What I eat gives me the fuel for life as a working mother.
I woke up at 5 a.m. this morning with no alarm, except my “need to get some work done before the kids get up” alarm going off in my head. An hour before my children open their eyes gives me time to answer emails, write meal plans and more while my head is clear and not spinning with my daily to-do list. This morning, I wanted to get one hour of work done, two loads of laundry going, a shower, breakfast made and served and eaten (though not cleaned) and lunches packed — all before 7:15 a.m. And by God, I did it.
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This morning, like all mornings, I prayed. I asked Jesus into my day and made a conscious decision to surrender my will to His. Today actually felt more like I was begging Him to help me get more done in 24 hours than humanly possible and still be able to stay “in the moment” with my kids. It’s a hard bargain because the Big Guy seems to love to throw me curve balls. It’s like He’s saying oh, you thought I was going pave the way for you … but I’m actually trying to make you better, more patient, and more wise today. Oh, right.
People often ask me where my self-discipline comes from to get up early, get a lot on my to-do list done, and stay on track with food and exercise. I’m about 10 years into my journey, so it’s hard to go back and wonder how I did this before kids, but I’m willing to bet that it was mostly vanity. Even as a devout Christian woman, I always strived to “look” good and honestly, it was selfish and fleeting. Once I got to my goal, I’m sure I still wasn’t satisfied. These days, with four kids under seven and my own business, I’m lucky if I look in the mirror a few times a week. The only way I can recall if I brushed my teeth is if the brush is still wet! Times have changed and my motivation is all about sanity and thriving — not merely surviving.
Breakfast and exercise: Which one comes first?
I know with certainly that you can thrive, too. You can be present to your kids, and accomplish a lot on your own to-do list. It really is possible for all of us to feel better about ourselves and make better use of our time.
As a nutritionist and a mom, food is 100 percent to fuel my daily activity, both mental and physical. I’m pretty sure I always max out on mental capacity before physical, so it’s extremely vital for me to stay on track. I have at least 100 very important questions coming from my kids every day, and maybe more from clients. I desperately need and want to feel as amazing as I can at all times. So here’s the eating plan I try to stick to every day so I’m living what I preach:
Cara’s daily eating plan:
Wake up, drink 20 ounces of water immediately.
Breakfast: two-egg scramble with one-forth an avocado, one-forth a Roma tomato, mixed bell peppers, served with a half a grapefruit and small piece of sourdough toast. I take probiotics, vitamin D and C and B complex with breakfast as well.
Snack: Smoothie with half a frozen banana, ½ cup mixed berries, ½ cup frozen rhubarb, handful of spinach, ¼ cup oats, 1 teaspoon maca powder, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 tablespoon hemp seed, 1 tablespoon almond butter.
Lunch: Power bowl with 1 cup shredded cabbage, 1 cup spring mix lettuce, shredded carrots, cucumber, chick peas, quinoa, fermented veggies and sunflower seeds.
Snack: Apple and peanut butter with pumpkin pie spice.
Dinner: 5 ounces salmon, roasted brussels sprouts, peppers, onions, and sweet potatoes.
Throughout the day: At least 80 more ounces of water and ideally 45 minutes of exercise, even if it’s jumping on the trampoline with the kids.
Daily life goes so much better when you feel good and have more energy. Is there better motivation that that?