I was never very concerned with health until I became a mom. I grew up in a hippy town where everyone wore Ugg boots and raised their own chickens, so my mother fed us mostly organic food from the plethora of local, natural stores. Then she got divorced and – as I'm sure many of you can understand and relate to – the burden of single motherhood put the focus more on survival and less on general health. We started relying on fast and easy meal solutions that could fit quickly into her frenzied “work…shuttle kids around…meet with lawyers…go back to work…do it all again” divorcee schedule. As soon as I entered college, I started subsisting on a deluge of Cheetos, Oreos and Top Ramen and was totally fine with that lifestyle.

chasing chickens

Until I had kids of my own.

Suddenly, I started thinking about what was going into their tiny, wholesome little bodies. My proverbial ship had sailed, but their clean slate made me reassess things.

healthification of mommy

Then Sidekick came and really shook things up. He was intolerant to gluten and dairy, so I cut those things out of my own diet in order to eliminate his suffering while breastfeeding. Helpful friends and family pointed me to Paleo websites as a recipe resource and as I read through the science of why our bodies naturally don't tolerate these things well, I slowly started seeing the logic behind this healthy lifestyle. I cut out soy and sugar as well.

reading labels

I started reading labels.

fitbit

I got a FitBit. I started counting steps. I got competitive with myself.

There's something about health that just spirals out of control, much in the same way that those unhealthy choices can take over. But instead of seeking out a momentary high and fleeting feeling of satisfaction, I now crave the balanced and energetic feeling of well-being I get from eating healthy food and maintaining a regular exercise routine. Frankly, as a busy mom chasing around a toddler and a baby, it doesn't take a whole lot of effort to be active on a regular basis.

walgreens family
Why does Nate have a cane? Your guess is as good as mine.

It does, however, take some effort to maintain a budget while trying to shop for healthy snacks and supplements. Good food is pricey because it's not filled with a bunch of filler junk that just takes up space and doesn't do anything for your body. I was SO excited to discover the Steps with Balance Rewards program at Walgreens because it supports my healthy lifestyle.

green tea extract
Green Tea Extract helps me have more energy! I love being able to get my supplements at convenient stores so I don't have to make special trips to “health food places” when I just need to grab one or two items.

With the Steps with Balance Rewards program at Walgreens, I can get rewarded for picking up my healthy food and supplements while I'm getting toilet paper. And I can sync my Balance Rewards card up with my FitBit account and get points for all those steps I take.

steps with walgreens

Best of all, I can sign up for the program online! I just linked my Balance Rewards card to a Walgreens.com account and signed up on the Steps with Balance Rewards page. Less time in the store means more time to sleep or relax or…whatever the heck I want to do. Funny that in a post about being more active and healthy I'm talking about getting stuff done online, huh? But such is life.

delish chocolate

And for those worried about feeling deprived, healthy living isn't about restriction. It's about balance. Like rewarding yourself for a job well-done or a workout not missed. Dark chocolate is now my go-to treat (hey, chocolate's an antioxidant! It's good for me!). I love the Walgreens Delish 70% Cacao. And $2.19 for a dark chocolate bar? Unheard of.

delish fruit

I also pick up my snacks like dried fruit and nuts at Walgreens at an incredibly reasonable price. I've searched high and low for conveniently-packaged dried fruit, but almost everyone adds sugar to theirs! I was constantly making my own at home until I discovered these awesome little pouches with NO sugar added. Score!

It's the little things. The little things that, over time, all add up to one really big feeling of satisfaction.

How do you take steps to live a healthier life?

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias®  and Walgreens #cbias #SocialFabric #BalanceRewards