The WebMD Healthy You Challenge: Two Mom Makeovers
WebMD's expert team helps two crazy-busy mothers transform their eating, workout, and life routines.
Four Kids and a Sweet Tooth continued...
Exercising is tough. I want to work out four times a week, but I usually end up going to the gym just four times a month. Things just keep popping up. If we're out of groceries, for example, I have to go to the grocery store instead of working out. I can go to the gym when the kids are home because there's free child care there, but sometimes just the sheer responsibility of loading four people in the car to go with me is daunting. And sometimes I just feel too tired to work out.
The nutritionist's advice
Mix it up. You need more variety in your food life. Cereal and toast are your go-to breakfast foods, but how about choosing just one of those carbohydrates and adding more protein to start your day? Two eggs scrambled with the toast will give you more staying power than butter and jelly. If it's a cereal and soy milk morning, you're getting needed protein, but try adding fresh berries or a sliced half banana in the cereal.
Mind your metabolism. It does change with age, which is why you'll want to concentrate on eating more nutrient-rich foods that are not calorie-dense, such as nonfat milk, fruits, veggies, lean meats (skinless chicken, sliced deli turkey, or roast beef), nuts in moderation, and eggs.
Upgrade your meals. You said you eat whatever you make for the kids' lunch, but you need to flip that around: Think about what's healthy for you first and the whole family will follow. So if it's a mac and cheese meal, start with whole grain pasta and add some broccoli florets or frozen peas. Kids have their specific nutrition needs and so do adult women. You need larger servings of salad or fresh vegetables for lunch and dinner. It's not enough to eat what's left over.
Plan ahead. Organize your grocery-shopping list by healthy food categories: fruit, vegetables, low-fat dairy, lean meats, and whole grains and cereals. This way you'll fill the pantry and fridge with the good foods you need to cook and serve healthy meals.