What does a well-nourished life look like for you as a wife, mom and professional organizer?
For me, a well-nourished life means having enough gas in my tank to patiently deal with whatever challenges my day is handing me. But to be honest, I only feel well-nourished about half of the time. You might think that because I’m an organizer, I’ve organized my life into perfect working order. I wish! While I do have organized closets and somewhere to put my Tupperware lids, there are parts of my life that regularly feel chaotic. I’m often managing some general angst about my children, growing my business, my faith and my relationships. But I have learned a few things about myself over the past decade that I repeatedly come back to when I need to refocus myself towards nourishment.
– No comparing, no judgment, no guilt. I steer away from books, Facebook groups, articles and conversations that keep the bar really high for perfect parenting, perfect kids, perfect diets, and perfect houses. I truly believe my kids are going to be fine if I don’t have amazing craft projects planned and if they eat a lot of hotdogs. I keep the comparisons and self-judgment and mom-guilt to a minimum because I’ve found they don’t motivate me at all.
– Exercise and sleep. I love sleep and try to prioritize it. When I’m feeling cranky and irritable, I often just need a nap – not so unlike my 2 year old! And I make time for exercise at least once or twice a week. It’s not always easy to make myself go but the benefits are huge – I need it for my mental and emotional health.
– Having a plan but being flexible. I am a serious list maker so I’ve always got multiple lists going – my immediate to do list, house project to do list, work to do list, books to read list, etc. It helps me keep things from swirling in my head. I typically have a general outline of what my week is going to look like. I plan for three dinner meals during the week and I wing it the other two nights. My husband does most of the cooking on weekends or we eat out. I like a plan to give me structure when I need it, but I’m also really good at throwing the plan out the window when we need a little spontaneity to breathe life into a rough day.
– Having someone to talk things through with. I need to talk things out to help me process them. For most of my adult life, I’ve had a therapist. I currently have a life coach and a few good friends that I can check in with when I really need to process something out loud.
– Time for myself. So much of my life is giving outwards – to my kids, my husband, my friends, my clients. But I’m actually an introvert in that I need alone time to recharge. So on the weekends, my husband and I trade off so that we each get a few hours of free time to recharge in whatever way we need.
– Checking in on what I need this week and making room for it. It’s not always the same. Sometimes I need to connect with my husband. Sometimes I need a drink out with a girlfriend. Sometimes I need two hours alone at the bookstore. Sometimes I need to wander around an art museum. And sometimes I just need a nap.
From your perspective, what is one thing busy moms can do to increase a sense of health and happiness?
Lower the bar, check in with your priorities and remember what you like to do for fun. That’s three things!
Do you have a favorite recipe you would be willing to share?
I got this recipe (originally called Turkey Sloppy Janes) from my sister probably 8 years ago. I sometimes make it weekly and at least twice a month. I always use a pound of ground beef instead of turkey and we don’t even eat it on buns anymore. I like to make a chili lime corn side dish that is just a bag of frozen corn cooked and then mixed with lime juice, olive oil and chili powder. My whole family loves this meal!
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 3 tablespoons no-salt-added tomato paste
- 1 cup grated carrots (from 1 large carrot)
- 3/4 pound ground turkey breast
- 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
- 4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 5 teaspoons yellow mustard
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and pepper and cook until starting to stick and lightly brown, stirring frequently, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, carrots and 2 tablespoons water and cook until carrots are tender, stirring occasionally and scraping any browned bits from the surface of the pan, about 2 minutes. Add turkey and cook until turkey is no longer pink, stirring to break it up as it cooks, about 3 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce, dates, vinegar, mustard and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 15 minutes to blend flavors.
Per Serving: 270 calories (60 from fat), 7g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 60mg cholesterol, 190mgsodium, 33g carbohydrates, (6 g dietary fiber, 21g sugar), 19g protein.