10 Eating Healthy Tips for the Busy Mom
A little over three years ago I found myself at the same weight that I was when I was 9 months pregnant. I needed to start embracing eating healthy tips. And although they seemed so elementary, in the end, as my doctor told me, you can’t out exercise what you eat.
So I started my journey in how to eat healthy as a busy mom, but it really became a healthy lifestyle change. I didn’t want another drink this, take this pill, exercise this much magic remedy. I wanted to know what eating healthy tips really worked long term.
I finally wanted real life change.
And that my friend is exactly what I want for you as well.
Today I’m thrilled to say that I am 15 pounds lighter then I was 3 years ago and feeling better every day.
Now I must admit, this isn’t like a HUGE weight loss, but it’s been transformative for me. It truly has been a journey for me. And I’ve learned a lot about how to live my life with the RIGHT framework along with daily must have habits—so that I truly can be a healthy living mom in every area of my life.
My weight loss journey hasn’t been a quick fix.
Like I said, it’s been three years.
And if your looking for those eating healthy tips so you can be healthy right now—you will get some quick wins from the practical healthy eating tips that I’m going to share.
But, I’m going to be honest by saying it will take time if you truly want a lifestyle change for the better. It will be a journey for you too.
Sound good? Okay, let’s get started.
How do I start eating healthier?
First off, there are two things that make up a strong foundation for starting to eat healthier. And to be honest, these are the most important foundations to making a positive change in any area of your life.
- A relationship with God that is growing daily.
- In control of your mind and thought life.
In my own journey, I’ve learned a lot about how eating healthy directly relates to my faith and my relationship with God. Eating healthy is solely a reflection of what I like to say often.
What you think influences how you feel, and how you feel determines what you do.
So let me tell you a little story about how that played out, not too long ago.
When I was a young mom, it was common for me when I felt stressed at the end of the day to reach for either a cold can of Coca Cola Classic, a glass of wine, or even a beer.
But, the drinks didn’t really take my stress away. It just relaxed my body. The stress was still there, but I felt relaxed, so I didn’t really change my habit.
But as I began to focus more intentionally on my relationship with God daily, instead of turning to these drinks to take the edge off, I started to turn to God in prayer. I used to do this all the time, but somehow along the way of becoming a mom, I had started to lose this habit. And, once again, like I had experienced before I was a mom, I started to see progress with my stress.
Being a wine mom only numbed my mom stress. But when I turned turn to God, He took my stress and gave me peace.
In addition to being frustrated with my weight, we were also living in a really stressful situation—living in our garage. I could have easily blamed my weight on that, but I had to just face the truth. And that led to still one more thing that I discovered I needed to do.
Building on that foundation of intentionally growing my relationship with God daily, I started to take control of my thought life. And to be honest, it only took me and my husband 30 days to notice the transformation. You can read more about that in my post, What You Say to Yourself Matters More than You Think.
You see once I started to understand the connection with eating healthy, my faith, and my thoughts—I could start implementing healthy eating habits that really started to stick. Because I had the RIGHT foundation to start creating healthier habits every single day.
And if I can do that, I know you can do it too. Here’s how you can get started eating healthier every day.
How can I eat healthier every day?
During that time, I discovered that there are some key habits and routines that I must have in my day in order for me to be a healthy living mom. And if you want to know those same routines—no sweat. I’ve put them together for you in my freebie checklist to help you Make Life Easier.
One of those strategic routines I mention in the checklist is to have a healthy choices plan in place before your day starts.
So what does that look like?
Honestly, it’s you making a decision about how you are going to choose and respond to your choices you have in your day—before the day even starts.
It’s actually a spin on habit one and two in Steven Covey’s book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
By making a plan today for the healthy choices you’re going to make tomorrow—you are being proactive to begin with the end in mind.
Secondly, when you’re making your plan it also has to really get to the root of why you want to make these changes in your life. You really have to get to heart of your why.
So, take just a moment and think through this question: Why do you really want to implement healthy eating tips into your life?
This is where it’s become really important for you to understand the connection between your faith and eating healthier.
For me, there actually has been a lot of scripture that God has used in transforming my mind about this, but there’s one that has stood out the most to me.
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? —1 Corinthians 6:19 (NKJV)
So, if this is true that I’m a temple of the Holy Spirit, then I need to care for my body, not for myself, but because it honors God. The same is true for you.
If you are a temple of the Holy Spirit, then you need to care for your body, not for yourself, but because it honors God.
Secondly, getting a hold of my thoughts shouldn’t be about me either losing weight for the sake of being skinny. Instead, a more meaningful why is to be healthier so that I can keep physically active with my son as he gets older.
But what does eating healthier every day look like on a practical level? Well, building on the foundation of a growing faith and biblical self talk, here are 10 healthy eating tips that I’ve found work really well.
10 Eating Healthy Tips
- Eat your own food, don’t clean your kids plate.
- Start with 1 small habit and stack it—do it right after another habit that you already are doing. What does that look like? One idea would be to start making a small tossed salad with every dinner you prepare. You’re already making dinner, just plan to always have a side salad.
- Always use a healthy habit to replace a bad habit. You’ll be more successful if you replace the bad habit rather than just quit. For instance, my dad chewed tobacco. For years he tried to quit cold turkey. But then he decided to chew Extra Berry Burst Gum and he successfully quit chewing tobacco. Then the brand, Extra decided to discontinue that flavor. So what did he do? He replaced that with cinnamon discs. He still sucks on these today.
- Make healthy snacks ahead of time. I like to have on hand raw nuts. My husband prefers the roasted unsalted version as opposed to raw and this still works for us. I also like to cut up fresh strawberries right after I buy them. We tend to eat them more when they are already cut up. Also, some local grocery stores like Family Fare and D&W will do this for you while you shop.
- Put good eating choices in eyesight. If you’re able to, have apples, bananas, oranges, or any type of fruit or even nuts out in plain sight. You are more likely to grab that then an unhealthy choices.
- Decide to buy fresh food as much as possible. Determine ahead of time to shop the outside aisles of the grocery store so that you’re not even tempted to buy pre processed food. Only eat clean. See how I popped in an idea for a healthy choice plan?
- Make simple but healthier swaps, instead of butter, try olive oil. We’ve even used coconut oil a couple of times or just water to sauté. Yes, you can use just water! Or instead of seasoning with salt, try fresh herbs and infused olive oils and balsamic vinegars. My favorite place to get this is Fustini’s. You can order online or if you’re in Michigan, they have several stores on the West side of the state.
- Drink more water. If you currently drink pop, then try replacing it with something like LaCroix. However, the soda water is more acidic, so if you want to boost your water intake with some flavor, try to infuse your water with berries, lemons, limes, even mint or cucumber.
- Make a meal plan for clean eating. If you’re not sure where to start, read my post of Meal Planning for Beginners. Or read 9 Different Meal Planning Ideas to Make Dinner Fast, Delicious, and Inexpensive.
- Eat your last meal three to four hours before you go to bed. Also, to avoid waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, get all of your daily water intake in by 8:00 or 9:00 at the latest.
We’ve covered some great practical daily healthy eating tips, but you’re also probably wondering, what you should you actually eat for healthy eating. No problem! Let’s talk a little about that next.
What should I eat for healthy eating?
There’s a lot of different perspectives about what is healthy eating and what do you eat. And honestly, as I’ve really leaned into my faith, I’ve never been more convinced that God made food and it is good.
So a lot of this was actually prompted by a scenario our pastor shared and thinking more about the power that food can have over us.
To start, I think it’s worth noting that the story of the fall of man revolves around the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. That’s just one example of the powerful influence that food has over us. But here’s another from my pastor. Here’s what he said.
“I’m holding in my left hand a Snickers Bar. Now, how easy could it be for me to eat 2 to 3 of these Snickers bars in one sitting? It’s not all that far fetched, right? Now, take a look at my right hand. I’m holding an apple. How easy is it for me to eat 2 to 3 apples in one sitting? Rare. You don’t ever really imagine anyone eating 3 whole apples in one sitting. Why is that?”
This is definitely something for us to consider. The point of this example is that we have a natural human tendency towards choosing what we crave, not what is God’s best for us.
Again this is why it’s important for us to have the right foundation of a growing faith and being in control of our thoughts.
God made apples and they are good for us.
If we are searching after what God says is good then we’ll want more of what God wants for us and the Spirit helps us to do that as well.
With that being said, a couple years ago I started following the 50/25/25 plan for my plate. It’s based off the ideas described in Rick Warren’s book, The Daniel Plan.
Here’s a simple diagram that I’ve put together that helps me to visually remember this plan for clean eating.
Now, I admit that we haven’t fully followed The Daniel Plan, but I have adopted some of it’s principles. In short, we’ve implemented those eating healthy tips that I shared with you.
We reduced our meat consumption, increased our fresh vegetables, and swapped out sweets with fresh fruit. In addition to these, we also eliminated almost all sodium from our diet because my husband has high blood pressure.
This as well is something to consider when you are deciding what to eat for eating healthy. You have to take into consideration any health concerns. Like if you’re pregnant, according to my nutritionist, you’ll want to double your daily protein intake.
In case you’re wondering how this might look like as we approach the upcoming Labor Day—or any holiday for that matter—I’ve also written about this more in 9 Tips for Eating Healthy for the Holidays that will Guarantee You Won’t Gain Weight.
Wow! That was quite a bit of information that we’ve covered.
I’m glad you stuck here with me, because honestly, I get it. I know how you’re feeling and I want to help you in your journey too.
Over the past 3 years, I’ve implemented a simple RIGHT framework for my life and cultivated a consistent daily rhythm of 5 routines. And, I want you to be able to avoid any mistakes I’ve made along the way.
Because there’s nothing I want more than to see you have success with starting to create eating healthy tips of your own that are based on solid routines and habits.
And that’s why I created a free daily routine checklist just for you. It will help you know exactly the 5 routines I have for in my day that you can apply in your own journey to becoming a healthy living mom. Have you grabbed your copy yet?
I love how you start the weight loss and healthy living journey focusing on God and filling your mind with truth. This is such a refreshing approach!
My husband and I decided to work toward healthier living this spring and many of your points are exactly what helped us stay with it these past 4 months. My husband is down 40 pounds and I am down 15 pounds. (My goal was 10 pounds and his was 30 so we so thankful for the changes we have seen.)
Thanks for such an encouraging post. It makes me excited for healthy living as a Christian all over again!
Thank you, Amber so much for commenting and sharing your success with these same healthy living tips! I love how you say that it makes you excited for healthy living as a Christian all over again! Yes! You go girl!
Great article! As a nutritionist, I have used many of these recommendations with clients. Good stuff 🙂
Thanks Cammie! It’s so encouraging to know that as a nutritionist you use many of these tips with your clients.
You have some really great advice here. I’ve been thinking that I’d like to make healthier choices, and I have made a lot of small changes, but I think I’m ready for the next, bigger step. I love how you talk about relationship with God and mindset and how important both are. Also loved your diagram!
Thank you so much, Ashley! I’m so glad you stopped by and I pray that what you’ve read will continue to encourage you on your journey. Take care!