Today’s guest post is right from the heart of Karlie Cunningham-Lloyd – the brains behind Coco Motion Mumma. Karlie is a trained Personal Development, Health and Physical Education teacher, Personal Trainer, and soon to be fully qualified Wellness Coach, but most importantly, a mum to my two children aged 6 and 4 years.
Her alarm goes off at 4.45am; she rolls over and swipes her iPhone to stop it from waking the children. Without thinking she walks to the bathroom where she has her gym clothes placed out from the night before.
She gets dressed, cleans her teeth, brushes her hair and tiptoes out the front door hoping not to have made any noise. She drives to the gym to get in a workout, sweat a little and head home all before her children wake and she is on breakfast, school lunch, and “Mummy, help me get dressed” duty. Some how she manages to do all of this and get out the door to get her kids to day care, school and herself to work all by 7.30am.
This early morning routine is one that I can relate to.
Because it is mine.
There are a few things in life that I know.
I know that making exercise part of my day makes me a happy mumma. If that means getting up at a ridiculous hour (yes, I acknowledge its insane) then that is what I will do to fit it in.
I realise the importance of fitness and exercise to my overall well-being and more importantly my mindset. The sense of accomplishment when I complete a workout, the feel good hormone that pulsates through my body when I get my body moving, the sensation of hanging in a handstand and the ability to grab an hour to myself each morning is an integral part of my day.
All these side effects don’t have to be felt so early in the day. They can be felt after you have dropped the kids at school, during that peaceful midday nap time, at the park while the kids are at soccer training or chasing the kids around a bike track while they ride.
You see exercise doesn’t have to be something that you dread. But it does have to be something that we do daily.
I completely understand that as mums we live highly productive and full lives. Some days it feels like there just aren’t enough hours. Spending time on ourselves can sometimes appear to be selfish. But I also acknowledge that a healthy and happy mumma makes for healthy and happy kids.
Think about what you love to do, do you love to dance? Do you love to go for long walks? Do you like feeling the sand between your toes? Do you love to swim, stand up paddleboard or socialise with friends? Who said your exercise program had to be structured and at a gym? Who said that it needed to last for a certain amount of time?
To ensure we are participating in activities we enjoy and keep with the theme of mums being the best multi-taskers in the world, why can’t our daily exercise look like the following?
Walking to grab a coffee with a friend at the beach, followed by a swim afterward to cool off. Easy!
Some day’s, exercise can be a side effect of our schedules. But to make it a priority, write it in the diary just like you do doctors appointments and swimming lessons.
What are you going to do today as your exercise?
With most things in life, there are two sides to the coin and with exercise comes nutrition. How are we choosing to nourish our bodies? What are we putting in to fuel them so that we can get though long days without experiencing sugar crashes and hunger pains?
I am a strong believer in finding what works for you. I have been experimenting over the years to find a way of eating that allows me to feel:
Fuller for longer
Maintain energy levels through the day and skip that 3pm slump
Maintain sugar levels to reduce the afternoon cravings
Have a happy gut without the pain and bloat.
What does that look like? Well it looks like a lot of vegetables, fruits, meat, nuts, seeds and occasional dairy. The combinations I make of these foods may look a little unconventional but it allows me to have more energy throughout my day, maintain my weight, feel satiated, and have clearer skin and healthy hair. As opposed to the lethargic, carrying 5kg of extra bloat, always hungry and prepubescent skin of the former me of 5 years ago!
I thought I was eating the right way. Cereal with skim milk for breakfast, skim milk cappuccino mid morning, a loaded salad roll and fruit for lunch, low fat rice crackers for afternoon tea. A large bowl of pasta with Napoletana sauce mixed with some vegetable for dinner. Tinned fruit and low fat yoghurt for desert.
With all of this food I never seemed to feel full, and an hour after each meal I was counting down the hours until I could eat again. I thought I was following the low fat lifestyle to a tea, but just not getting any results. It appears I was on the blood sugar roll-a-coaster to hunger and frumpiness.
So what does feeling fuller longer look like?
There are a few key things.
Add protein (meat, eggs, protein powder) to every meal.
Eat when you hungry – honour what your body is telling you.
Now my meals look very different but are a lot more exciting and flavoursome.
Breakfast includes eggs in salsa on a cauliflower mash, or an eggwhite banana pancake. An almond milk cappuccino and some nuts mid morning. A big salad with turkey or ham, drizzled with balsamic vinegar and a piece of fruit for lunch. Chopped vegetables with almond butter for afternoon tea. Steak, roasted sweet potato, homemade coleslaw and avocado for dinner. Desert is typically some coconut yoghurt or ice cream made from frozen bananas, cacao and shredded coconut.
If you would have told me to eat that way a few years ago it would have given me anxiety and stress. The lack of low fat products and the amount of protein would have completely freaked me out. Now that I know that fat is not my enemy and that it is a key ingredient to making me feel full, I am not shy in adding it in.
Can you relate to how I was eating to fuel my body and not getting any results? Are you willing to invest in your self to feel fantastic?
I would love to help you experience better health. All of my recipes are healthy, gluten free, mostly grain free and dairy free (some times I use gluten free oats and the occasional cheese). I have created healthy alternatives to all of my family favourites – Banana bread, hot cross bun loaf, donuts, Coco crunch, smoothies, paleo bread, cocoflower balls and much more.
There are also some great workout ideas and video attachments when you subscribe to my newsletter. Feel free to check it all out.
I aim to inspire and motivate you to EAT real food, MOVE your body daily and DREAM big. Come and join me in my pursuit to be a positive role model for my children and those that I have the pleasure of meeting.
Read about some of my adventures on the blog, check out some recipes or grab some of my workout ideas.
You can read more about my journey and family life here –