As a mother of two, registered dietitian, group fitness instructor, and barre 3 instructor, I know firsthand how difficult it can be to achieve a balanced lifestyle and diet due to a hectic schedule. From making sure my children get to school on time to ensuring my clients receive the care they expect from their registered dietitian, balancing a busy life can be incredibly challenging.
At Nutrition HealthWorks, I don’t just provide nutritional guidance to my clients. I practice what a preach by following six easy steps that have always helped me better manage my days. By following these six simple tips, you can bring balance back to your busy life!
Top Tips for a Balanced Lifestyle
Setting Your Mindset with Daily Devotionals
When we’re busy, it can be easy to let the day’s chaos negatively affect us — even as we try to get the day started. Allow me to walk you through my morning ritual to give you an idea of how you can change your mindset at the start of each day. Before the pandemic, I typically began my days at 4:30 a.m. As my coffee brews, I drink 16oz of water and spend the first half hour of my day diving into devotionals and motivational readings to set my intentions for the day ahead. It’s a short exercise, but it really helps me approach the day with clarity and a level head.
Balanced Diet with Weekly Meal Prep
As a registered dietitian in North Carolina, this part comes pretty naturally to me. However, it can be intimidating to some who are just getting started. By scheduling an appointment with one of our skilled nutritionists, you can work to find out what a balanced diet looks like for your lifestyle and wellness goals in particular. For my family, we usually opt for the following:
· Balanced breakfast including pancakes, turkey sausage, milk, and all-natural orange juice
· Turkey on whole wheat, cheese stick, fruit, carrots, and applesauce for lunch
· Homemade chicken parmesan, broccoli, and pasta for dinner
· Homemade frozen yogurt for dessert using our new ice cream maker — yum!
The key to ensuring a balanced diet despite a busy schedule is planning ahead. Take time once a week to plan out your meals accordingly. You won’t believe how much time and energy you save by simply removing decisions from the equation.
Nutritional Shakes on the Go
On especially busy days, it may not be possible to sit down for a meal in between activities. My family solves this problem by opting for nutritional shakes heavy in protein, fruit, grains, spinach, and flax. For example, my oldest child often has a homemade shake with milk, protein, fruit, and spinach before heading to school. As you plan ahead for the week, consider what days make the most sense for preparing a nutritional shake and prepare accordingly. You can even choose to prepare them the night before and keep refrigerated so you can simply grab it before heading out for a balancing act of extracurricular activities.
All-Natural Vitamins & Minerals
I wouldn’t be a very good dietitian if I neglected to include vitamins and minerals as part of my family’s nutrition. This might seem like a no-brainer, but lots of people leave this crucial step out of their daily routine entirely. We make it a priority to have everyone in the family taking their Juice Plus gummy vitamins to ensure they include all the natural vitamins and minerals their bodies need to stay healthy.
Setting an Exercise Schedule
Whenever you choose to plan for your meals throughout the week, you should also take the time to plan out your weekly exercise regimen. Not only is it important to come up with a clear plan of action, but it’s equally important that you stick to it! While I am a group fitness and barre 3 instructor, there are definitely times when I’m unable to squeeze in the additional exercise I would like to accomplish for the week. Personally, if things come up and I can’t fit it in, I make myself accountable for 20 minutes of Hitt workout, run, or peloton. Even if my schedule changes, I commit myself to follow through on my exercise routine.
Staying Hydrated While Busy
One of the things that we at Nutrition HealthWorks take very seriously is proper hydration. I actually set a timer to remind myself to drink water every one – two hours throughout the day until I’ve had about 64oz of water. Even my children head to school each day with a 32oz bottle of water each. A good rule of thumb to follow when planning out your hydration needs is to divide your body weight by half to find the number of ounces of water your body needs each day.
Achieve Balance with Nutrition HealthWorks
Taking time for yourself and preparing meals nightly while balancing a busy schedule and kids in different activities can be extremely stressful and leave you feeling powerless. But with proper planning and a little mindfulness, you can follow through on your wellness goals and keep the whole family on track. My schedule is not perfect, but I strive to take time to set my week up right to feel successful as a wife, mother, registered dietitian, and fitness instructor — and I encourage all my clients to do the same.
-By Kelly Diamond RD, LDN