in the moment

Be in the moment.

Be in the moment.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

Hold on to it.

Mommeeeeeeeeeee!!!

Hold on to it.

Mommeeeeeeeeeee!!!

and….done.

Oh yes! A record ten seconds to clear my head!

Live in the moment.  We hear this saying all the time in some form or another.  Whether it be in a yoga class, philosophy book, or from the older lady at Target who is keen on observing our primo mommying adventures.  But what does it really mean to us as mothers?  Frankly, I find it extremely hard to “be” in the moment as a mom.  I am constantly on the go, go, go.  With housework and work work  and play dates and nap time and bedtime and lunch time and freak-out time (the kids, not me—OK, me too!), there never seems like enough time in the day to actually exist in the moment.  As a mother to small children, I feel like I am constantly battling.  I’m battling laundry and dishes and dirty floors and messy bedrooms and scraped knees and melt-downs.  All the while leaving me exhausted and short-tempered, craving a piece of chocolate cake and a shower.

To revel in a clear mind and a calm body, it feels foreign to most.  And it shouldn’t.  Maybe the definition of living in the moment has everything to do with the jumbled and discombobulated life I do live and nothing to do with the life I perceive it to represent.  Not yearning for the past when I was flying solo or a future that holds the next best thing to make my life easier.  The clean house that I strive for or the live-in nanny that I will never have, but dream about often.  Maybe if I stopped fighting the daily chores and the sleepless nights, my mind would awaken to the revelation that, YES! this is my moment.  Every day with my children and my husband.  The good, the bad, the pee all over the bathroom, they all lead me to me.

EWG’s 2012 Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is an American environmental organization that works to protect the public from toxic chemicals in our food, water, and everyday products.  As busy moms with busy schedules, it’s often difficult to pay attention to or keep track of every single thing we consume and use.  Even if we do take the time to read labels carefully and thoroughly, at least half of the time we don’t know what to look for or what ingredients are red flags.  To guide us in making better informed and knowledgeable choices in our daily lives  –

Below are links to the EWG’s 2012 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, EWG’s 2012 Sunscreen Guide, EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, and EWG’s Tips for Safer Products:

Download the Guide | EWG’s 2012 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

EWG’s 2012 Sunscreen Guide

EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database

EWG’s Tips For Safer Products

Pick safer products

Your body

Your teeth

Your lips

Your skin + the sun

Your hair

Your nails

Your kids

For babies and young children

For teens

For women

For men

Over-the-counter drugs and personal care products

Buyer beware: Less common ingredients with significant health concerns

Ingredients derived from animals

junk food junkies

Have you ever heard of The Fast food Song?  Apparently this song used to be taught to kids in school.  Yikes!  Clever?  Yes.  Catchy?  Yes.  Horrible for teaching our children about health and nutrition?  Absolutely.  Thank goodness schools have since abandoned this mind-numbing song, but marketing unhealthy foods to children remains a stronghold in advertising today.  Catchy commercials  and ‘superhero’ product endorsements are widely and greedily used tactics by big corporations to target our children.  These companies spend millions upon millions of dollars in advertising.  They pay BIG money to bait our children with popular cartoon characters and bright colors.  They pay BIG money hiring scientists to manipulate and chemically alter foods to get our kids wanting more and more and more.  I get it.  It’s not a conspiracy.  These companies have an agenda and their agenda is to sell their product.  Bottom line.  Children are the perfect target.  They are gullible, easy to manipulate, and have the potential to become customers for life.  Cha’ching!

Are these companies to blame for intentionally creating habits that will condemn our children to a lifetime of ill health, including but not limited to obesity, diabetes, and mood disorders?  Or should our focus be put solely on us as parents?  Have we become a nation of brainwashed fools who aren’t educated enough to understand the difference between whole foods full of nutrition and over-processed junk?

Are we being outsmarted by these big corporations?  Are we raising an entire generation of junk food junkies?  Shrek sells.  Spongebob sells.  Scooby-doo sells.  But who’s buying????

Over-processed foods make-up eighty to ninety percent of our supermarket shelves.  The odds are stacked against us, but it is the consumer who dictates the market.  It’s as simple as supply and demand.  Every time a product you purchase is scanned at the check-out, you become an advocate for that particular food or beverage.  Think about it.  What have you been advocating lately?

Our children still have a chance at a healthy life, but it’s up to us as their parents to give them that chance.  If five year-olds are incapable of making proper food choices without the guidance of an adult, how is it that these corporations are WINNING over our kids?  It is in fact the adult that is purchasing this crap, correct?

We need to STOP being a victim of the food industry.

And honestly, the Shrek Twinkies make me want to gag just looking at them.

5 Steps to Mainstreaming Your Children’s Health

5 Steps to Mainstreaming Your Children’s Health:

1.  Educate yourself as a parent.  Do your due diligence.  Research.  Ask questions.

We have become a nation of slackers and frankly it’s getting quite old.  We need to start taking a pro-active approach when it comes to  health.  How can you be pro-active?  You can start by educating yourself.  We have oodles of information at our fingertips and yet we are still a country of obese, diseased, prescription drug addicted individuals.  How is this possible?  Start reading.  No excuses.

2.  Make conscious and informed decisions regarding food, exercise, spiritual well-being, and the environment.

This goes hand in hand with #1.  There has been such a disconnect in regards to our present day food choices.  The American way has led us down the path of “who cares.”  Who cares where your food comes from when it’s readily available and waiting for you just around every corner.  Gone are the days where you actually had to grow your own food or milk your own cow.  Let’s start caring about the impact we can and undoubtedly will create when we make informed choices in all areas of life starting with what we put in our mouths.

3.  Step outside the box.  Change the health landscape.

Have you ever asked yourself why pizza and cake are staple birthday party food items?  Think about it.  We are celebrating a beautiful event by stuffing our faces with processed sugars, artificial additives, etc.  All the things that can cut a life short.  Kinda ironic if you ask me.  I guess it would be okay if it was just one day a year, but it’s happening much more often than that in the average American household.  Will there ever come a time when broccoli and carrots are considered celebratory foods?  If we want to change the landscape, we need to start at HOME.  This is a grassroots movement.  One family at a time.

4.  Implement.  Teach by example.

In my opinion we are only as good a teacher as we are a doer.  Does that make sense?  All I am saying is to live the healthy lifestyle yourself.  This will undoubtedly have the greatest impact on your children’s health.  Children learn by observation.  Think of all the wonderful things you can teach them about life and health through your own positive actions.

5.  Make health a priority.

After all, it’s life’s greatest asset.  By making health a priority you are laying a strong foundation for your children’s continued wellness.  And that, my fellow mommies, is something we can all agree on.

Have a happy, healthy weekend!