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I remember the first time Vito got really sick and needed to be hospitalized for a mild case of dengue. He was only 18 months old. Since then, we’ve been more vigilant about how our family takes care of our wellbeing. It’s no joke when your little one gets sick, and a week in the hospital was more than enough to convince a new mom like me to take proactive steps to ensure our health.

In our family, we have a few best practices to help us along. I’m sure you’re familiar with these if you have a family of your own. Ours are pretty straightforward.

1. Wash hands, especially when arriving home.

I don’t like to be all judgy and self-righteous, but it freaks me out when I see people in the mall restrooms not washing their hands. Like, right after using the toilet, I’ve seen employees from food establishments and retail stores not wash. Of course, there are lots of moms and kids who don’t either. It’s scary to think just how many germs are in public areas, and how many viruses are floating around! So when we’re at the mall (and I really only go to ones with nice restrooms, on purpose!), I remind my husband and son to always wash their hands, before eating, after meals, and of course, after going to the toilet. It’s the same when we arrive home: The rule is to wash hands as soon as we get in the house. As a result, we don’t usually have colds amongst us.

2. Eat well.

We’re not a hundred percent organic, cold-pressed juice, all-natural eating family. But we do buy our food from good sources and make things from scratch! We make sure to not buy canned goods that aren’t at least organic (like canned tomatoes); we buy organic vegetables and meats as much as we can. Little purchases like these (albeit more pricey) have a positive effect on our health, because less pesticides and chemicals in our food means more nutrients. We eat a lot of nuts, leafy greens (every meal!), root veggies, organic eggs, free-range meats and produce, and we try to eat more red rice than brown or white (stress on “try”!).

3. Supplement.

Everyone in the family is proactive about taking supplements so that the food we eat works better for us. I believe only using supplements from brands that I can trust (like Pharex, of which we’ve taken the vitamin E and B1+B6+B12 supplements, for overall cellular strengthening and antioxidant power).

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4. Exercise.

OK, to be fair, my husband is the only one doing regular exercise these days — I’ve been delinquent since I gave birth. My son also gets to run around regularly, and play basketball with his dad and lolo. Me? I think the last legit workout I had was a couple of hours before I went into labor (I was doing prenatal yoga). But yes, exercise, exercise, exercise is an essential part of caring for oneself from the inside out. (Mental note, Martine! Get jiggy with it!)

So these are how we stay healthy from the inside out in the family. Simple, right? How about you? What are some simple steps you take in caring for your family’s health from the inside out?

This conversation is brought to you by Pharex.