finding balance in the fall

September 7, 2017

 

 

So, I’m going to be honest. I’m an incredibly mediocre mom. I mean well. Heck yeah, I mean well! I help my kids clean up, I jam pack their schedules with anything and everything so they grow up to be well rounded, we go outside and play when I’m not lazy, and we sort of kind of have a bedtime routine, etc. The thing with me is --- I’m really intense. There is no happy medium. I don’t just meh something. If I do something it is all the way. FULL OUT. 100%. And if I don't want to do something, I’m about as useful as a screen door on a submarine.

 

This summer was AWESOME. It was incredibly eventful – a move, basketball camp, tennis camp, Kindergarten prep, playing outside for hours, trips to the zoo, trips out of state, movies outdoors, and more – we did a lot! The kids diet.... It was NOT so awesome. I’m talking fruit snacks for breakfast, popsicles for lunch, chocolate for snack, smores for dinner, and lots of chips and marshmallows. I mean – it wasn’t like that ALL the time. We ate pizzas, burgers, fried chicken – if we weren’t eating something full of sugar, we were eating something full of salt and bad fat. When we weren’t doing something, we were rot… I mean, sitting in front of the TV watching movie after movie and episode after episode.

 

Now that the school year is starting we need to find balance. Lots of things are on our calendar, Caleb will be going to school with actual grades, I’ll be running a race, and Jay will be getting more intense language training. We need to buckle down and make smarter choices. A few weeks ago I started to gradually “detox” the family, so to speak. No, I’m not making them drink tea that makes them poop. But I am getting rid of things that could spiral into unhealthy habits later, here’s what we’re doing to detox:  

 

Increase Water  

Your body is like, 50% water or something crazy like that. My kids and I don’t like soda because we’re babies when it comes to carbonation. But that doesn’t mean we drink our 8 – 10 glasses of water a day. We’re pretty much on the verge of dehydration and drink only when we’re thirsty. I bought some adorable water bottles for the kids and told them their “job is to drink two of these before bed”. They like working towards a physical goal. Sometimes they forget, but it’s really easy for me to keep track of how much water they’re drinking when each kid has a designated water bottle.

 

Increase actual Interaction

There would be days where my kids and I wouldn’t speak to each other for a few hours because we’re glued to the TV or some sort of screen. If your TV is on from the moment you wake up from the moment you sleep (guilty!!!!) Try slowly weaning yourself off. Start by turning it off at meal times first. Then gradually move to the morning. Then turning it on only in the morning. Try only turning it on at night and playing all day. OR! Go all day without turning on your TV or a screen once. Talk and hang out with your kids. Play WITH your kids instead of watching them play. This is a lot easier when the kids are in school all day and you miss them.

 the kids -- forever watching TV. 

 

Increase your Vitamin D

Fresh air and sunshine does wonders for the body. Are you mad? Go outside. Are you unmotivated? Go outside. Do you love being anti-social? That’s great! Me too, but you can also be anti-social outside! Nature increases brain function. When I used to teach, I would send my kids on an extra long recess during testing season so they could get all their wiggles out and fresh, new, oxygenated blood rushes to their brains! Whenever the kids are getting on my nerves, we load up the stroller and go for a walk. We always come back in a better mood than when we left.

 

Decrease sodium

As a Filipino family, this is INCREDIBLY hard for us. Soy Sauce. Fish Sauce. Salt. Fried things. Pork. Fried Pork. Whatever it is that’s bad for you, we’ve probably made a food out of it. Since I’m not willing to give up the yumminess that the Philippines has blessed with the world the world with (Did you know that Filipino food is suddenly becoming trendy!? Whaaaaat.) we’re just swapping out high sodium foods for lower sodium alternatives. I cook with salt free seasoning, low sodium soy sauce, and instead of frying everything we’re baking things. Lumpia is STILL good if you bake it, then broil it. Chicken adobo is just as good with low sodium soy sauce!

 

Decrease sugar

We watched this documentary that talked about how sugar is in almost everything and how the government regulates sugar and all this crazy nonsense. As a family that ate ice cream, cookies, fruit snacks, and other sugary foods every single day – let me tell you that this was probably THE hardest part to detox. We started out slow, of course. We stopped buying cookies after we ate them all. We stopped with the donuts and the cakes and the sugary granola bars. We started eating eggs or fruit instead of sugary marshmallow-y cereal or waffles. We were GOING STRONG. But we couldn’t stop eating ice cream. We tried hard to break the habit. We got some protein ice cream that tasted HORRIBLE and ended up going to back to the sugary ice cream again!

 

On our weekly grocery trip, we walked through the frozen section and these Outshine Fruit Bars [click for a coupon for 75 cents off!] caught Jay’s eye. If you know Jay, it’s unreal how much he loves ice cream (or cereal… or chips and salsa..) He checked the label and threw it in the cart.

 

These fruit bars are made with good stuffREAL fruit, no GMOs, and there’s no high fructose corn syrup. We love to eat these after playing outside or if we’re in need of a snack. We eat one for dessert every day after dinner. Yes, there’s still sugar in it because it’s made with real fruit and fruit has sugars in it – but my kids aren’t bouncing off the walls and it doesn’t take them an hour to wind down before bed. It’s a completely guilt free snack in our house! We’re not totally sugar free and we don’t plan on being completely sugar free but we did cut down A LOT. 

 

 

Now that school is in full swing, it’s easier to reign in the chaos that was summer. Does your family need to detox from an over indulgent summer? What are some tips that help you get back on track? 

 

 

 

 

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