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Health & Balance

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The WebMD Healthy You Challenge: Two Mom Makeovers

WebMD's expert team helps two crazy-busy mothers transform their eating, workout, and life routines.

Help! I'm Starving for Me-Time continued...

Meals are usually a last-minute thing. Breakfast is on the run -- I grab a cereal bar and a cup of coffee on my way out the door. I eat lunch with my class at 10:45, which often consists of some chicken nuggets, rice, fruit, and iced tea. My real downfall, though, is the community chocolate jar that the teachers keep. I visit it once or twice a day. I also drink a couple of diet sodas during the day and again at night. I try to keep dinner healthy: it's meat, a veggie, and milk. But after the kids go to bed I sometimes grab another snack because dinner didn't fill me up, like a piece of bread with peanut butter.

I don't like how I look now, but I never feel like I have the time to exercise -- and I hate the gym. I did team sports in high school and college, like crew and downhill skiing, but being a gym rat doesn't appeal to me. My biggest problem is that I need some time just for me. I would love to find the time to get out and walk, or do some sort of team sport. I feel like everything I do right now is for my kids.

The nutritionist's advice

Freshen up your breakfast. You need some better choices for breakfast on the go. How about smashing a banana on whole grain flat bread, like Wasa crispbreads? (They're the size of a piece of toast and only 40 calories each.) Or add a thin spread of peanut butter to the crispbread. If you usually add cream to your coffee, switch to low- or nonfat milk. Café au lait (two-thirds coffee with one-third milk) can provide you with needed calcium and protein for staying power.

Plan satisfying meals. Make sure you are getting the protein serving you need, at least 4 or 5 ounces of chicken, meat, or fish. (Those school lunches are way too small for you -- no wonder you snack later!) Toss a salad with lots of color and variety of veggies; accessorize with small amounts of avocado, nuts, or cheese, such as crumbled blue or feta cheese, or shredded sharp cheddar. You can also top salads with egg, chicken, and tuna. Whole grains should be your go-to mantra for side dishes.

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