Pre baby body, pregnancy, baby weight, weight gain, weight loss, body image, post baby body, health….When asked to write a blog on body image as a mum, I thought where do I start? I know it’s a topic that affects every women at some point or in some way through their journey into motherhood and as a mother.
So to begin let me share my story. This will give you a sense of who I am and the incredible journey and transformation my body and myself have gone through; all which has lead me here today. At the end of this blog I will give you my 5 top tips for mums to stay healthy, energized and happy. I will look forward to also sharing lots of my healthy recipes and lifestyle tips with you in future blogs.
Six years ago I become a first time mum to my gorgeous daughter Sofia, learning the ropes of motherhood was quite the challenge. Two years in I found myself 25kg heavier, tired, bad skin, low iron and a host of other health issues. Eventually it was my parents who confronted me, concerned “I had lost my SPARK”. Admittedly I was quite offended by their honest observation, however I knew it to be so true (I had got myself into a ‘rut’) and this became the catalyst for me to make significant changes to my health and lifestyle.
Initially it was all about losing the weight as this has been the heaviest I had ever been. At first I wanted a quick fix, so I signed up for a ‘diet program’. From the beginning I felt bloated, had terrible constipation and was disgusted by all the processed food. I gave up after two weeks. I realised very quickly their were many ‘diets’ out on the market and yes you could lose weight but you didn’t feel great in the process. Also many of these diets did not fit into my families lifestyle and were no teaching my daughter healthy eating. I soon realised I wanted to focus not only on losing weight but regaining my health; to get my “SPARK” back and this is where my journey into whole foods and clean eating began.
I got back to basics, I used my own knowledge on healthy eating, the help of my husband (who had a degree in sports science and biomechanics), went online to different whole food, vegan, vegetarian, clean eating websites, social media sites and read, read, read. I wanted to understand the power of food to not only keep my weight off, heal my body but to ensure I was a healthy and happy mum for Sofia. I started to get rid of all the processed and refined foods from my diet and started to consume nutritiously dense whole foods; foods that were non processed, un-refined and packed full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. I consumed more vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, lean organic proteins, good fats such a coconut oil, legumes, whole/super grains such as quinoa, buckwheat daily. I started juicing once a day and made my own healthy meals and snacks for me and the whole family. It was so important to set a good example for Sofia.
The results were phenomenal. Not only did I lose over 25kg but, I started to notice a big improvement not only in my physical state but my mental state, I didn’t seem to get so stressed as easily anymore and slept more deeply. I noticed the biggest changes to my energy levels, which went up dramatically and my daily sugar cravings which diminished significantly. I also witnessed major improvements to my skin, hair and nails.
I truly now believe in the the philosophy of nourishing our bodies from the inside out “you are what you eat” and the foods we consume daily are not only reflected in our physical state but our mental state. My journey and learnings over the past 3 years became the foundations to me creating my business ‘Reveal Yourself’.
I started my own Facebook page Reveal Yourself as a way to document my journey, hold myself accountable and to share my recipes and new found passion of healthy living. I set up the Reveal Yourself website www.revealyourself.co.nz to provide tools and guidance to helping people ‘Reveal Their Best Selves’. I have developed numerous products with a big focus towards helping ladies, especially mothers feel healthy, happy, energized, radiant and to love their bodies. The Reveal Yourself 7 Day Cleanse, Reveal Yourself 21 Day Coaching Plan, Clean Eating Events and the Reveal Yourself Recipe e-book. I continue to learn and educate myself and last year studied a paper in the foundation of nutrition at Well Park Collage.
My mission is to inspire and educate as many people as I can to live a passionate, healthy and happy life through clean eating and healthy living.
My 5 top tips for mums to feel healthy and happy:
Get moving: Get your body moving and being active daily. Set yourself 30 minutes plus per day to be active. Try to schedule a roster with your partner to watch the baby(s) or children while you have some ‘you’ time to exercise. If this is not possible, put you baby or toddler in the buggy and go for a power walk, run, join a mummy baby bootcamp, classes with child care, exercise at home….A healthy and happy mummy, creates a happy home. Exercise helps rev up your metabolism, strengthens your core and body, gets your digestive system functioning and releases those happy hormones and vibes. I suggest you find exercise and activities you enjoy, work out with another mum(s) or in a group. This will keep you motivated, committed and inspired.
Hydrate: Keep hydrated throughout the day. You should be aiming to be drinking at least 2 litres of water per day. Water is one of the most essential requirements to a radiant and healthy you! Carry a water bottle with you at all times, this will also allow you to see how much water you have drunk during the day. If you struggle with your water intake, jazz your water up. Add squeezed lemon, slice fruit, super greens. Start each morning with a big glass of warm water, squeezed lemon and 1 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar. This will active the liver and bowls, detoxify the body, start the metabolism and aid in weight loss.
Spring Clean: Do a spring clean of your pantry and fridge. Eliminate or completely get rid of all processed and refined foods. Give your fridge and pantry a thorough clean and restock with lots of nutritious whole food ingredients. I also suggest creating a health shelf in your pantry. Fill glass jars (label each jar) with all your healthy supplies of seeds, nuts, coconut oil, whole/super grains (quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth), unrefined flours such as spelt, buckwheat,coconut and nut flours, super foods such as cacao, spirulina, camu camu, maqui, acai. This creates easy access to all your healthy goodies and you can clearly see when you are running low or out. Now every time you open your pantry or fridge you will be inspired to create healthy meals with all the gorgeous whole food ingredients. If unhealthy food is not in your house you will not be tempted to eat badly, which leads me to tip number 5- Get back into the kitchen.
Get back into the kitchen: Start creating nutritious snacks and meals that are packed full of nutritiously dense whole food ingredients. Buy a few new whole food recipe books (Reveal Yourself Recipe e-book) and get inspired. Set aside half an hour on a Sunday or over the weekend to prepare for the week ahead (get your children to help, this also educates them on healthy choices). Make your own healthy snacks such a bliss balls, granola bars, muffins, loafs….These will be a big hit at your coffee group. Making healthy snacks will keep you fuller longer, control and stabilize blood sugar levels and will keep you energized throughout the day. Never leave home without a ziplock bag in your handbag with either some homemade scroggin mix or seeds and nuts or bliss balls. This will always ensure you have healthy snacks on hand when out and about with the kids (also don’t forget your water bottle).
Try the Reveal Yourself Vanilla Bliss Balls (one of my favourite snacks)
1/2 cup cashew nuts
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup almonds
1 1/2 Tbsp organic natural peanut butter or almond butter
1 Tbsp organic melted coconut oil
2 tsp organic vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
Add all ingredients into a food processor and blend until comes together
Roll into balls
Store in air tight container in the fridge
Start your day right. Never skip breakfast, always start your day with a nutritious breakfast. Mornings are a crazy time for any mother, but we can all take 5 minutes to Stop, Prepare and Eat breakfast. A healthy breakfast will set you up for the day, ensure no mid morning lows, keep you energized and control sugar cravings. Ensure your breakfast has a good mix of protein, good fats and high fibre carbohydrates. Try homemade muesli, with some organic natural yogurt, homemade almond milk and fresh berries, or a green smoothie, or a smoothie bowl topped with superfoods.
Start your morning with the Reveal Yourself Antioxidant Smoothie bowl:
1/2-1 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup blueberries
1 serving of acai puree or 1 tsp of acai powder
1/2-1 cup frozen banana
1 Tbsp melted organic coconut oil
1/4 cup coconut water
1 tsp camu camu powder
1 tsp maqui powder
1 scoop of organic protein powder (optional)
Toppings: Your choice of your favourite superfoods- chia seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, coconut flakes, bee pollen, almond flakes, cacao nibs, muesli….
Add all ingredients into a blender, mix until thick. Pour into a bowl and top with your favourite superfoods
Love Christina Leon x