The Daily Sweat meets Sowing My Wild Oats: Middle Sis, Medical Mom of 3 Style
As most of you know I made the big move to Philly last week, and because I’m lucky to have the best sisters ever, my middle sis came to help me unpack. Oops – she booked the ticket before the moving company called to say my junk was late (yesterday, they updated me that they will be here on Tuesday and were somewhere in Ohio. Clearly they cannot emergency manage the same way I can). Instead of unpacking, we decided to just hang instead, take a nice, long walk along the Schuylkill River trail, sample some local cuisine and buy some basic essentials like an air mattress that actually inflated and a new pump.
Last night I “interviewed” her about how she gets on her daily sweat and makes sure her family eats healthy. I use interview loosely as I talk to her once a day and we often text in the morning after our workouts. If you’ve read our tribute to Little Women (and the Braxton sisters), you would know her as Meg, the responsible, grounded sister who is all about planting herself and growing a big family, unlike me (independent Jo). Meg/Rachel works as a doc two days a few treating the underserved, has three kids (all 7 and under) and her hubby is a doc too. When I visit their house I usually sit in the corner in a state of shock, helpless amidst the flurry of activity. The most popular word in the house is “Mom” or “Mama”, and my sister never stops moving. We are built mostly the same way, and I always wonder how she stays smaller than me when we eat very similarly. I truly believe it’s because she NEVER stops moving.
Her current daily sweat activities include getting up at 5:00am 3X a week to do a condensed version of P90X with her husband. Her favorite P90 workouts are yoga and plyometrics. Even though she and her hubby don’t talk much during workouts (unless you count heavy breathing) they feel this is quality time they get to share as well as dedicate to keeping themselves healthy. In addition, when my sis isn’t working she tries to take the kiddios on a walk. She lives in the sweltering South, but even if its one of those 98 degree 98% humidity days she attempts to take the kids at least down the street and back. Pushing a stroller with a 35lber and 20lber is no joke. If its too unbearable, she and the kids play in the playroom during the day, and she sometimes takes that opportunity to drop and do 20, or maybe even pick up some weights and do some mild strength training. Sometimes the kids join in for fun. And, at night after the splishing and splashing of bath time, she might lace up and take a 45 minute walk. When I asked her what she felt the key was to staying healthy through exercise, she said that it was super important to have that structured time set into your schedule at a time when you know you will be able to workout. For her, that is in the morning before the kids get up, so she sets her clock 45 minutes earlier 3X a week. Sometimes things don’t always go as planned, and one of the tots may get up early, or the alarm “fails”, but she says that doing 10-20 minutes is better than doing nothing at all (and she’s a doc, she knows what she is talking about).
When it comes to sowing her wild oats for the family, one key thing she always does is to have fruit or veggies at every meal – even when they eat out. I am constantly impressed when we go out that she and her husband always ask for a side of fruit for the kids even if it’s not on the menu (and, believe it or not, most restaurants will cut up some fruit for you if you ask). You’ve seen kid’s menus: chicken tenders, pizza, macaroni, French fries, quesadillas, but she makes sure that her kiddios get some kind of fiber at every meal.
Yesterday, we made a brief stop at Whole Foods for lunch, and if you’ve ever heard the saying that the more colors that are on your plate, the healthier your food is likely to be it couldn’t be more illustrated by the plate of food my sis made for my youngest niece (see below).
Trying to stay healthy is a balancing act, and things don’t always go as planned – sick children up through the night and there isn’t always a Whole Foods-esque lunch at your fingertips – but with a few tricks, you can make it work.
What tricks do you use to keep you, or your family healthy? Please share for the rest of us out there struggling with that high-priced commodity: time.
Right now I’m watching my niece stuff as many grapes into her mouth as possible. She’s got big cheeks, so it’s amazing what she can hide in there.
Enjoy your Sunday everyone.