Healthy Lifestyle Changes for Our Busy Working Family
We’re trying to get healthier in our household. My husband and I need it badly. My daughter needs it moderately. And only my 3-year-old leads a completely healthy lifestyle with good results and no extra effort. We do have some decent regular habits, like at least one vegetable at every meal, no chips in the house, dessert only on special occasions, etc., but that just isn’t enough for our genetically-challenged family. So we’re making some healthy lifestyle changes. Some things we’re doing as a family, and some on our own. Some are being done steathily (in the case of changes for our daughter), and some are very in-your-face. But here’s a list of new healthy lifestyle changes that work for our family and are very realistic for our situation with two working parents, one preschooler and a second-grader.
Healthy Goals for Busy Families
1. Fish once a week. This is everyone’s favorite change. Luckily for us, there is a Farmer’s Market, complete with fishmonger, in my office park every Thursday. Fish – white fish like cod, haddock and halibut in particular – is fast and easy to make. We make it with a small amount of butter at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes. That’s it. And lucky for us, we all like good fish. (Challenge your family to like fish too – when it’s super fresh it’s hard to find something offensive about simple white fish.)
2. Dad and daughter bike rides. On Tuesdays and Thursdays my husband is committed to picking our daughter up from school closer to 5:00 than 6:00, and taking her bike riding. It’s great bonding time and last week they both came home with that great workout glow.
3. Fall in love with vegetables. Back to the Farmer’s Market, where I’m now trying to bring one or both of my kids, and let them pick two vegetables, at least one of which we must be able to eat that night. Two weeks ago my daughter picked radishes and beets, and the whole family enjoyed them both. I know it sounds hard to believe, but my daughter actually asked me to pack radishes in her school lunch the next day. My son picked baby potatoes and corn this past week. Maybe not the veggies highest on the nutrition scale, but the corn was so super fresh that no one even asked for butter, and we rarely eat potatoes, and they were so easy. I baked them, tossed with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and onions, right in the same dish as the fish.
4. Couch-to-5K. So the real inspiration for this post was to commit in writing that I am going to endeavor to complete a nine week program to transform myself from couch potato to being able to run a 5K – or least to be able to run for 30 minutes (which is my initial goal, and most definitely will not be the equivalent of a 5K for me). Once upon a time, when I was in my 20s, I ran for exercise. I even did a few 5K races. Today I fear I could not run around the block. It’s going to be a huge change, but I’m going to try waking up 40 minutes earlier than normal and get my rear end out the door. I’ve downloaded the app, bought a SPIbelt, and broken the news to my husband. The fact that he laughed at me just provides additional motivation. My fellow bloggers, Kate and Mary, have both shared running success stories – also inspiring. I’m starting in two days and promise to report back.
We’re a change-averse family more in love with what’s convenient than what’s healthy, but now that we’re all in this together, hopefully we’ll be able to make some progress toward a sustainable healthier way of life. We’ll let you know.
What healthy lifestyle changes has your family been working on lately? Share in the comments area below.