Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Our changing shape!

We've become increasingly health conscious since moving to the country, so I was delighted to be invited to become one of the Soup Mamas/Heart Foundation's official bloggers for the Mums United project.
The project is all about bettering the health of Aussies one small step at a time.
So rather than making a big deal about diet and exercise, it's about incorporating small changes into our lives that are quick and easy for everyone to try - no matter how fit (or unfit) they may be feeling.
Although we all know that diet and exercise are important, the Heart Foundation's current focus is to point out that it's not necessary to spend a lot of time, effort, money and stressing about diet and exercise to make a difference to our heath, fitness and shape. There are simple changes we can all make to our lifestyles and menus - and even our shopping habits - to firm up our bodies and the way we feel about ourselves and our lives.
And that's what Mums United is all about.
Sharing the knowledge and the love and even the recipes that help make those changes easier.
For us, the first step was taking a closer look at choosing Heart Foundation Tick approved products when shopping. And I was amazed at how many there are. (Some 2000 of them!).
Cereal, flavoured milk, oils, pasta, frozen pizza, and even ready meals are among those that get the tick. To be honest, there are some items on there that I'm not sure should get the tick! But then, I'm not a nutritionist, so it's not up to me to judge. I'm just surprised is all! Could it be that easy? That forgiving?
Where are the celery sticks and prunes? We could eat yummy, delicious meals and be healthy and heart-friendly too!
The other thing easy thing we did was to make what we could at home from scratch, which is something I always try to do anyway.
Recently, we visited one of my best friends at his family farm, where we were encouraged to help ourselves to their produce-laden trees. Limes, lemons, avocados, and mandarins, were all ripe for the picking, not to mention eggs from their happy chooks.
We came home relaxed from a get-together with friends, a walk on a farm, and a drive in the country. We used the lemons to make home-made lemonade, the mandarins went in the school lunch boxes every day that week, the avocados were used in salads and on sandwiches, and the limes have freshened our water and tea daily.
If you don't have a farm nearby to raid, there are usually farmer's markets in most towns and cities around Australia. We've been enjoying the tastiest potatoes, pumpkins, carrots and cauliflower
which we purchased from a local market that same weekend.  They've been cooked and served in all sorts of ways and inspired from all sorts of cultures. You really can taste the difference that comes from the produce being so fresh and knowing where it comes from, and I find the kids gobble up their veggies without complaint.
Mr 12 has been enjoying baking bread from scratch, and Miss 10 has loved making school lunchbox snacks like muffins and biscuits rather than buying mass-produced muesli bars and so-called fruit snacks. (And I don't know if home-made muffins and biscuits get the heart-foundation tick, but they should, because we make them with love and with natural ingredients like honey and oats, and we know everything that is in them, and they have to be better than things that sit on the shelves for weeks or months. So there.)
We've also swapped driving, for walking, riding or scootering, wherever possible. Having a dog helps, even though our dog is tiny. (She has loads of energy).
"I think we're a healthier family these days," said Miss 10 the other day.
And I think she's right.
Readers, do you have a simple tip to live healthier?

This is my idea of a vegie patch!

Fresh limes

Peach blossoms ...

Happy chooks - and egg collector 

Stay tuned for more teensy, tiny ways we are making our lives healthier - and happier!  


Char said...

One of the biggest legacies I wanted to leave with my kids was to embrace a healthy lifestyle. I wanted them to love eating vegies, to drink in moderation, to not smoke and to exercise. It's still a work in progress with one of mine but the oldest has a very healthy lifestyle (which is good because he's a health professional now) and the youngest is great apart from not exercising as much as he should.

Unknown said...

What a heart warming piece. It is a wonderful thing to share good health with your kids. My son (8) chose an organic apple as his 'treat' from this shops this afternoon. I was very pleased as not too long ago nothing less than a cherry ripe or similar would do.

Ms_MotorbikeNut said...

Being in the city everyone can do some exercise no matter where they are.

Daughter A walks to school and home every day except if really pouring rain with hail stones its a 30 min walk each way.

Hubby @Motorbikenut has a job reading meters 4 days a week so walks about 20km's + a day

As for myself when talking on the cordless/mobile phone (if it's a personal call)I don't sit I walk around.

When watching tv when the ads come on I get up out of the chair and walk or ran on the spot while the ads are on.

There is not a day that doesn't go past that our family doesn't have 2 or 3 pieces of fruit every day.

Also we only have take away once every 6 months, we have a slap up tea every 2nd Friday where we cook party pies, sausage rolls & chips or home made hamburgers and chips.

Also in your blog you say you all swapped walking, riding or scootering for driving. Do you mean you swapped driving for walking, riding or scootering?

Cheers for now

(((( Hugs )))) XXXX Kisses XXXX

Unknown said...

Thanks everyone. Char, that's great, and Viv, my kids will often go for a more expensive type of fruit, like blueberries, as a treat. At first I would balk at the price, but when you work at how much per kg junk like chips actually cost, it's good value, and good for them. And Ms MotorbikeNut, you are right, you can even exercise indoors. And I did mean swapping driving for walking etc. Whoops, better correct that. I love hearing others' experiences and advice though. It gives me hope that being healthy isn't actually a big deal - it's just a way of life.

buttonbrain said...

My biggest tip is Learn how to read the packaging.
When my husband was trying to lose weight, a Chemist weight loss person told him to replace two of his main meals (as well as a snack)with Diet Shakes, at almost $3 per shake. I was able to show him the calorie content was in each shake was higher than a large bowl of healthy soup, or a grilled chicken fillet with a large salad, and nowhere near as satisfying! Healthy living doesn't have to be about denial and diet foods. Just some wiser choices, and a little bit of knowledge

Maxabella said...

Go you! These are all such awesome changes that will just be routine for your kids.

We are also trying to walk more. We walk to school a couple of days a week but as soon as Lottie is a bit older (next year!) we will do it every day. I think it's the single best thing a kid can do. That and drink lots and lots of water. x