Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Are you a mother and do you eat healthy?

Being a stay at home mom (SAHM) myself, I have seen people assume that I have all the time in the world for me. Which is absolutely not true. It is rather the exact opposite of their assumption. Stay at home moms never have time for themselves. How many SAHMs you know spend time on themselves, indulge in activities far from their babies and homes, go for a walk when they please, spend hours at a mall...none right...

If this is the scenario for stuff that a SAHM does or does not do outside of the circle of the family, then it is often true even for the food she eats. I often do not cook especially for me, if A has a lunch meeting and does not need a lunch-pack, I raid the fridge looking for leftovers, just so that I don't cook for myself. I diligently make sure my son has eaten well, healthy food, fruits, juices, his multivitamin, his 'Chavanprash'....for him I am very careful.

But when it comes to me I am lazy or more accurately, I am exhausted by the time it comes to doing something for me.

But with all the health awakening going around us it is hard to ignore the facts that we mothers ignore for us. It is very important to take care of our health. We as mothers always give to our kids, husband, family etc. If we keep on giving and don't take anything for us, very soon we will have an empty well inside us. This could lead to a lot of health issues. If we are healthy, eat healthy, exercise, do activities outside the home like running in the park, playing a high energy sport, our children see us do it all and they will also take up that lifestyle.

It is necessary to take care of yourself before taking care of another; because if we are not healthy, how can we take care of another person?

I found this article on rediff, and it voices my concern about my health, my want of a healthier life for me.

Fulfilling multiple roles coupled with a lack of time leads young women to neglect their own diet and health. The fairer sex in particular is predisposed to developing iron deficiency anaemia, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. Early lifestyle and dietary changes mentioned below can go a long way in preserving the working woman's health and protecting her from these preventable diseases:

  • A balanced diet comprising of three main meals and two small snacks are good to keep up energy levels and metabolism through the day. The body needs a variety of essential nutrients. For a moderately active woman, six-seven servings of wholegrain cereals, five-six servings of vegetables and fruit, two servings of milk and three servings of lean proteins are ideal.

    Snacks can consist of nuts, high-fibre biscuits, chana and fibrous fruit.

  • Women must consume iron-rich foods like green leafy vegetables, jaggery, eggs, organ meats, beans, lentils, figs and dates to compensate for loss of blood during menstruation or increased requirements during pregnancy. Vitamin C aids iron absorption, so plenty of citrus fruit like kiwi, strawberries, oranges and tomatoes must be included.
  • Women are at a much higher risk of developing osteoporosis as compared to their male counterparts. Calcium is the most important mineral for healthy bones. High activity levels, weight-bearing exercises and consumption of calcium-rich foods like milk and its products, green leafy vegetables, beans and dry fruit can offer long term protection by improving bone density.
  • Your diet must include plenty of omega 3 fatty acids found in fish, which help to keep cholesterol levels under control. Saturated fats often found in prepared or ready-to-eat foods should be kept to a minimum and trans fats should be completely avoided.
  • Drinking at least 8-10 glasses of water daily prevents fatigue, headache and poor concentration. It flushes out toxins from the body and keeps the skin looking fresh.
  • Women with sedentary jobs must get active. Joining evening salsa classes with a partner or simply taking a brisk walk or a refreshing swim four to five times a week for 30 minutes is enough to compensate for lack of movement at work.
  • Most importantly, women must keep themselves updated on health issues


Amolsledge said...

I think it goes without saying that the women of the house should be healthy herself to keep her family healthy and it is important that she equally takes care of her health by having a proper diet & food so as to take care of her family well & have a good time.

Malina said...

Neelum what you are saying is so true!Stay at home mums like us are so guilty of neglecting their health & fitness needs!I will never cook anything healthy for me unless I know that the rest would also like to eat it.

Smita said...

Just thought of sharing a tip which a friend mentioned to cope up with iron deficiency and aneamia cook food in Iron pans/Skillets.
A way to get iron and the food taste better.
I am sure nobody really likes to take the smelly Iron tonics and tablets!!!!