5 Tips for a Happier, Healthier Family

Top 5 Tips for a Healthier Happier Family

[responsive_video type=’youtube’ hide_related=’1′ hide_logo=’1′ hide_controls=’0′ hide_title=’1′ hide_fullscreen=’0′ autoplay=’0′]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWVe4zXpG5I[/responsive_video]


You’re busy – but you want a healthy family. You need simple, fast ways to keep your family as healthy as possible. Here are my top 5 tips for raising a happy and healthy family!

Topics I Cover in This Episode

  • Why probiotics are so important to your health
  • Including probiotic foods in your diet – and getting your littles to eat them, too!
  • Why food is your best medicine
  • The truth about fat phobia!
  • What you need to know about food pyramids, food plates, and government interests
  • Why it pays to ignore standard diet advice
  • How the sun can be a huge boost to your family’s health
  • Important information about how lighting affects your family
  • How to “green your clean” step-by-step (and why you should)
  • The scoop on taking care of you

Right-click here to download the MP3

You’re busy – but you want a healthy family. You need simple, fast ways to keep your family as healthy as possible. Here are my top 5 tips for raising a happy and healthy family!

These tips aren’t in any particular order – I think they’re all important!

Tip #1 Take a Probiotic

You need to take a probiotic – and give one to your kids! If there’s one thing that you do that will boost your health, this is it! We’re just at the tip of the iceberg on understanding how important the “microbiome” is to our health, and you can bet we’ll come to understand more and more about it in the coming years.

Probiotic supplements, and eating plenty of probiotic foods is a big health win for your family!

Remember, our food supply is fundamentally different than it was in past years. Many of the foods we eat contain trace antibiotics, so even if you’re staying away from antibiotics with your family, there’s a good chance you’re getting some exposure. And much of our food is “dead” today compared to what it was in the past. It’s true that we’re happy to be free from the dangers of food spoilage, but…

…We’ve pretty literally thrown the baby out with the bathwater. We aren’t getting anymore “good” bacteria either.

There’s more collateral damage, too – there are no good bacteria, no enzymes, and we lose a lot of the nutrient content. Now, I enjoy cooked foods myself and I’m not advocating that we go to completely raw foods. But you should include raw foods in your diet, as well as foods specifically high in probiotic bacteria. For example:

  • Traditionally made sauerkraut
  • Traditionally ferment pickles
  • Other fermented veggies condiments such as kimchi
  • Fermented dairy products like yogurt and kefir
  • Fermented grains such as traditional sourdoughs

“Traditionally made” or “traditionally fermented” means that these were made with lacto-fermentation over time. Vinegar is often used to make pickles, sauerkraut, etc. today, which gives these foods the flavor, but not the beneficial bacteria. A long fermentation process with “wild” bacteria is generally what you want.

Remember, most of these foods were used as condiments traditionally – you don’t have to go overboard!

Think about adding a little bit of sauerkraut on your sandwich, or some slices of pickle, or some kimchi, or the little bit of yogurt to garnish something. Or just add a cup of yogurt in the smoothie you’re making, or little bit of kefir. It doesn’t seem quite as overwhelming to add this into your daily life when you think small 🙂

You don’t have to do the same thing day after day, though, my family personally lit personally likes to kefir-based smoothies. Those work really well for us and I’ll actually do those and add additional probiotic powder into it to give a real punch.

You should take a probiotic yourself, and give a good one to your kids. Kids don’t need a probiotic specific to children, and babies don’t need one specific to infants. Think about it, when your baby is born, he or she is colonized with the “adult” microbiota s/he gets on the way through the birth canal.

It is a good idea to vary probiotic brands periodically, so you could rotate through different, trusted brands – and include children’s and infant formulations.

Tip #2: Focus on Food

The biggest way that you can make an impact on your family’s health really is going to be food.

Ask yourself, “What am I feeding my family? What am I giving them day in and day out?”

Now obviously there can be treats from time to time, and that’s totally okay, but focus on the overall picture:

  • How can I make sure that our day-to-day diet on a daily basis is a healthy diet?
  • How can I make sure that I’m giving them nourishing foods?
  • Can I add in super foods?
  • Can some have probiotics?
  • Can I perhaps cut down on processed grains and processed foods?

Think it through…

The way that you have the most impact your family’s health is not by making all your doctor’s appointments. It’s not by getting all your shots. What you feed your family will have the most impact.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t do those things – that’s for you to decide for your own family. But what you feed your family will make the biggest impact…

It will make the biggest impact on dental health…

Brushing teeth does not make the biggest impact on your child’s dental health… what makes the biggest impact is making sure that you’re feeding your kids nourishing foods.

It will make the biggest impact on how their brains to develop. It helps with attention and other issues. One of the reasons why we see so many autoimmune issues in our kids, and one of the reasons we see so many attention issues in our kids, is because their brains are starving because of a low-fat paranoia.

The low-fat trend is literally starving our kids’ brains

Ladies we are in the first generation to be raised with wide-spread low-fat paranoia from start to finish… our moms were paranoid during pregnancy. They were paranoid while they raised us. We’re still living with a fat-phobic culture.

What’s left for our babies in the womb? There are no reserves. Our children’s brains are starving.

We need to feed our children (and ourselves) nourishing foods, which means healthy fats. Here’s a quick and easy way to know a “healthy fat:”

If your great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandma could eat that fat, it’s probably a healthy fat. If it’s something that was chemically extracted in a factory, it’s probably not.

That helps you easily discover if a fat is good or bad.

Again, go with a nourishing diet:

  • Go low on processed foods
  • Eat quality protein (plant or animal based – pastured meats, eggs, and dairy, and quality beans, legumes, nuts, etc.)
  • Eat fresh produce grown in a sustainable fashion, preferably in healthy, nutrient-rich soils.

Most of us realize that we should eat our fruits and veggies, but a truly nourishing diet looks different than the food “pyramids” and “plates” that our governments feed us (okay, okay, the pun was intended).

You need to be leaning more towards quality protein, healthy fats, and fresh veggies – and not so dependent on grains. The government recommends grain products because it’s subsidizing grain products (that’s not a conspiracy theory, it’s just a fact).

But your family’s diet is your first line of defense for everything that’s going on with your family’s health.

Your diet is actually going to make happier tummies in your families, and nourish a healthy microbiota, which makes a healthy digestive system – and I believe those two things really go a long way towards making a happier disposition in our family members!

Tip #3: Spend Time in the Sun

I’m asking you to give up another long-standing phobia…

…I already said no more fat phobia…

…so now get this: no more sunshine phobia!

There may be a basis for concern about constant, intense sun exposure, but we need to be really careful about totally pulling our children out of the sunlight. This has huge consequences that go beyond just “no sunlight:”

  • They’re not playing outside
  • They’re not running in the grass
  • They’re not playing the dirt
  • They’re not climbing trees or playground equipment
  • They’re not experiencing nature

Humans need sunlight and the outdoors. Look at studies where people have been seuquestered away from sunlight. Those studies don’t end very well because people need the sun!

Our bodies and our children’s bodies literally need it to do things like synthesize Vitamin D.

Think about SAD – seasonal affective disorder. People are literally experiencing sadness and depression because we don’t spend enough time in the sunlight!

For some of us living in northern latitudes, there’s not a lot of sun for a significant part of the year, and that has a major impact on everyones happiness level here. Plus, people in northern climates often suffer from lower baseline Vitamin D levels.

Those are just a couple of the consequences of lack of exposure to the sun. I know we can use Vitamin D3 supplements and that sort of thing – and as mamas we should evaluate those supplements responsibily. But it doesn’t matter if we can distill out everything and give it in a supplement. There’s still something lacking…

…look at the way nature designed us to get these things.

I know sometimes we need supplement, we should supplement. We live in a world of depleted soils. of non-optimal lifestyles, of food impacted by antibiotics, radiation, and all other kind of scary stuff. We do have to be choosy and think about supplementation. That’s true. But also think about the way nature designed us to get these things.

Think about the sun…

Think about a warm sunny day, or a crisp, glowing fall day. Both of these probably bring happy memories to your mind. Or maybe you can think about an early spring day when there’s still a chill in the air, but the sun is bright and you can just taste a hint of summer…

…all of those are positive associations for us because we see the sun in a positive light (another pun, sorry!) – because we know, intuitively, that the sun is our friend.

Getting out into the sun is an important thing for your family’s health.

Added to this is the concept of lighting. Respecting the natural cycles of light and dark is important for health. Think about it – do you spend dark hours looking at glowing screens every night? I’m not condemning you if you do – I do it too!! That’s not natural, though. Fortunately there are apps and now many devices with settings to block out blue light. You can even wear blue-blocking glasses at night. Those are good steps to take – I use them myself because like I said, I’m often looking at my computer or tablet later into the night than I should be!

It makes sense to pay attention to those light cycles.

Light cycles are especially important when you’re preparing to conceive or when you’re trying to establish good sleep habits for your little one. Light has a powerful impact on your fertility and your child’s sleep cycles – both are still expecting normal day and night patterns!

#4 Progressively Green Your Clean

I say “green your clean” because it’s a trendy catch-phrase, but it’s important to do…

…and it’s just as important for you and your family as it is for the environment.

When you look at household products, personal cleaning products, etc., think about the cumulative toxin load that using those things brings to your body – and to your child’s body. Add into that the toxin exposure that your family gets just by being part of this world.

It has a direct impact on your health and the health of your children – even on your unborn children.

I can’t remember where I heard this from, but I really like it:

Saving the environment starts with saving ourselves

What does that mean? When we start to reduce the load of toxins we’re using on our bodies and in our homes, we reduce the load of toxins used in our world.

When we reduce rampant antibiotic use and get rid of pesticides and other things that have a negative effect on humans, when we switch to sustainable practices to maintain human health, the happy side effect is that we heal our environment.

That’s something to think about.

Start by looking at products that can help you reduce the toxicity load in your day-to-day life, and the day-to-day lives of your kids.

Again, this is especially important if you’re planning to conceive soon – or even in the next year or two, but it’s really important if you’re planning for little ones because you don’t want the toxin loads building up.

Some children are super-sensitive to toxin loads and you’ll see behavior changes when you clean up their diets and their environments.

Start slowly – finding products to replace your conventional products one step at a time. Start with an all-purpose cleaner. Then think about dish soap. Then work on bathroom cleaning supplies. Kitchen supplies. Laundry. What about products used in the shower?

You can do this slowly, over the course of the next several months. “Green” cleaning products have really come a long way, so I encourage you to experiment and have fun. Grove Collaborative has really helped me find great natural cleaning and personal care products – check out my experiences in this post.

#5 Take Care of Yourself

Last, but certainly not least…

…you must take care of yourself!

Make sure that you’re doing what you need to do for your own self-care:

  • Eat well for yourself
  • Clean up your own personal care products
  • Spend a little time in the sun… take a walk!… every day

I tell my MamaBaby Birthing students to take a walk every day. It’s something I’m not really doing well on right now, but it really does help you feel better – make 10-15 minutes to do it!

Remember, when you take care of yourself, you’re essentially filling up your giving glass so that the glass is full and ready for you to pour over your family. You’re taking care of yourself so that you can take care of them.

Find something to smile about every day – something to laugh about. You do so much for your family, and it’s OK for you to enjoy that 😉

Think about your choices, be intentional about them and about mothering your children…

…and model joy for them.

That’s how you build a healthy, happy family <3

About the author 


Kristen is a pregnancy coach, student midwife, and a mama to 8 - all born naturally! I've spent nearly two decades helping mamas have healthy babies, give birth naturally, and enjoy the adventure of motherhood. Does complete support for a sacred birth and beautiful beginning for your baby resonate with you? Contact me today to chat about how powerful guidance and coaching can transform your pregnancy, birth, and mothering journey <3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}