Finding Balance and Living a Healthy Lifestyle – A Conversation With Lisa Wipfli

Lisa Wipfli is a Mother of two, wife to Wippa (Michael Wipfli) part owner of Nourishing Bubs and our very own Mr Vitamins Ambassador.  

We caught up with Lisa to find out her best advice to busy women, tips for juggling motherhood while raising kids, dealing with fussy eaters and the importance of making time for self care.  

1. What is your best advice to new Mothers who are trying to juggle kids and running a business? 

Don’t take on too much and understand that you aren’t superwoman. If you’ve got a well established business that needs to keep running whilst you are caring for little kids, make sure you outsource where you can and understand that you can’t do the same amount that you were doing before children. So if that means you use Air-tasker to get some excess ironing done or order some ready made meals so you don’t have to worry about groceries and cooking, then do it. Of course if you have the money and need some business assistance, see if you can put someone on contract to help you for a few months. It’s going to cost you more money, but if it means you remain sane, then suck it up for a few months or more. 

If you’re thinking about starting a new business venture, don’t rush it and don’t start it too soon. Work on a business model, work out how many spare hours you have in a week to work on a new project without sacrificing too much sleep or time with your children. Getting a new business off the ground takes up so much more time than you forecast and you don’t want to put unnecessary pressure on yourself and start dropping the ball on the home and work front. 

2. What are your top 3 healthy essentials from Mr Vitamins?

Do I really only get to choose 3? 

3. How has a healthy lifestyle helped you to overcome any obstacles in your life?

From about 24 years old I’ve been a very health conscious person and looked after myself really well. Even during and after my first pregnancy I was still so healthy, felt great and my body recovered incredibly well from my c-section. After my second pregnancy, 7 months post-partum, I was diagnosed with Post Natal Depression and Anxiety. The PND effected me in the way of insomnia, which then turned into anxiety and complete exhaustion. The symptoms I had were really debilitating; heart racing, feeling shaky, jittery, unable to eat (and then when I did eat, I could only eat unhealthy sugary things like cupcakes and chocolate), blurry vision, unable to concentrate on one task, feeling completely overwhelmed by the simplest task like getting the kids and I out the door in the morning, no energy, not motivated to do anything, extremely irritable and not excited about anything. As a result of the lack of eating, eating unhealthy foods and not sleeping, my skin was dull, my hair started falling out and worst of all, I had no energy to exercise or even play with my boys. I felt like the shell of my old self and really needed help. 

My doctor put me on medication which slowly started to take effect after a few weeks, but prior to finding the right medication I’d been on a cocktail of prescription medications such as strong anxiety tablets and sleeping tablets that knocked me around. Prior to this, I was the type of person who hardly ever took a Panadol, so the idea of consuming so many pills added to my stresses. This is when I turned to Mr Vitamins for help.

I slowly had to wean myself off the sleeping tablets by introducing really good natural relaxation tablets and calming teas. I also had an appointment with Janne the head Naturopath at Mr Vitamins Chatswood and she did a full assessment of my body and diet. She gave me some great tips for detoxing and put my mind at ease that my body was actually in great shape for my age. 

Being a mum, your world very quickly becomes about your children, your husband, work and everything else before your body and wellbeing. This makes it very easy to put on weight, start eating badly and feeling sluggish. Being diagnosed with PND very quickly made me realise how much I needed to focus on myself as much as my family, because let’s face it, your family unit starts to fall apart very quickly if you (the backbone of the family) start to fall to pieces. 

Following this, I made sure I started making some simple lifestyle changes to take care of myself: 

  • I increased my work-outs and focused on getting my heart rate up. Being confined to the house a lot with children’s sleep routines means as a mum its hard to go to the gym or go for walks, so I write myself a little 30 minute work out and do it at lunchtime while the boys are asleep. 
  • I have started focusing on eating healthier and if I have the odd day of eating kids left over crusts and a few unhealthy things, I am sure to have a vegetable juice or a green powder to try and increase my vitamins and nutrients.
  • I now do some regular deep breathing exercises before bed or if I am feeling anxious.
  • I drink calming teas and taking natural relaxing herbal tables before bed such as Lavandula Calm.
  • I use lavender essential oils before bed.

I now make all of this part of my daily routine, not just a one off good day, but something I do almost every day.

I’m still on the prescribed medication, but it’s all of these additional things that have helped round out my new healthier lifestyle. 

4. Do you have any tips for Mums who have fussy eaters?

I’m lucky my boys are good eaters, and aside from having to force down certain greens and use a bit of bribery in order to do so, they have a balanced diet, but I know all that could change at the flick of a switch. My main piece of advice would be, don’t just accept that your child only eats plain white pasta, white bread and cheese, there could be another issue that is causing the desire for such a limited diet. Fussy eating can arise due to a combination of factors including vitamin deficiencies, for example zinc deficiency. I learnt this from Mandy Sacher the author of Wholesome Child. If anyone has any other questions about this, I encourage you to contact Mandy who can do an assessment and then refer on to the right paediatricians if necessary. 

Also, for those parents who may have babies just about to start solids, I encourage you to offer variety from the very start. Exposing a baby to different colours, flavours and textures sets them up for a really healthy relationship with food down the track and will hopefully minimise fussy eaters as toddlers and young children. 

5. How do you de-stress and find time to take care of yourself?

De-stressing for me doing regular exercise and having ‘me’ time. I love pilates but sadly can only make it to one class a week (maybe 2 if I’m lucky) but I alway make sure I include at least one class in my week as I always feel incredibly energised and balanced after this class. 

Also, I find walking outdoors is so powerful to clear and calm my mind. If I’m feeling really agitated, irritable or anxious, I always say to Mike ‘I need an hour and I’m going for a walk’. You can always make at least one walk fit into your schedule per week. 

The other things I do for ‘me’ time are a facial once a week, talking to my best friend on the phone and having a debrief about life and motherhood. Also for me, beauty is another way to de-stress so I love getting a facial, nails and a blow dry done at least once a month. 

6. What is your best advice to women who suffer from post natal depression?

What I’ve realised after talking to alot of mums about PND is that so many go through it undiagnosed. The number of times I’ve heard ‘I definitely think I had PND and should have got medical help’. 

So my first bit of advice would be, get help. Even if you think you are being dramatic or a hypochondriac, there is no harm in seeing your doctor or doing an online test. You need to be able establish whether your just feeling the exhaustion of being a new mum or it’s because there is something more severe going on with your health. 

Secondly, if you have been diagnosed and are on medication, don’t be ashamed or feel rushed to get off your medication. At the start, I was hugely embarrassed and felt weak and like I’d failed as a mother. My doctor explained to me that it is a chemical imbalance and it’s actually nothing to do with being weak or your ability as a parent. 

And finally, look for other natural ways to treat your anxiety or depression, like taking time out for you, focusing on meditation, exercise and most of all talking. Talk to other women, friends, your partner and anyone who will be able to make you normalise your feelings. 

Lisa Wipfli

Nourishing Bubs Products are available in the following Mr Vitamins Stores: Chatswood 324 Victoria Avenue, Hurstville, Bondi and Parramatta

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