Antonia is an amazing mom and an incredible example of active and healthy living. See how she inspires her two sons and those around her in our full interview.
What does a healthy and holistic lifestyle look like to you?
To me a healthy lifestyle is one that incorporates a healthy diet and regular exercise, in addition to a lot of laughing and fun. It can be hard for busy parents who have children in extra curricular activities to be able to find the time to make healthy meals and to exercise regularly, but I think it's really important to our overall health, mental health included! I find it really fun to exercise with my boys, who are 11 and 13. Swimming is a really fun activity we can do together, as well as walking our dog Freddie. I find when we walk together I get to learn a lot about what's happening in the boys lives which wouldn't necessarily come up at other times.
I also downloaded a HIIT workout app so that we can work out together in the basement - they like to try and beat me as much as they can - a bit of family competitiveness never hurts! Occasionally they'll join me in a yoga session as well. I encourage them to do yoga by highlighting professional sportsmen who are keen yogis. I also rely on my slow cooker on a daily basis for easy weeknight healthy dinners.
What are some of your family's favourite activities to enjoy together?
We like to walk our yellow lab Freddie, we often walk at the 99 steps trail in Newmarket or at Jokers Hill. A hike in the forest does wonders for everyone's mood. We also ride our bikes around our neighbourhood in Aurora, and we swim a lot together too. My husband Lyndon plays a lot of baseball and basketball with the boys too.
Would you describe Aurora as an active community? Why or why not?
Yes I would. I love the new trails that Aurora are putting in the new housing areas in the Bayview/St. Johns neighbourhood where we live. Everyone I know in Aurora is very active and include their kids in a lot of sports and family activities like bike riding and walking to stay healthy as a family.
What are some of the ways you encourage your kids to stay active?
My boys are play a lot of sports which I think is really important for their overall health. They both do karate and are currently working on getting their black belts. In the winter, they play basketball and hockey and in the summer, they both play competitive baseball.
In addition to their team sports we like to include activity in our family time for example, if we go to the beach we'll take a football and play in the water. We also swim a lot together and go on family bike rides. And as mentioned we walk our Lab Fred - he plays a big role in keeping us all active.
What are some ideas for getting nutritious foods into your kids' meals and snacks?
My boys have always loved fruits and veggies so we make sure they are included at every meal. We also BBQ a lot since it's easy and healthy. My slow cooker is my lifesaver. I can put all the ingredients in the morning and leave to cook all day so that when we come home we have a lovely nutritious dinner.
I tend to meal prep on a Sunday, so I'll plan out what we're going to have for dinners that week and lunches for the boys. I'll then spend a couple of hours baking muffins and making granola etc. so that we have a lot of healthy snacks available to them. They play a lot of sports so they are always starving it seems.
I also teach the boys how to make certain recipes. They like to bake and to cook simple things. My goal is to provide them with the skills to live a healthy lifestyle as they get older and turn into young adults.