Why do I need a ‘hack’ to live a healthy life? Because life is far too busy, and if I want to do something the long, hard, laborious way – I want it to be something I am truly passionate about. Regretfully, I like cooking better than sleeping, and I like reading to my kids more than measuring every nutrient I consume. ‘Hacks’ are trendy for a reason – they are a fast and effective way to reach the goals that matter. While I value my health and enjoy exercise – a few ‘hacks’ help me to focus on what matters most.
Admittedly, I used to drink water more binge-style after I became dehydrated. Over the past months, I have found a few tricks to change this. First, I decided to drink a glass of water every day before taking the kids to or from school. I grab my purse and also my water. Just like asking my son to decide if he needs the restroom every time he touches a doorknob, these transitional triggers are phenomenal for water intake as well. Other changes include sipping water before each meal, using the time to ground myself, and getting excited about the food in front of me.
I invested in containers for the fridge that keep fruit and veggies fresh. This way, I can prep a bunch on a weekly basis and always have a handful of celery or carrots to snack on. School lunches become faster, and after school I can whip up some bugs on a log faster than they can say they are hungry.
This one is tough for me. I tend to pry my lids open as long as possible and dread bedtime. As I get older, I know I need more rest, and I am trying to change my habits. The first job I tackled was the bed itself (it was also an excuse to shop). I invested in a memory foam mattress topper and new pillows. Next, I vowed to replace watching YouTube on the laptop with reading an actual book. Late-night political comedy could wait until morning. We have all been told that waking up at the same time each day helps our overall sleep, but it is so hard in the winter months! I swapped out my old alarm clock for one that mimics a sunrise so that I wake gradually – even when the house is still cloaked in blackness.
This goes hand in hand with sleep, and the minute I developed a regular exercise routine my slumber also improved. The big issue with exercise and me is that I used to be a dancer and despise the gym. Dancing feeds my body and soul, acts as therapy and stimulates my mind. Nothing else really lives up to the comprehensive inner and outer workout I can glean from tap, jazz, ballet, modern, highland – any form of dance. And yet I don’t have a studio or large enough room in the house to jete and can-can for hours. What I do have, though, is a dance warmup that has worked for years and a yoga mat for core strength. What I was missing was cardio. My hardwood floors can’t quite survive my tap shoes, and there are only so many ballet jumps I can do before the old knees give out. So I bought an elliptical trainer. Now, each morning when I wake, the cardio gets finished bright and early, and the previous night’s political comedy shows can be consumed!
I really don’t like fish. It’s weird, but sushi is fine, and yet cooked fish just doesn’t work. I used to worry about the amount of omega-3 I consumed, so I tried huge capsules filled with fish oil. I gagged them down, and they would invariably come back up either whole or as fishy burps later. My day would be ruined. Recently I discovered OmegaSea. It’s a liquid Omega-3 and Vitamin D supplement that comes in chocolate and lemon flavours for families and bubblegum bonanza flavour for kids. One teaspoon a day gives me a healthy dose of liquid omega-3 and vitamin D which maintain good health, cardiovascular health and brain function. My kids hated the other types of omega supplements too, but love this one! OmegaSea kids helps promote brain, eyes, and nerve development in children up to 12 years of age.
And.. I’m out. There are no hacks. Just kidding. Lately I have found that limiting interaction with stressful situations and crazy-making people has really helped. Prior to this, I have been guilt-ridden in doing this, but somehow, things have changed. I suppose I am valuing my own health and myself more and more as I age. I also appreciate my kids and family and will do anything to protect them, and our happy, healthy time together.