We are excited to introduce you to Jennifer Messina. We spoke with her in June 2020. She is a Registered Dietitian and works primarily with:
-Women who are looking to ditch dieting and find a new way to eat that support their goals
-Moms and families who want to get healthy, delicious food on the table FAST
-Picky kids helping them learn to love all food.
Are you an Urban or Suburban Mama, where do you live?
I would consider myself a suburban Mama. We live in North Vancouver, at the base of a mountain, and
pretty much in the forest. But we are also lucky that we are quite close to Metro Vancouver.
Tell us about your children?
I have two beautiful children, Madelyn who is a fiery four year old, and Leo who is an energetic two-year-old. They are best friends and mortal enemies. Being 2 years apart means that they can do a lot together but also have very different interests. It’s always a balancing act as my daughter loves art, puzzles, dolls, and quiet play inside and my son loves running wild outside in the forest. Puddles, mud, bike rides. I feel like I’m the ultimate negotiator!
Tell us about your typical weekday?
As, I write this we are still in the thick of the COVID pandemic. No school. No preschool. No daycare. No playdates. It’s a pretty crazy time. The typical weekday includes me solo, caring for our little people, while my husband works in the basement from 8-5:30pm. We have a little schedule to keep them on track and we have time for indoor play, outdoor adventures in the woods and, let’s be honest, iPad time, so I can have a shower and do a few things without my kids destroying the house. Prior to this I worked from home one day per week and twice a week at my clinic Canopy Integrated Health in Lynn Valley.
Do you have help?
Not currently. It’s been a true test of my patience and my strength as a mama. I normally work part-time and have my kids in daycare 3 days a week but I have had to be creative lately. Nap power hour and late night work are the new normal.
Who cooks dinner?
As you can imagine, I love food, and I love to cook. My kids are also very interested in the whole process of making a meal. I try to get them involved as much as possible despite the massive mess that likely follows haha. I just find they are much more likely to try foods that they have actually been involved in preparing. During the week the kids and I make dinner, we also do planned leftovers so we can minimize the amount of time in the kitchen. On the weekend, my husband likes to crack open some favorite cookbooks and try some elaborate meals (we have some hits and some misses).
How often do you buy something just for you?
Stores are closed! No shopping now. Online only. But we are trying to be budget conscious as I am not able to work as much so I haven’t bought anything for myself in a while. Except makeup, which I consider a necessity as it marks the difference between a “work” day and not. Especially when I am working from home.
Do you exercise regularly and if so, what and how do you fit it in?
Exercise is my meditation. It helps bring down my stress. I think of it as a non-negotiable. We have lots of beautiful trails around our house so I make sure to get a 30 minute walk in every day. I do it when my kids are napping (and my husband is working downstairs) or my husband does the kids bath and I go then. We also have an elliptical machine which I use when it’s torrential rain and I can’t hustle my butt outside. You need to find something that you actually enjoy otherwise it’s just another chore.
What clothing lines or stores do you like to buy for your children?
We are so fortunate that we have these amazing Kid Swaps in North Vancouver, gently used clothes are posted and I get 90% of my kids clothes from there. They destroy their clothes so this works. One local brand we love is Whistle and Flute, so I splurge on matching stuff for them occasionally.
Three things in my purse right now are…
I still don’t have a purse. I have a backpack that has all my necessities: These 3 include: kids change of clothes (for both), WIPES, and hand sanitizer!
My favourite drugstore buy is?
Trolling the Clearance section for activities for my kids. Recently we got a $0.25 pack of Valentines (in April). I save these for rainy days and we will spend all afternoon making these for our friends!
My guilty pleasure is?
WINE. Love the phrase “they WHINE I WINE” haha.
Thank you to Jennifer Messina for taking the time out of her day to let us know “How Does She Do It.”