Fit For A Mom

My ramblings of balancing my passions… fitness, family, & entrepreneurship.

25 Ways To Wellness… November 2, 2009

Because of my wellness background, I am always asked various questions and sought out for advice. I try to provide the best wisdom possible and below is a synopsis of 25 snippets of advice. I do not know everything, but I do hope you enjoy reading a few of my “tips”….

Keep a positive attitude * Stop smoking if you haven’t already * Be active in some fashion every day * Control your stress * Maintain close, personal relationships * Resolve conflicts peacefully * Practice gratitude * Eat fruit for dessert * Make it a habit to have at least one vegetable with every meal * Buy organic when possible * Drink water throughout the day * Avoid secondhand smoke * Celebrate life * Love yourself * Pay it forward * Take time for you, everyday * Eat foods closest to nature * Make healthy and active living a family virtue * Be passionate about what you do * Ask yourself, “What kind of life do I really want?” * If you have children, tell them you love them * Step outside your comfort zone * Go vegetarian once a week * Get outside * LIVE!

 

Running With Ghosts and Goblins…and a Yellow M&M October 30, 2009

Last Sunday I ran a 10K which was very exciting for multiple reasons.  One, to race is always a challenge, but this was so laid back that it was a nice breather. Two, this was unique in that it was a Halloween theme.   After having lived all over the country, my husband and I decided to move back closer to family and lucky for me my dad is a runner too. Six weeks before the race, I called him up and after thoroughly convincing him that he wouldn’t have to wear any kind of “costume” he agreed.  That morning as he sat down in the seat, I was thinking, “Why, am I doing this? I am going to freeze!”  I have to fill you in with the fact that we moved from Southern California and back to where there are now seasons, four distinct ones to be exact.  Driving down the road I summon up the courage to look at the temperature reading on the dashboard of my Jeep.  It screams back at me with that bright green hue 38 degrees.  Seriously. 

We arrive and find a place to park and head on up to the start line.  Before taking our place, we stand in line to use the infamous race port-a-potty.  This is one of the situations in my life (next to the monthly thing) that I wish I was a man.  I proceed to pull down and pull up all of my layers while trying to feel what I am supposed to feel.  You get the idea.  Ms. SoCal girl forgot her gloves, or should I say it did not cross my mind to bring them.  Rest assured that it was the first thing on my mind in that bathroom and I was kicking myself  for my hands being red and frozen.

After stumbling out the door I reach the facet where water comes out via the foot pump.  So here I am pumping this make-shift sink with my foot and anxious to get the 5 million germs off of my hands, when at that moment, the water hits my hands and it is ICE COLD.  Why again would I have thought that it would have been warm since it was probably sitting out all night?  After peeling off the layer of ice (of course I am exaggerating, but darn it that’s what it felt like) on my hands, I looked at my watch and realized it was almost time. 

We take our place. The gun goes off and the race begins.  I start running and slowly I began to notice all of the costumes and the original reason that I was excited.  I became intrigued by what I saw and made it a game to take notice of all the varieties of costumes.  Witches, ghosts and goblins were the norm, however there were a few that stood out in my mind;  The Jedi knight, the jockey with the horse actually attached to him, JFK, a fly with huge wings which clearly affected his equilibrium.  Unless, he was just drunk which I would have had to be to wear that awful contraption! Of course I cannot forget the yellow M&M.  He stood out in my mind the most because that was my favorite color as a child and M&M’s were so yummy.  Who am I kidding?  They still are!

The M&M Runner

After I locked my eyes on him, I started to feel sorry for the poor guy.  His running form was all over and he was sweating, a lot.  But, there was a smile on his face.  Not to mention a smile on mine and many others.  After a couple of miles I began to warm up and enjoyed the sights and sounds.  MJ would have been proud that “Thriller” was played on almost every street corner and that the crowd was having just as much fun as the runners, if not more.  With 2 miles left, my competitiveness started to kick in and I set my eyes on the witch in front of me.  Just as I was about to pass her, she veered off to the side.  It was then that I realized that little voices were saying, “Mommy, mommy, we are so proud of you”.  I turned to see two little girls around three and six hugging their mom.  I had to rub my eyes to clearly see.  It was then that I was brought back to my original state of mind.  Take it slow and enjoy the ride, er run.

 

Happy Halloween Mr. M&M guy and everyone!

 

Candy as a reward? October 19, 2009

Halloween is just around the corner and the abundance of candy has made me once again think about how my daughter randomly has it in the bottom of her backpack. The wrappers were the first clue and then I would start to find pieces that she had yet to eat. Three weeks into the school year, I had enough. I ask her “where in the world are you getting this from? Her reply, “my teacher”.  What?  Why would your teacher give you candy I ask?  In her matter-of-fact six year old tone, she says, “Well mom, because our class was good”.   Hmm….because they were good.  Before saying anything further and risk looking like the crazy momma, I tell her to finish her homework. 

My mind becomes flooded with various thoughts such as: Why does our society have this love affair with food? Why are we teaching our children that there is a cause and effect relationship with behavior and food?  Finally, why as a healthy mom do I not have any control or say over what is going into my child’s mouth?  Now keep in mind, I am all for occasionally taking my kids to the ice cream shop or giving them a piece of candy.  I like ice cream just as much as the next mom.  However, the key is “occasionally”.  Furthermore, I as a parent, should be the one that has a voice in what I allow my child to eat.  Now, I do expect that when she is at school there will be the occasional birthday treat or holiday party treat, but a treat just because she was “good?” I would suspect that it would be just as easy for a teacher to provide “trinkets” as “treats”.  Those can easily be bought at a dollar store and used as rewards for the children that are good in class.

This issue filters in to another, which is the alarming obesity rates in this country and how are children are exhibiting chronic disease symptoms which normally would not present itself till adulthood.  Those such as high blood pressure and diabetes are becoming commonplace, when even 20 years ago were unheard of in a 10-year-old. 

Having a wellness background as a consultant, trainer and co-founder of an active living organization, I know I am biased.  So tell me teachers, is there an alternative way to giving candy based on a child’s good behavior? I think there is. Communities, parents, as well as schools are all an integral part of tackling this obesity issue.  We have an ethical responsibility to our children and their future to make sure that we give them the best start possible. As a wellness consultant, I have made an appointment with the principle to see how I can assist with making changes.  Small changes turn into big changes and you have to start somewhere. Rather than pulling out the candy from the backpack, I would be overjoyed to pull out a flower plastic ring instead!

 

Biking with Babes October 2, 2009

Having always liked biking, especially mountain, but never doing so with my two older children (for obvious reasons), I decided to purchase a bike trailer. My 13 month old son would be the recipient of this great gift and I was so excited for two reasons. One, that I would be taking him on his inaugural bike ride very soon. The second was the fact that it was an end-of-season clearance deal which heightened my excitement. Regardless, it didn’t matter. Shortly we would be on the open road, er paved trail.

After my hubby graciously put it together, because it would have taken me slightly longer and I was anxious to get going, my son and I were off. Before we could get in the Jeep, my daughter asked if she could go. She is six and truthfully I didn’t know if she would be able to ride in the trailer, even though it was a double. I read the box and deemed that it was safe since she only weighs 36 pounds…yep she’s a tiny girl. So with that settled, all three of us piled in for the ride to the trail. As we were driving, I was talking with her and we were both excited about our little adventure.

I knew something was awry when the rain started sputtering on my windshield. What happened to the sun that was shining down just a minute ago? I am determined to make this happen so we continue. As we arrive at the foot of the trail, I take my bike off the rack and hook the trailer up. The rain is still a steady, but light shower. Thank you God for the built in rain shield.

My daughter piles in and I go to the car seat to grab my son. I pick him up and immediately I feel wetness going through my shirt. Oh no! Huggies, why are you failing me now? After my mini workout of laying him down in the front seat, wrestling a new diaper on him, and the added bonus of my back getting soaked, I am finally ready for my real workout. I strap him in the trailer next to his sister and to my horror he starts crying. Why? He is part me and I know he loves the outdoors and adventure, so why doesn’t he like this? The rain has almost stopped, not to mention the shield is on, he has his favorite elephant and his sister is next to him.

I hop on the bike hoping that the situation would change. Nope, it went from bad to worse. He started going nuclear on me and screaming! After a couple of minutes I realized that he’s not stopping so I should. I make the turn around towards the Jeep and realize that a workout is not going to happen today. Such is the case sometimes.

And then the rain started again.

 

The Half-Eaten Lunch August 24, 2009

Filed under: family,green living,nutrition,wellness — fitforamom @ 4:17 pm

Getting kids to eat healthier meals is something most parents struggle with at some point. This is true for me when it comes to school lunches. I feel that lunch time at school poses its own set of challenges. There is the distraction from friends, but the number one thing that freaks me out is that I am not there to make sure that my children are eating what I packed. I can picture it now…my six year old sitting down at the lunch table doing a biz deal (those superior skills inherited from her mother…I’m so proud) which is focused around what she can get in return for the whole grain almond butter and natural jelly sandwich that she discovered when opening her lunch box.

What’s a parent to do? I just read the book, “Lunch Lessons” Changing the Way We Feed Our Children by Chef Ann Cooper. Cooper, a nationally recognized pioneer in developing healthy lunch programs, has worked with school districts across the country for the past decade to ensure that kids have access to fresh, nutritious food. Every parent, myself in those ranks, knows the frustration of cleaning out their kid’s backpack at the end of the day and finding a half-eaten lunch.

I walked away with numerous tips that I found helpful and think are worth sharing.

* Get kids involved with the process. The more power we give children, and the more options we offer them, the better they’ll eat. Present them with a few healthy lunch items, and then let them help prepare the food and pack their own lunchbox. During her career, Cooper has learned that kids love dips and suggests the following; low-fat yogurt mixed with honey and packed with strawberries and chunks of cantaloupe.

* Instead of chips, include some homemade popcorn. If regular sandwiches go uneaten, try wraps instead.

* Be a good role model. The real problem with getting kids to eat healthier meals often lies with parents, not kids. If we as adults are living on a diet of soda and chips, how can we realistically expect our children to want to eat whole grains and fresh fruits?

* Take your kids shopping. One of the best ways to help children learn about healthy food is to take them with you to the grocery store. Make sure you’re not in a hurry and spend time in the aisles that contain minimally processed foods—the produce department, meat and fish counter, the dairy aisle, and the bulk foods section, if your store has one. If your child expresses an interest in a certain fruit or vegetable, let them try it. Don’t just assume they won’t like it.

* Be flexible. There’s nothing wrong with having a cookie occasionally if it’s balanced with a diet of healthy foods. A special treat every now and then won’t do any damage. It can actually help make eating a more enjoyable experience for your child.

* Make mealtimes special. First and foremost, sit down and enjoy your food. Take time to savor flavors. Make a ritual out of eating and give everyone a special task. You can even let kids have one night a week when they plan and help make dinner.

* Let kids help in the kitchen. Even a two-year-old can snap fresh green beans or tear lettuce into pieces for salad. Don’t automatically assume that a task will be too difficult. Know your child’s limits and help her succeed by providing support in a safe environment. Kids love to eat food they helped to make, and will be more likely to try new foods, including fruits and vegetables.

* Make sure your kids eat breakfast. After 10 to 12 hours of no food, it’s important to jump start their metabolisms and recharge their engines before sending them out into the world. Kids who don’t eat breakfast are more likely to be tired and unable to concentrate in their morning classes.

* Encourage your kids to move their bodies. A good diet is only part of the equation. Regular exercise helps support a strong immune system and the ability to concentrate. Walking to school is a great way to give kids an added advantage before settling down to learn for the day. Help your kids find physical activities that they enjoy and encourage them to get outside and play as often as possible.

Overall I took away a good deal from this book and will add this to my continuously growing recommendations of no-nonsense healthy living recommendations. Thanks again Chef Cooper for assisting me in redirecting my daughter’s business negotiation skills!

 

Adventures with BOB July 8, 2009

Filed under: BOB stroller,family,Fitness,running,wellness — fitforamom @ 2:43 pm

I have tested several strollers and the BOB Revolution by far is one of the more superior brands. The BOB has everything a fit mom is looking for – functionality, durability, and style. While I was still pregnant, I started talking with other moms and dads who had the BOB. Quite frankly, I saw the BOB’s around and heard conversation here and there but wanted to investigate myself. I had to see what the big deal was about this stroller that was named after some guy named Bob, I suppose? Going to www.bobgear.com I started comparing the different models and discovered that the Revolution is a nice hybrid model. I knew that I would be running with my baby in this stroller but also I would need something to take to the farmer’s market as well. The Revolution fit the bill.

My son and I have put this stroller through many adventures — sand, dirt, grass, and gravel just to name a few. Oh yea, I forgot the time that we ran through the sprinkler after a long run and we both squealed with delight. Me over the cooling water hitting my hot and sweaty skin, and my babe over the fact that his mom was temporarily going crazy.

The greatest feature about the BOB is that you are able to “lock” or “unlock” the front wheel. Lock in place to use as a traditional jogger or unlock, and the wheel is able to swivel and maneuver you through narrow store aisles. Unlike some of the other strollers, the BOB is manufactured to above and beyond industry standards. It boasts a suspension system, welded frame, durable fabric, a full canopy which provides maximum sun protection. The BOB Revolution is one stroller that is “fit for a mom”. Kudo’s to the guys and gals at BOB for such a great product!

 

Fit For A Mom Is Born July 5, 2009

Fit For A Mom…what exactly is it and what is it about? It is the brainchild (maybe not but it sounds good, doesn’t it?) idea of me, an average mom, who just happens to be active and is raising her children that way as well. I have scoured the Internet for information on products and services to help moms who have made the choice to be fit and active a little more easier. I have found blogs and websites that talk about baby products in general, fitness products for women, prenatal fitness, maternity workout clothes, baby jogger reviews, workout clothes in general, but really nothing that could or would be a nice mix of all the above and more! What I was looking for was a truly unique mix of what a fit mom really needs on all levels. Not to mention throwing in my own thoughts of the highs and lows of raising a fit family when a McDonald’s lurks around every corner and threatens all my hard work!

Fit For A Mom is just that. A place where we look at products and services that help the everyday mom achieve a fitter, more healthier lifestyle. Easier. Thus being Fit For A Mom.

I say “we” because I want feedback from you, other like-minded moms trying to live the fit, active life with and for their children. Together we can find the best products and services out there that are Fit For A Mom! If you have a product or come across a product that you’d like to spotlight, just drop me a line at: fitforamom@live.com

Sit back and enjoy!