Plants Fuel Busy Working Mom Megan Zars in Body, Mind and Spirit

Portrait of Megan Zars

Megan Zars is a Michigan-based nutrition coach and blogger on plant-based lifestyles for families. A longtime fan of Manitoba Harvest hemp hearts, she recently tried our Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract for the first time. We sat down with her to get some insight on how a busy working mom models self-care for herself and her family.

Let’s start with your story! What’s your background and what does your day-to-day life look like?
I’ve lived in Michigan my whole life, and I work full-time at a children’s welfare agency. I’m a mom of two toddler boys who are three and two years old. I’m also a dance teacher by trade. I work in marketing by day, occasionally teach dance at night, then I do my nutrition coaching and blogging after that.

That’s a mighty full schedule. How does self-care fit in into the caretaking you do for your family?
Honestly, self-care is one of the things I struggle with. I’m very much a giver. I want to help other people, that’s been ingrained in my mind. The last couple of years, I’ve focused more and more on self-care and that’s kind of where my blog started. In one of the first posts on my blog

I shared that I had a miscarriage this past May, and realized that it was a good time to express myself and my journey. It’s also a way to take time for myself.

And this ties into nutrition for you, right?

Yes, obviously, a really important thing to me has always been my nutrition, and that’s part of how my coaching came about—the idea of showing my own body that I respect it and want to take care of it. I went vegetarian when I was 14 and lived that lifestyle for about 15 years before going completely plant-based. A big part of that was feeling better, and that’s transferred over to my husband and my kids eating the same way, and sharing the message that you can feel healthy and happy with plants.

Fall’s really getting into full swing now. What are your family rituals this time of year?
Fall in Michigan is my favorite, I’m absolutely a Fall person. We do a lot of apple orchard visits, picking apples, making homemade applesauce and apple cider—basically anything to do with apples. We try to be outside a lot. It’s so beautiful here in the Fall, and there’s so much to do out and about and exploring nature.

So how do you approach managing stress as a mom, and all the different hats you wear throughout the week?
When I’m feeling stressed the first and best thing for me is getting outside and giving myself some fresh air. And then I find stress relief in the little things, like being in the kitchen and making a cup of coffee, or making a shake. Actually, this is kind of a good segue into CBD—

We were getting to that next!
Yes, well, I like to use the Manitoba Harvest CBD peppermint drops. I’ve been using them for only a short time, but I find myself reaching for them when I’m a little tense inside, for example when we’re all about to run out the door and I have to manage things. Or when I’m putting the kids to bed and it’s time to work right after that. I use a dropper to put 1-2 drops under my tongue. It’s like a ritual to relax, and focus, and de-stress a little bit.

So you’ve incorporated Broad Spectrum Hemp Extract into your balancing routine?

Yes. I’ve tried doing yoga and exercise for stress management but it can be pretty difficult due to pain. Keeping things on the mental level works for me, just things like calling a friend to connect for a few minutes, for example.

So it’s fair to say you’ve experienced some feelings of calm?
I learned about CBD a while ago. I know a lot of people who have tried it, so I’ve been very curious about it. I was a little surprised by how it came—in the droppers and the protein powder—and I wanted to see if I felt naturally called to use it, to see if there were moments in the day when it would feel natural. Overall it’s definitely played a part in keeping me level-headed and calm.

That’s so smart and intuitive. How has that played out?
Before I leave for work I have a drop or two. I was having some stress this morning because my car wasn’t working, so I took a second and had some drops. It helps me to relax and focus. It’s almost a hard thing to explain—it isn’t the kind of calm where you feel like you’ve taken medication, it’s just a feeling like it took the edge off a little. It’s been really nice.

Has your husband tried any of the samples?
My husband loves to make shakes with the protein powder. He says they’re really delicious and he feels like they help. He’s in a sales job, on the phone and selling recumbent trikes all day which can be pretty go, go, go. It’s helped him in the middle of the day to take a moment to stop, focus, and decompress a little bit.

Do you have any general tips for busy parents like you, who are juggling stressful busy lives while caring for themselves and their little ones?
I think the most important thing is finding something in your day just for you—that cup of coffee, or taking time to make yourself a nice lunch. That can drastically impact your day. I hear people say they cook for their kids but don’t have time to eat themselves because they’re working so hard. But it’s important for the kids to see that you’re eating healthy, and taking a minute for yourself to sit down and slow things down.

So it’s a matter of leading by example?
For sure. If you want the kids to eat vegetables and healthy grains, you have to be doing it too. But going back to your original question, I think the biggest tip is to find something in your day—it doesn’t have to be something new or something extravagant, just something in your day you do for you and that makes you feel better. And that way, you show your kids that you care about your body and yourself. And that’s really important.

Follow Megan on Instagram at @realisticplantbasedmama and check out some of her posts on motherhood and plant-based nutrition at Realistic Plant-Based Mama.


The information provided is for informational purposes only. None of the information provided here should be considered medical advice or treatment recommendations. Consult with your health care provider if you have questions about incorporating CBD into your wellness regimen.