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!

 

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!