Today we are kicking off Spark’s! new interview series: “5 questions with…”

This monthly post will introduce you to amazing people in the health & wellness field who are doing incredible work to make our world a healthier, happier, more enjoyable place to live. And I can’t think of a better person to introduce you to to launch our monthly interview series than Lisa Byrne, from the popular blog The WellGrounded Life

Lisa Byrne: The WellGrounded Life

I met Lisa at nutrition school at IIN about 2 years ago, and have watched her business flourish into a beautifully supportive space for busy women: particularly mothers. As the mother of three little ones (all under the age of four!), Lisa lives in New Jersey with her husband and a yellow lab. She manages to prioritize her health and find ways to bring healthy living into her family life, while generously sharing the wisdom she’s gained with her lucky readers over at her blog.

For all you moms out there, Lisa’s blog is a wonderful resource for tips on staying grounded and bringing more happiness into your daily life. In Lisa’s own words, “When I’m not burping a baby, bouncing after a toddler or kissing a boo-boo, I love to help busy moms find ways to bring more health, balance and energy to their days.”

Andrea: Lisa, you describe your blog as being primarily for mothers “who intimately know the joys and challenges of the work-family-life balancing act.” The balancing act is difficult for every woman, but when you have 3 young ones at home, I’m sure it gets a bit more intense! Can you share some advice for the other mothers out there on the ways you stay grounded during your day-to-day life?

Lisa: Great question, Andrea.  And you are absolutely right, it does get pretty intense some days caring for so many little ones right now in life.  I learned the hard way, though, that if I don’t make my own health a priority, then everyone suffers–including my family.

Something that has been helpful for me is to think in terms of “wellness anchors”.  Those things that keep me staying afloat and not drifting too far off into danger zones.  They seem to change for me during different periods of my life, but right now I try to focus on these:

  • Eat excellent foods that fuel me well (for example, I start my days with green smoothies, drink lots of water, eat fresh fruits and veggies throughout the day, emphasis healthy fats, and am sure to have plenty of quick, healthy options available).
  • Take a few minutes throughout my day to practice deep breathing.
  • Prioritize my marriage relationship so that I have strong and open lines of communication with my husband and we become each others allies when the going gets tough (it is very easy for the stresses of family life to weaken your marriage).
  • Make time for prayer and connection to God.
  • Laugh.  It amazes me how some days I need to intentionally bring in the lightness and joy, I can so easily get bogged down in being task-oriented.  But getting to ground level with my kids and laughing with them dissolves so much stress it is amazing.

Andrea: Lisa, I so agree with what you said about the importance of prioritizing your health. As women, we tend to be care-givers, and it can be easy to fall into a pattern where you care for everyone else but yourself. I love the idea of using your “wellness anchors” to keep you balanced and on course with your own health.

Now, you have a background in serious science (hello, biochemistry & quantum physics nerd!). What inspired you to enter the holistic health world?

Lisa: I have always loved science – but most especially I am in awe of the workings of nature and the wisdom of our body.  The power and connection between our minds, spirits and bodies is so evident to me, I never needed much “evidence” beyond personal experience.  I see science as a tool, very helpful in understanding parts of the whole picture, but ultimately every tool is limited in some way. We must care for the whole of who we are or we become seriously lacking and deprived in some areas.  Holistic health simply makes sense to me.

Andrea: That clicks for me: the idea that science is so helpful in seeing parts of the picture, and by incorporating a holistic view point, it helps connect all the dots to see the whole picture. Very cool.

I am sure our readers are really curious about how you get your three little ones to eat health food! What are your favorite “kid-friendly” health foods?

Lisa: Kids and healthy eating– great topic!  I actually just wrote a blog post on this subject.  Honestly, I believe that kid-friendly health foods are just like adult-friendly health foods.  They are healthy foods that they enjoy.  We often underestimate our kids by assuming they won’t like “adult” foods…we better hide the spinach in brownies and shape the chicken into Dora figures 🙂  My kids like a whole range of healthy foods, and there are many they don’t like…just like most of us.  I think the best way to approach helping kids eat healthy is by speaking to their nature…I outlined 5 natural traits of children and how to use them to help kids eat healthy here if any one is interested 🙂

Andrea: Yes! We are interested! You can view Lisa’s great article on ways to get your kids to eat healthy HERE.

You write a popular blog while taking fantastic care of a very busy household. Do you have any secret tips for increasing energy on days when, well, you have hardly any?

Lisa: Oh yes, do I know the days of hardly any energy!  There are a few things I do that help on those days I’m really dragging.  First I slow down and take anything non-essential off the plate for the day.  I breath deep.  I stretch.  I drink lots of water.  I get as many dark leafy greens in as I can.  I take a nap with my kids.  I use essential oils of peppermint or citrus to freshen the air.  I get outside.  I try to remind myself to respond to people (and my children) slowly and gently– nothing saps your energy like misdirected tiredness!

Andrea: We can get so swept up in how quickly we think we should be moving. I really like the idea of slowing down to actually help increase our long-term energy levels, and our well-being in general.

And speaking of energy & well-being, how do you find time for movement and exercise in your day?

Lisa: Andrea–you caught me on this one.  Getting consistent exercise in daily is something I still need to work on.  I am only 2 1/2 months postpartum 🙂  so that does count, but I know that beginning to bring exercise into my days will go a long way in helping my mental health.  Since having children, I’ve always been most successful when I have a specific goal or carved out time I set for exercise.  After my first son, I decided to run a triathlon, so the training schedule helped me keep exercise a priority– it also helped others in my family become more willing to make the space in their schedule to help with childcare when I needed to workout.  My plan this time is to sign up for pilates classes.  I’ve always wanted to try this and by having specific class times, I’m more likely to make it work.

Andrea: Good luck with the pilates classes – sounds great, and like a lot of fun. And of course being only 2 1/2 months postpartum certainly gives you a good reason to take it easy and be gentle with your body right now! I am sure you are getting a tons of exercise just keeping up with all of your little ones!

Lisa, thank you so much for sharing your inspirational words of wisdom with us. Keep up all of the amazing work, and we’ll keep looking for your great posts on The WellGrounded Life!