Welcome to day 13 of this year’s A to Z Challenge! I wrote about why I chose ‘Self Care’ as my theme for the challenge and I’m really enjoying writing about it during April. Today’s letter is ‘M’ so my self care word is ‘Meals’.

Hands up if you get so busy with work, your children, your chores and other responsibilities that you often eat on the run? Breakfast becomes cereal bars, lunch becomes some crisps and maybe a meal deal sarnie, supper is whatever the kids refused to eat followed by a chocolate bar.

Meals – decent ones – are so incredibly important for a good lifestyle, which fits with my self care theme nicely. How are we meant to have the energy to keep up with everything we juggle in life if we don’t look after ourselves and fill our bodies with goodness? That’s easy, we can’t! We’ll end up exhausted, run down, more susceptible to illness and in the long run, less use to our loved ones and our work than we are when we’re healthy.

I have openly admitted to my rather ravenous appetite during this pregnancy. I’ve eaten everything from healthy and nutritious meals to more chocolate than I care to think about and whilst I’ve always had a good appetite and enjoyed food, I’ve not had much of a stop button in the last few months!

Lately, with the end of my pregnancy nearing, I’ve been making much healthier choices. Yes, I’m still eating pretty much whatever I want but I’ve always been an ‘everything in moderation’ kinda gal because I don’t believe in fads and restrictive lifestyles. We buy fresh bread which isn’t full of additives and that’s generally my go-to breakfast, often alongside some yoghurt and a banana or apple. For lunch I’ll have a sandwich with some cucumber, carrots and hummus and every so often a packet of crisps, slice of cake or cookie but not every day.

We have a weekly meal plan for supper which is a mixture of fish, meat and veg with very little in the way of potatoes, rice or pasta. With baby girl’s due date only 4 days away and our house move a week away, I have stocked up on convenience food so that we have easy access to meals, but even those are fairly decent, with a good supply of veg in them.

When I eat well, I feel well, pregnant or otherwise. The week before we found out that we were pregnant last summer, I did a clean eating week and although I don’t think it’s something I could completely adopt, I really like a lot of what I was able to have. Once baby’s here and things have settled down, I’m fully preparing to reduce my carb and sugar intake because I had loads more energy when I was doing the clean eating plan. What I don’t want is to feel restricted on date nights or when we’re out and about, so I like the idea of a healthy and sustainable meal plan without any guilt when I do fancy a treat.

Food is a big deal for me and plays a large part in my self care. I want to eat healthily in order to feel fit and energised to look after my family, my blog and my work but I also want to enjoy myself when it comes to meals out. I don’t want my children to grow up seeing either gluttony or restriction as the norm. I want them to feel confident in making good choices, to know what’s healthy and what’s a treat but not to feel guilty when they do have treats.

How do you ensure a good balance with your meals? Do you find it difficult to eat well amongst a busy life? Let me know in the comments below or get in touch on Facebook or Twitter.