Some days I get up and immediately freshen up for the day before I start working, planning, and playing with or teaching the kids. I feel so put together and it makes for the sweetest, fullest days!
Other days, I seem to get up late and put my nose to the grinding stone–only to glance in the mirror later–eek!–and realize that I look either like I belong in a casket (I am pale…so thankful for blush and lipstick!) or like I live outside. Those ghost sightings in my own bathroom provide me with a reminder that I could do a better job taking care of my appearance for myself and my family.
After a long week of hard work with the family, I look forward to a few regular routines that include hot epsom salt baths, the chance to whiten my teeth, dye my eyebrows (they’re blonde), tend to my nails, and pamper my skin! It feels so nice to sit down, relax, and unwind. I find that I can’t do a good job at taking care of my responsibilities if I don’t feel like myself.
As a mom, I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that if I’m feeling frumpy, in need of some alone time, and overwhelmed, a few moments to braid my hair or put on some makeup can uplift the mood of the entire family. Our children and husbands rely on us for many things, including love, a sense of peace and softness, and compassion, all of which are more difficult to provide when we’re feeling drained.
My Personal Care Routines
As for my own personal care routine, I have two “to-do” lists: one for daily care and one for every few days. The daily list includes:
- Taking my daily supplements prescribed by my naturopath (or a good quality prenatal, such as Megafood Baby & Me 2),
- Doing some form of exercise (typically, this is yoga or physical therapy exercises), staying hydrated, brushing/oiling my hair, and keeping up on my personal devotions.
The less frequent list includes:
- hot yoga at a studio in Grand Forks,
- whitening my teeth,
- exfoliating my skin, and as I mentioned,
- dying my eyebrows, and
- my beloved hot bath.
BUT…what is the most important thing for our bodies?
The #1 thing we can all do for ourselves (and our families) is to focus on good nutrition.
This is probably the most impactful thing we can do for our physical selves and can even give us that “mommy glow-up” we are craving.
Here are some ways that I use nutrition to feel polished on the inside and the outside:
- Eat sardines, salmon, or some other low-mercury fish at least twice a week. In between these, I take cod liver oil. This seems to significantly help with clear skin, fighting dry skin, and keeping my hair long and healthy.
- Eat beef or/and eggs daily. This provides me with lots of fat-soluble vitamins (get sick less often!), protein (stay full and stay away from overeating!), and zinc and B vitamins (healthy skin, hair, and nails!). Plus, what is better than a juicy ground beef burger on sourdough with a thick slice of raw cheese, a fresh tomato slice, a leaf of lettuce, and some mustard??
- Drink red raspberry leaf tea daily. I take red raspberry leaf tea to support my hormones and breastmilk production. Imbalanced hormones will bring a lot of uncomfortable symptoms, but for me, this is acne, water retention, dark eye circles from poor sleep, and an ugly bad attitude, all of which can be helped–at least a little!–by natural hormonal support.
- Drink dandelion root tea daily. I experienced itching (cholestasis) and acid reflux during my last pregnancy, but this was solved by dandelion root tea. Recommended to me by both my naturopath and my midwife, I took it for itching and it also got rid of my reflux by accident! I am so grateful for this humble herb and I now drink it for daily liver maintenance (and blood support–it is rich in iron!). Our livers can be heavily burdened from processing hormones and toxins, and in my experience, when my liver is stressed, I experience acne, itchiness, constipation, and joint pain. Dandelion root is a gentle liver/bile support that is safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding.
- Only if you do NOT have high levels of heavy metals (including copper), eat organ meats and oysters. These provide antioxidants and other important nutrients (CoQ10, CLA, retinol (a known skin supernutrient!), B vitamins, protein, zinc, selenium, et cetera) that will support thyroid function, hair growth, beautiful/glowy/collagen-rich skin, and energy levels. But, proceed with caution and make sure you don’t already have high levels of copper, which is found in high concentrations in these food products. A way to ensure natural copper detox is to drink dandelion root tea daily and make sure to eat fiber, as copper is excreted through the bile and strong digestion. See this link for more information on high copper levels: https://coppertoxic.com/
- Eat/drink plenty of raw milk, raw cheese, yogurt, and milk kefir. Not only will these high-protein foods keep you from overeating, but they will also help provide your body with plenty of calcium and fat-soluble vitamins for strong bones and teeth. A smile full of hard, unblemished teeth, and a straight posture due to strong bones can make anyone feel more confident! Plus, adequate calcium intake is associated with less PMS…a wonderful bonus. As a side note, yoga & stretching can also dramatically help improve poor/slouchy posture.
- Drink bone broth and add collagen/gelatin to your soups, teas, and coffees. I’m probably just preaching to the choir when I say things like, “collagen makes your skin look youthful–less wrinkled, plumper, moisturized, and less saggy!” So many companies–nutrition and cosmetic companies–promote collagen for beautiful skin and hair growth.
- Vitamin C. Supporting adrenal function, collagen production, heavy metal excretion (copper), and decreasing reactive oxidative species are all functions of vitamin C and are all beneficial to our “glow-ups.” Stress, collagen loss, heavy metal toxicity, and inflammation will make a person look exhausted, puffy, wrinkly, dry, and blotchy with irritated skin and tissues from inflammation. Vitamin C, found mostly in fruits and vegetables (especially sauerkraut and other fermented products), can take care of these things!
These are most of my beauty-through-nutrition tips!
Some mamas often experience overwhelm, exhaustion, dehydration, and a general lack of personal care. It can be extremely challenging to keep up on maintaining ourselves because we just have so much to do! But, it doesn’t have to be this way. The unfolded laundry can wait and won’t multiply until after you’ve had a good meal, a tall glass of lemon water, and put on some moisturizer. Running on empty is a bad idea for ourselves and those interacting with us, especially our children, who pick up on our mood.
Wifehood and motherhood are full of blessings. Be grateful for the body God made for you and treat it well.
Do you have any personal care routines or nutrition tips you’d like to share? Leave a comment below!