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5 healthy habits: Darya Isham, new mom

5 healthy habits: Darya Isham, new mom

Being healthy isn’t a quick or easy endeavor — we get it! We certainly don’t have an unlimited budget for $15 green juices or enough hours in the day to spend two of them at the gym. In our “5 healthy habits” series we get inspired by tips & tricks from real women (no celebrity yoga gurus allowed!) and share the healthful practices they’ve incorporated into their daily lives.

I had a baby 10 months ago and I stay at home with her. It’s been a huge challenge — in all the ways — but also (obviously) it is the best thing I’ve ever done.

Staying healthy as a new mom is not even a little bit easy. Other than the fact that you have zero personal time, your baby does not like playing by herself, and there is no such thing as quiet time, you also have a raging appetite from breastfeeding, feel guilty about spending money because you’re not actually “working,” and have an extra 15 – 20 pounds that feel really comfortable in their new home. When it comes to health, the little things I do for myself can make a huge difference in a day that is entirely about someone else.

1. I make my own body scrub. Showers are a luxury item when you have a new baby, and using a scrub allows me to take an extra few minutes to go over every part of my body in a way that soap and washcloths just don’t. And it’s ridiculously cheap and easy. I take sugar or salt and add oil (almond, avocado, grapeseed, even olive). You can even add essential oils if you want. (Side note on the essential oils: I got into them when I was making these witch hazel pads, which are an absolute must if you plan on giving birth. They are like a frozen treat for your throbbing vagina.)

2. I snack on frozen energy balls. My favorite are these walnut/date/coconut ones, as they’re not too sweet, but there are dozens of recipes. A friend introduced me to them, and they are perfect for a quick, healthy bite.

3. I don’t skimp on meat. Even in Brooklyn, it’s very hard to go all organic, all the time. But I do stick to grass fed, local, and organic for animal products – from meat to eggs to butter. Since I cook the majority of our meals at home, I don’t feel bad about spending extra money on good quality meat.

4. I stretch/meditate while I’m waiting for my baby to fall asleep. I still sit in my daughter’s room until she’s soundly sleeping, so it’s a good time for me to stretch and sometimes just sit in the quiet dark. Granted, this is a pretty self-specific habit, but the point is to incorporate stretching when you would otherwise just be sitting there.

5. I use all my spare vegetable parts to make stock. I save every part of every vegetable or herb and freeze it until there’s enough to make a stock. Skins, stalks, stems, rinds, peels, everything. And then I freeze the stock in ice cube trays (also amazing for baby food). When you always have stock on hand, it’s much easier to throw together a quick dinner with soup, grains, beans, etc.