Taking Care of You!

By: Deborah Lowther take care

The weather is cooler, the days are shorter and you feel like hibernating on the couch for the winter. Don’t do it! Use this indoor time to recharge your menu planning, re start your fitness goals and re commit to new healthy habits. A few small changes can result in sounder sleep, more energy during the day, better metabolism, less colds this winter and lead to a healthier lifestyle.

It’s time to take care of YOU!

Eat Breakfast
Something as simple as eating breakfast can mean the difference between dragging yourself through the day and enjoying it with energy. Find a breakfast you will enjoy making as well as eating to ensure a greater chance of sticking with it. Some quick on-the-go suggestions include whole-wheat toast, peanut butter and an apple, a fruit and veggie smoothie or a hard-boiled egg, yogurt with berries and a glass of juice. Including fibre, protein, antioxidant rich fruit and eating within two hours of waking up kick starts your metabolism and increases your ability to concentrate, making for a healthier, more productive morning!

Know Your Supplements
Eating a well balanced diet is the best vitamin of all, but reality is most of us fall short on a few key nutrients some days. Learn the vitamins and minerals that are important for a healthy immune system such as vitamins A,C,D, E and K. Make room in your diet for foods that reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis and contain calcium and those that protect your eyes, brain and reduce the risk of heart disease like fish full of omega 3’s. Remember that Vitamin D and folic acid protect again cardiovascular disease, fibre encourages a healthy digestive system and the B vitamins are vital for helping your metabolism convert fats, protein and carbohydrates into energy as well as helping you deal with daily stress.

If you struggle to eat enough foods rich in these nutrients, consider a supplement that you enjoy taking like an all natural gummy vitamin that is fun and tasty, and store them next to your toothbrush or coffee maker so you will remember to take them on a regular basis.

I know you know. Everyone says exercise is so beneficial but there just isn’t time with a new baby, a busy big kid, a full time job, a sick parent, a travelling husband. . . . I know, I know. I have ALL of that too.  But to me, exercise is life. It is what holds me together, what makes the crazy days with kids and work and all the other life stresses, manageable.

Not to mention the fact that exercise improves the health of your heart, the strength of your muscles, the efficiency of your metabolism, the quality of your sleep and so much more.

Scheduling time in your week to get active should be as important as the kids swimming lessons and your haircut. Work out before the kids get up with an exercise DVD, or pack your runners and go for a brisk walk from the office on your lunch hour. Sign up for evening exercise classes and make sure you show up!

Meal Plan
If you plan ahead, even just a little bit, you will find it so much easier to eat healthy. Shop the produce isle, stocking up on fruits, vegetables and salad options and then make up salad in single serve containers for the next three days and put veggie sticks in containers for easy grab and go. Write down key meals for a few days each week and plan which nights you can cook, make big batches, freeze some and eat leftovers for lunch.

Make sure you are eating fish at least two nights a week, have one meatless night and include protein, vegetables, grain and dairy or a calcium rich substitute at every meal. If you have a healthy meal plan, you have a healthy meal.

Get Some Sleep
Getting enough sleep is critical to functioning well the next day but many of us work against our bodies natural desire for sleep! Stress at work, caffeine, computer screens, cell phones, TV’s and just staying up too late, all affect our natural sleep cycles.

Without enough sleep our muscles, bones and skin can’t repair themselves from the days activities, our immune system can’t stay strong to fight off viruses, we don’t fully recover from the stress of the previous day and even our metabolism can’t do it job without enough Zzz’s.

Deb Lowther is a mother of 3 young daughters who, when not running after the kids, is running in the trails! She blogs on dozens of websites about Raising Healthy Kids and ensures her own have fun while eating healthy & staying active. To read more articles and see her favorite recipes starring squash and spinach that she promises even your kids will love, visit her websites www.iron-kids.com & www.adultgummies.com or visit her on Twitter @KidsGummyMum or Facebook at IronKids.Health and Adult Essentials.

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