Motivation, Food, Exercise

At the beginning of 2013, I set a goal to eat great food. With a bed of home-grown greens, a fridge of fresh fruit, and a belly filled with energizing food, I am on the path to becoming a conscientious eater. In the past four months I have disproved several of my pre-conceived notions about healthy eating. I am gaining confidence in my ability to provide for my children through nature. Most importantly, I feel great. My whole family is benefitting from the happy feelings that accompany eating whole foods.

motivation food exercise

It is clear that motivation, food, and exercise are all tied together. As soon as I started focusing on one, the others immediately experienced a positive shift as well. Now I am gaining more and more motivation to keep eating healthful foods in order to exercise and live an energetic life. My motivation to eat healthy food is carrying into motivation to exercise. In turn, that builds a craving for more healthy food and the motivation spills into other aspects of my life. The thing is, ‘healthy’ is a loaded term and it truly is in the eye of the beholder.

To be fair, transitioning to a healthier diet has been both challenging and exciting. On the one hand, I am learning so much about the value of food on my body and for my family. From square one, I have been eager to discover the right combinations of foods that help us live an energetic lifestyle. On the other hand, I’m combatting the demons of cravings from nursing. I am so hungry that I will eat anything. I literally had to throw our food budget out the window. What I finally decided was that I should be focusing on our primary need – food. We could easily cut back on household supply costs and the clothing budget in order to add more flexibility at the market. This allows me to stock up on valuable foods when they become available. Even though I may spend more on apples than the non-organic counterpart, I know to buy them when they are in season so the overall cost is reasonable. I no longer fear the ‘organic’ label because I know what it means. Organic food has value. Since I value my body and want to help it perform, I’m making the effort to select more and more live, organic foods to fill our plates.

I have been kale-ing my husband with my new healthy focus. We are trying to establish a balance between wants and needs when it comes to foods. Obviously, eating can be an enjoyable act and I’m not sure we are ready to cut every single oreo from our diet. However, we can both agree that when we have fulfilling meal, we all benefit from added energy to carry out challenging projects and fun family activities. We’re allowing this transition time to take a while. There are foods in the cabinet that we want to use up and there are family recipes that we may never leave behind. But, the majority of the new food that we buy comes from the produce section or has a friendly organic label. I’m eager to add in more locally produced foods this summer, including the ones we grow in our own yard!

When I had the chance to attend the Philly Farm and Food Fest, courtesy of Rolling Barrel Events, I jumped at the chance to discover local vendors of wholesome farm-fresh foods and goods. It was incredible to be at a large event with so much enthusiasm for natural eating. I could feel the energy buzzing from the crowd because good food gives people energy! The best discovery for me was that West Chester hosts an Artisan Exchange every first and third Saturday to showcase local vendors in my own backyard. I am excited about cheese, chutney, and chocolate kale. I am a changed woman.

This summer, we’re loading our calendar with day trips to farms like Wyebrook Farm, Two Gander Farm, and Backyard Farmers. We’ll shop the farmer’s markets in Downingtown and West Chester and make friends with the local food distributors. We’re going to appreciate the ease of shopping at Whole Foods Markets and Kimberton Whole Foods. Most importantly, we will benefit from the satisfaction that comes from growing our own food.

I have never felt more alive than I do now that I choose to eat live food as much as I can.

I’m linking up with Motivation Monday to spread the word about how Moms find Motivation. Thanks  to our hosts:

Family Friendly Workout

This workout is sure to inspire movement and activity for the whole family. It’s something you can do inside or outside, so it’s a great activity for children on a rainy day. Actually, it’s a great activity for every day! My 5 month old does ‘Belly Time’ while the 19 month old and I go through the moves. She can’t get them all, but she is learning and following more each day. One year olds should get at least 5 minutes of age-appropriate ‘strenuous’ activity each day. Older kids need more than that. Even if you get bored from this workout, your kids won’t tire of it. They love repetition, so get ready to have fun as you watch them kick, stretch and groove along with you.

Did you know that following instructions is one of the most important skills for children to learn? Games like Simon Says are perfect for practicing this. You can also incorporate yoga or Follow the Leader. Coincidentally, “Mama May I” is a great game to play and the shop owner behind Mama May I inspired this very post. I hope that you and your girls enjoy this activity Jessica!

family workout

Copy and Paste Instructions onto your phone for a reference:

1. All Ages Yoga Stretch

Reach up high, crouch down low, stretch out as a star, crouch

5 reps

2. Sing and Move

Head and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes

(2x slow, 2x fast) 5 reps

3. Shake your Sillies Out!

Jog, high knees, or ski in place for 30 seconds

4. Arm Circles

Grape, basketball, watermelon, tire.

Forward then backward

5. Imaginary Hula Hoop

Circle hips right and left at varying speeds

6. FREEZE

Start with 5 seconds, increase each time until you get to 30 seconds

7. Tickle Box

Halfway to a 5K

A few weeks ago I started training for my first 5K run and I’m happy to report that it is going really well. I never thought it would be possible, but there are so many reasons that I am loving running. It has been easy to incorporate into my lifestyle thanks to the support of my husband. My girls are the best inspiration I could ask for. All this time I thought I wanted to run so that I could keep up with my girls as they race around with their Father. I realized that it is just as important for me to be their inspiration to run and I am finally motivated to lead the pack!

My first race is right around the corner and I am not intimidated at all. I am excited that the challenge is going to increase every day until the Chester County Turkey Trot. Ever since giving birth the first time, I have wanted to become a runner, but my second pregnancy came around too quickly to allow that. I waited after Audrey’s birth until I was literally bursting at the seams with a desire to get fit and exercise to begin training. At first, I didn’t know if I would be able to conquer my hilly neighborhood. Now I wake up each morning and am excited to take in the view during my jog. I’ve even gotten adventurous and explored the trails that surround the houses. Tackling the toughest hills on practice runs makes me eager to see what I will be able to accomplish during a flat race. It’s not easy and I’m not going fast, but those baby steps are taking me places and melting away my post-baby belly as I go.

If you’ve ever seen a post or tweet and wondered why people talk about exercise, it is done for two reasons. First of all, it makes people happy! More importantly, social networks provide amazing support and encouragement for accomplishing fitness goals. I love knowing that at any given moment someone is ready to offer a kind word or a tidbit of advice for reaching the next physical plateau. Watching others set the bar is all I need to see to know that I can and will #GetAfterIt.

 

I’m linking up with the Motivation Monday Blog Carnival. Check it out here for more.