Today I’m delighted to have local Vancouver nutritionist Tanuja Dabir sharing about a topic that I and many moms I know struggle with. As Tanuja says, often we’re so busy taking care of those around us that we don’t take care of ourselves and we ended up exhausted. Here’s Tanuja’s tips for beating that exhaustion!
Are you a mom?
Then you are a super woman.
No, I’m not flattering you. Being a mom myself, I know how much we women juggle every day between work, home, kids, husbands, family and social life (… social, what? …).
Now I just have one child, and I can’t even begin to imagine how you awesome ladies can manage more than one kid! Seriously, hats off to you.
We women are meant to nurture and we do just that. All day, every day. And how does that leave us? Most likely tired and exhausted, feeling like a sack of potatoes, the mind buzzing with a gazillion to-do things but essentially with zero energy to do them.
I hear ya! I’ve been there, and still do sometimes when I fail to stop paying attention to myself. Yes, even as a nutritionist, I have to remind myself to pause and refocus on what’s really important. I’ve worked with so many tired and exhausted women helping them feel better that I know it’s not just about food.
It’s a whole lifestyle thing.
There are many reasons behind lack of energy. I’d probably end up writing a book if I went through all of them, so today let’s just focus on a few major ones. I don’t want to exhaust you even further with an information overload… LOL!
1. Eat Healthy Food
Well, I have to start with food, for two reasons; one, I am a nutritionist and, two, because that is a fundamental problem with us moms. We plan our kid’s lunches and snacks with a lot of passion, so that they eat healthy and be healthy. But when it comes to our meal time, we just throw something together last minute, or grab some crappy food on the go, or eat their leftovers. If you eat crap, you will feel like crap!
Remember, we are the living model for our children. Wholesome, nutrient dense fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, healthy fats and whole grains are what we need to be energetic. Eat lean protein like salmon, fish, sea food, chicken, turkey to satiate you. Snack on fruits, raw veggies, almonds, walnuts or pumpkin seeds instead of cookies and bagels/ doughnuts. If you are short on time, smoothies are a great way to get all these ingredients into your diet.
Check out this hearty green lentil soup recipe, perfect for the cold months ahead, but packed with the goodness of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Only a healthy mom can be in charge of a healthy household.
2. Overcome Stress
It’s not an understatement if I say being a mom can be stressful. When we are stressed our adrenal glands are activated, ’cause they are responsible for our “flight or fight” response. Once the “stressor” goes away, our adrenal glands go back to normal functioning. But if we are constantly stressed (thanks to our demanding lifestyles), the adrenal glands never get a breather, and eventually break down, causing adrenal exhaustion.
This is a precarious state to be in, as it not only causes extreme tiredness, but also lowers immunity, making you susceptible to frequent infections like colds, flus, viruses, yeast, etc. So when you are constantly tired, feel like you are dragging yourself around the whole day and just want to flop on the couch/bed—you might have exhausted your adrenal glands.
Fresh fruits and vegetables, vitamin C-rich foods like oranges, bell peppers, and herbs like Ashwagandha and Maca powder help with overcoming adrenal fatigue.
Above all, learning to let go (an art I’m still learning) and adequate “me time” are also crucial to avoid over-working your adrenal glands. Even if it simply means having a cup of tea alone for a few moments, or going for a quick 10 min walk in the fresh air. If you are feeling constantly stressed, talking to counsellor or therapist may also help.
Your body needs a break, or else it will break down!
3. Avoid blood sugar imbalance
This is a critical piece of the puzzle. It is one of the first things I work on with my clients who come to me with problems with weight gain, sugar cravings, and lethargy.
Ever felt irritated or shaky on missing a meal? Ever crave sugar, chocolate or carbs? (I’ve got to be kidding when I ask that question, right?). Ever get energy crashes after lunch, or feel half dead by the evening?
These are classic signs of blood sugar imbalance, which in turn makes you tired. You see glucose is “the fuel” that our bodies run on. But if you over-indulge in refined, processed, packaged and sugary foods, you are setting the stage for blood sugar problems.
It’s quite natural when you feel tired to reach out for that doughnut, cookie or chocolate bar as it will provide you with the instant energy (from glucose) to get going. But that is a trap! Quick energy also means quick crashes. It’s a vicious cycle.
Eating balanced meals with adequate amounts of protein, fiber, complex carbs and fat is necessary to break this detrimental cycle.
The blood sugar imbalance not just leads to more sugar/carb cravings and tiredness, but also causes brain fog, moodiness and irritability. If unchecked long-term, it leads to insulin resistance and eventually diabetes. Not to mention stubborn weight gain, both short and long term.
Motherhood is the best thing that ever happened to me. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. Its fun, adventurous, tests your patience, makes you creative and teaches new things about you.
Moms are the anchors of the family, so take good care of yourselves.
Invest in your health, you are worth it!
Tanuja Dabir is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and founder of Saakori Lifestyle. She’s on a mission to help you Eat Right. Feel Better and Look Good, by offering easy, practical and sustainable dietary suggestions. She enables stressed, busy and on-the-go moms reduce their sugar cravings and energy crashes, lose weight and improve digestive issues like bloating, heart burn and IBS to transform their health so they brim with energy from the inside out. You can learn more about her by visiting her website.
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