I am a full-time working mum, with two teenage boys and working in such a fast-paced industry means I need all the energy I can get! For me, a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and regular exercise plays a big part in making me feel both energized and relaxed, ready to tackle the day ahead. So, I wanted to share my top five tips with the readers of Female First.

Melanie Sykes

Melanie Sykes

Eat a diet rich in vitamins and minerals

I’m a firm believer that a balanced diet, rich with the recommended amount of vitamins and minerals, so that your body gets all of the nourishment it needs, is key.  One thing I’ve recently become aware of is the vitamin D insufficiency in the UK. This is because we can only get this naturally from the sun during certain months, but also due to the change in diets over the years. Back in the day, our mum’s would eat things such as jellied eels, liver and kippers, which were full of the ‘sunshine’ vitamin – which I could never imagine eating now never mind putting in front of my kids! Kellogg’s cereal is actually now fortified with 50% of your daily-recommended amount of vitamin D, so to help with my daily dose, my kids and I often start our days with a bowl of cereal!

Fresh is best

My family and I try to eat fresh foods, including fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, eggs and nuts to make sure our diet is rich with vitamins and minerals. I cook for my boys every day, so I try to make sure that I make food with fresh ingredients that are filled with the essential vitamins, minerals and nourishment that kids need whilst growing. I grew up with my mum cooking for me every night, so I think that’s made me realise the importance of fresh home-cooked meals too.

Don’t limit yourself

At the end of the day, we’re all human. I try to eat as healthily as possible and cut back on certain foods when I can. But I would be lying to you all if I didn’t say I had a sweet tooth! Chocolate is both my best friend and my arch-enemy - I love it too much to resist it. What I have cut out is drink, several years ago I cut out alcohol, and I have stuck to it ever since. So I guess what I am trying to say, is we’re all human and everyone has weaknesses, it’s all about cutting out what you can and not punishing yourself!

Get moving

Excerise is a huge part of my life. It completely underpins everything: my energy, my mood, how I feel, and how productive I am throughout the day. I first started exercising ten years ago and now it’s a well-established part of my morning routine. Whether it’s yoga, weights training or running – it all makes me feel good. I know that time can get away with you during the week, and at weekends – so even going for a brisk walk over lunch or with the kids is a great way to get some exercise in!   


I’ve recently started meditating and I love it. It’s so important to give your mind a break, especially today when we live in a society driven by technologies. I try to meditate every day as I  believe it gives your mind a good break, so it’s ready to go for the rest of the day. Even taking just 10 minutes out of your day to quieten the mind can help.

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