For the last couple of years I’ve been getting more and more into health, and thinking about what we use and put into and on our bodies. I’ve always cared, but the more I find out, the more I want to know and do to help my family and I live long and healthy lives.
I think it probably all stemmed from when Ava was born and started eating solid food and I was suddenly responsible for feeding another human being and thinking about what I was putting into her tiny little belly and how it might affect her.
When you start to be interested in health and wellness it quickly becomes quite ovewhelming; all the different advice about what we should and shouldn’t be eating, is organic important, are saturated fats bad or not, is brown rice and pasta better for you than white; and I have read arguments for both sides of all of these. It is very hard to know what and who to trust and really I think you just have to try and do the best you can with what you have, minimise processed foods, minimise sugar, eat a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables and don’t deprive yourself of the thing you really want. I generally try to follow these things, drink lots of water, enjoy some wine, eat natural foods and get as much goodness into our diets as possible. I also take quite a few supplements to top me up with the things I think I am lacking or to try and help with a problem I have (Magnesium for migraines and to help with sleep for example).
For Ava we make sure she has a home-cooked dinner almost every night, gets lots of vegetables, plenty of water (it’s actually all she’ll drink), and as healthy snacks as possible. I am not particularly strict about unhealthier treats like chocolate or ice cream, especially if we are out or at someone’s house, especially if we are indulging too; but she still has them very rarely (hence we still have lots of her Easter eggs left!). I choose the best toddler snacks that are available (and do try to make my own healthy snacks, but it doesn’t happen often), with as few ingredients as possible, and at home try to offer healthier options.
I try to incorporate healthy bits into our life without it making things too difficult or inconvenient (especially as the boy generally can’t be bothered with me telling him how bad something is for him). I just get very worried hearing about the horrible and scary ingredients that are in a lot of our foods nowadays and the diseases that they are linked with, and I want to do the best for my family and for me. I have quite a few health issues and I want to help myself the best I can through my diet and exercise.
So, on that note, here are a few of my favourite ‘healthy things’ from the last month or so…
Coconut Oil: There are so many health benefits to Coconut Oil. I’ve used it for quite a while now; I use it as an oil to cook with, on my hands to help with eczema, as a body moisturiser, as a nappy rash cream on my daughter (it works amazingly well for this and you don’t have to worry about nasty ingredients) and for her eczema when she had it, and I ingest some every day to get the health benefits. I also put some in my lovely green smoothies. I love that I can scoop a spoonful out to put into a frying pan and rub whatever is left on the spoon into my hands and arms! My favourite is Lucy Bee’s Coconut Oil that I get from amazon.
Wheatgrass Powder: After my morning cup of warm lemon water and before my breakfast I have a shot of wheatgrass powder in water. Wheatgrass has loads of nutritonal benefits and although some people hate the taste and say it tastes like pond water, I think it’s fine, and even if it tasted awful I’d still drink it for the benefits. I have never actually had any fresh Wheatgrass juice, (I will as soon as I get the chance) which is the best kind to have as it is freshest; but for convenience and cost the powder is great. We also add the powder to our smoothies for extra goodness.
I Quit Sugar For Life book by Sarah Wilson: I didn’t buy this book to learn how to quit sugar; but because it looked like an interesting read, with some good, simple recipes and because it’s always good to have less sugar. I love it, there’s loads of interesting bits to read, lots of great recipes of which I’ve already made quite a few (that never happens!), great healthy snack and breakfast idea’s and brilliant ways to make healthy options fit into your everyday life. We both particularly love the Chocolate Coco-nutty clusters – I have made them a few times and although I haven’t found them that easy to get right cooking-wise, when I do they are amazing and we love them as a healthy evening snack. I almost didn’t get a look in once the boy found them.
Green Smoothies: A couple of months ago I discovered the Breville Blend-Active Personal Blender which I think is like a much cheaper version of the NutriBullet. The Breville Blender is only around £24 and it is bloody brilliant. One of the main things I love about it is that you make the smoothie in the same cup that you drink it from so all you have to wash up is the cup, its lid and the blade. It’s so easy to use and unlike my juicer (which I do love), load of different things can be thrown in to get loads of healthy stuff in there. In mine I tend to put coconut oil, wheatgrass powder, maca powder, chia seeds, flaxseed, fresh lemon juice, frozen spinach, banana, a bit of water or coconut water and sometimes a few berries if we have some. We both have smoothies a few times a week and the boy often takes his to work with him and then uses the large cup to have water in all day, which I think probably increases his water intake too!
Pilates: I have recently been going to a Pilates class at my local leisure centre, and I have been quite enjoying it as well as the aching of muscles deep inside that I didn’t know I had the next morning. At the time it doesn’t feel like you are doing a lot but I can definitely feel it the next day and I like that it feels gentle and relaxing while you are doing it. The only thing is, the class I attend is not taken too seriously and I really want to do a Pilates or Yoga class where peace, quiet and relaxation is the focus so that I can relax and unwind as well as tone my body. I am hoping to join my local gym where they have a dedicated room for Yoga and a teacher who regularly travels to India and has her own Yogi! I wouldn’t normally join an expensive gym, but it will actually cost less than two classes a week at the leisure centre and I can go to classes, and use the gym, swim and sauna. I do fancy a day of relaxing yoga, a sauna, jacuzzi, swim and maybe a chance to read a book afterwards in the cafe; sounds bloody amazing to me!
Do you do anything in particular to stay healthy? Do you have any easy little tips that you use to add some health into your daily routines? Please tell me about them in the comments, I love stuff like this!