Kylene Bogden is an NBA dietitian and content creator for the functional nutrition blog, fwdfuel.com, and Instagram @fwdfuel. Here, she shares her insight for busy moms looking for more energy and balance.
Being a working mom is no easy feat. However, sometimes we make it a little harder on ourselves than we even realize. I am a new mom who also happens to work as a dietitian in the fast-paced world of professional sports. My best-kept secret to staying on top of it all? Keeping my nutrition game strong.
Sure, you may not be surprised by this answer coming from a nutrition expert, but hear me out …
Approximately 77% of our immune system lives in our gut. In other words, if we strategically plan when and what we eat throughout the day, we can naturally decrease fatigue, improve mood, boost immunity and stabilize weight.
Think of it this way, when an airplane comes crashing down, in order to increase your chances of survival, you must quickly and properly fasten your own oxygen mask before you can save everyone else around you, right? Well, the exact same can be said when it comes to your nutrition. As soon as you learn to adequately fuel yourself each day, you will begin to experience greater productivity at work and have more love to give at home.
As a mom who successfully juggles caring for an infant with a very busy career, I have a few tips to share that will help you more easily tackle your busy schedule.
Prep Your Protein
How many times throughout the week do you find yourself grabbing a meal or snack made almost entirely of refined carbohydrates simply because it’s quick and easy? A bowl of cereal or toaster pastry for breakfast. A pack of crackers for a snack. A few packaged cookies to hold you over between lunch and dinner. Unfortunately, this will only lead to more hunger and a big energy crash shortly after consumption.
Instead, make an effort to have portable protein-rich snacks on hand. Purchase in bulk and plot them in convenient locations such as your purse, car cup holder, or office desk drawer in order to increase your chances of compliance. A few great examples include nuts, seeds, grass-fed jerky and, of course, my ultimate favorite, Vital Proteins® Collagen Peptides stick packs ($37; shop now).
Collagen Peptides mix so well into just about anything! Try blending with your favorite cold-pressed green juice or mix into a serving of unsweetened apple sauce. No better way to squash hunger on the go while helping to support hair, skin, nails, and joints health.
Nail Your Nutrient Timing
Sometimes, when you choose to eat is just as important, if not more important, than what you choose to eat. Do you ever find yourself so busy or so stressed that you forget to eat? We’ve all been there but keep in mind this is the worst habit to foster.
Make it a goal to consume a meal or snack roughly every four hours throughout the day. This will help to stabilize your blood sugar. Stable blood sugar prevents fatigue, overeating and intense sugar cravings throughout the day.
If eating on somewhat of a schedule is a challenge for you, consider setting reminders on your phone or leaving Post-It notes in special places as a reminder to stay consistent.
Do Not Fear Your Fats
We've all been subject to wonky nutrition advice over the years, especially for those of us who lived through the '90s. Fat free, anyone? Limiting fat intake may sound good in theory, however, completely avoiding fat will not provide long-term health benefits. In fact, incorporating quality plant-based fat at each meal is critical for brain, hormone and joint health. Quality fats also help to control blood sugar and regulate appetite, as fat is the slowest macronutrient to digest.
Not sure where to start? Try adding a tablespoon of fat to each meal. Consider adding a scoop of guacamole to your omelet in the morning, olive oil to your salad mid-afternoon and a scoop of almond butter with your apple as dessert after dinner.
Just remember, eating well must be practiced before it is perfected. Once it is perfected, you will have the opportunity to witness the best version of yourself.