Mama Motivation Podcast

Motherhood Lessons with Amy Schwan

August 24, 2019 Episode 12
Mama Motivation Podcast
Motherhood Lessons with Amy Schwan
Chapters
Mama Motivation Podcast
Motherhood Lessons with Amy Schwan
Aug 24, 2019 Episode 12
Sheena Walenta
Join Sheena in some fun girl talk with a seasoned mother to learn tricks of the trade
Show Notes Transcript

Join me in some girl talk with a seasoned mother, Amy Schwan.  She is a high school teacher of 23 years, a wife of 21 years, and a mother of three high school children. 

She shares her morning routine, her biggest life lessons, and how she keeps up with her busy lifestyle in this fun conversation.  She also share about her husbands heart attack and how she keeps her and the whole family healthy with natural eating.

SHOW NOTES:

You can find Amy Schwan on:
Instagram: @houseof5schwans
Facebook Name: Mama on a Mediterranean Mission

Let's be friends!  Don't be a stranger, follow Sheena on Instagram @sheenawalenta




Speaker 1:
0:04
Hi and welcome to the Mama motivation podcast. My name is Sheena will lenta and I am here today with a very special guest named Amy Schwann, who's here to share some tidbits and tips about self care, eating, taking care of children, and most importantly, taking care of ourselves in this journey through life. So I want to introduce Amy Schwan. She's a teacher high school teacher of 23 years. She's been married for 21 and she has three lovely a high school children in high school. And welcome Amy to the show.
Speaker 2:
0:45
Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. I'm thrilled to be here.
Speaker 1:
0:48
So tell us a little bit, I know we talked a little bit off the air before we hit record, but so the listeners, um, can know who you are and I want to back up a little bit. Amy and I met on Instagram. This is the wonderful world of social media, which is so fun. And part of this show is just connecting with really magical women and mothers and you know, people that have a passion for giving back and helping other people. And, um, I, Amy had reached out to me on Instagram cause she had heard one of my podcasts and she left me a wonderful message and, um, you know, her and I started to create this sort of relationship through Instagram. And you know, I took a look at her profile and Amy, I have to say, you know, you can just tell that there is something very special about you and very, um, I don't know, magical.
Speaker 1:
1:47
There's those people, I think that their light shines really bright and you can tell immediately and that they are the types of people that you want to be around and that raise your vibration and energy. And I could just tell immediately you were one of those people for, um, not only me but a lot of our listeners and right now because of where I'm at in my life, a lot of the people that I know and the experts that I know have younger children. Um, my kids are three and five. And so I thought it would be so great to have you on the show because you've kind of been through all those seasons. I know you're still in it with your children in high school, but you've been through more seasons than we have and certainly I know you've got some wisdom to share with us newbies.
Speaker 2:
2:35
Oh well, first off, oh my goodness, thank you so much. But what's kind, sweet words and you know, being that I am a high school teacher, social media is a big deal for me. And so, um, my Instagram was important. Um, of course I want people to see my story, but you know, my story has so many different facets to it. So, you know, of course I'm the teacher, I've got three teenage boys, which is not for the faint heart by the way. I'm super passionate just about my family. I'm sorry. I've got dogs barking. I'm super passionate just about, um, my family and making sure that I am raising three young men to be, um, wonderful husband someday. But then I'm also taking care of myself and my marriage in the process. So that is, that's kind of, you know, my goal with, with social media and putting my story out there and I'm just really excited to get to share that with you. So thank you again,
Speaker 1:
3:34
thanks for being here. So one of the guiding main shining messages on your Instagram is just self care. And you and I were talking a little bit of off air about, um, you know, some of these new moms and myself included when you're up all night and you're breastfeeding or you have little ones at school and sports and homework and all of that stuff, we completely forget to take care of ourselves. So talk to me a little bit about, um, your self care routine now and maybe, you know, even back when your children were younger, that really allowed you to succeed and thrive as a person, as a parent, as a wife.
Speaker 2:
4:13
Okay. That's, that's a great place to start. Um, so I, I'll kind of go back to my early days. Um, I had three children within 20 months, so I had twins and the month that the twins turned one I found out I was pregnant again and that, that will rock your world a little bit. And thankfully I have an amazing husband who is a great support system. But one thing that I learned when my kids were very young was that I had to be the first to rise and I had to take care of myself first. And that meant I had to get a shower, I had to brush my teeth. There's very basic things that you're like, oh, come on, don't you want to lounge around in your pajamas and drink your coffee? The problem is when you have young kids and you start your day off that way it can spiral out of control really quickly and then it gets to be four or five o'clock and you're still in your pajamas because you have taken time to care for everyone else except for yourself.
Speaker 2:
5:17
So I decided, and so much of this comes from my mother too. My mom was a stay at home mom and always, always my dad would get home from work and she was a phenomenal cook and she just, she just looked like she had a productive day and whatever that looks like for you or means for you, it can be different. But I knew that I wanted my days to look that way and the productivity might've been just doing four loads of laundry, but I was going to do it and I was going to do it, showered and I was going to do it dressed and I was going to have my teeth brushed. So that was my, like my very early routine was just always making sure that that happened. And then of course, as my boys older, um, and I went back to work, my husband was also very much a part of that routine in the morning I was getting my shower, but then he was getting the kids ready for school.
Speaker 2:
6:07
Um, and the kids have always gone to school with me where I taught. So, you know, we, we headed off together and all of that was well and good. But, but that routine was essential. But somewhere along the line, um, the self care for me in terms of exercise and really, really taking care of my nutrition fell by the wayside because I was so focused on taking care of everybody else. I was taking care of the kids. I was making sure that they got to baseball practice, that their homework was done, that their folder was signed, that they finish their reading log. And I look at the end of the day and I'm like, I don't even know when I would exercise. I don't know when I would do the meal prep. I don't know when I would plan out, um, our meal calendar for the week. And I gotta tell you the pivotal point for me was looking at my 40th birthday and the, the winter before my 40th birthday.
Speaker 2:
7:06
You know, we do our Christmas pictures and I looked at those pictures and I asked myself the question, Amy, is that the best version of you? And I couldn't say yes. I mean, I just, I, my dark circles were under my eye. I just, I looked ragged, you know, I was still carrying a little bit of extra weight. Um, and, and y'all, my kids were old enough, no, like I'm carrying baby weight. Like no, that excuse was long gone. So I looked at these pictures and I said to my husband, I said, something's got to give. And so I relaunched an exercise routine and y'all, that is hard. Please hear me when I say it is difficult to get back into routine. It takes 21 days minimum to build a routine. While I, I'd committed to myself, I was going to do this. Um, I started really focusing on my gut health and that, that's a big thing for me as well.
Speaker 2:
8:03
And y'all, I s I saw results and other people started to look at me and go, Amy, you look good. You're feeling better. And I'm like, because I'm taking care of me. It was time, it was time to take care of me. And so, you know, I have embraced my forties. They have been the best yet. And like I started off by saying, raising teenagers is not for the faint of heart, but that little bit of self care and my daily routine, it makes all the difference in the world. Um, so, you know, instead of binge watching Netflix, I'm gonna, I'm going to be on my Peloton bike or I'm going to be, um, doing my doing my, my hip classes or going to yoga or hiking the local mountain. And you know, what's really cool about that is that my sons see it and they realize that's what it takes. Like mom's got to get out
Speaker 1:
8:56
there, she's got to exercise, she's taking care of herself and their friends notice it too. Um, it's, it's just a really cool thing to show your children. Moms and dads have to do this thing too and we have to be healthy doing it. And you know, I've got, I've got a whole lot more to that story, so that all of that stuff, I'm a huge proponent of what you said. Like, you know, ask for help, you kind of talk to your husband and you said, I've got to make a change. You know, things have got to give, this is what I'm going to do. And that open communication and being able to ask for help. So many mothers out there and friends that I talk to kind of wallow in this like exhaustion and my cells included a couple of years ago. And it wasn't until I finally asked for help from my husband, from a babysitter, from anybody.
Speaker 1:
9:47
Because you know, we, you can't do it alone. It takes a village. So just being able to, um, Kinda say, you know, small things. Um, and, and I so agree. I've got two little boys as well. You had said that they were watching you and um, you know, learn by example. And I just got a poem from my son's kindergarten teacher yesterday. It's a well known poem. I don't know who it's from, but it says, you know, when mom, when you weren't looking, I was watching you or something. But it's a really cute poem and it basically says when you weren't looking, um, oh, that's oppression. You weren't looking, I was watching you, you know, feed the dog. So I knew it was really important to like take care of animals. And when you weren't looking, I was watching you, you know, exercise so that you take care of your body.
Speaker 1:
10:39
It's much more well-written than that. But when I read it, it made me tear up a little bit because that you're so right. It's so important to lead by example. And we may not think that US sitting and watching TV all day on a Saturday or at night and not having dinner as a family and all of these things aren't affecting our children, but they are. They're going to learn that that's normal. I mean, I'm not saying you need to have sit down and have dinner every single night, but those types of family routines and your routine to take care of yourself and you know, eat healthy and exercise and get outdoors and have fresh air. My children know as much as they love sugar and junk food. And I've never really officially taught them this. But they'll be like, this is not healthy, is it? And so they'll say, I have to eat my healthy thing first. Um, and I don't know if I've ever really sat down and talked to them about it, but my husband and I are very like health conscious. So I think that they've overheard us talk about that. Um, or say, you know, you can't eat too much sugar or you have to have, you know, this to balance it out or your tummy will hurt. But a lot of that wasn't taught by teaching. It was just taught by example. Well, and the other thing
Speaker 2:
11:54
that I would say to that is including the kids in the routine is really important. Um, and I, it was probably, I don't know, five or six thanksgivings ago and I mean, the dishes were just piled up, piled up, piled up, and the kids were complaining because my husband said, hey, you guys need to, you need to help your mom in the kitchen. And they were like, what? You know, we don't, we didn't do this mess and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. My husband, he looked at me, he said, Amy, go have a seat. So I sat down and he looked at the three boys and he said, today starts a new routine for our family. Every week one of you is in charge of the dishes. It's the dishes, it's the dishwasher, it's the entire process of dishes. So that was like I said, five or six years ago.
Speaker 2:
12:45
We still have that same exact rotation where the boys take care of the dishes and I don't, and I don't feel one bit of guilt about that. When I'm finished cooking, I sit down and they take care of it. And I think so many times this whole mommy guilt thing takes over and we can't let it because when we feel guilty and give our kids an out from being a part of the routine and not having the responsibilities, we are not raising children that are going to be able to function in real life. So, I mean at the same thing with, with laundry, my boys, they do all their own laundry from start to finish and they have ever since middle school, um, it's just, it's an expectation and it's a routine that we established and they are going to be good men because of it.
Speaker 2:
13:36
Their future wives are really gonna thank me. So yes, I love that it, that brings back memories because I remember when I hit middle school and my mom was like, here's your laundry basket. You're doing it from now on. And I remember her giving me that lesson. So many of my boys peers, they don't do these things. And you know, I'm like my twins are seniors in high school, my youngest is a junior and I'm thinking we are doing our babies a disservice if we are waiting. I'm waiting to to teach them these really important life skills. But it also takes the pressure off mom and dad from doing all of the things giving you that time for that self care. If I'm not folding their laundry, guess what? That means that I can do other things. I can go to the gym or I can, you know, meal plan better, or I can do these things that, you know, when you're spread so thin, you're not doing any of it well. So it's a big deal. Yes. I, I still, I sell wholeheartedly agree with that and you know, children will let you take care of them as much as you'll give in to them. They'll just take it all, take, take, take, take,
Speaker 1:
14:52
take. So it's so important to teach them. They don't know that they're not going to say, hey mom, you're working so hard today. Let me help you. Um, yeah. So it's, yeah. So it's, and they'll do that all the way up until college, you know, and, and, um, I had a really cool experience because I have a younger sister that is almost 16 years, my junior, same parents. So I was, um, 15 or 16 years old when my mom turned 40 and wanted to have another child. It was the third girl in our family. And so I got a really cool view of what it was that my parents did and what my mom did to raise a baby, cause I was already 16. So it was really neat to see that. Um, and I kinda digress a little bit, but that importance of giving these children the tools.
Speaker 1:
15:47
And so right now my sister is, uh, 19 years old. She's, um, a sophomore at San Diego State University. She's doing phenomenal, phenomenally well, but she was so independent at such a young age and was able to move through high school and middle school with confidence and ease even when there was social situations or difficult situations because she was given the tools to, you know, be comfortable in her own skin, accomplished things on her own. She wasn't handheld. And I have other, you know, cousins, relatives of that same age or even friends of hers that you could see a significant difference in a, you know, a high school student that was never allowed to do anything on their own versus one that was given a little bit more autonomy, if you will, to be able to, um, you know, simple things, laundry, chores, job responsibilities, those types of things I think can go a really long
Speaker 2:
16:51
the way. And it just, it just helps your family just be smooth then. I don't know, just just to be an active participant in everything that the family is doing I think is really important. Yeah.
Speaker 1:
17:04
So can you tell us a little bit about your morning routine now? You talked a about it when your kids were little and I am just a huge fan of hearing people's morning routines, those people that are, you know, successful and healthy and doing all the things and eating right and all that stuff. I love to hear people's morning routines. If you don't mind, share with the audience what your morning routine looks like now.
Speaker 2:
17:27
Sure, absolutely. So, um, interestingly enough, one of your podcasts just, it really struck a chord with me when you talked about writing a list down for the day of the things that are pressing for you. So, um, that, that has become a part of my routine. I didn't realize how much of a list person I was until I started making and being able to check them off just makes you feel so accomplished. So thank you for sharing that. That was I think the third pod first podcast that I listened to of yours. So that was great advice for me. Um, and my routine now, I'm always the first one up. So just, just putting that out there. I am definitely a morning person versus a night owl, but setting up, I really like to set up my entire week, so it's not just my morning, but on Sundays. Um, I actually have on the app for my gym and I scheduled the classes that I'm going to take.
Speaker 2:
18:27
And the gym that I go to is a gym where if you cancel, you lose your money unless it's like, it's more than six hours out from your class. So that kind of holds me accountable to that routine. So in the morning I get up, I let the dogs out, I get my coffee, I kind of gather myself. And here's the really important thing that I don't do. I do not check my phone and that first 15 minutes that I'm up, that is my time that you write and you are not the first person that has said that. I have heard that from so many people, particularly really successful men like men that have podcasts. Um, you know, ed, My let and I'm, oh my gosh, a lot of them I've heard that, that they, so I'm sorry, I didn't mean to drop you. That's good.
Speaker 2:
19:19
Confirmation to goal. Now my goal, I'm Mel Robbins wrote a whole chapter I think, and her five second rule book about her morning routine, but particularly not starting your day with your phone if your phone. Yeah, I saw her speak this past summer and she talked about that very thing. Um, Mel robins. But, so I don't take my phone downstairs with me when I'm getting my coffee. I let the dogs out, I feed the dogs, I come upstairs, turn on the shower. Um, and I also, the night before I really do pick up my outfit. I'm that person. Um, so in the morning I'm not thinking about what am I gonna wear, what am I gonna wear? Because here's the deal, when you teach high school, you've got to look cute. I got a lot of clothes, so if I stand in my closet in the morning and tried to figure that mess out, it's not happening.
Speaker 2:
20:09
So I do that the night before. That's the no brainer. It's done. I get in the shower, you know, get ready for work, get off to work and all of that. But while I'm in the shower, my husband makes sure still y'all, he started this when we, you know, had young little kids and he was so active, but even now, um, he makes sure that they're up and getting ready for school. So I don't have to do that part of the routine. So if you have that significant other, I am begging of you, ask them to help you, let your morning get started smoothly, especially if you have to be the first one out of the house. I'm the first one out of the house because I'm a teacher. School starts early, so he helps me with that. But, but then not touching the phone until really after my shower is huge for me.
Speaker 2:
21:03
And the other thing that I do and people think that this is so, so goofy, um, I watch the news while I'm getting ready. Um, I have a TV in my bathroom and I know that successive and weird. But throughout the course of my day, if I don't watch the, if, if I don't watch the news at that point, it's very difficult for me throughout, throughout the day to get caught up on the news. Um, and I teach government and politics. I kind of need to know what's going on in the world. So that's my little, my little piece of news watching in the morning, just to get the snippets, get the highlights. So morning routine is, it's really all about me and the dogs. Isn't that the craziest thing? Because I have a partner in life who helps me. Um, and I think that that's, that's a big piece to what makes it go so smoothly for me.
Speaker 2:
21:54
Um, so yeah, it's, you know, it, it looks different from when the kids were young, but not crazy different because I'm still making sure that I'm up and I'm showered and I'm doing my thing. Oh. And the reason why I mentioned the gym routine is that typically I pack my gym clothes and they go with me to work. Because here's the other thing, if I come home and get too comfortable, I'm never going to go to the gym afterwards. So I've got to make sure that my day flows. So I don't excuse myself out of doing what's important for me. So, um, that's sofa looks real good when you get home after a long day at work. But if you go straight to the gym, get those workout clothes on. Once you've got the clothes on, it's like, well, I might as well work out now. Right. That's what I tell myself. Yeah.
Speaker 1:
22:48
And it's funny that you say that because I am, I set a goal for myself. I am doing this 21 day challenge and I'm getting up every morning at five 45. Same thing to get to the gym by six 10 so that I can get my work in, workout in. And then I come home pretty much before my kids wake up and get everybody ready and off to school. But my husband, you know, we do a lot of, you know, videos and app workouts that you can do at home. And he's like, well, why don't you just go downstairs and you know, do your workout. And the same thing that you said, like once you've got your clothes on, for me it's, I have to, and I found everybody's different, right? And if I workout at home at some times and that's great, but if I'm stuck in a Rut, I've noticed that for me, my environment plays a huge part of that.
Speaker 1:
23:37
And so when you said that couch looks really comfy, it's really distracting for me, especially at six in the morning when I'm exhausted to try to get in that zone at home for me. And so I said, okay, I know what my issues are and maybe I don't work as hard. I need, you know, to have someone hold me accountable. I'm going to sign up for a six 10 class, there's going to be other people in the class. The instructor is going to be expecting, expecting me, you know, I have to log in. Same thing as you, Amy. I have to log in the day before and say I'm going to show up. And then once I get there, it's so much easier. Um, but for all of the listeners it's about finding, yeah. What works for you, setting that routine. But for me, I just, I knew it was, I have to be in the environment. Even if I'm not in a class, I benefit just getting to the gym, being there and then coming home, you know, 30 minutes later and I can have that. I have the same equipment at home. I have dumbbells at home and stretch bands at home and, and I do things in my backyard, but there is something, I pushed myself harder I think, and I wake up better and my mind is in a place of fitness when I get to that location.
Speaker 2:
24:47
Absolutely. Absolutely. Get on the clothes and get going and just getting in the car, just going somewhere and doing it. Even if it's for me hiking the mountain or you know, if it's going to, you know, the, the classes or what have you. And my husband's routine is different. So it's finding what works for you and sticking with it. But if I could, if I could say anything, and you also touched on it, it's finding that accountability partner, someone is that somebody at the gym that's going to notice when you're not there for my husband, his ride or die literally is his Peloton bike. And he loves it because he has this online community where, you know, certain friends of ours and family members that also have a bike, they'll notice, wow, Scott, you haven't worked out in three days. They'll call him on that. Like, come on buddy, you know, look forward to you showing up. And so that accountability, having someone in your life that will say to you, hm, gotta take care of you, that's a big deal.
Speaker 1:
25:50
Yeah. And that accountability thing I think is so important. Um, for those of you that, um, are friends with me on social media, uh, you'll notice that on my stories recently, I will post every morning alive timestamp of my workout. And um, that is really just, it's holding myself accountable. Cause I made a public promise that said, okay, for the next 21 days I'm going to get a workout in every day, early in the morning. And so, um, you know, it's not to like brag or anything like that. It's when you know, it, it, it, yeah, it's the hold myself accountable. I'm, when I've made a promise publicly, not only to myself, but I've made a promise publicly, then it's like I have to show up every morning, not only for myself, but for this promise that I've made to myself and for other people. Um, I 100%, I'm going to do a whole nother podcast about this and I, and I forget, I'm going to have to refresh my memory, but there's a book about different types of personalities and there's three different personalities, but there's one that, um, can accomplish goals that will set goals for themselves, but, um, they will accomplish goals with the same strength and same fierceness whether those goals came from themselves or those goals came from an outside source like a boss or you know, for your kids.
Speaker 1:
27:16
There's another type of personality that is kind of like a, a giver and they will go to the ends of the earth to accomplish any type of goal or task that was given from an outside source. But when, um, they make a promise to themselves, they break that loose and I will raise my hand. I am that type of person because I will always, always accomplish a goal, a task, a promise for other people, but do sometimes struggle to work just as hard and just as strong for myself. And so that's something that I'm working on. I'll do another podcast on that, but I know I'm not the only one and there's probably a lot of other women out there.
Speaker 2:
28:02
I love that though. Yeah. And that's where I lost myself. Um, you know, when my kids were in those elementary and middle school years, I literally lost myself and I looked at a picture of myself and I was like, that, is that really who I want to be? No, you know, it wasn't me. And so I, I, you know, I said to myself, okay, no one has the opportunity to rewrite your story except you. And I had to just keep saying that to myself, that if you want a different story, then by Golly, start writing it.
Speaker 1:
28:37
And so I did. I did. It's never too late. Like tomorrow is a new day. It's not, you don't have to wait till new year's everybody. You don't have to wait till, you know, new years to write a resolution or til the first of the month or whatever. Um, I have a, another episode coming out. I don't know if it's going to come out before or after this, but it is about tomorrow is a new day. The Sun will rise. It's a fresh start. Kind of clean the slate, forgive yourself. Um, you know, for anything that maybe have, has happened or old bad habits that have, you know, that you formed in the last month, week, year, but it's never too late to just completely do a restart on your life. And that could be as early as, you know, right this moment or tomorrow morning when the sun rises, it's a complete new day and you have the power to completely transform who you are and how you show up in the world.
Speaker 2:
29:34
Well, and I was going to say, um, my husband is a, is a perfect story. Um, that goes right along that, I mean, would you like, that was actually my next question because you mentioned him being such a wonderful life partner and then I was gonna ask you to share, um, that story that you shared with me earlier about him. Absolutely. So, um, it's, it's just one of those days that's timestamped in, in your life. If y'all know what that is, you know, you remember your wedding day, you remember the birth of your children. Um, and April 26th, 2019, just, um, a few short months ago was one of those days for our family. Uh, it happened to be the, the night of prom for our twins and they were going with different groups and we got them on their way. And I, my husband had been really agitated throughout the day and I couldn't really put my finger on it, but he's a perfectionist and he wanted everything just to be perfect for the boys, which is super sweet and you know, so I just chalked up the irritation to, he's just wanting this to go perfectly and I need to let him do his thing.
Speaker 2:
30:42
And you know, we, we got the boys off on their way and I picked up the phone and I called them and I said, hey, let's grab a bite to eat. And he said, yeah, I don't think I can do that. He's like, and I don't want you to be upset with me, but I think I need you to take me to the hospital. And, you know, of course, I, I panicked. I'm like, w what are you doing? Are you driving and what's wrong? And, um, come to find out, my husband was having a heart attack and he's 45 years old and you know, I was talking to him on the phone and he was driving the car. So I thought, well, it can't be that bad. Right? So I said to him, I said, okay, let's, let's pull over and I'll meet you. And, and I met up with him and I looked at him and you know, he hadn't eaten anything all day.
Speaker 2:
31:25
So I handed him a protein bar and I said, well, at least eat this because what if you're feeling badly because you haven't eaten all day? And he said, yeah, you're probably right. And he said, I haven't had much water. And I'm like, okay, so you're dehydrated and we get to the hospital. And long story short, um, he had been having a heart attack for about six hours. Oh my gosh. And [inaudible] and it was a Friday night. So we're headed to the ER. I'm one of the busiest ers in the southeast. We're here in Atlanta. And so it took a while for them to really take care of him because all of his tests were showing normal. He just didn't look good and he didn't feel good. But EKG was normal and blood pressure was elevated, but you know, it's, he, we weren't having to beat on his chest, so he wasn't, um, a superduper emergency.
Speaker 2:
32:19
But you know, at the, at the crux of this is that he had a 99% blockage of the widowmaker and friends. I really didn't know what that meant. Um, and I thought, here I am, here's my husband. Um, you know, I'm, I'm like this healthcare guru and, you know, posting on social media about how healthy I am, and now my husband has a heart attack. And to break the news to your three teenage sons that daddy's in the hospital. And we almost lost him. Um, you know, to be a widow at 43 was not my story. And I looked at him and I said, how are we going to do this? And he looked back at me and he said, I need you and I need your help. And so we have embarked on quite the health journey. Um, we have, we were healthy eaters before and I say we very loosely, I was a healthy eater before and my family thought that it was funny, you know, that, oh, here it goes, mom, here's her, her crunchy Mama side, you know, she's making her homemade Granola and eating her Greek yogurt and there's are all been milk and, and these things that were easy to poke fun at.
Speaker 2:
33:36
But then they realized, wow, mom has been on a journey and maybe we need to be with her. And so I look back to that pivotal moment when I was 40 years old and I said, I have to take care of me. And I, I firmly believe that my journey was setting me up to be able to care for him and to guide him. And I ramped up my health story, maybe not so much for myself. That was the added bonus. But to be able to literally pour life back into my husband and to, um, to, to have him alongside me. Um, you know, we, we do, our large focus is on the Mediterranean way of eating, which is good, good food, but it's things that maybe he hadn't been open to eating before. And now he's like, why did I shun this? Why, why didn't I trust you?
Speaker 2:
34:31
And I said, well, because we all have a story and you're just rewriting yours. So we have been on a heck of a ride, but it's been a ride that has transformed us, our family of five in such a positive way, um, in these past few months. So not the story that I thought that I would have an April, but I'm so, so grateful because I feel like so much of my mission now, and if you follow me on Instagram, you'll see so much of my mission is, you know, just educating people and that your current story doesn't have to be your forever story. If you want to change it, you can do it. Yeah. And since you had just said follow you on Instagram, uh, why don't you tell the audience what your Instagram handle is a short, it's house of the number five Schwan's m s c h w a n s house of five. Schwan's. Um, so with my three boys, my husband and I, and we do have two dogs too, but they're not in my Instagram handle. But you'll see them on my insta page. We've got a lot of yummy recipes and things like that. Um, yeah. Can you tell everybody, cause I don't even know if I really fully know what, what does it mean to, to, to eat a Mediterranean diet?
Speaker 2:
35:59
Yeah. So the Mediterranean way of eating is, um, lots of fish and chicken. And the interesting thing here is my husband's allergic to fish. So most heart patients, the first go to is, oh, you need to add more Omegas. And with fish, well, we can't do that. Um, my husband can have shellfish, which is so bizarre, but he can't have fish fish. So we do a ton of chicken. We do a ton of Turkey, you know, I'll do Cornish game hens. Um, tons and tons of fruits and vegetables. And here's what so many traditional diets tell you. And I, and I just don't even like that word diet, but, but they tell you, you know, get rid of the carbs, get rid of the carbs. No, we like carbs with Mediterranean, when you're looking at whole grains, they are so good for you. So whole grains, um, limited dairy.
Speaker 2:
36:57
Um, and that has been huge in terms of inflammation for both him and myself cutting down on the inflammation. Um, just fruits, vegetables, whole grains and um, small portions of meat. And I think if you look at your plate divided into thirds, um, one third should be whatever your protein sources. It could be beans, it could be, you know, a fish, it could be chicken. And then the other two thirds is vegetables and fruits and, uh, just colorful food. And that's what I love. I mean, I look at our plate and I'm like, oh, it's so colorful. Um, and I've loved experimenting with new recipes and it's not hard. Um, when you're looking at basic foods, sticking to the perimeter of the grocery store, you guys have heard all this before, but it's really not difficult to eat well and eat clean when you stick to the perimeter of the grocery store.
Speaker 2:
37:58
And if we have red meat, it's maybe three times a month. We're really trying to limit the red meat and all of my meat sources are grass fed, organic. You know, there's lots of different philosophies on that. But if I can keep the chemicals and pesticides out of our food as much as possible, that also helps fight that inflammation. And um, you know, all that's related to your skin, your gut health, the whole nine yards. But the Mediterranean way of eating is fantastic. And my husband's cardiologist, she was so funny, the visit he went to, he's already off two of his medications by the way, which is a huge win. He went from zero medications to seven, I mean, that talk about rocking your world. And she took them off too. And she says, she pointed her finger at him. I love her. She said, if you just listen to your wife, you're going to be fine. And he said, trust me, I know, I get it. So we joke all the time that he, that he's now, um, he is now affectionately in camp Amy and it's just what we do.
Speaker 1:
39:07
Oh, I love that. And yeah, the power of food is so, is like so amazing. And so, and I don't know enough about it. I myself am a, a healthy eater and, um, you know, at times I have said like, you know, I'm Paleo and I'm healthy and I'm low carb and that's Kinda just where I'm am. Just colorful, right? Really colorful. Fruits, vegetables, protein, right. Not a lot of red meat. Um, but it is amazing the power of food that it can have on your body, your health, your immune system, your cardiovascular system. And you know, for me, every single day when I eat healthy in the office, people will come up to me in the office kitchen and be like, why are you eating so healthy? You don't, you know, you don't need to lose weight or you know, you don't have to be on a diet all the time. And what I want to say is to everybody, I, you know, I eat healthy to keep up with my life, to keep up with my children, to fuel my body. I had to create that different mindset that is all about food is energy and not so much joy. Don't get me wrong, I like my junk food everyone.
Speaker 2:
40:19
But changing that mindset, right? And, and yeah, and if, if you do well, 80% of the time, that's really our goal. If we can eat along the lines of the Mediterranean 80% of the time, then that's, that's a win in my book. You know, we still want to go out to eat, you know, enjoy that cocktail or what have you. But, um, it's not so restrictive that you don't feel like you're living. And the other really cool thing is to watch our sons who are young men now, uh, watch their habits start to shift because they now have a health history of, you know, uh, dad having a heart attack under the age of 50. So they realize, wait a second, I've got to take control of my story too. And it was commonplace for when we went out to dinner. Mom would get her, you know, grilled chicken wrap and they would get 50 wings to share at the table.
Speaker 2:
41:21
And Yeah, I looked at the boys when, when my husband was still in the hospital and I said, guys, that's not our normal anymore and dad needs your help. Well for them that was like a, we've got this mom, we can do this. And having their investment in the process was priceless. And they have appreciated new flavors, new foods, and their buy in. It's tremendous. And I think sometimes it takes having those conversations of this is for all of us and we're going to be better for it. And it just, there's family conversations. They're priceless. I've, I'm going gonna miss them when they're gone. That's for sure. But, um, that's why we just cherish those moments that we have with them now.
Speaker 1:
42:08
Yeah. Wow. What a profound story and life circumstance that your family has gone had to go through. And I'm so happy to hear that your husband is doing well now, but life lessons certainly for, for everybody in your family. And you know, I think it, it, it also teaches us to be kind to one another. I think as women, you know, you, we kind of look at everybody's Instagram from the outside and think everybody's life is so perfect and everybody has a story. Um, everybody has a story of, you know, uh, health at diversity issues, addiction, you know, divorce. Every single person that I talk to has some sort of tremendous story that has changed their life or, or that they've had to overcome or are still trying to get through. And it's just serves as a reminder that, you know, even people like yourself, Amy, when I was, you know, looking at your Instagram, it's like, oh my gosh, here's this perfect woman who's got it all together and has this perfect family and eats so healthy. And I'm sure people, you know, think of that of me at times. But it's so important to remember that we're all human and that we all go through these types of things and that, you know, life is short and, and really hard at times. And it's so important for us to be supportive and wind to one another.
Speaker 2:
43:39
Yes. And the highlight reel is just that. It's a highlight reel and I think there's so much more. Um, if we're truly transparent with one another and women, we just have to be each other's best advocates and cheerleaders. And I think that, um, what you're doing with this mission and your podcast is so, so impactful and needed much.
Speaker 1:
44:00
Thank you so much. And since we're on the topic of women and being kind and community, do you have any tips for making new friends? Because I feel like for females that, you know, depending on where you live and what you're doing, being a mother can be isolating at times, especially if you're a stay at home mom. So do you have any tips for the moms that are listening on how to, you know, make new friends or be open to new friendships or how have you made new,
Speaker 2:
44:32
you know, in your life over the last few years? Yeah, so I would say the number one thing, and this is not popular, but put the phone down. And the reason I say that is because, um, you know, I have sons that have played youth sports, you know, since they were three years old. When you're sitting in the bleachers or when you're at your son's or daughter's practice or the, the gym or wherever you are with your kids doing activities. If your noses in your phone, you're not talking to people. And so put the phone down and walk up to a mom, talk to her. And I mean, I'm super extroverted, so that's not crazy hard for me. But if your kid is on the slide, maybe rather than sitting on the park bench on your phone, stand up, go over to the slide, you might bump into another mom.
Speaker 2:
45:27
Um, and I think that that's, that's a huge thing too. One of the things that I learned when my kids were young was there weren't playgroups, there weren't moms groups that, that I had had come across. So I started one. And just as simple as that, once a week I had a group of moms from the neighborhood, we would all pile into my playroom, put the baby gate at the door, we sat there, we drank our coffee, the kids toddled around. And I am still friends with those women. We live in Atlanta now. Those women are all in Charlotte. There's one in Texas, and we all stay in touch with each other because we were in the trenches together. Um, and so that, that was huge for me. Get Out in the neighborhood, push your stroller, walk, talk to people. Um, and I, I, that's just, that's my motto.
Speaker 2:
46:19
Talk to people and don't have your nose in the phone. And it's amazing how many people you'll get to meet because if you're distracted, people aren't going to interrupt you. They're like, ah, she's busy, she's busy. But that meant that mom may just need your ear that day, you know, so, um, just be open to it. Um, it churches, if, if you're involved in a church and if they start posting about things like life groups or mom's morning out or mothers of preschoolers go, I know, I know, I know. It means you have to get up and you have to get a shower in the morning, but go, you will be so grateful that you did. I mean, truly, truly the other outlet is the gym. Talk to people at the gym. Maybe don't spend your entire workout with your earbuds in, but you know, maybe be on a treadmill and, you know, have a little chat with the lady next to you. So, um, and, and here's the other thing. If you start chatting with a woman at the gym, ask her if you can send her a friend request on Facebook or Instagram, that's not so creepy anymore. I promise you. Um, there was a day when that was kinda creepy. It's not creepy anymore. It's commonplace. I mean, look, I, I messaged you out of the blue on it,
Speaker 1:
47:35
streamline the bat. I, I love that. And I myself am trying to do more of that. Cause you know, I go to work, I go to pick up the kids and I go to work and I go to pick up the kids and I have a lot of friends from, you know, years ago, but a lot of them have moved away. And so that's something that I'm conscious of. It's so easy to kind of be quiet or get caught up in your phone. And, and I'm in California too. And so at times, you know, I don't, I'll be, we'll give him to sometimes be a little less friendly or more standoffish. And yesterday we went to my husband and I went to our kids kindergarten back to school night and I had to really go out of my way to just be conscious of it. So it's just something that I'm conscious of is to, you know, engage with other moms and make eye contact. And Smile and I, you know, I think we all need each other and we all want the same things and we all want to be friendly, but a lot of us just don't know how. And um, you know, or are preoccupied like what you're saying, we don't seem approachable or so. Yeah, I always like to ask that if people like, you know, how, you know, tips on, on making friends and I love that. Um,
Speaker 2:
48:51
well, and I was going to say sometimes we're just so busy and we're like, well, even if I make new friends, I'm not going to have time to hang out with her. It's like, okay, well, no. Yeah, you do need to make time for you. That's that whole self care thing.
Speaker 1:
49:02
Yeah. I, I completely agree with that. And there is something about women just, um, has something magical when women get together because a lot of things, when I go to talk to my husband, he's a wonderful person, but he just doesn't get it, you know, or, or men are very solution oriented and they want to find a solution and he's like, yeah, I know. I told you, you know, my idea is to find a solution. And I'm like, no, I don't need a solution. I just want to talk about stuff. So time you meeting each other. I'm a talker. Yeah, 100%. So Amy, what, you know now that you've, your, your children are in high school and you have done this for many years. What would you have told your younger self if you were just starting out or you have young children, what would you tell yourself, you know, your younger self or women that are just now starting out as being a parent. What are some of the biggest life lessons that you've learned so far? Being a mother?
Speaker 2:
50:11
Well, I would say, um, just personal growth and development is a big thing for me. Um, you know, obviously women who are listening to this podcast, they get it right because something in them made them click play. And that a huge piece that I think that I was missing. Um, I would join a Bible study and I would not follow through with it. I would buy the John Maxwell Book and it would sit on my shelf. And so finding out what your, what your avenue is for that personal growth and development and sticking with it I think is a huge thing that I wished that I had done many, many years before. Um, obviously technology makes that easier. So when you're in the car and rather than maybe listening to satellite radio, how about listen to a Mel Robbins or listened to Sheena will enter, listen, listen to someone that's going to pour strength into you.
Speaker 2:
51:11
And I think if, if I could tell myself one thing and this, I'm still a work in progress here, um, but to find whatever your personal growth and development niche is and do it, do it consistently. Put it on your calendar as if it's a hair appointment that you would not miss. So that, that's a big thing for me that I wished that I had done many, many years ago and I'm still trying to refine for myself. Thank you so much for sharing and I love all of that and you have such wonderful insight information. Um, and again, like you are just your light shine. So bright. And I thank you so much for sharing your story with us and, um, you know, being part of the community. Is there anything else you want to share with the audience that we didn't touch on? No, I just thank you so much and I just, I want to encourage you all that it's progress over perfection, progress over perfection and um, every day is a fresh start.
Speaker 2:
52:20
So if you mess it up today, you got tomorrow. Um, but you know, just ah, I don't know. Love on your people. Live your life well and if you think that a change needs to be made, make the change. You're the only one that can, can rewrite that story for yourself. So, but I've loved joining you. Thank you so much, um, for inviting me and taking my little nuggets of wisdom and then tell the audience again one more time where they can find you on what platforms. Sure. So on Instagram, on that house of five Schwan's and that's the number I'm spell out house of number five, Schwan's, s. C h. W. A. N. S. And I do have, I'm cooking tidbits on Facebook. If you want to hop over to Facebook, it's Momma on a Mediterranean mission is my Facebook page with lots of good cooking ideas and recipes and, um, lessons if you're, if you're in danger so much. Amy, I so appreciate it. You're welcome.
×

Listen to this podcast on