Yesterday we had a chance to share Part 1 of our interview with Dr. Sarah Messiah, research scientist and former Olympian who is also raising 3 healthy children. Here’s part two of our interview with her.
OWG: You recently started working with the Women’s Sports Foundation. What is your involvement with this organization and why was it important for you to work on this initiative?
Sarah: The Women’s Sports Foundation supported me financially when I was in Olympic Training and now that I am in a position career-wise to give back, I feel that it is time to make paying it forward a priority. They are a wonderful organization that supports all women in sports but young girls in particular. Girls are much more likely than boys to drop out of sports by age 14 for a number of reasons, mostly social pressure. I want to help WSF get the message out there to girls that sports can be a life-long journey and can build a skill set (team building, work ethic, etc) that can be invaluable in practically any situation. There are so many incredible women athletes working with WSF that I feel it is a true honor!
OWG: Nowadays you juggle your work as a scientist and role model to young women with the all-important role of mom! How do you incorporate a healthy lifestyle for you and your kids, into your daily routine?
Sarah: I am a true believer in if you are going to talk the talk, you should walk the walk. Nobody knows this better than my kids! My first priority when I wake up is to work out. If I don’t take care of myself physically, how on earth can I take care of three children? I try not to do a lot of preaching or I notice I fall upon deaf ears, especially with my teen.
We stay active as a family. My kids are involved in competitive sports so it’s important to make sure they are well nourished, hydrated and rested. I make sure they get at least 9 hours of sleep a night. I don’t buy soda. Period. Each one of my kids has their own water bottle that they put in the freezer each night so it stays cold for the next day- crucial in South FL!
I make homemade lemonade (lemon juice, filtered water, ice, sliced lemons) and keep a large jug of it in the fridge for easy access. I keep fresh fruit out on the kitchen counters at all times- bananas and apples seem to be the favorites, but peaches and plums are the choices for the fridge.
I also like the packages of sliced apples and carrots for quick on-the-go snacks. My ‘tween daughter loves to bake so I make sure we buy the freshest and healthiest ingredients (no bleached flour, minimum sugar, etc.). My teenage son likes to experiment with making different kinds of smoothies in the blender so I buy frozen bags of all different kinds of fruit for him to use.
I buy the large bins of pre-washed mixed greens for easy salad makings and keep sunflower seeds, feta cheese, sliced almonds, and chia seeds on hand for them to throw on top. Other favorite snacks and lunch box favorites are peanut butter sandwiches on whole wheat bread, raisins, and the good old banana.
I have learned that it’s got to be quick when they’re hungry, but that doesn’t necessarily mean hitting the drive through. I have also learned kids get bored with the same foods. Don’t be afraid to experiment!