Be in the moment.
Be in the moment.
Hold on to it.
Hold on to it.
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.
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.
As a mom who writes children’s books on veganism, Ruby Roth is on a mission to help change the way we see food and the world. While Roth has recently drawn criticism for her new book ‘Vegan is Love,’ I really believe the overall message she is sending to moms and dads and families across the globe is invaluable.
The harshest criticism this book is receiving according to registered dietician Nicole German:
“...it could easily scare a young child into eating vegan, and without proper guidance that child could become malnourished” and “…children are impressionable and this is too sensitive of a topic to have a child read this book.”
I agree that children are impressionable, but I also believe that it is our responsibility to convey truthful messages to our children without guilting them or instilling fear. Furthermore, any diet that is not properly overseen by a responsible parent has the possibility or tendency to become unhealthy – not just veganism. It’s the lack of supervision, not the diet in this case. Why does the media tend to forget that WE are RESPONSIBLE for raising healthy, well-adjusted kids?
In a video book trailer (below) for ‘Vegan is Love,’
“If we want to move towards an era of solutions where the planet is healing, people are fed and healthy, there is good in the way we do business and a reverence in the world for all living things, then all we have to do is live that life ourselves.”
Whether you are vegan or vegetarian or omnivore – we ALL need to become more connected to our food and to Mother Earth. As parents we need to teach our children about proper nutrition, why healthy eating is a must, and how every decision we make influences our world. The best way to do this is to live that life ourselves!
Your children will become what you are; so be what you want them to be.~David Bly
Remember to get your Earth Day on this weekend!
This beautiful rendition of the classic Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar) was created by Inne Choi and can be found here.
Morning is always a hectic time for me as a mom. Force my body out of bed, get showered and dressed- get the kiddos up, washed, and changed. Make breakfast. Try and make them eat it. Grab a little something for myself and we’re out the door.
Morning is also the perfect time for me to get in a little exercise to help prepare my mind and body for the day ahead. After much trial and error deciding on a rise and shine, “get fit fast” routine, I’ve finally found (and fallen in love with) Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation.
Sun Salutation consists of a beautiful set of asanas that massages, detoxifies, and stimulates almost every organ of the human body and brings suppleness to the spine. It is a wonderful way to warm up and stretch at the same time.
In just ten minutes, your body gets a comprehensive and systematic workout. No other exercise routine can surpass it. It makes the body strong, supple and flexible and tones every part of the body. The back is bent and straightened, the abdomen is compressed and stretched, it loosens up all joints, flexes the muscles, massaging internal organs, and activates all the systems of the body.
Sun Salutations are a series of 12 postures, linked by the breath, in one single flow:
- Stand with both feet touching. Bring your hands together, palm to palm, at the heart. Make sure your weight is evenly distributed. Exhale.
- Raise your arms upward. Slowly bend backward, stretching arms above the head. Relax your neck. Inhale.
- Exhale while you slowly bend forward until your hands are in line with your feet, touching your head to your knees, if possible. Press your palms down, fingertips in line with toes (bend your knees if you have to), and touch the floor.
- Move your right leg back behind your body in a wide lunge. As you inhale, keep your hands and feet on the ground, with your left foot between your hands, and raise your head.
- Bring your left foot together with your right foot.
- Exhale as you lower your body, resting on your forearms.
- As you inhale, lower your pelvis to the ground and raise your head and bend backward as far as possible, while straightening your arms.
- Putting your hand on the ground and keeping your arms straight, raise your hips and align your head with your arms. Exhale.
- Slowly inhale and bend your right leg to take a wide forward step. Keeping your hands firmly on the ground, place your right foot between your hands and lift your head up.
- Keeping your hands in place, bring both feet together. Straighten your legs but keep your waist bent and upper body lowered. Touch your head to your knees, if possible. Exhale.
- Slowly rise, straightening your back into a standing pose. Bend backward, stretching your arms above your head as you inhale.
- Return to position number 1. Exhale.
Remember to decide how many Sun Salutations you do and how fast you do them by listening to your body. If you’re a beginner, start by doing two: one for health and one for well-being! As you advance, start your morning by doing three and building from there. Side note: I also incorporate Sun Salutations into my day whenever I’m feeling tired or stressed.
Salute the sun and your health every morning.