Heart Choices: Fitness Friday ~ Healthy Family Lifestyle -->

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Fitness Friday ~ Healthy Family Lifestyle

Today is Fitness Friday! My Fitness Friday partner Sandy at God Speaks Today is back in business. Last week, her part of the country experienced a major power outage. But Sandy's back and I'm so glad to link to her.

Many of you are moms with busy lifestyles. Since I don’t have children, I interviewed my good friend Jamie to discover some of her secrets to living and modeling a healthy lifestyle.

After all, she’s fit and healthy. She’s a wife and mother to five children ranging in age from 4 months to 14 years old. And did I mention that she also home schools?

I wrote Part 1 of this interview on a previous post. If you’ve not read that, you may want to link there first.

Jamie runs at least one or two marathons a year. Do you remember the photo of her running that she tapes to her mirror? It reminds her of how good it felt to cross the finish line of this race.

Although she tries to model healthy eating habits in her home, she admits that she’s far from perfect.

But here are a few of the tips she shared:

  • Sugars and processed foods are kept to a minimum.

  • She does not purchase candy, soda or chips.

  • Oatmeal, granola and wheat bread are staples.

  • Snacks include pretzels and low fat/sugar peanut butter and jelly.

  • Lunch includes fresh veggies and fruit on the side.

  • Her family tends to eat five smaller portion meals/snacks each day.

  • Dinner is not a huge meal unless they have company.

Jamie mentioned that her son doesn’t like to drink water and gravitates towards sweets. The pediatrician suggested that they all drink a glass of water before sitting down to eat a meal so they wouldn’t eat as much. Hmm …that’s good advice for adults too. It also helps with hydration and digestion.

Do you ever feel like a short order cook in your house?

Don't do it. Jamie’s children have learned to eat whatever is served. She doesn’t cater to the likes and dislikes of each child but doesn’t purposely make things she knows someone hates.

I remember my mother doing that too. We learned to like certain foods over time even if they weren’t our favorites. If the kids don’t eat their lunch or dinner, they do not get a snack later.

Trying to manage and cook healthy meals for a family requires some planning.

Jamie has put together a spreadsheet with all the grocery items in her kitchen. All of the commonly used foods are listed in grouped sections like dairy, veggies, breads, canned goods, and household items. Using this list helps make her grocery shopping go faster and easier and she avoids extra trips for those forgotten items.

Jamie spends Sunday evenings planning the family’s dinner and lunch meals for the week. She tries to keep it simple so she doesn’t have to spend too much time in the kitchen. Another spreadsheet consists of all the meals that she likes to fix for quick reference.

Well, I don’t know about you but ...I was pretty impressed with her organized system.

Not everyone is so organized but I think we can all learn something from this busy mom.

Now what about you? Do you have any tips or suggestions that have helped you maintain a healthy lifestyle for your family?

And by the way, don't forget to visit Sandy at God Speaks Today. She's written a great post about the mental aspect of fitness. Maybe you've made a commitment to get fit but you're having some trouble sticking with it. Well, you need to hop over to Sandy's Fitness Friday post to read some of her great tips.
Debbie Petras
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  1. Debbie:

    Great post. Jamie's children will thank her some day. I also do most of those things. I used to cater to my kids' likes and dislikes, but I've decided they need to eat what we've served. One thing that helps is that I sometimes "modify" the ingredients to better suit the kids' tastes. (i.e. I may omit the sauce or the seasoning for their portion)

    I remind them that in every meal, there will be something that is not someone's favorite.

    I also find the weeks that I plan out our menu ahead of time, we eat much healthier at home and it saves me a ton of time and money in the long run.

    My kids also must have a fruit or vegetable with every meal and with most snacks. Before they are excused from the table, they must at least finish the fruit or veggie portion of dinner. The rest I allow them to leave on their plate if they can't finish it...but no dessert if they walk away from a healthy dinner. (Dessert is usually a small piece of candy from their "treat basket")

    Now, if I could just start running marathons AND homeschooling, I'd be cool like Jamie!


  2. Jamie is my hero! That is awesome! Reading about how she runs her healthy household really inspires me. Actually, I think I am gonna print this post out as a reminder!

    Thanks so much!

    Kate :)

  3. As a mom of four kids, I know well the struggle to fix healthy meals and not feel like a short order cook. Thank you for sharing your friend's story. Even though it's mostly just me, hubby and our son now, it still serves as a reminder that if I need to eat healthier, so can they.

  4. Well, in case you think I have things all together....I just got home from the grocery with a dozen donuts for the kids to find Debbie's post today! Ugh Oh!

  5. Hi, Debbie:
    I like the idea of eating what Mom serves. My son-in-law is big on raising their family that way. They travel & stay with family a lot and that's a rule for them. I was thinking how organized this Mom is and how it pays off in the end not only with discipline, but I bet her kids are healthy and she saves $ on dr. bills.

    Very good posting, Debbie, as usual. Btw, happy birthday!

  6. This was very encouraging . . . and poking at me to work on it! :)

  7. Debra - Happy Valentine's Day!

    This was a great post!

    Love and blessings,

  8. Great interview and information!!

  9. Debbie,

    Happy Valentine' Day, my friend!

    May the Lord bless you this day!

  10. I love reading all of your comments. And did you notice Joggin Jamie's comment. That's our Jamie in this article. I guess nobody's perfect!

    And happy Valentine's Day to each of you. Thank you for visiting Heart Choices. I treasure each one of you.


I love to read your comments! I know you have something to share so join in the conversation. And thank you for taking the time.

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