Finding A Healthier You

Becoming a mom is one of the most physically gruelling things you can do to your body, though sadly without the end result of washboard abs or a pert booty. When you have a young family, it’s so easy to let fitness fall on your list of priorities but this only leads to low self-esteem and even lower energy levels.. You can make the decision to prioritise your fitness regime, and one that works for you by making smart choices, and working out for a small period of time, every day. Here are some ways you can do so quickly, and effectively, even with a busy lifestyle.

Image by Sangudo used under the Creative Commons license.

Power walk to victory

Walking is the best thing you can do for your body to slowly build strength and fitness without putting unnecessary stress on it. If you can’t neglect your everyday chores to make time for a stroll, then build walking into your day’s routine. Park a few blocks away from the supermarket and make up the distance on foot. Walk the kids to school if it’s in the local neighbourhood, vow to take the dog on a brisk walk every morning, and make play dates with other moms for a stroll rather than a sedentary hour in the park. At the weekend, a hike is the perfect way for your family to get healthy together. Make sure everyone is well-equipped with good quality walking socks and boots, and work together to navigate to make it engaging.

Add a Multivitamin Complex

Our body does not always get all that it needs from our diets and lifestyle, so we sometimes need to give it a helping hand. Adding a multi vitamin from Epsilon Life could be the answer if we feel we need to give our immune and digestive system a boost. Epsilon’s Multivitamin and Mineral complex is Vegan certified, and  has, among other ingredients Iron, B-complex, Ginkgo Biloba and Ginseng. It will give you all the vitamins you need in one tablet, and not only will you feel better, but you will look better too, with healthier looking hair and skin.

Resolve to eat well

Your fitness is about 30% exercise and 70% diet, so the importance of what foods you choose to put in your body cannot be overstated. If you have a busy lifestyle, aim to eat small meals, often, to sustain energy and concentration. Ditch sugary, processed food, and anything you have been using as a crutch to get you through the day, whether it’s that third cup of coffee, cans of diet soda or chocolate bars. Exercise and a positive attitude will eventually replace these. Snack on fruit, veg, boiled eggs, nuts and cottage cheese, and whatever you do, don’t skip breakfast.

Make some time for you

You can power walk and chow down on granola bars all day long, but if you’re mentally frazzled, it probably won’t help much. Allocate a set time every day (or every few days) which is just for you. This might be an hour in which you go for a massage. You may want to indulge in an evening yoga class, or spend the morning painting. It could be a creative writing class, or a book group. Whatever it is that helps you reconnect with yourself, make time for it. Your sense of personal well-being depends on it.

 

 

Tips to help Nocturnal Mums to better sleep

When you become a parent, it suddenly becomes hard to remember what a good night’s sleep, a full eight hours, actually felt like. Feeding throughout the night, night’s full of tears, of teething, of croup, all these things mean that real sleep can feel like a thing of the past. And this doesn’t really change as they begin to get a little older and pass the baby/toddler stage. Joe is now 6, visits the toilet at least twice each night, sometimes has night terrors or just sleep walks. I find that with the exception of an odd, much needed lie-in, I never get more than 5 hours sleep per night. Despite all this, some nights I still find it hard to get to sleep. So how can you avoid being a nocturnal mommy and ensure you get the most from the sleep you get?

sleepless-nights sleep

Here are a few tips…

1. Make that bedroom an oasis of calm – no television, no mobile phones, definitely no social media – you really do not need to be checking Facebook and Twitter before you go to sleep. It’s a bedroom, not another extension of your office – remember that.

Not in the bedroom

Not in the bedroom!

2. Comfortable pillows are a must for me. Not too many to give me a neck ache when I wake up, but soft and fluffy enough to lull me to sleep.

3. A good mattress for both you and baby. Naturalmat,  sum this up perfectly here “Every moment spent in bed is precious and a good mattress can make all the difference to having a good nights sleep.” A good duvet of the correct tog is also important, you need to choose one that suits the season, too thick and you will be uncomfortable and too hot to sleep, too thin and you will just feel cold all night. Try to choose an anti-allergy duvet which protect your bedding against dust mites and bacteria.

The Splendid Spring mattress from Naturalmat

4. Try to unwind before bed. Have a bath with Lavender bath oils, drink a glass of warm milk, turn off that social media and maybe unwind with a chapter from a soothing, romantic book. Whatever it is that relaxes you – do it.

Lavender is a great aid to sleep - in oils, in pillows, as a bath oil - give it a try.

Lavender is a great aid to sleep – in oils, in pillows, as a bath oil – give it a try.

5. Don’t go to bed hungry. If you tummy is rumbling, you won’t get to sleep, it’s as simple as that. Have a light snack, something like toast, let it settle, and then go to bed. Avoid cheese through – it’s supposed to give you nightmares (although I’m guessing that’s an old wives tale…)

If all else fails, get up, watch a bit of TV, relax and then try again. There is no point in lying there listening to the other half snoring his way across the night, you will just become more frustrated and more tired.

What are your tips for a good nights sleep? What do you do if you are awake when you should be asleep?

Saving for Joe’s future

I sometimes find it hard to remember the days ‘BJ’, that is, before Joe. But one thing I do remember clearly is just how much disposable income we had, money to spend on frivolities like clothes and make-up, eating out, excessive amounts of shopping that we didn’t need, and holidays. These days it seems that every penny is accounted for and earmarked and most of it seems to be earmarked for Joe.

Earmarked for Joe? Yes, it has to be said, it costs a fortune being a mom to a football mad boy. Each month we spend around £100 on his football training and subs. He has a season ticket at West Bromwich Albion which is another £50 a year. His feet won’t stop growing, so it seems new boots are needed every couple of months, and they have to be Puma or Nike, and then there are the new football strips, wanted (new design of course) and needed (why won’t his legs stop growing – is my boy part giraffe?). Add into this the Fifa points that I seem to be buying every week, the school trips and residentials, and the fact I need to remortgage in order to do the food shop and it is clear, being a mom of a boy is very expensive, and it will only get more expensive, which is why I’m already thinking towards the future.

The dreaded Fifa

New Goals

Football with his team

We’re not wealthy by any means, so Joe can’t exactly have a trust fund, but there are ways to make sensible savings towards the future, even if it is only a small sum each month. One way where you can not only save money, but can also allow it to grow is by opening a Junior Isa Account. There are two kinds of Junior Isa’s, a Junior cash Isa and a Junior Stocks and Shares Isa. The main difference between a junior Isa and an adult Isa is that the junior Isa does belong to your child, money cannot be removed until your child reaches the age of 18, and this is what makes them perfect as a way of saving towards their first car or University costs.

The regular Junior Isa account earns interest like a savings account, and you can deposit up to £4,260 per year into the ISA, which could create a nice little nest egg by the time your child is 18. If you opt for the Junior Stocks and shares Isa, then your money is invested in financial markets with the aim of earning returns for investors that are greater than those you would get in a Junior Cash ISA. There is obviously some level of risk involved, but your returns could be much greater too, so it is definitely something to weigh up.

With university fees being so expensive, most establishments now charging the maximum amount of £9,000+, it would be good to have some money set aside to help with this, or with a deposit for a first home or a car if your child decides against university.

Do you have any savings put by for your child’s future? What are you saving for?