Today is a guest interview with the lovely Melanie Faris!
Melanie is a young mom with two babies at home under the age of 3.
She’s passionate about creating a healthy home, putting healthy food on the table, and building healthy habits into regular life that are actually do-able during this wild phase of parenting.
But… it can be incredibly challenging to “do everything” we find on Pinterest from mom-blogger-extraordinaire types. And while it would be wonderful to have access to all the best vitamins and minerals, know what to add to what, have an undergraduate degree’s worth of knowledge about essential oils and only serve up the most nutrient-rich produce, it’s just impossible. Right?!
What I really enjoy about Melanie is that she appears to have it all together, but she doesn’t hide the truth that – just like the rest of us – she doesn’t.
One of the first things she said to me when I asked if she’d do an interview for this blog was:
“Just don’t ask how I keep my sanity because quite frankly, I don’t!”
I love that. Me either, Melanie. Me either!
So having said all this, why do I bring Melanie on today?
I think she’s captured some great, simple, real-life, healthy-habits that benefit her whole family. I’m thrilled to learn from her now!
In a nutshell, how would you describe your day-to-day world?
My day-to-day life right now involves a lot of feeding hungry mouths, cleaning ongoing messes and changing stinky diapers on repeat.
Since becoming a Mom I’ve become a superstar at multi-tasking so I can get housework done, which usually involves holding a baby and keeping my busy toddler entertained.
In a full, wild day – what simple habits have you learned to do on a regular basis that have just become routine for a healthier, happier family?
I have come to accept that my dreams of becoming a pinterest-perfect Mom just isn’t going to happen.
There are so many health hacks and “must-trys” that I can’t keep up.
In my house I try to work some healthy habits into our regular routine that have become as normal as getting dressed in the morning.
I don’t try to do everything, but the few things I do, I try to do well and consistently.
- My husband and I drink lemon water before breakfast. It’s a great way to “break the fast” and is something we do every single morning.
My kids don’t do this yet, but we like to model good habits without forcing it on them (that they will hopefully repeat for themselves when they want to). My toddler often asks for sips of Mommy’s hot lemon tea too!
- To keep our immune systems strong, I love to support our bodies with natural products, especially during the winter months. I use my essential oils daily, and add vitamin c powder to our drinks. After much research, Young Living oils came out on top and are my oils of choice (not all oils are created equally and quality matters to us). Thieves Blends is my go-to oil, especially if there’s a cough or cold in our house. I diffuse it throughout the house and apply it to the bottom of our feet, along with adding eucalyptus to our chest and in bath water.
(Hey guys – this is Sarah interjecting! Interested in oils but a little skeptical? Check out some sound research that’s emerging on the safety and efficacy of some specific oils here. It’s surprising!)
My toddler is the one who usually asks for the essential oils! She doesn’t even realize the amazing benefits. To her, it’s just something fun we do after we brush her teeth. I keep calming oils in the bathroom – Lavender, German Chamomile and Gentle Baby. I let her pick which one she would like Mommy to apply to her feet and in her diffuser at night. It’s great to let your kids develop these habits too, by participating as much as possible. 🙂
- We drink a lot of our greens. Kids are tricky with certain vegetables. Our kids aren’t into spinach or kale (like most kids!). I find adding a barley grass juice powder or spirulina (what’s that? A super nutrient-dense green – learn more here) to some juice or water is the best solution. Even my 1 year old drinks it and he loves it.
Starting our kids young on healthy habits like this really made a difference in our home. We all drink it together and my toddler always asks for her “greens”. Kids are very aware of what Mommy and Daddy do, so I will say this again – I don’t force things on my kids that I don’t personally do on a regular basis myself.
- My kids have spit out healthy food on many occasions, but that doesn’t mean I stop making it for them.
I just keep putting it on their plate and don’t force them to eat it all. I try to encourage a couple of bites, but I never change the menu to fit their ever changing taste buds.
If brussel sprouts are being cooked for Mommy and Daddy, it’s being served on the kids plates too. The only food my daughter refuses to eat is scrambled eggs, but I blame myself for allowing too many swap outs in the past, which taught me this lesson…
Can you tell us about a time you tried to introduce a healthy habit to your family that was a terrible flop??
Not everything has worked.
We are far from perfect here! But I honestly haven’t had any major flops that have caused me to stop trying something.
If I can share any advice on “flops”, especially with little kids, is this – just because it didn’t work the first time, don’t give up on it. Keep doing it. Kids are adaptable and will catch on eventually.
You sometimes have to think outside of the box with kids, and be careful with how you introduce new things to them. Don’t say, “Here, drink these greens”, because that’s probably not going to work. Better yet – come up with a way to make it their idea.
Try saying something like this, “Do you want to be strong?” Then wait for their “yes”…”Do you want to be very healthy and happy?”…”yes”. Then take a sip of the greens and pretend to be this CRAZY STRONG person.
Kids love that stuff. They will be begging to take a sip. Simple tricks like this have helped me tremendously on our family’s health journey.
What would you say to a young, busy family like yours that wants to take steps toward being more health-conscience but they just feel swamped?
My healthy habits probably won’t all work for you. They definitely won’t work for you if you try to do them all at once. And that’s ok.
This has been a journey for us, and one that continues. We will always be adding new habits, and changing old ones too. That’s just part of life!
I used to have time to make fresh pressed juice in the morning before I had kids, but now that just ain’t gonna happen.
Look at your life now and pick something that you know you can do without feeling overwhelmed. As you get used to one habit, then add in a new one. Don’t try to do it all!!
I also want to say, focus on things that the entire family can do together, especially Mom and Dad. Even if the kids don’t catch on right away, they are still watching and sometimes that’s even more effective than making them do something.
Melanie – thanks so much for taking time to share little ways you cultivate a healthy family in your home.
Like Melanie said, this is a journey for everyone and we’ve just got to do “what works for you“!
Hope you find this little snippet encouraging in your pursuit of being healthy. 🙂
I love to learn simple tips, tricks and shifts that build a healthier home life… any readers have some fun things to share that have worked for them?!