What health means to me
Let me introduce myself. I’m a thirty something mama, living in the countryside with my husband, two little folk under five and our cat.
I have a complex relationship with food and exercise. When I was younger, eating was a necessity, a chore and something I just had to do to stay alive and I’ve had knee problems which have made exercise unenjoyable. I have allergies and intolerances which have worsened as I’ve got older, and with marriage and then the arrival of the children, I’ve had to really assess my living habits.
Firstly food. Due to my allergies and intolerances, a vegan diet hasn’t really been an option. How does one eat healthily with all that one might ask? Well here are some of the things that we do in our household.
My 5 Health Tips
1) Everything in moderation
We eat fruit, veg, carbs, meat, fish and dairy, but we don’t go mad on any of them. We try not to have meat everyday and have a little bit of everything throughout the week. With this age old adage it means there’s no guilt when we do indulge in some cake or chocolate.
2) Cook from scratch
I can’t eat things with preservatives, so this has meant stir-ins and ready meals aren’t really for us. I make all our sauces, gravies, and the like from scratch. To be honest, even if i could eat preservatives, I think I’d still do it this way. We know exactly what’s going into what we eat, because we’ve made it ourselves.
One of my favourite from scratch meals is soup. I throw in so many vegetables, the family don’t know what’s hit them, apart from that it tastes good. Sometimes we then use the leftover soup for a pasta sauce the next day. Secret sauces are the best don't you think? Anyone else grate carrot into their bolognese? No? Try it! My children wolfed theirs down and it was packed full of carrots.
3) Eat the real thing
A lot of us are trying to watch the amount of processed food we consume, but something we sometimes overlook, is that food that has been made to be low fat or diet friendly, has often been processed more or in some cases, packed full of all sorts of nasties. Every time I’m tempted to indulge in diet food, I think to myself, what have they done to this natural product to make it fat free, or spreadable etc. If you buy the real deal (even better straight from the source like a farm), you’re making sure you’re not adding unnecessary extras that aren’t good for your body into your diet.
4) If in doubt, eat a rainbow
This was something my mum told me years ago and it’s stuck with me; no you don’t need to have every colour in every meal, but making sure that you have a variety of colours in your meal, normally makes you avoid just eating one food group. If I look at my plate and it’s looking too beige then I know I need more vegetables.
5) Don’t forget exercise and wellbeing
If you think all of this is a cliche, please keep reading because it’s a cliche for a reason. We all need a certain amount of exercise as well as watching what we eat. Most of the time we just got for walks. We try and get out as much as possible and we’re even hoping to get a dog to make sure we go out every day. On top of this, I’ve started running which is doing wonders not only for my physical health (and helping my knees) but also my mental health. It’s freeing and my skin is thanking me too! No breakouts, just clear skin. It’s great.
I’m also a firm believer that being outdoors is great for the soul, so any kind of outdoor pursuit would be great! If none of these appeal…then have a dance party every now and then. Blast some music and boogie on down and get your heart rate up and let your endorphin levels spike. A little happiness goes a long way.
OVERALL: So does that all mean I don’t eat doughnuts or sweets or chocolates and exercise constantly? Unfortunately no, I DO still treat myself to the odd naughty treat because life is short and well, strawberry laces are delicious and my sofa is so comfy!
Written by @mamasparrowblog