10 Steps to Healthy Living (it may not be what you think!)

What comes to mind when thinking of “healthy living”?  When I say healthy I don’t mean we need to be at our ideal weight, or on a super strict diet…I mean we need to be pursuing health so that we can be the best version of ourselves.  In this article, I’m going to give you ten things you can start doing right now to help kickstart this movement!  I know what you’re thinking…TEN?!

Well, here’s the thing:

Baby steps still move you forward.

With those baby steps in mind, I encourage you to just hone in on one or two keys on this list that aren’t currently a practice in your life. Simply start there.  Have grace for yourself and dare to begin!

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1.Be kind to yourself!

Yes, I did this one first for a reason.  I know for me personally, I am the harshest with myself.  I “speak” to myself in a way I would never in one million years speak to a friend.  I truly think living a healthy life starts with treating yourself like you would treat a friend!  This is a process, no perfection required.  Be kind!

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2. Get your sleep

Research has shown that our bodies actually need 7-9 hours of sleep per night.  If we really paid attention, so much of poor health can be linked back to lack of sleep. Just like we often remind our children that they need to go to bed because this is when our bodies heal and recharge, we sometimes need to remind ourselves the same!  Set an alarm on your phone at a certain time and label it “shut it down” . Start winding down from your work/your phone each night 30 minutes earlier than normal and allow your body the rest it needs to thrive.

RELATED ARTICLES:

How a Digital Sunset Will Help You Sleep (+ 4 Other Sleep-Better Tips)

How Time Blocking Changed My Life

3. Drink plenty of water

This is a great challenge for yourself to start your day with a glass of water.  My health coach painted this picture for me that after sleeping, our insides “need a shower” and that’s what a big glass of water will do.  Make it a point to drink water throughout your day and see how it makes you feel.  Also more water typically equals less caffeine, which is never a bad thing. Note: If you struggle drinking water, spice things up with lemon, lime, fresh berries, or a sprig of something yummy!

RELATED ARTICLE:

Three Tricks to Help You Look Rested

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4. Fuel your body

So much of what we put in our bodies determines how we feel.  Our body digests foods at different speeds and can tremendously affect how we feel. Changing the lifestyle of my eating has drastically improved my quality of life.  It’s not about losing weight, dieting, or looking a certain way - it’s about how you feel!  When we are fueling our bodies with whole foods (not processed), we have more energy and “fuel” for our days.

RELATED ARTICLE:

10 Healthy Snack Ideas

5. Establish a morning routine

I fought this one so hard, but establishing a morning rhythm has allowed me to start my day in a healthy way.  I started by making a list of what my “idea” morning would be, and then worked from there.  It’s important to remember this is not a check list, or a to do list but simply a routine (or rhythm) allows our minds to take a rest.  It leaves room for creative space, increases productivity, frees up time.  YES!

RELATED ARTICLE:

Let’s Talk Exhaustion & Morning Routines

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6. Live uncluttered

I truly believe that our physical surroundings affect our inner life.  Clearing the clutter of our physical space, clears up mental space and gives us time back.  Healthy living and living uncluttered go hand in hand in my book.

RELATED ARTICLE:

Living an Uncluttered Life

7. Create a support system

Living a healthy lifestyle alone is so much harder than living it alongside someone else.  Ideally, our partners would be seeking to live a healthy lifestyle with us - but if your partner isn’t on board yet, find a friend or sister to come alongside of you.  Having the support and accountability is everything.

RELATED:

Have you joined our Private FB Community full of other Working Moms Yet?

8. Move your body!

Again, this isn’t about losing weight or looking your best but it’s about how you feel.  Find something that you love and go for it.  Maybe it’s a group class, an at home video, getting outdoors…..moving your body will help you feel good and give you energy.

RELATED ARTICLES:

At-Home Workout: 15-minute HIIT cardio (video)

At-Home Workout: 7 Exercises for Postpartum Core Recovery

Quick 10-Minute Beginner Ab Workout for Moms (Video)

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9. Establish a Quiet Zone

Take time away from your phone, the noise, your work….this is so important especially as women who are juggling so much.  If we never stop, we will burn out.  Setting aside an intentional time each week to set away from the never ending responsibilities to just BE will do so much for your health and wellness.  I’m challenging you!

RELATED:

Head over and read the text in this Instagram post about Creating a “Zone of Silence” twice a day.

10. Set your intentions

This is so much a mind game, y’all.  I promise that living a healthy life is possible for you, but you have to decide that for yourself!  Be intentional, set yourself goals or intentions and just dare to begin!

RELATED ARTICLE:

How to Actualize (Not Just Visualize) Success

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I believe in you!  You are one step away from living a healthy life…all you have to do is dare to begin. 

Forever cheering for you, Wynne


READ MORE ABOUT  WYNNE  (AND ALL OUR AMAZING CONTRIBUTORS) BY HEADING TO  THE & GALS  SECTION

READ MORE ABOUT WYNNE (AND ALL OUR AMAZING CONTRIBUTORS) BY HEADING TO THE & GALS SECTION

WRITTEN BY WYNNE ELDER: PHOTOGRAPHER, WRITER, ENCOURAGER, & COMMUNITY BUILDER.

Quick 10-Minute Beginner Ab Workout for Moms (Video)

 

Hey ladies! Teresa here.

I just wanted to pop in real quick and remind you that whether the idea of working out completely stresses you out or you’ve been committed to exercise for years, Lindsey’s videos rock.

Why? Well for lots of reasons but mainly because:

1.Her kind enthusiasm shines through and you really do feel like you can push out more reps or power through longer than if you were working out on your own.

2. Her workouts range in difficulty but are doable for anyone at basically any level. #notscary

3. You can do them from home…or even your hotel room while traveling!! Gym membership not required!

Ready to dive in with Lindsey? Good. This one is fantastic.

xo, Teresa


Hi everyone, I’m so excited to share these nine core strengthening exercises. These were, and still are, some of my favorite ab exercises to do at home. I created this 10-minute ab workout during my maternity leave as these ab exercises specifically helped me re-build my core and pelvic floor post-baby.

If you’d like to view the full 10-minute beginner ab workout, complete with details and links to products I love, head on over to the full post here!

NOTE: having a hard time seeing the video above? Head on over to YouTube and watch this 10-Minute Beginner Ab Workout there instead!

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This workout was specifically created with two groups of people in mind: those who are beginning their fitness journey (welcome!!), and new moms who are postpartum, postnatal and post-baby. 

If you don’t fall into those two categories you can absolutely still give this 10-Minute Beginner Ab Workout video a try. But know that there are several additional ab and core workouts on my blog too. If you’re more advanced, this 7-Minute Abs Workout for Women and this 10-Minute Butt and Abs Stability Ball Workout are personal favorites.

BTW, you’ll see I’m using a spongeball to do this workout….but don’t worry if you don’t have one. You can always grab a throw pillow from the couch or even a toy ball from your kid’s room, they work just as well!

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When performing each exercise, your goal should be holding each one for 45-60 seconds. If that’s too much, it’s ok! Don’t give up, just work your way up to it!

If you do this 10-minute Ab Workout for Moms two or three times a week, you should totally pat yourself on the back. You’re on your way! By doing these exercises consistently, you’ll rebuild your core strength and tighten your belly. I know you’ll be excited about that!

Ready for more of a challenge? Head on over and find the perfect workout for you!

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View more of Lindsey’s videos, exercises, and more at Nourish Move Love!

READ MORE ABOUT  LINDSEY  (AND ALL OUR AMAZING CONTRIBUTORS) BY HEADING TO  THE & GALS  SECTION.

READ MORE ABOUT LINDSEY (AND ALL OUR AMAZING CONTRIBUTORS) BY HEADING TO THE & GALS SECTION.

WRITTEN BY LINDSEY BOMGREN: FITNESS EXPERT, BLOGGER, VLOGGER, AND CONTENT CREATOR.

10 Healthy Snack ideas (and what you didn't know about pre-packaged stuff)

We are living in a pre-packaged world, which means we’ve GOT to be more intentional about creating healthful children. As families become increasingly busy, we look for quick ways to feed our families with foods that our kids will love as well as provide them balanced nutrition. Sadly, much of even the prepackaged fruit and veggies have things added to them, usually to preserve their color and freshness for longer. But if we dig in to what those preservatives are…most of it really is not stuff we want in our bodies.

If you’re thinking, “Well that’s great…but my kids just won’t eat healthy food like this” then I just want to encourage you to know that just like everything in life, it might take time, but we need to teach them how to live well. And because of this, that time is worth it.

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When my kids were really young, I was told that it takes many interactions with a food before kids adjust to them.

In fact, recently a dietician I met with told me 40-50 times.

But let me say one very important thing:

There is no substitute for fresh fruits and vegetable. Period. Full-stop. Let’s just start by being honest. Our kids need it and they simply aren’t getting enough.

Today, with my children, we are a mostly plant-based home and even so, I am still very concerned about my kids’ veggie intake.

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I’ve come up with a few suggestions for quick snacks on the go (and most of them you can have Amazon Primed to your doorstep!). Yes, some of them require prepping but 15 minutes of prepping on a Sunday can change the game. And hey, get the kids involved…create an assembly line. You do the cutting and they pack the veggies.

 Here are my top 10 right now:

1.     Veggie sticks:

Carrot sticks, celery, snap peas, sugar peas, bell pepper slices with hummus or nut butter.

SIDE NOTE: Baby carrots are washed in a chlorine-bleach solution to clean them (!!!). You have to decide what you are comfortable with but in our home, we strive to eliminate as many chemicals as possible. My kids love the many colorful varieties of heirloom carrots so I cut them myself.

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 2.     Bare Products

a. Bare Sea Salt Beet Chips:

You would be surprised what you could do with veggies that aren’t looking as fresh as they once were and a dehydrator but if you are in a pinch, try beet chips. They are a great combination of lightly sweet and salty. This brand is made with only two ingredients: beets and sea salt, you can’t beet that!

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b. Bare Apple Chips:

Just apples. That’s it! We just love these. Oh! And I should tell you that Trader Joe’s has dehydrated apple rings and banana chips that my kids love, too. We call them “sometimes food” because they could literally eat them All. Day. Long.

 3.     SeaSnax Roasted Seaweed:

I love this brand because not only are they organic but they use olive oil instead of canola. Nori is a good source of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc. Seaweed is a vegetarian source of DHA. And they naturally contain sodium…whereas most brands add more for flavor. Their tagline is “strangely addictive” and my kids would agree! (They even have Lime, Barbecue, Jalepeno, and other flavors in addition to the Original!)

 4.     Fruit:

Seriously… fruit doesn’t go out of style. If we can get our kids to crave and choose whole fruit, we’ve won! Eat more plants!

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 5.     Biena Sea Salt Chickpea Snacks:

Chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans), sea salt and sunflower oil make this a better alternative to chips. Folate and protein are added benefits. These are a favorite because they taste fantastic! So easy to grab a handful while working or running out the door. Yay for easy snacks!


6.     Once Upon A Farm Pouches:

Every ingredient used is sustainably grown, certified USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, and can be traced right back to the source. Their food is kept simple and doesn’t contain preservatives, colors, concentrates or added sugars.

SIDE NOTE: Much of the fruits and veggies that are used in Once Upon A Farm comes from co-founder, Jennifer Garner’s family farm in OK!

 7.     Figgy Pops:

I mean, so many good things to say about this brand. Kids love sweet things, let’s get real. The ingredients are real and they don’t skimp on last. These unbaked energy balls are a sweet treat for after school or a kids lunch box.

 8.     Super Seedz Pumpkin Seeds:

You don’t have to wait until Halloween to enjoy these guys! Did you know that pumpkin seeds contain anti-oxidants like Carotenoids and Vitamin E? They can reduce inflammation and flight free radicals. They are also linked to a reduced risk of certain cancers and they are high in magnesium.

And helloooo…curry, cinnamon sugar, and even a dark chocolate and sea salt? Major yum.

 9.  Chia Pod:

My goodness, how I love these. Chia pudding is really fantastic. Chia seeds and pure coconut milk, blended with vanilla bean and a pinch of cinnamon. This simple combo is my favorite but the company offers several lovely flavors. Chia helps to sustain energy, improve digestive and heart health. This power packed seeds provide a lot of nutrition that modern diets really lack.

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 10.  Rhythm Superfoods Kale Chips:

This brand is the absolute yummiest. And while kale was the sexy green food for a minute, don’t let trends tell you that it’s out. Kale is still a nutrient beast. I know you may not believe me when I tell you how easy these are to make (I really do promise), but if you’d like to try your hand at it, here’s a favorite recipe!


 We cannot possibly control everything that goes into our kids mouths, but we are the ones who work hard for the money and buy the groceries.

When my kids are 18 they can make all the choices but today, I am doing my level best to fill them with as much colorful goodness as possible.
— Kiesha Yokers

READ MORE ABOUT  KIESHA  (AND ALL OUR AMAZING CONTRIBUTORS) BY HEADING TO  THE & GALS  SECTION

READ MORE ABOUT KIESHA (AND ALL OUR AMAZING CONTRIBUTORS) BY HEADING TO THE & GALS SECTION

KIESHA IS A PASSIONATE SUPPORTER OF SOCIAL EQUALITIES THROUGH HEALTH AND HOLISTIC LIVING

At-Home Workout: 7 Exercises for Postpartum Core Recovery

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Toward the end of my first pregnancy, I remember looking down, wondering if I’d ever see my feet again. A few months later, I stood in the shower realizing I may be able to see my toes, but still wanted to cry because my tummy was so squishy (why don’t they tell you that we still look a few months pregnant after our sweet babies are born?!).

Getting our pre-pregnancy bodies back takes work. It took about 10 months for our bellies to swell, yet we’re frustrated when a few sit-ups don’t flatten it back down. I wish I’d known Lindsey a decade ago when I struggled to get back to “normal” but I’m thrilled that you get to reap the benefits of knowing her!

- Teresa Swanstrom Anderson, Founder.

 

If you don’t already know Lindsey Bomgren, you need to! This amazing mama’s site is chock-full of incredible fitness videos, healthy recipes, and faith-filled devotionals. The below workout was originally published on Nourish Move Love. To view the full post, please visit 7 Exercises for Postpartum Core Recovery + Diastasis Recti on Nourish Move Love.


If you’re pregnant or have had a baby, you’re well aware that pregnancy does a number on your body. Your muscles are pulled, stretched, and challenged in ways they’ve never been before. And post-pregnancy, you feel it!

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A lack of core strength can manifest in different symptoms, such as back and hip pain.

Rebuilding your core, specifically your transverse abs {as opposed to the rectus abdominus, six-pack muscles} and pelvic-floor muscles, is a great first step to take when you’re feeling ready to get active postpartum.

I say this will all my workouts, but it’s especially important with prenatal and postpartum workouts. If you have any concerns, or if you’re starting a fitness program for the first time, please consult your doctor or midwife. 


Note: If you think you may have Diastasis Recti, please head to this full post for resources and suggestions so you don’t mis-diagnose yourself.

If you’re having trouble seeing the above video, try watching it on YouTube.

Perform each exercise for 30 seconds, repeat x 2 sets for a 7-minute postpartum workout.

Note, start where you are and do what you can. Maybe you start by performing the first three exercises for 20-30 seconds, rest and repeat. Then slowly add on exercise 4, then 5, and progress your way up to completing all seven exercises. And you can always work up to performing these exercises for 45-60 seconds. 

  1. Lying Heel Tap + Leg Lift

  2. Lying Bent Knee Pulls

  3. Elevated Bent Knee March

  4. Elevated Leg Extension + Leg Drop

  5. Elevated Leg Extension + 2 Circles

  6. Elevated Bent Knee V-Taps {2 count on the way down and up}

  7. Elevated First Position Kick Outs {2 count on the kick out and return}

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To view the full workout along with an explanation of each exercise, as well as modifications please visit 7 Exercises for Postpartum Core Recovery + Diastasis Recti on Nourish Move Love.

Read more about  Lindsey  (and all our amazing contributors) by heading to  The & Gals  section.

Read more about Lindsey (and all our amazing contributors) by heading to The & Gals section.

WRITTEN BY LINDSEY BOMGREN: FITNESS EXPERT, BLOGGER, VLOGGER, AND CONTENT CREATOR.

How a Digital Sunset Will Help you Sleep (+ 4 Other Sleep-Better Tips)

We wear busyness like a badge of honor…but we often (crazily enough) do the same thing with the amount of sleep we get! Somehow we’ll convince ourselves that four, five, or six hours is enough and that we may be a little tired, but that’s just what motherhood is about: being exhausted.

What if I told you that shouldn’t be true? Sure, there are seasons when we have an infant and they’re waking up every few hours. Or one of our children is sick. Or perhaps we have a really big project due at work so we’re staying up well after the rest of the family, to work on it. There are times when lack of sleep is just reality.

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But here’s the thing: lack of sleep should NOT be a constant. Our very health depends on it.

As you know, moms simply don’t have time to get sick.

We all know we should be getting eight hours of sleep. Recent studies though, have told us that ten hours is actually what is optimal. I know what you’re thinking: Not. Possible. But hang on for a minute and see if you can do some of these things to help you get closer to that amount:

DIGITAL SUNSET

Before the invention of Thomas Edison’s lightbulb, people would go to bed when the sun went down. Let’s do the same thing and pose a “digital sunset.” When the sun goes down, you may not be able to completely turn off all lights in your house, but dim them down, or even turn some off so you can start telling your mind it’s time to start winding down.

Similarly, turn off your devices. I know, I know…this is where you say, “But I want to relax in front of the TV” or “I need my laptop after the kids go down.” I get it. I’ve been there and have said all the same things. But listen, we’re talking about getting the best and most sleep, right? And this is unfortunately a big part of it.

I know watching late-night Office or Gilmore Girl reruns is appealing but even with blue-blocking glasses and the Night Shift setting on our phones, we’re still messing up our melatonin and sleep will be sub-par.

INSTEAD

Go to bed early. Again, I know you’re going to want to stop reading right here. “This article isn’t for me”, you’re thinking. Just listen. I am not a morning person. At ALL. But my husband asked me to do a little experiment a few years ago.

He asked me to go to bed between nine and ten (I know, so early!) and read an actual book instead of a show on my laptop or scrolling Instagram on my phone. He asked me to work on my work-projects in the morning when my mind was fresh, rather than at night when I was exhausted and sometimes (ok often) irritable.

Begrudgingly I tried it.

And as much as I don’t want to admit it, my sweet husband was right. I’m sleeping better, deeper, and I wake up more rested in the morning…which means I’m not only more effective at work but kinder and more patient with my family.

Want more tips?

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Power Sleep: The Revolutionary Program That Prepares Your Mind for Peak Performance By Dr. James B. Maas is a phenomenal book that shares about sleep studies, sleep strategy, and so much more (think a book about sleep will actually put you to sleep? Not this one)!

For example:

ONE:

“Identify the amount of sleep you need to be fully alert all day long and get that amount every night.”

“At minimum most people absolutely need to obtain at least sixty to ninety minutes more sleep than they presently get.”

TWO:

“Go to bed at the same time every night, and wake up without an alarm clock at the same time every morning, including weekends. That’s 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Regularity is important for setting and stabilizing your internal sleep-wake clock.”

THREE:

“For sleep to be rejuvenating you should get your required amount of sleep in one continuous block.”

FOUR:

“Pay back your sleep debt in a timely fashion. Make up for any lost sleep as soon as possible.”

READ MORE ABOUT  TERESA  (AND ALL OUR AMAZING CONTRIBUTORS) BY HEADING TO  THE & GAL  GUIDES SECTION

READ MORE ABOUT TERESA (AND ALL OUR AMAZING CONTRIBUTORS) BY HEADING TO THE & GAL GUIDES SECTION

WRITTEN BY TERESA SWANSTROM ANDERSON: AUTHOR, SPEAKER, AND FOUNDER OF THE & SOCIETY

At-Home Workout: 15-minute HIIT cardio (video)

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Let’s be honest…many of us don’t workout very often because we don’t have time. Or maybe we simply don’t make time. But here’s the thing: we need to do it. We have to.

We’re working-moms but we can still be fun-moms, right?! And in order to be fun, we need to have both the energy and physical ability to get out and play with our kids when we’re home.

When we’re traveling or short on time, Lindsey’s 15-minute HIIT cardio videos are perfect. They’re high intensity and yes, it might take a little while to get to her pace, and that’s ok!

Because dear friend…just start. Today. Don’t wait for January, don’t wait for Monday. Just start where you’re at and in the season you’re in. Let’s be healthy for our kids and show them they can be, too!

- Teresa Swanstrom Anderson, Founder.

 

If you don’t already know Lindsey Bomgren, you need to! This amazing mama’s site is chock-full of incredible fitness videos, healthy recipes, and faith-filled devotionals. The below workout was originally published on Nourish Move Love. To view the full post, please visit FULL WORKOUT VIDEO: 15-Minute HIIT Cardio Workout on Nourish Move Love.


Hey Friends! I know as major #momboss ladies, time is of the essence…but did you know you can actually get a good workout in 15 minutes?! It’s true! The below video will take you through a heart-pumping, calorie burning, 15-minute HIIT cardio workout. The best part? You don’t need any equipment, just your bodyweight. That means you can work out from home or on the road…a hotel room works great, too!

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Wondering what the HIIT part means? Before sweating it out, let’s chat for a second about why this exercise is so effective!

High intensity interval training {HIIT} is proven to be one of the most effective forms of exercise for burning maximum calories in a short amount of time. Hence why it’s my go-to if I’m short on time. Also a great ‘finisher’ at the end of a strength-based workout to help you burn calories hours after your workout.

Note: want HIIT Cardio FAQs? Then head here to Lindsey’s full post.

Use the workout video below to follow along with this 15-Minute HIIT Cardio Circuit in real time. I’ll coach you through each exercise and sweat alongside you.

To view the full workout along with a printable screenshot of each exercise please visit FULL WORKOUT VIDEO: 15-Minute HIIT Cardio Workout on Nourish Move Love.

Yay…you just heightened your productivity today, nicely done mama! Don’t forget to stretch before heading to the shower!

To view the full workout along with a printable screenshot of each exercise please visit FULL WORKOUT VIDEO: 15-Minute HIIT Cardio Workout on Nourish Move Love.

READ MORE ABOUT  LINDSEY  (AND ALL OUR AMAZING CONTRIBUTORS) BY HEADING TO  THE & GALS  SECTION.

READ MORE ABOUT LINDSEY (AND ALL OUR AMAZING CONTRIBUTORS) BY HEADING TO THE & GALS SECTION.

WRITTEN BY LINDSEY BOMGREN: FITNESS EXPERT, BLOGGER, VLOGGER, AND CONTENT CREATOR.