How To Fuel Your Energy Tank When You’re Running After Baby

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We’ve all heard it, in fact we all have most likely sang it on the playground many moons ago…“First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage”. So idyllic, and so blissful, the thought of bringing a baby into the family. And so it is!

After 9 months of preparation, and eager anticipation, the curtain drops and into your life comes a small miracle. Through the haze of emotional ecstasy comes a slow and steady realization that this ‘little one’ is now solely dependent on you, the caregiver. Even with all the love that you can provide, that is no small feat! From this point to forever, as a parent, you will expend physical, mental and emotional energy. That energy may wane as the years pass, but as a parent, it will never subside.

So what is the secret to getting energized and staying energized?

In order to perform admirably in duties such as the countless diaper changes and baby feedings, to getting up throughout the night and becoming entertainer in the daytime, your body and mind requires an abundance of energy!

Think of yourself as your favourite car for a moment. You have a gas tank. In order to function, and to travel any distance, you need gas in the tank. Gas fuels the car and can allow the car to perform optimally. As the fuel gets used, the gas tank empties, therefore the car will need more gas to continue to perform optimally. You still with me?

Now to you. Your body requires fuel to energize your system. Over time that fuel gets used up and needs to be replaced. Fuel comes in different forms for the human body. Check out my tips to stay energized and on a full tank:

SLEEP
This is one of the most important aspects of our lives and typically the area we cut back on most. Your body needs sleep for recovery and energy. Optimal sleep is anywhere from 7-11 hours per night. Naps are also proven to be extremely beneficial. Why not sneak a 20-30 minute catnap when the ‘little one’ dozes off!

NUTRITION
Much like the gas tank analogy, the quality of what you put in the tank is equally important for performance. The better the gas, the better the performance. Much has been said, written, studied, and documented about nutrition and its absolute benefits. Some general principles and guidelines: Reduce or remove all sugars, refined products, and processed foods. Eat the colours of the rainbow. Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Drink pressed juice, or make fruit and vegetable smoothies. Add more nuts, beans and legumes. You are what you eat! Eat good, feel good!

In addition, take time to plan meals and snacks ahead of time. Have the ingredients, have meals and snacks prepared and ready to go. This time saver alone is a huge energy booster.

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HYDRATION
The human body consists of 50-65% water. It is a crucial part to our day to day functioning. Even a 2% drop through dehydration causes lethargy, lack of focus, and low energy. A study by Loughborough University showed a water loss of as little as 5% can result in a 30% loss of energy. The recommended daily intake of fluids by the Dietitians of Canada is 9 cups (2.2 litres) for women, and 12 cups (3 litres) for men. Now that is not easy, but learning to drink on an ongoing basis is certainly more optimal than drinking when thirsty. Have a water bottle handy and drink continuously throughout the day. Although you’ll begin by running to the bathroom more, you will notice a clear mood and energy difference.

EXERCISE
There is nothing like some exercise to boost energy and promote feeling good. Exercise stimulates the body and releases dopamine, the bodies natural feel-good drug. Whether you are tired and run down, or just flat out not in the mood, if you can muster up the strength to get through a 15-30+ minute workout, (run, bike, swim, yoga) you will feel rejuvenated, self-confident, de-stressed, and energized!

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Sleep, Nutrition, Hydration, and Exercise are by no means a secret. In fact, they are the pillars to leading a well balanced and healthy lifestyle. Here are some additional tips to find energy in other ways:

JUST BREATHE
Step outside, go for a walk, or open the windows. Let some clean air circulate through your lungs and permeate your system. Breathing in clean air and ridding your body of toxins is a great way to grab an energy boost. Take 5 minutes or more to connect with nature.

BE PRESENT
Sometimes when your child is playing and all you can think of is the laundry list of things-to-do, take a moment to be present. Enjoy the moments that seem to pass in the blink of an eye. You won’t regret it! Be silly, dance, play, laugh, act like a scary tickle monster, sing like Elmo. You’re kid(s) will love you for it all the more, and guess what, you’ll love yourself that little bit more too. Yay for energy!

Looking forward to greater health

OTHER MOMS (PARENTS)
Seek out other moms. They are everywhere, and most likely feeling, and thinking, the same as you are. There is strength in numbers. Call and meet up with friends for a playdate. Looking for new mom friends? Check out your local library and community centres for events and gatherings. Head out to the park. Say hi and spark up conversation at the grocery store. Find mom groups online in your area, check out ‘Mom Meet Mom’. For many, this is a welcome relief and a win-win. Some like-minded adult contact and conversation goes a long way in dispelling any doubts, fears, and concerns. In fact, you may feel energized and supported by the network you create.

Simply put, your energy can come from intentional acts and behaviors. Raising a baby is arguably the most rewarding responsibility in your lifetime. Make each day and each moment count. Nobody said it would be easy, but they all say it was worth it!

Calea

Calea is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) through the Coaching Training Institute (CTI) who specializes in helping moms find a balance between being a mom and being themselves. She is the founder of Yummy Mummy Life where she will help you in the confidence department, offering 1 on 1 signature packages designed to make your dreams happen + goals happen. In addition, Calea is also a mom & baby fitness instructor, and an essential oil wellness advocate. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Caring for Yourself With Less Time

The Coles Notes to Caring For Yourself 

When life is just too busy and stressful and has us feeling as though we have no personal time to commit to ourselves, we need to stop, sit down, and create a daily routine that includes us. Buy an organizer and begin recording what we do, if you don’t already. Here are some helpful tips in achieving our goals:

• Setting realistic goals.
Throw away the idea that your body needs to look a certain way to be beautiful, stop staring at the scale. Set goals that have more excitement behind them, it could be a fitness goal such as walking with a friend 2x a week with the babies asleep in the stroller (doesn’t always work that way!) or a goal to cook with a few more veggies at dinner time.

• Add things to your diet, don’t take away! 
We are not big fans of restriction here at Baby & Me Fitness. Add some protein-rich foods into your meals and/or maybe some delicious good fats, such as avocado to a smoothy or nuts to a salad!

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• Do not skip meals (if you can avoid it)
New parents are tired and need lots of food/energy to keep going. Skipping meals and going hungry can lower our blood sugar and make us crave foods that spike your sugar levels quickly, but also set you up for a crash. Your mother was right when she told you to start your day off with breakfast. Anything whole-grain and full of fiber is definitely a good choice. A healthy breakfast will give your metabolism a boost and keeps it revving throughout the day.

• To survive, do not deprive!
Do not deprive yourself of the foods you crave!

• Ditch those annoying low-calorie diets
In the end, you are just starving yourself of essential vitamins and minerals.

• Food cannot burn fat!
So don’t buy into those ‘miracle’ foods. They don’t exist!

• If you’ve got the munchies…
Eat!

• Variety is next to Godliness
Fill your plate with a healthy array of colorful fruits and veggies which are sure to entice anyone sitting down to eat with you.

• When on the run, think twice.
Don’t let time bully and antagonize you. Slow down when eating and enjoy the flavors. Yes, we know, easier said than done when there is a baby in the picture. Give it a try!

• Jump on the bandwagon!
We all need support from our friends and loved ones. Enjoy movement with friends or family members who want to get out and moving too. Like-minded people add that extra little bit of motivation that you might find yourself needing in your darker times. Personal training is always a good choice if you want more formal exercise with an expert!

• We are 80% water, so drink up!
Aim for 8-10 glasses of water a day to keep you running properly. Drinking 10 glasses a day may be hard to imagine, so at least drink two with each meal.

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Finally and most importantly, choose movement and activities that make you happy! Movement is a really effective way to elevate our mood and reduce stress. For busy parents trying to fit in movement and self-care is challenging, so if you’ve managed to carve out precious moments for yourself, make sure you spend it doing something you love!