10 Best Energy-Boosting Habits

healthHabits are the ways which we repeatedly do. It is a common saying that,

“First we make our habits, and then our habits make us.”

They have profound effect on our life and relationships. Following are some easy going tips which truly give a pop up and refreshing effect to our stagnant life; and also help us to be a better person and a good Muslim.

1. Sleep

Sleep is an integral part of our routine. Studies recommend catching  6 – 7 hours of sleep daily. An uninterrupted good night sleep boosts up energy levels and mood. Make a habit of giving a signal to your brain at Maghrib (sunset) that you are going to sleep at 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. Put off all the gadgets and devices half an hour before your sleep time.

2. Recite the Quran

We, as Muslims, recite our holy book- but the idea is to develop it as a morning ritual before engaging into any other activity. Do it daily – you will notice that the whole day will be quite different and blissful from the previous one.

3. Work out / Exercise

Twice a day workout is the best thing to boost up your energy levels. Even a simple brisk walk for 30-thirty minutes is a way to keep apart a number of diseases and your weight in control. It also boosts self-confidence and is known to cure mild to moderate depression.

4. Drink plenty of water

Don’t wait till you get thirsty. Drink before the urge comes and in small gulps to avoid bloating.

5. Never skip the breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day to keep the energy levels constant throughout the day- but I am talking about a healthy breakfast. Oatmeal and porridge should be a must-have-everyday part of the breakfast.

6. Healthy meal plan

Include as many vegetables and fruits in your diet as you can. They not only make you full and release your urge to eat more, but also provide with the necessary nutrition and maintain weight- making you and your weight machine happy. Also meat should be limited to once a week.

7. Take Dinner Early

The dinner should be light and taken at least two hours before sleep. This will give enough time to the body to digest it- thus, preventing heart burn.

8. Be Positive

Try to be a person who can face any situation with

“Allah (swt), what an opportunity!” rather than, “Oh! What a Problem!”

Every person has difficulties, but whoever greets them cheerfully, will be the winner in the end. Count your blessings every day- this will be push you to next step.

9. Meditate

Give yourself sometime just before sleep to meditate. Close the door, take deep breaths and think about your day, yourself, your achievements and goals.

10. Get back to your goals 

Last but not the least- there are situations and happenings where we all lose our daily routine; but the best person is the one who reverts back to his routine as soon as possible. Stick to it!

Wish you all good health because without this bounty we can’t enjoy the blessings of our life.

Ask the Savvy Parent: Mealtimes are Wartimes

Image courtesy http://mommabird.net/

Image courtesy http://mommabird.net/

Dear Savvy Parent,

How do I get my 4-year-old son to not be such a picky eater, and also eat on his own without my husband or I having to feed him?

Dear parent,

First off, you are not alone in this. There are many parents who face similar challenges. It is important to remember that picky eating is temporary. If you don’t make it a big deal, it will usually end before school-going age.

Change will not happen overnight. It will take some time for you to see any changes or improvements. Don’t give up and always be consistent. Relax and take it easy. The key is consistency.

Here are some proactive things you can do to deal with fussy eating and help your child learn to eat on his own and try new foods:

  1. Offer the same foods for the whole family. Don’t be a “short-order cook,” by making a different meal for your child. Never cook something for your child that you would not eat yourself. Most children like to eat the meals their parents are eating.
  2. Make sure your child eats with the whole family. There is no point making him or her sit and eat, while no one else is. You would end up fighting a lost battle.
  3. Most kids like to try foods they help make. Encourage your children to help you prepare meals and snacks. Let them help you with the grocery shopping. Teach your child to tear lettuce or add veggie toppings to pizza, for example. You will be surprised what you can get children to eat if they have helped to prepare it.
  4. Try to make meals a stress-free time. Talk about fun and happy things. If arguments often happen at mealtimes, your child may develop unhealthy attitudes toward food.
  5. Offer two choices. Rather than asking “Do you want broccoli for dinner?” ask: “What would you like for dinner: broccoli or cauliflower?”
  6. Use the Bowl of Bites Method to decide the number of bites the child must eat.  At times, trying to negotiate the number of bites can be never ending and lead to arguments. This is where the bowl comes in (explained below).
  7. Your children will be okay even if they don’t eat a meal now and then. Children never starve themselves. If they are not eating, leave them be. Make sure snacks are out of reach, though. Carry on with your meal. Eventually when they do get hungry and want food bring out the plate of food that was not eaten during mealtime. Eventually they will give in and eat it. At this time, give them verbal reinforcement.

Bowl of bites
For some parents, establishing a required number of bites can help. Select a reasonable number of minimum bites, for example, five. Two or three bites are not enough. In a bowl, keep about 10 pieces of small paper, folded in half, with a number written inside them. Have a variety of numbers ranging from the minimum (in this case, six) to about nine. During mealtime say, “Let’s see what the bowl of bites decides for us.” Allow your child to pick out a piece of paper and read the number on it. Whatever the number says is the number of bites that are required to be eaten. If your child is the type to go back and forth negotiating to get his way, the best way to get around such a situation to remove yourself out of the negotiation. These “bowls” can also be adapted to be used in many other situations.

For a child who will not eat on his or her own, the bowl of bites can also help by establishing the number of bites the child has to eat on his own. In this case, the numbers could start smaller such as three. Alternatively, taking turns can help. Your child takes a bite on his or her own and then you feed them the next bite and so on. Eventually, as they get comfortable with this, you can feed less and less bites.

Change will not happen overnight. It will take some time for you to see any changes or improvements. Don’t give up and always be consistent. Relax and take it easy. The key is consistency.

Insha’Allah, I hope this helps. Happy Parenting!

The Savvy Parent

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