Family health

Finding joy in a healthier lifestyle

Crystal notices her family's improved health and eating habits since joining the Healthy Family Challenge.

By Crystal Allen
Finding joy in a healthier lifestyle Above: Crystal out for a nature walk with her kids. Below: Crystal's homemade whole wheat pizza.

Last week, I wrote about falling off the Healthy Family Challenge wagon. This week, I'm proud to say that we got back on! The weather has been beautiful so I've been making an effort to get my family out at least twice a day for walks. The kids and I have been taking one walk during the day while Rob is at work, then after dinner all four of us have been taking a family stroll around our neighbourhood. When I was pregnant I had gestational diabetes and the counsellors talked about the importance of taking a 20 minute walk after meals. Admittedly, this is challenging for us during the winter months when the days are shorter and the weather is not cooperating, but getting out as a family before the day turns to night in the nice weather has proven to be a lovely treat for us. 

This week, the kids and I took a nature walk. We collected leaves, twigs, flowers and other items while we were out then came home and made bug-shaped collages out of the "treasures" we had collected. I thought it would make a lovely Earth Day activity to do with kids. Not only did it get us outdoors, it also gave us an opportunity to connect with nature and be crafty once we got home. I wrote about the nature walk and nature craft on my blog. I hope that others are inspired to do something similar to celebrate Earth Day. 

Along with getting outside more often I  finally signed up for the Vancouver Sun Run. I'm going to speed walk it with my friend Karen. Signing up for the Sun Run isn't something I ever would have considered before taking part in the Today's Parent Healthy Family Challenge, but I'm excited for the experience.

Rob pumped up the tires on his bike this week and he and Bella took a few bike rides around our neighbourhood. Bella thinks it's so cool going bike riding with her dad. I really love that it's an activity that the two of them do together. 

Our eating habits also got back on track this week. One of our favourite meals was pizza with homemade whole wheat pizza dough. Bella enjoyed picking the toppings for her section of the pizza and Rob and I kept portion control in mind as we balanced our plate with smaller portions of pizza next to a nice, big, green salad. Whole wheat pizza dough isn't something I ever would have made before the Healthy Family Challenge, but it turns out we all loved it and couldn't really tell the difference. My homemade whole wheat pizza dough recipe can be found on my blog.

Finding joy in a healthier lifestyle  

All in all, I think my family is feeling pretty good about getting back on the wagon. Having a small slip and then picking ourselves back up reminded us that it isn't the end of the world if we back pedal a bit as long as we recognize it and get back on track. 

Next week I'll be back on the elliptical machine at the gym and I'm going to take another bootcamp class and get my butt kicked. My favourite workout by far is my Wednesday night yoga class, but I know that I need more cardio to really whip me into shape.

What kind of activities do you like to do to stay fit? I'd love to hear your favourite fitness ideas so that I can mix my workout routine up a bit.

This article was originally published on Apr 16, 2013

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