To be inducted into our Hot Mom Spa Squad, every mom must swear by the Oath of momME Time; a promise to reserve moments spent catering ONLY to herself – reading, sleeping and spa-ing included. Not only is momME time essential to saying sane, today’s Hot Mom proves it’s also essential to keeping your body and health. If you loved Rachael Pontillo’s 8 Mom Rules to Live By: How I Lost 70 lbs with Kids, you’ll love the advice behind this next Hot Mom’s success story, too. I introduce to you Deanna Verbouwens, who used her momME time to make 58 pounds disappear.

Deanna Verbouwens is a writer, runner, blogger, working mom of two unbelievably active and very funny boys ages 4 and 7. Deanna is currently training for her 6th half marathon, of course that all between working full time, and managing spaghetti on the ceiling, a dumped out fish bowl, a house and a family. To catch up on how Deanna tries to get it all done without completely failing visit her at The Unnatural Mother. Deanna also writes for and

By Deanna Verbouwens

A quick glance at the clock tells you it’s 5:00, the kids are running around the house, you’re racking your brain about what to make for dinner, and just as the tornado is about to touch down tears well up in your eyes because you realize that once again your plan to go to work out went out the window with your sanity.

Step away from the chips, that cake and the monster helping of leftover chicken parm – take a moment and breath, because stuffing your emotions with food will only act as a temporary high… believe me, been there and still conquering that.

It’s not a secret that moms need their momME time; how do I know this? Because I have successfully lost 58 pounds (and still going) by simply making momME time a top priority. Three years ago I weighed in over 225 pounds wearing a size 18/20.  I thought I was eating healthy until I realized that my portions were out of control, the salads I was chomping down on were clocking in over 1200 calories (for one meal!) and I couldn’t even run a half a block.

Now, my favorite momME time activity is training for endurance races and getting a manicure/pedicure – these help me unwind, and keep me honest. With five half marathons, two triathlons, and countless 5 and 10k’s under my belt, I’m wearing a size 12 – proof that following these simple steps will help you bring sexy back as well as your sanity! I’ll continue to use these too, as I shed the last 20 pounds.

So… let’s get started!

Healthy Eating Exercise
  • Plan…Plan…Plan. You have to plan your meals for your family, so don’t forget about yourself!
  • Don’t skip breakfast* – yes, it’s an oldie but goodie. Think of your body as a car, you wouldn’t run your car on empty, would you? Same theory.
  • Have 3 meals and one-two snacks a day.* Meals should be between 300-400 calories, snacks never over 200. (1200-1400 calories a day)
  • Have 2 fruits and 3 veggies a day* – add a ½ banana to breakfast, a cup of shredded carrots to your sandwich, a handful of baby spinach to your pasta. Make it simple!
  • 5 or less – Eat only processed foods that have five ingredients or less. Don’t want to fill up on empty calories.
  • Pay attention to portion sizes: read the labels, 15 almonds count as 1 serving – that’s 170 calories – imagine how many you downed at a cocktail party?
  • Plan 3 treats a week. Craving a donut? Want that Café Latte Mochachino? Want a glass or two of wine? Have it!
  • Plan…Plan…Plan. Determine when you can fit in exercise, are you a morning, afternoon or night person? Each week map out the time and days you can get a work out in and stick to your plan!
  • Start with 10 minutes a day; 3 days a week. Even if it’s walking up and down your stairs. Do it!
  • Do something you enjoy – whether it’s playing Just Dance on the Wii, tennis, an at home aerobic DVD, walking, body pump class at the gym, running, going for a bike ride. Anything!
  • Each week increase the time spent exercising in 5 minute increments – at your comfort zone until you reach thirty minutes a day.
  • Try anything once! You may fall in love with Zumba or you might have two left feet, but if you don’t try you’ll never know.
  • Find a work out buddy, in real life, or online. Having support will keep you motivated and accountable.
  • Don’t give up, you owe it to yourself to be healthy.

*Quick ideas are below!

Simplicity works. Don’t overwhelm yourself. It takes 66 days to form a good habit. Just by taking two tips a week and incorporating them into your life, you’ll be well on your way to healthy lifestyle in less than 66 days!


Keep it simple, realistic, and manageable.  Don’t over think anything, a handful of lettuce, and two slices of tomato to your sandwich at lunch bulks it up and counts as a vegetable.


Measuring out your portions. Let’s be real. It’s time consuming and can be annoying, however you’ll understand how much you’re eating, know what a portion is, over time it will get easier, and it’s a great strategy for a long healthy life.


Exercising will help you sleep better, you’ll have more patience with everyone and its quality time with yourself that’s much needed!

And above all, if you have one too many slices of pizza, or too many cookies, don’t beat yourself up, make the next decision a better one.

If you don’t make time for yourself you won’t be able to accomplish anything, leave the dishes, the laundry and even your children for a moment, get that momME time believe me it all can wait, your sanity can’t!

As the saying goes, “If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone.”

Now, get going, and schedule that momME to accomplish your goals!


Breakfast Ideas:

  • Hardboiled egg, ½ banana, 1 slice of whole wheat toast, 1 teaspoon of butter, coffee
  • Smoothie: 1 cup of frozen fruit (medley: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries), 1 cup baby spinach , 1 tablespoon peanut butter, 1 cup of OJ (get Tropicana’s Trop50, it’s only 50 calories!), pop in a blender, blend and drink!
  • 1 cup greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons of honey, ½ banana (or 1 serving mixed nuts).
  • 1 mini bagel, 2 scrambled egg whites with onions and peppers, ½ grapefruit.

Snack Ideas:

  • 1 servings of any nuts
  • Any  Fruit, 1 string cheese
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter, apple
  • Hardboiled egg (don’t exceed three eggs a week), 10 pretzels
  • Cut up bell pepper and 2 tablespoons hummus

Lunch Ideas:

  • 2 Wasa crackers (light), 2 slices of turkey breast (low sodium), 1 laughing cow triangle, 8 olives, 1 cup of sliced bell peppers, 2 tablespoons of hummus.
  • 1 cup of butter nut squash soup, 1 apple, tomato and onion salad (little olive oil salt/pepper)
  • 1 piece of grilled chicken over baby spinach, olive oil, 1 cut

Dinner Ideas:

  • 1 cup pasta, 1 cup tomato sauce, 1 cup baby spinach, small salad with tomatoes, onions carrots.
  • 1 ½ slices of Pizza, small salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, carrots
  • 1 piece grilled chicken breast, 1 cup string beans (made on stovetop with 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt/pepper)
  • 4 ounce hamburger, 1 cup of brussel sprouts, 1 cup of roasted potatoes