Interview with Wellness Expert, Jackie Peterson
Jackie is a mother of four young children who helps other moms improve their health and wellness with fitness, healthy habits, and quality supplementation. She also helps moms to monetize social media and give them more freedom to spend with their family. You can follow her for more inspiration to feel your best @jackiepeterson_
Tell us how you got started in the wellness space?
I’ve been interested in wellness for a long time. I was an athlete in college, but really became motivated to get healthy and into my best shape after we moved overseas. My husband was a professional basketball player and his job took us around the world. I got into home workouts living abroad because I was looking for ways to be healthier without having to leave my children. Online programs spiked my interest and I wanted to take things further, so I got certified. From there I began doing more research and started coaching, mostly women who also wanted to become healthier from the comforts of their homes. Soon after, I pivoted and started to promote wellness as a lifestyle.
What has been your path back to feeling healthy after having a baby (or four)?
With each baby getting back into shape has been more challenging. It has been a different journey with baby #4, my biggest priority has been getting as much sleep as possible. After that the road to recovery can be slow, and that is ok. I like to ask the question, what habit can I work into my life today, maybe it is taking the kids for a walk or doing a short core workout. I started back at the gym last week and know to take things slow, beginning with light weights and a yoga class. It is a good idea to use this space as an outlet for your mental health, to move your body, be alone, while also being productive. Another thing that helps to feel better after having a baby is to make smart food choices and support your energy levels, which can be depleted.
Can you recommend a few things for new moms and support their health postpartum?
Deep core workouts are important for muscle activation after having a baby and you should strengthen before heading back to the gym. If you need therapies, it is best to start your journey there, next work on building your muscles back up. There are so many great Apps and online classes for deep core workouts and building your body from the core out is important for feeling stronger and healthy. For postpartum wellness I recommend supplements and probiotics that support your gut health. Also, minerals are lost when you give birth and it is important to eat properly to replenish those, or at least take supplements that can boost your energy. I prefer to drink coconut water or add minerals to my water, like folic acid, vitamin D, zinc, copper, and/or magnesium.
As a very busy mom, what acts of wellness do you prioritize on a normal day?
Drinking water! It is an easy win for your wellness. Whatever it takes, get a new water bottle to get you excited and take it everywhere. For new moms, getting out of the house, I know this can be hard, but start small and just walk down the street. This can positively alter your mental state because you will move your body, get some vitamin D from the sun, and maybe talk with your neighbors. But don’t let this be stressful, if you find that too much, just put on a 5-minute workout video.
Based on my education and research, I do not believe in dieting, but rather, support eating balanced meals. Eat healthy carbs, like brown rice with lots of good protein and veggies. Make every meal balanced and try to plan more, I know this can be hard because moms are busy and always on the go. Try not to grab food but eat meals to sustain you throughout the day.
You post a lot about Collagen; can you tell us more about it?
Collagen is really popular right now, and for good reason. I started learning more about it after I had my second child. I educated myself on how it could help me feel my best. I always recommend talking to your healthcare professional before you begin using anything, especially when you are breastfeeding. Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies. It helps support nails, skin, hair, gut and joint health. It is naturally occuring in our bodies, we produce a lot of it until we turn about 25 years-old and from there the production slows and eventually stops. It is the most abundant in our nails, gut, and hair. Collagen improves the permeability of your intestines, ligaments, and cartilage. When our bodies lose production, we see these areas have more problems, like thinning hair and sore knees. I started using collagen five years ago and never saw a big difference but have learned there are a lot of bad quality brands out there. I finally found a great quality brand that has high-quality patented collagen that is the exact molecular weight of what our bodies produce (poor quality collagen molecules are too big to be absorbed in our body and offer little benefit). You need to be consistent to see the benefits, it is a daily shot and has helped improve my joint pain and restore my postpartum hair loss.
On your Instagram account you noted you will be focusing on new healthy habits for 2023. Can you share what those are and why it is beneficial for other parents/caregivers?
My next step in my wellness journey, and a good place for anyone getting started is:
- Drink more water and minerals daily: a simple and easy change
- Eat at home over eating out: much more beneficials for your health, homemade food allows you to cook clean and have more quality foods.
- Take a walk outside in the sunshine: helps to get natural vitamins, like vitamin D and move your body.
- Prepare balanced meals with a good portion of carbs and healthy fats: this fuels your body
- Write in a gratitude journal: the first thing I do after waking up is write 5 things I’m grateful for. This will improve your mental health, puts you in a calm positive headspace.
What are some meal ideas you recommend?
Some foods I love right now that can sustain you throughout the day are oatmeal and fruit, brown rice, sweet potatoes, and sprouted whole grains. You can see a lot of the recipes I recommend on my social media account. Other staples we have from week to week include: Tacos with chicken, beef, or fish. We love meatloaf with sweet potatoes and asparagus. Mediterranean chicken and rice. Enchiladas with cauliflower rice. Another favorite is white chicken chili. A crowd pleaser is meatballs, brown rice, and vegetables. Make sure every meal is balanced with a healthy carb, vegetable, and clean meat. To make sure our kids are getting the most balanced meals, we have a rule in our house. At dinner time if our children cannot eat what it is on their plate, their meal will stay on the table in case they get hungry later. We like to give our children the autonomy to learn about what foods make them feel good and think through food choices to realize what will make them feel their best.
As caregivers it is important to prioritize our health to make sure we are the best we can be for our families. As a wellness coach and mom of four, Jackie understands there isn't always a lot of time in a day for self care, and offers easy steps to make a gradual change to feeling your best! I for one will certainly be drinking more water and going for a walk today. For regular, easy tips, geared to busy moms make sure you follow @jackiepeterson_
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.