Iwas walking in my neighborhood with my good friend Bernadette who recently had two gorgeous twins. We were talking about how she and her husband manage to balance the family needs with their busy work schedules. I reminded her how important it is for new moms to make a little time for themselves, even though their babies are the focus! So, I started wondering – what is the best way to fit in health this fall when she’ll be spending more time at the office? As a new mom who works full-time, what would be realistic? “How about a 10-minute fix, all things you could do in just 10 minutes a day,” I said as we headed to the park with her little ones, Claudito and Amaya.
Salads are a great way to get veggies without cooking. I’ve been enjoying salads every night with my dinners over the summer and I know Bernie hits the salad bar a lot at work. Here are some things that you can add to your salads that will boost the nutrition and give your salads more variety. Take 5 minutes to pack it ahead in zipper lock bags. It’s ready to grab and go as you head off to work.
- Handful of almonds. Almonds are high in vitamin E, protein and have fiber and calcium, all things that a new mom needs to replenish her body!
- Canned beans, well rinsed like black beans, garbanzo, and kidney. Beans are heart-healthy and an excellent source of fiber.
- Add some brown rice. Left-over, plain steamed brown rice is a great way to add whole grains to your salad. They are chewy in texture and full of fiber. So next time you order out for Chinese, get the steamed brown rice or make extra if you cook at home.
- Add a little sweetness. Dried fruit like raisin, cranberries, and chopped prunes go great with almost any salad and they are loaded with antioxidants that you’ll need to fight fall colds and sniffles.
Meditate on It
Meditation is a big part of yoga and many health experts and spiritual leaders alike toot the benefits. Why does meditation help? Clearing your mind gives you perspective on the important things. So when new moms are feeling overloaded and stretched, they learn not to sweat the small stuff and leave those tasks for another day. A clear mind also helps you to work efficiently so that you can work faster and be more organized.
Here’s an easy 5-minute meditation. Find a quiet place and sit in a comfortable cross-legged position. Light a small candle if you like, I like white candles. Set an egg timer or watch for 5 minutes. Bring your forefinger and thumb together and close your eyes. Breathe in a out as slowly as you can from your nose and stop fretting! Clear your mind of thoughts as best you can and relax the muscles in your forehead. Don’t get upset if thoughts wander in and out, let them come and go as if you are watching waves move on a beach. When you hear your timer, open your eyes and think of one thing or many things that makes you feel grateful.
Hydration is key for me. Sometimes when I think I’m hungry, I’m actually feeling thirst. As your work days become more hectic, it’s easy to forget to drink water. Take 10 minutes to shop for a sports bottle to take to work and place on your desk. Reaching for that extra cup of coffee might be more natural, especially as the weather gets colder, but don’t forget the water too and fill up your sports bottle! Drinking hot water with fresh lemon is a great way to get extra vitamin C and have your “hot drink” fix if you want to avoid caffeine. Take 5 minutes to outfit your work desk with teas and sugar-free cocoa that will come in handy when the weather gets cold.
- Want to cook healthy, vegetable-packed meals for your kids but can’t get them to eat veggies? Check out Deceptively Delicious and learn how to hide healthful veggies in all your kid’s favorite meals.
- Concerned about your child’s weight as they head into the new school year? Start it out right. Learn more from top nutritionist Joy Bauer’s Healthy Bite.