As many of you know who follow both my blog and me on social media, I am a huge advocate of not only planning your meals but cooking at home as well. I think not only can you save a lot of money but you can often eat much healthier as well. However, I know this is often easier said than done for me because I love to cook.
I still have clients that no matter the tools and tips I give them, do not like or enjoy cooking. No one wants to spend a lot of time on anything they do not enjoy doing. To share the other side of the story, I reached out to my fellow fitness mama, Shira Nelson from Mom Beyond Baby and author of The Healthy Mom Guidebook. Similar to my message and passion, she is all about making lives easier for busy moms when it comes to healthy eating and exercise. She embodies a healthy lifestyle while still being an awesome mom to her adorable 2 year old. Ironically, her daughter is exactly one month younger than Caleb and she also as a baby on the way, who will be about 6 weeks younger than my second too!
Below is my interview with Shira.
Can you give a little background on yourself, career/education and fitness and mommy background?
I am a full time mommy and solopreneur at Mom Beyond Baby while also expecting baby #2 in September. While my daughter naps, I run my online business and helps busy moms all over the world take care of themselves and become a mom “beyond baby.” That means something different to everyone but usually is in the realms of fat loss, lifestyle and business.
I spent half of my life dieting obsessively, so I find joy in spreading the message of living happy, healthy and balanced as a busy mom.
I have been a group fitness instructor for several years as well as a personal trainer and certified hormonal fat loss coach through Metabolic Effect. Along with these certifications, I have run hundreds of races and also hold a Master’s Degree from the University of Florida (Go Gators!) Originally from FL, I reside in Tampa where you can find me on the boat or beach with my family.
I am a HUGE advocate of cooking at home for the majority of your meals for both health and economical reasons. However, I realize that a lot of people do not like to cook and I know you do not like to cook 🙂 so how do you eat healthy on a regular basis?
Yes. You are 100% correct. I do not like to cook and to be fair, I am not very good either. It used to be something I struggled with but now I embrace it and stick with grocery shopping and dishes 🙂 My husband does all of the cooking at home but we also eat out quite a bit (take out or brave the restaurant with the toddler). I definitely agree that eating at home can be healthier but nowadays the selection of foods at restaurants is excellent. Sure it is not always “clean” as they use oils or butters but truthfully those are small rocks when it comes to the healthy mom lifestyle. I am not out to be the “cleanest eater” so if I am rushed for time and a drive thru is my option, I make the best of it. For my family, eating out allows us to maintain our desired physiques without added stress. It took practice to get over the mindset of “eating out =treat” but once you do it enough and see it as just another meal, it can be smartly done. My usual go tos are a huge salad with protein and dressing on the side or grilled protein with veggies.
Do you have any top convenience foods that you use on a regular basis to help you eat well?
I do. I love convenience foods because we spend most of the days on the go. My favorites are protein shakes, greens powder, fresh fruits or pouches, nitrate free jerky, and bagged salads. I always carry snacks in the car for everyone too 🙂
What do you order when you are eating out?
I have a motto that I can eat anywhere. I really do eat anywhere but my favorites are Mexican, Chipotle, and places with a salad bar.
My readers were very interested in 2 posts I did on Time Management, one from a stay-at-home mom and one from a working mom. Since you are a combination of both…what does a typical day look like for you?
Well I consider myself a work at home mom so yes I am in between. My day consists of blocks (right now until the baby arrives) I have a morning block which starts before everyone is awake. I drink my coffee, check into my coaching groups online and do some social media stuff. Then, once my daughter wakes up, it is filled with breakfast, toddler activities, workout or a walk and lunch. I then work during nap time which is around 1-1:30. I work from the minute I put her down. I am very strict with my to do list for work and usually make it the night before so I don’t even up browsing Facebook which is a complete time trap.
After nap is more activities for my daughter until dinner, shower and bedtime. If I have more work to do, I have an agreement with my husband that I can work only 1 more hour so he gets time with me too. Everything else waits.
You may be thinking, when do you do housework chores, etc.? Truthfully I don’t let that stuff get to me. My daughter is usually pretty good about letting me pick up and do dishes etc. but if not, I don’t stress. I try to do some housework on the weekends or for a little after dinner when I am too tired to workout or write. So yes my house is messy and I am OK with it 🙂
What does a typical day of eating look like for you?
My eating is very boring I have to warn you 🙂 I like things simple and since I don’t enjoy time in the kitchen it has to be easy and quick. Here is a typical day:
Breakfast: Eggs/egg whites with breakfast meats (2-3 times per week)
Am Snack: Nitrate Free Jerky or deli roll ups
Lunch: A big salad with unlimited veggies, protein. If I eat this at home, it’s very boring. If not usually crockpot chicken we make for the week with spinach or leftovers.
Pm Snack or Post workout: Shake with a banana or an apple
Dinner: Protein (varies between beef, pork, chicken, fish) and a salad or vegetable. I usually have carbs at night if I did not have them post workout.
Dark chocolate or cocoa
Trying to get kids eat well is a battle for many parents. What tips do you have or what have you done with Sydney to try to instill healthy eating habits?
I always laugh at this one because I have a typical picky toddler on my hands. I do my best to buy organic foods and things like mac n cheese with “hidden” veggies but I do not stress about it. She may like one food today and tomorrow she hates it. If she only eats mac and cheese that is ok too. For me, it adds stress and it’s not worth it because it is highly likely she will outgrow it.
I mainly focus on her snacks because she is a grazer. I always present her with 2 options and they are always healthy. So for example, yogurt or applesauce. If she is still hungry after snack #1 she gets snack #2. I try to monitor her snacks before meals so she is actually hungry for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I offer her everything and if she refuses it, that is ok. We keep trying.
I also give her a protein smoothie with greens powder or something like Shakeology every other day to make sure she is getting everything she needs. It is chocolate so she enjoys it 🙂
My main focus is to instill healthy eating habits but with moderation as I have learned to do as an adult. I started dieting at the age of 13 because my mom was obsessed with food and I do not want that for my kids. I want her to see food as something to enjoy in moderation. That being said, we enjoy ice cream and treats as a family 🙂
I just love Shira’s passion to help moms lead not only a healthy lifestyle for herself and her family but a balanced lifestyle. Which is why I am super excited to share her Healthy Mom Guidebook with my readers. This guidebook is only available for 4 days starting tomorrow! You can get more information and purchase it here: Healthy Mom Guidebook.
The goal of the guidebook is to show you that can you lose fat without spending hours at the gym or hours in the kitchen! This guidebook will give you the tools to get results but will also teach you how to create a plan that works for you. Being a Mom Beyond Baby is not about slaving in the gym or the kitchen. It is about creating a plan that works with your lifestyle. This guidebook goes beyond nutrition and fitness…it will teach you how to feel and look your best in less time so you can enjoy every minute with your kids. This is the ultimate guide for convenience eating as a busy mom!
This guidebook is available for 4 days only so I would highly recommend getting it soon!
What are your tips and tricks for healthy convenience eating? I would love to be able to share them with other moms. Have you found some easy and quick tips that work for you?
I would love to hear from you!