy moods. This isn’t easy to keep up 100% of the time, but shooting for 75% will certainly impact mothering in a positive way!