10 Ways We Keep Our Family Happy, Healthy and Well

posted in: Wellthy Family | 0

We hear it all the time: “Are those all yours?” “How? Why?” “Better you than me.” And my personal favorite: “Oh, you must have help.” Raising five kids — from 30 months to 8 years old — provides plenty of challenges, but it’s an amazing journey that we relish every day (errr, almost every day). Because we own a fitness company, I think people assume we have 5 A.M. family runs, return home for an agility ladder circuit, and finish up by slamming a wheatgrass concoction grown from our garden. Fortunately for our kids, that’s not how we roll (and our garden is officially dead now anyway). Raising a healthy family means taking a broader, more whole-person approach focused on total wellness. Better health means a better quality of life, and that’s what we want for our kids. Here are 10 things we do to make that happen:
  1. We switched from the Standard American Diet to a clean diet — eating mostly whole, organic, grass-fed, and free-range real food — about six years ago, and we stay true to this about 80 percent of the time. I also love to use essential oils and apple cider vinegar whenever I can sneak it in.
  2. We understand it’s okay not to be perfect. It takes a lot of work to plan and prep healthy food for five kids. We don’t eat kale for dinner every night, and sometimes I reach for the Goldfish, but having noticed a significant difference in the way we feel and act when we’re not “on the wagon,” we’re committed to always hanging out at least somewhere near the wagon. I’d love to have a day when there are no Goldfish to reach for, but mama needs her sanity.
  3. We drink only water all day. And because it’s the norm for our family, the kids see things like juice and chocolate milk as special occasion drinks.
  4. We teach the kids to be in tune with their bodies. If they can draw correlations between how they feel and what they’ve recently eaten, they can make informed food choices. They’re learning how processed foods make them feel. I’ve actually seen my 8-year-old pass up dessert because he had overdone it the last time and did not like the results. For the record, mama wasn’t too fond of the 3 a.m. holding his hair back either.
  5. Our daily “workouts” are all about play, movement, fun, teamwork, and fresh air. It’s important that kids understand the value in physical activity, and that it can and should be enjoyable. It ain’t rocket science. Exercise doesn’t have to be fancy, cost a lot of money or be something you dread. Just use your body. And have fun.
  6. We get creative with exercise. We take the stairs (and not just because one kid has an elevator phobia). We go for walks. We wrestle… a lot. We hold plank contests. We jump, balance, run, and swing in our backyard. In the last year, we’ve added a trampoline, created a homemade slack-line (the main component will run you about $23), and built a pull-up bar off of the garage.
  7. We’re intentional about weaving value lessons into our daily lives because to us, being wellthy also means being a good human being. When we’re at our best (sometimes we’re doing well just to get meals on the table for the seven of us), we’re teaching our kids about kindness, compassion, patience, and love. Teaching and modeling values is way more difficult than making sure each kid gets enough broccoli, but if my kids choose to cheer up a classmate over taking that day’s wheat grass shot, I will be one happy mama. (My kids have never actually had wheatgrass, but you get the point.)
  8. We stress that the joy is in the journey. Children can turn every. single. thing. into a competition, and while there’s a time and a place for that (Uno, anyone?), we like to remind them how much we enjoy watching them having fun and trying new things. It can be difficult for kids to wrap their heads around the fact that it isn’t always about the end result and that it’s good to just have fun.
  9. We see lessons in conflict. Growing up with a lot of siblings teaches our kids about compromise and co-existing, but we want to teach them that these things don’t have to be done begrudgingly. Simply tolerating situations or people is not the same as truly valuing and loving people. Teaching of these values often feels very ugly as it plays out in fighting, crying, whining, tattling, and all-things-unharmonious, but these are probably the most important lessons.
  10. We learn as we go. There are a lot of factors that play into a family’s wellness and health. These are some of the things that work for us, and I’ll talk more about these topics in future posts. If you’ve got questions, comments, topics you’d like us to explore, or tips of your own, we’d love to hear from you. Let’s learn from each other.

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