How to Create Sustainable Balance with Your Health with Dawn McGee
Welcome to this episode 72 of The Determined Mom Show. I have here with me an amazing woman, Dawn McGee, and she is a nutrition evangelist that helps women to want results for a lifetime and not just a moment in time, which is amazing.
I’m super excited about our conversation. I have struggled with this my whole life, and I know many of us have; as a child of the nineties, like the eighties, slash nineties, We grew up on junk food, and it was programmed in.
And if you are lucky, you have your parents’ veggie vegetables and stuff, but most of my friends did not, right? So we ate whatever we wanted, and now we’re paying the price of not learning how to eat properly. Before we get started into this sustainability, which you will be talking about today, creating sustainable balance in your life, I want to talk to you about how you got started.
And we’re running around, cardio kids to soccer and karate and dance and wherever else, and eating in the car. We swore that we would only do some of those things right, and you lose track of what it means to feed your body with good health. I didn’t learn how to feed my body growing up.
My dad was a real meat and potatoes guy, and eat what’s on your plate and eat what’s in front of you. And I learned those skills when I was in college, and I came back with them more than the freshman 15, let’s say. And my mom put me on my first diet. It was a stewardess diet, which we won’t talk about either, but it started a real long-term love-hate affair with diets.
And so that’s the main reason I talk with folks about sustainability and balance: you don’t want to be healthy to be full-time. You want it to be part of your lifestyle, and then you want to continue enjoying everything you want. So I got started in that way. I’ve lived life in many regards, and I became passionate about helping others to avoid the diet trap and getting off the hamster wheel of all the fad diets.
That’s an abridged version we could talk about. And I love that you’ve been there and experienced it and have struggled with it yourself because a lot of what I see in the nutrition industry is people that may have never struggled with it. And I don’t know if I can trust you to give nutritional advice when you’ve not overcome it.
You’ve been there; you’ve done it. And that’s huge. For me, it is a huge validation of trusting someone with nutritional advice because you’ve been there, done that, figured out how to overcome it, and here you are. I completely agree.
When I work with folks, I look for people who are a couple of steps ahead of me, whether in business or wherever I’m going, because I know they’re on a similar path and they understand the struggles I’ve been through.
I look at some picture-perfect Modelesque nutrition folks, and I and I see that they haven’t lived through it. So things that I run into as a pitfall, as a mom, and as a busy professional are things that they don’t understand.
They don’t have the tools to lend to me to help me get around those. And like you said, the kid’s school, the always running. And now it’s a little bit different in the fact that we’re recording this during the pandemic, but we don’t have all of those activities and things, so we technically should all be eating well because we have time to make dinner and all of those things,
But it’s probably not happening. If you don’t have the underlying skills, it will still not occur. I will say one of them. Most rewarding thing about this time during the pandemic at home is that my son has come into the kitchen with me. He’s starting to do some cooking on his own, self-directed, and it’s great.
It’s nice to pass that along to him and watch him explore different flavors and how to feed his body and start to learn about that. It’s been amazing. Almost ten years old is getting into the cooking thing. She made eggs for her and her sisters earlier and just explored those things and learned and all that stuff too.
I think it’s a fun time, and I wouldn’t be able to do that with her usually if I was at work. It is being there and being able to coach them through it, getting them things that are age appropriate to do. Eggs were scrambled. Eggs were my son’s first meal. It’s fabulous. And then pasta, and it goes on from there. She’s got the pasta down too, which is good.
How To Make Eating Healthy and Get That Balance and Make That Part of Your Life?
Those are some of the things that people struggle with the most when I work with them. First, you have to figure out why you’re making changes at this point in time. If you’re looking to fit into a bikini for the summertime, that will probably not keep you going. It will be for a short period. Most of us we’re not looking to be runway models. We’re looking to be role models, so we want something healthy.
Like the motivating driving factor behind it, I completely agree. It’s amazing to start there, right? Because they’re, we’re going to set out in a way that will be pretty simple. We’re going to take little pieces and little changes at a time.
But I won’t tell you that every day will be easy. We were doing the little newborn and doing a 2:00 AM feeding, and I’d put him back down and sit at my desk and write my business. At two in the morning, lovely time. And I was awake, so I thought, this is great. I’m putting him first. I’m going to be the best mom. But what happened was I was exhausted, which made me cranky.
I wasn’t eating well because all I was doing was grabbing something to make my stomach stop growling. I would recommend a different direction to everybody. And as he got older and I started to be able to take more time for myself, but I should spend this time with him.
And as I realized that it was okay to spend time doing things, that made me light up. All of a sudden, I became the better mom that I wanted to be. It’s a lesson I hope I can help shortcut for some people. There’s a saying that says self-care is not selfish.
But that stress level cuts that off. Plus, it allows you to be a great role model for them because they’re watching you do things for yourself. And that’s an example they can take into their lives as well. I’m all about being a good role model for our kids. That’s important too.
There were a couple of things that I always said, which don’t apply right now, but at the time, I said no TV during the day. Right. No dishes and laundry during the day. There needs to be a separation between them: work and home life. So I’ve developed habits over the years that make it easy to work from home.
And so I’m trying to help folks do that as well. At the same time, because it’s, it’s challenging. It’s a complete shift around your routine; everything else is when you do that. It gets off track as well. And I’ve been talking to many different people whose jobs are now going to be permanently from home, and it, it’s like, okay, they now have to adjust their mindset completely is like, okay, this is not a temporary situation.
The triangle of eating, moving, and recharging is even more important for them than for those who can return to that normal routine. Absolutely. And one of the things people do, people fall on one end of the spectrum, or the other, is they forget to eat because they’re home, right?
They’re eating all the time. They’re home and out of their routine. They don’t have a plan. And so one of the things that I recommend to folks is to plan your meals that you’re going to have, and you’ve got your week set up. You can convert that easily to a shopping list and have everything in the refrigerator to prepare some meals.
I often get caught at lunchtime; I like to have something super easy to put together, a protein, a fat, and a carb, toss it on a plate, and I can eat and., If I can, sit outside. If I can’t, then that’s okay. At least I’ve got a well-balanced lunch for that day. The one that always throws me off too, because I always have my smoothie for breakfast, and then dinner is whatever I make for everyone.
I’m going to have to start planning my lunches. And it can be super simple. One of the things we’ve started doing is getting fresh fish delivered every week, and we get meat delivered every month. And so I’ll, I’ll prepare some stuff in bulk. We’ll toss something into the Instapot, and then I’ve got portions ready for the whole week.
The heat that, have some fresh fruit in the summertime right now, of course, is glorious or fresh veggies and maybe a handful of nuts or a couple of slices of avocado, and I’ve got a great balanced meal, and I’m ready to go. And the planning part is the part that will help people because it’s like, just like you said, being able to throw something in the Instapot and knowing that it will be ready. You don’t have to worry about that and agonize over it.
Like, what am I going to eat for lunch? Because then I go down to the kitchen, and it takes me way too long to pick something. Knowing what it is ahead of time is going to help. That’s one of the skills that I help people with a lot. I think learning how to do that planning is very intimidating, and people think, oh, but I only want to spend some Sunday preparing, shopping, and cooking.
Not. I don’t, either. I don’t like to cook, but I want to eat. So it all has to be done; that’s an excellent way to look at it. You’ll do it anyway, so you should do it beforehand. Right. And do something you enjoy and get it all ready to go, and it’s easy.
So are there any other tips for keeping ourselves, our lives, and our health sustainable that you have for us? The biggest tip I would give people is to have a little patience because wherever we are right now with our health, we didn’t get here overnight, and we’re not going to undo it overnight. We take it one step at a time and continue.
If I look back on where I was so frustrated when my kiddo was little, I’ve—miles and miles since then. I’m a go-getter, so there are always more places I want to go with my health and fitness. But I’m thrilled with where I am right now, and I will keep working on getting there, but I don’t expect it to happen tomorrow.
That’s a good one because I expect it to happen tomorrow; that’s probably why I’m not getting anywhere. I think it’s essential to look at how far you’ve come and celebrate the small victories too. I was going to do one more tip. Throw out your. That is because we get so confined by the number on the scale that it ties up our identity and everything.