Friday, June 29, 2012

That's nuts, man. (#Infographic)

I realized this morning as I was creating yet another delicious bowl of oatmeal that my supply of honey peanut butter is dwindling. As in, there is only one serving left. This is a crisis akin to having but one diaper left in the diaper bag. It's just not a good thing. 

I typically buy two jars of unsalted, dry roasted peanuts, giving one a whirl in the 'ol food processor while keeping the other on-hand for restock purposes. This usually gets me through the week, but I have no restock jar. I HAVE NO RESTOCK JAR OF PEANUTS, PEOPLE! 

Things are about to get nuts around here:

Question: How do you incorporate nuts into your diet? Do you have a favorite nut? Obviously I can't live without peanuts...almonds and hazelnuts are good, too.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Valslides, Part 2

I started another week of Valerie Waters' I Want My Bikini Body Express program today. Last week went well, starting on Wednesday with a full BBX workout. The burn? I felt it. I felt it throughout the week, actually—even though I'm not following the program exactly. It would be counterproductive of me to teach my Circuit Sculpt class on Monday and Friday, and then do one of the assigned BBX workouts (which you are supposed to do three times a week, with cardio on the in-between days). So unbeknownst to my students, I incorporated some of her moves into my classes. And since today is Wednesday, I've introduced myself to a new BBX workout.

And I did so at home, in my at-home gym:

Otherwise known as the room in our basement that we haven't done anything with yet. Although we (as in, my husband) did hang a nice piece of artwork.

Heath Ledger as The Joker.
It scares the crap out of me every time I look at it.

But, it's not about where you work out—it's about how you work out. So never you mind the unfinished basement. Or the booze.

What I love most about Valerie's program is that she divides it into four portions: Prep, Sweat, Sculpt and Polish. I promise you, she's not kidding about the "Sweat" portion either. Proof:

My legs, which are still sore from Monday's workout, pretty much hate me right now. No literally, as in, they despise me. But in some sick and twisted way, I actually enjoy their hatred of me. If I don't get sore, I don't feel like I'm working hard enough. Sometimes a girl's gotta feel the burn, yo!

Needless to say, I'm looking forward to working with today's workout the rest of the week.

My thoughts about Valerie Waters' Bikini Body Express program thus far:

1) It's so super easy to follow. Down to the descriptions of each exercise, should you need them. 
2) There aren't any gimmicks. I hate gimmicks. 
3) Every exercise is easy to figure out, if not already familiar.
4) The suggested weekly workout schedule is not overwhelming.
5) Equipment use is minimal, which adapts it to the at-home gym.
6) The Valslides rock, for real. 

I wanna expand on #6 for a minute: When I first got the Valslides, I wasn't that impressed by them as I had been used to working out with sliding discs at the gym. So when the program suggested I do an inclined plank with my feet on the Valslides, I honestly chuckled a bit. EA-SY! But as it turned out, not really. 

See, Valslides only work on the carpet. Unlike the discs which only work on a hard, smooth floor. This means the Valslides introduce a continual element of instability and/or movement that gives extra zing to any exercise. Sure, an inclined plank would be easy for me. But when my feet want to slide right out from underneath me...well, that made it hard as I had to fight harder to hold the plank. 

Today, I had to do mountain climbers with my toes on the slides. All I need to say is this: Those Valslides slide like heck, man! It's no back-and-forth action. They wanted to go side-to-side, too. 

Anyway, so that's where I'm at with BBX.

And this is what I got in my CSA box today:

I gave the giant head of broccoli to my partner in CSA crime, while I took the cauliflower. We split everything else up equally. Wait, you have to look closer at the cauliflower. It's so cute:

In other news, it's What I Ate Wednesday. Sensible snacks are still all the rage, so I'll give you three favorites as of late:

Best cracker of my life. Especially when paired up with ground up black beans.

Peas. Technically not my snack, but still quite sensible. Although I much preferred my iced coffee:


Tomorrow, I officially take over as the Foam Roller instructor. 

Go me.

Also: Don't forget about my giveaway.

Question: What kind of fitness equipment do you have at home? What's your favorite? And what's your set up? Do you work out in your basement?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The "I Want Sore Legs" Circuit

I subbed another TRX Bootcamp today, and the first thing one of the girls told me (before I even started class) was that she wanted her legs to be sore after class.

Dear girl, you never tell a trainer you want sore anything. Fuel, meet fire.

I immediately scrapped some of what I had planned in favor of a few additional leg-heavy moves, which ultimately left her both grateful and sweating more than usual. Go me...and go her. She rocked the workout, as did everyone else in the class.

Here's the irony: My legs are extremely sore today. I brought back the tick-tock lunge in my Circuit Sculpt class on Monday, and I've been doing bits and pieces of Valerie Waters' I Want My Bikini Body Express workout. I'm feeling it in my quads, for sure, which is the one place I usually don't feel it. Ever.

Also ironic: This was posted on FitFluential's Facebook page:

Good point, Jillian. Good point.

I honestly wanted to throw in the towel today, and I sort of did with my plan to run, opting instead for a brisk three-mile walk downtown with my best girl. I do love me a good power walk. Especially when I get to enjoy such summery scenery:

I walk by those damn paddle boards every summer, telling myself that it's on my bucket list and that I should just do it already. This summer, I might just do it already.


My walk felt really good. I got the heart pumping and I could feel my legs loosening up a bit, which is always a good thing when you're sore. Not good? Collecting water bottles on the front seat of your car:

Between the car seat, diaper bag and whatever else, grabbing the water bottle is the last thing on my mind when I'm walking back in the door.

Anyway (again).

Let's talk about that "I Want Sore Legs" circuit, as hinted at by the title of this post. In case you're in need of some leg kickin', I put together the following circuit. Use weights as you see fit, but feel free to go without. In fact, that's what I recommend, at least at first. Remember that your own body weight is still a great weight to use.

So test it out. Let me know what you think.

Speaking of sore legs, I've got to plan tomorrow morning's workout. Time for week two of testing out the I Want My Bikini Body Express program. 

Did you enter my giveaway yet?

Question: How do you feel about being sore? Love it? I do...

Monday, June 25, 2012

Eat Your Vegetables

So we've been playing around with different foods. And by "we," I mean Hannah. She's eating sweet potatoes, peas and rice quite successfully. Bananas...I think her digestive track is still trying to figure out how to process them, so I've been giving them to her sparingly. Up next, avocados.

It's really important to us that she be exposed to all of these different foods because eating healthy is a must. So far, she's liked everything I've given her. Well, at least after she has a few bites. There's always that initial "what the f..., mom" moment. But after a few spoonfuls, she's come around to everything. I know this won't always be the case. Especially as she gets older. I remember what it was like to be a kid with a plateful of veggies in front of me. 

Pass the dessert.
Oh, wait. I still do that sometimes. Anyway.

I've got a book—Eat Your Vegetables And Other Mistakes Parents Make—that you parentals should read. Natalie Digate Muth is a pediatrician, registered dietitian and mom, which makes her an expert when it comes to "redefining how to raise healthy eaters." A lot of what's in the book isn't really applying to Hannah quite yet, but I'm one to read ahead so I was quite thrilled when Dr. Muth agreed to send me a copy to peek at. I sense it will come in handy in the future, for sure.

Easy to read and peppered with recipes, Dr. Muth focuses on common "mistakes" that parents tend to make while offering ways they can be overcome. I particularly enjoy Chapter 9, which covers "mistake" #9: Enabling the couch potato.

Here's an excerpt:

Newspaper reports buzz about the crisis of a generation of electronic media–obsessed kids. A 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that the average child spends a whopping 53 hours a week—that’s 7 hours and 38 minutes per day—with such electronic media as TV, video games, computers, cell phones, iPads®, and iPods®. Presumably, a child who’s in front of the television for hours on end isn’t getting the recommended minimum 60 minutes of physical activity per day. In fact, if you’re like 80 percent of parents, your kid gets nowhere near this amount of physical activity. But that doesn’t mean that kids of this generation are destined for a lifetime of physical laziness—not even those who already spend a large majority of their free time in sedentary activity and who refuse to get moving. With a little bit of parental foresight and nudging, you can get your kid off the couch and out there truly loving being active. And, in reality, for the health and well-being of your children, you have no other option. Physical activity is essential for more than just preventing and treating obesity. Your kids also need it for optimum academic performance, socialization, and mental health.

So, how do you get a physically inactive child to exercise? Isn’t it kind of like trying to get an unwilling kid to like broccoli? If you push too hard, he’ll just push back and refuse. After all, you can’t move a kid’s muscles for him. You’ll have to take a similar approach as you do with healthy eating—empower your child to actually like breaking a sweat. That starts with understanding a child’s motivators (which may be very different than a parent’s motivators). For most kids, it is all about having fun!

Sports offer kids an excellent opportunity to get moving and have a blast doing it. Regardless of natural ability or level of athletic competition, nearly every child has some experience with sports during childhood. Many participate for the pure joy and fun of the sport and friendly competition. Others play sports competitively in hopes of making the high school team, playing in college, or one day becoming a professional athlete. In any case, participation in sports offers children tremendous health, social, and developmental benefits. Children who play sports not only have a regular opportunity to engage in physical activity, but they also develop life skills including leadership, teamwork, self-discipline, cooperation, and how to overall be a “good sport” whether the game is won or lost.

Parents should take extra care to help facilitate a child’s overall positive experience with sports while recognizing it’s not possible to shield a child from all uncomfortable experiences. Repeated failures, criticism, excessive pressure, and negative peer interactions can leave a child permanently turned off to sports. But identifying the right sport, or sports, can help a child develop a lifelong love of play, physical activity, and friendly competition.

With dozens of sports to choose from, you and your child may not be sure which one to try first. While the only way to know for sure if a child likes a sport or not is to get out there and try it, you should take a few steps to help you narrow down the playing field. Ask yourself:

1) What are my child's greatest athletic strengths?

2) Does my child gravitate toward team activities or individual activities?
3) Am I pressuring my child to play a particular sport because it's my favorite?
4) What's my child's level of coordination and skill?
5) Is my child having fun?

At the end of the day, the key is to get the kids out there and playing. Next time your kids are mesmerized in front of some screen, turn it off and join them for a pickup game of their choice.

Great, right?

If you want to read more, you can pick up a copy of Eat Your Vegetables And Other Mistakes Parents Make from Amazon and other booksellers—or you can leave a comment below telling me what you're doing to raise healthy eaters of your own. I'll pick one winner at random on Friday, June 29, 2012. Winner will be announced on Sunday, July 1, 2012. (<—Seriously? July already?)

You won't get extra entries for this, but follow How to Raise Healthy Eaters on Facebook to be in-the-know. And while you're at it, be sure to follow Daily Dose, too.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Tosca Reno's Backpack Kisses

Without further ado, I give you the NatureBox winner:

Congrats, girl...and best of luck on your weight loss journey. You can do it, just put your mind to it. And don't forget to add some fitness and fun to that bucket list, too. Also—the Mighty Mix is awesome, and quite possibly my favorite item in the box. Can't wait for you to try it!

Speaking of trying something.
Tosca Reno, if you're reading this, your backpack kisses are ah-MAY-zing!

I wasn't going to wrap them in foil, but come cute?

And also quite portable, so I figured that taking the time to wrap a few wasn't going to hurt me.

I know, these look familiar. They're very much like the protein bombs I make all the time, and as you know, those things are highly adaptable to different tastes and ingredients—and Tosca's recipe was a combination I hadn't really used before, so I gave it a go. WITHOUT REGRET...well, I do sort of regret not being able to eat just one. Sigh.

I followed her recipe almost completely, swapping out half of the hemp seeds for Chia seeds because I only had one tablespoon. I don't normally keep hemp seeds in the pantry, but I happened to have a sample from somewhere. They remind me of Chia seeds in that they provide a good dose of Omegas. I don't usually keep protein powders in the house, either.

Both were great.

Seriously, go make Tosca's kisses. It's're prepping food for the week, right? It helps. Oh, and —comin' atcha tomorrow with another giveaway. If you have kids, you'll love this one.

Question: If someone were to raid your pantry or refrigerator, what might they say is the oddest item you've got stashed away? (These hemp seeds would have been the winner in my kitchen.)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Kohlrabi Slaw, Banana Snack, Big Steps

So I made that Cabbage and Kohlrab Slaw I told you about. It was freakin' delicious.

Although, I did leave out the mint that Emily calls for. Kinda not a fan of mint in my food...unless it's Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream from Oink's in New Buffalo, MI. I make exceptions when exceptions are necessary. And, man...I wish that place had a presence online so I could link you. Oink's offers a gazillion flavors of Sherman's ice cream, and the whole place is decked out in pig memorabilia. Appropriate, no?


Maybe they should start serving frozen bananas dipped in Greek yogurt and swirled in granola.

Chocolate Covered Katie got it right with this recipe. I used some Vanilla Chobani and what I had left of the granola from my NatureBox—speaking of, there's still a little bit of time to enter the giveaway. It closes at midnight EST tonight, June 23.

But that's tonight.

This morning, I went for yet another peaceful run. I'm beginning to think this will be a Saturday morning ritual for me. I went for almost 6 miles today at a comfortable 9-minute pace. I found a dollar...

...but it was covered it BBQ sauce so I left it on the ground. At least that's what I'm telling myself it was covered in. Yuck.

I also found footsteps in the sand, which brought to mind lyrics from one of my favorite peaceful running songs, "Can't Go Back Now" by The Weepies:

Check out the video, it's odd...but I still love the song.

Question: What song are you listening to these days that might qualify as a peaceful running song?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Valslides, Part 1

I've had quite the week at the gym. I picked up three extra shifts, adding two TRX Bootcamps and a Foam Roller class to my schedule. And a local corporation hosted a health fair for its employees, so I popped into our booth for a little bit to help out (as much as I could with a little one in tow). Tomorrow, I have Circuit Sculpt and two clients. That's it. I know my schedule pales in comparison to some of yours, but Hannah can still be unpredictable, so there's always the potential for a quick-change on the horizon. Translation: I get nervous whenever I put something on my calendar. 

Maybe this'll change with time.

Let's back up to yesterday for a second.  As a FitFluential Ambassador, I was invited to try Valerie Waters' I Want My Bikini Body Express program free of charge. It's a three-week training program that comes with two Valslides...slick disks that slide across the carpet. 

"The Valslide is specifically designed for flowing, controlled range of motion that activates the muscles that lift your butt and slim your thighs. While other programs use bulky, expensive equipment and fancy footwork to try and entice the exerciser, simplicity is what gives Valslide the edge."

Who isn't looking for an edge when it comes to their workouts?

From what I can tell so far, as I did my first workout yesterday morning, this is a program designed to produce results in a timely fashion when followed exactly. Best part? It seems pretty straightforward, which translates to "easy to follow." Three BBX workouts a week, which call upon the Valslides and various other elements of strength training, are sandwiched by cardio and diet suggestions. 

I've messed around with other training programs, but have ultimately thrown 'em out the door because they're confusing. This program is not confusing. In fact, I'm already doing a number of the exercises in my Circuit Sculpt classes on Monday and Friday mornings. So I plan to spend Wednesday mornings with the exact workouts from Val's program. Not ideal in the grand scheme of things, but with her help, I concluded that this would be my best approach. 

If I tried to follow the program exactly, plus teach twice a week, I'd probably just overload my body which wouldn't produce any results. And as a new mom with a few pounds of baby weight to lose and some spots here and there left to tighten and tone, I'm all about getting results.

Sometimes you have to do that, and it's OK. If you're interested in a program, but aren't really sure if you can integrate it, you have to stop and consider two things:

1) Are you having a problem integrating it because you aren't willing to sacrifice other aspects of your life in the name of change? Or...

2) Are you having problems integrating it because certain aspects of your life cannot be changed, and and integrating the program would just wreak havoc on your body, mind or soul?

If your answer falls under the first question, then you might want to sit yourself down for an honest little pep talk. If your answer falls under the second question, well...that's when you need to get creative and come up with a plan that works for you.

So I'll let you know how things progress with the workouts. I've already indicated that I have to teach again in the morning, so I think I'll use some of the moves from the workout I did on Wednesday.

Speaking of Wednesday, I picked up another share from my CSA yesterday:

Not pictured? Snap peas, cabbage and bok choy. And that big bulb of a thing? Kohlrabi, which makes me want to shop at Kohl's. But instead, I'll try my hand at making a Cabbage and Kohlrabi slaw. I'll let you know how it turns out. In the meantime, be sure to enter my giveaway. You know you want some healthy snackage.

Question: Do you eat kohlrabi? How? What was the last workout program you tried? Do you have a favorite?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

#WIAW: Sensible Snacks from NatureBox


I've been noshing on some delicious snacks these past few days, which is perfect since this month's What I Ate Wednesday theme is Sensible Snacks. I would snack all day if I let myself, so it's really important that I have nutritious options on-hand for those times when I really do need a little somethin' to eat. So this is why I jumped at the chance to give NatureBox a try, a company that hand-picks delicious and nutritious (score!) snacks and packages them up in a box that is ultimately delivered right to your doorstep every month.

Or as often as you order one. "Everything inside your NatureBox will be guilt free so that you can feel great about what you’re eating," says the company's website. And it's true. Which makes it worth the fee, which...if you really think about it, isn't that bad. $19.95 a box...$3.99 per bag of snacks? I'd spend that at the grocery store. And then some. Let's take a closer look, shall we?

Yum, right? I love that every box has a theme. June's theme centers around "wholesome snacks that are perfect for travel, camping, hot summer nights, and active days in the great outdoors." Totally summer. Totally makes me want to hit the beach.

I digress.

Let's talk about the June box again. More specifically, the extra June box I've got sitting right here at my desk. I won't be selfish, guys. I'm giving it to you. of you.

Giveaway! Woot!

Leave a comment below and tell me one thing on your summer bucket list, and which snack you're most interested in trying from the options above...but don't worry, you'll get all of them if you win. Contest ends this Saturday, June 23 at midnight EST. I'll pick a random winner on Sunday, June 24. Please make sure you leave me a way to get ahold of you. If you win, I'll need your mailing address.

Keep track of NatureBox on Facebook and Twitter for product updates, cool info and fun games. And if you haven't already, please take a sec to follow Daily Dose on Facebook and Twitter, too! <— Doing any of the aforementioned things doesn't get you extra entries, it just keeps you in the know.

Disclaimer: NatureBox was kind enough to send me two boxes free of charge, one of which I'll give to the winner. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions are my own and are true to my heart. I cannot tell a lie!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Peanut Chia Hazelnut Honey Nut Butter

You guys. I cannot even tell you how delicious the above is. I seriously cannot! It might be my new favorite nut butter, of which I have many. I ran out of peanut butter this morning so I threw the leftover peanuts, some Chia seeds, roasted hazelnuts and a drizzle of honey in my food processor and let it churn—I could eat the entirety of the results in one sitting. I'm not even joking. If I had almonds, I probably would have thrown them in as well. Maybe next time...or not.  It's so good as is. Make it...go, right now. Just make it.

As if you don't already have enough to do, eh? Seems like I've been crazy busy this week and it's only Tuesday. Hannah is my priority, my full-time job...but I also work part-time at the gym, plus I consider household maintenance a huge part of my responsibilities. My husband does enough from 8 to 5. I love that he's so willing to help out when he gets home from work, but I like to have as much of it done as I can. Sometimes I don't get any of it done.

I'm learning to accept that.

I'm learning to accept that I don't have to get everything done in one fell swoop. There are essential items on the to-do list, and there are items that can and will get done when I can and will do them.  If I'm constantly going and doing and checking things off the list...well, what else am I missing out on? I learned this point pretty quickly after Hannah was born. 

When it comes to the to-do list, I like to do as much as I can. But getting things checked off doesn't define me. It doesn't define my abilities. It doesn't define who I am nor does it define my self-worth. But when it comes to the list of things I want to do for the sake of living a great life, like hanging out with my daughter in a pile of toys or reading a delicious book while she naps, going for a run or making crazy good nut butters...those are the things that define my existence. 

Those are the things that mold and shape me into the person I am. Those are things that make life grand. Not laundry, organizing or anything else task-ish. Granted, those things need to be done, but they can take a back seat to other, more experienceable things if need be. Because why? Life is meant to be lived. The more we do, the more we can be ourselves in a happy existence. 

Yes, sitting down and doing nothing is still doing something. 
And it's a good thing to do, really.

Question: What's one thing you did today simply because you wanted to enjoy doing it? And if you feel like getting all deep on me, tell me how that moment helped define you as a person.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

How to Run Peacefully

I really enjoy waking up in the morning. I know that sounds weird, but I hear the sound of my alarm as the promise of a new day. A clean slate on which I can write a new chapter in the storybook of my life. I might know some of what will happen to me in the forthcoming 24 hours, but most of it remains to be seen. And experienced. So when I wake up in the morning, I try to stop and reflect. To capture the peace and quiet, which is mine and mine alone as the rest of my family sleeps.

Today, I chose to wake up at  6:00AM and go running.
It might have been the most peaceful run ever.

The weatherman promised us a hot Saturday, and I hate running in hot temps, so I laced up and drove down to the beach. I didn't feel like running through my neighborhood, and the beach tends to hustle and bustle with tourists these days...but they're rarely up at 6:00AM. And there isn't anything better than an empty beach in the morning as the sun's first rays shine down on it.

I ended up running four and a half miles. It  didn't really matter. I was too into the moment to care, and I barely noticed my nine-minute miles. The sidewalk art distracted me... did the prettiest flowers ever.

It's funny, when you really tune in to your environment, you see these things. The little things you pass all the time without noticing. All too often we get caught up in the passing of time. We get caught up in the miles we're logging or the times we have to beat. And we miss those little details that can really make a moment. So take a deep breath, I urge you. Capture the peace that lives around you. Run free, at least every once in a while. And say hello to the sun as it shines down on your world.

That's what I did this morning and I had the best run ever.

And then I had the best cup of iced coffee ever. Decaf...with skim and a shot of hazelnut.

That shot of hazelnut? It's the little thing. You know, one of those "little things" that make  like so wonderful.

When I got home, life was as I had left it. My husband and daughter still in their respective beds, peacefully sleeping. My own peaceful morning still in existence, for they would soon wake and my peace would morph into one that I shared.

Because I am at peace wherever my family is.
And sometimes when I'm running, too.

1) Forget about your goals. Run simply because you can.
2) Tune in to your surroundings. Look for things you've never noticed before.
3) Pick an inspiring path, perhaps one that lacks significant hustle and bustle.
4) Choose a playlist that both soothes and encourages. For example:

5) When you're done, just stop and smile. Reflect on the power and strength of your own body.

That power and strength is one of the most important things ever.

Friday, June 15, 2012

How to Choose Running Shoes (#Infographic)

I don't buy running shoes as often as I should. I generally just keep an eye on them, and when they start to feel uncomfortable, usually in the heel...well, then I start the search. And I usually go by looks first, fit and feel second. <—Totally not right, at least by pro running standards. But, whatever. I always end up with a pair that works great and feels wonderful. Perhaps I'd feel differently if I actually went to one of those fancy running shoe stores and got appropriately fitted for a pair. Or maybe I can use the following.

Also, I think I swallowed a cherry pit today. <—Totally, definitely not right.


Question: How do you buy your running shoes? Do you get fitted? And how often do you replace your running shoes?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bok Choy Salad with Peanut Soy Sauce Dressing

Fact: I like cooking with new ingredients.
Fact: I rarely buy new ingredients unless I stumble upon a recipe that warrents experimentation.
Fact: I stumble upon so many recipes, I have a stack THIS high in my junk drawer.

Fact: Bok choy is a new-to-me ingredient. It came in my CSA.
Fact: There were no bok choy recipes in my junk drawer.
Fact: I found one on the Internet. Foodgawker, to be specific.

Do you have the Foodgawker app on your iPhone? (I don't know if it comes on any other platform or not.) Seriously, it's awesome. You type in an ingredient and it gives you options upon options of recipes that call for said ingredient, all pulled from the plethora of food blogs that we all love to read.

Fact: Foodgawker is food porn.

Needless to say, I found a recipe. It was healthy, easy...and I had all of the ingredients. Well, except for the rice wine vinegar. And as it turned out, the honey, but I didn't realize this until it was too late so I turned a "Tangy-Sweet, Sesame-Soy Vinaigrette" into a "Peanut Soy Sauce Dressing." It was delicious on top of chopped bok choy and shredded carrots.

Note: I didn't really measure out the bok choy in the recipe that follows. I cut up whatever I had, which ultimately filled a largish serving bowl. Seriously, just eyeball the ratio of carrots to bok choy.

Inspiration: The Cozy Apron's Crisp Baby Bok Choy Greens in Tangy-Sweet, Sesame-Soy Vinaigrette

• Bok choy, cut with stems removed
• 6 carrots, shredded
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 tbsp sesame seeds toasted
• 2 tbsp honey peanut butter
• 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
• 6 tbsp rice wine vinegar
• 6 tbsp olive oil

1) Combine the bok choy and carrots in a largish serving bowl. Set aside.

2) Put the remaining ingredients into a bowl, then whisk to combine.

3) If serving immediately, toss the bok choy/carrot mix with the dressing, adding a few spoonfuls at a time until you've added an appropriate amount of dressing—go according to taste on this one. (For example, I like my salads on the dry side.) If you're making this ahead of time, perhaps for individual servings throughout the week, put a handful in a cereal bowl and top with one, maybe two spoonfuls of dressing. Store the rest in the refrigerator.

Fact: It couldn't be any easier to make something so delicious.

...which is exactly how I feel about homemade baby food. We've added sweet potatoes to Miss Hannah's diet. I got ten servings out of one potato.

She loved every last bite. Then again, who wouldn't?

Fact: Flowers in my kitchen make me happy like sweet potatoes in my belly do.

Question: How do you cook bok choy?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

How can a mom find time for fitness?

My days used to be so predictable. And then I had a baby. No, I'm not complaining. Just observing. We stick to a somewhat decent schedule 'round here, but for every five days on, well...there is inevitably one or two decidedly off. Like today. I think we're gearing up for or in the midst of another round of tooth-poppin' fun. Hannah woke up a few times last night, which she never does. Her nose has been running and she's been shoving her fist into her mouth like it's a cherry sucker or something. She did all of this just before the dawn of her two bottom teeth, which is why I think we're about to see more where they came from.

Needless to say, my up-and-down night left me way too exhausted for an early morning session of HIIT. I would have been a zombie, and one cannot be a zombie in the presence of a five-month bundle of joy. So, yeah...I shelved it for later, figuring I could sneak it in during her nap. Like, outside in the backyard or in the basement or something. And then she had a tough time falling asleep, so I spent a most of what should have been her three-hour nap trying to console her.

And then she fell asleep. It was 4:30.

I took the monitor outside and set up a nice little backyard gym, which consisted of nothing more than my yoga mat on a beach towel—I was determined to get in that session of HIIT I gave up this morning.

It was a slightly overcast day with a cool breeze in the air, evident by the flapping Post-it Note on the corner of my mat. And yet, I still managed to sweat balls because of this lineup:

Single-leg burpees are hard. And completely awesome.

I managed to make it through just three of the four circuit repetitions, but I'm totally OK with it. I still managed to find 30 minutes during which I could move this here mommy body. As the day moved on, I started to see that opportunity slipping away from me. In the end, it might not have been the best workout of my life, but it was a workout nonetheless.

How can a mom find time for fitness?

1) Plan ahead and be open to squeezing it in whenever and wherever. Sometimes you just gotta drop and give yourself ten when you can. The dishes can wait.

2) Enlist daddy's help. My husband always feeds Hannah a bottle before she goes to bed. This gives me a solid 45 minutes of me-time during which I typically go for a run. (Today, I would have done the HIIT circuit above had I not gotten her to go down this afternoon.)

3) Bring baby with you! In a running stroller, perhaps. Or in a regular stroller—remember, there's nothing wrong with a solid power walk.

4) Join a gym that has a nursery. They'll take good care of your peanut, and you shouldn't feel guilty about leaving her/him in there so that you can exercise. Baby won't forget about you in the time it takes you to run a few miles or lift a few weights.

5) Consider morning workouts. Go when the husband is home, while Baby is still sleeping. Get it over with so that any schedule-related monkey wrenches don't wreak havoc on your fitness for the day.

Most importantly, know that if a day goes by during which you truly cannot find the time for fitness...know that it's OK. If you live an active life, full of healthy eating and fitness fun, missing one day of your typical workouts isn't going to send you back to the starting line. It's all worth it for that precious bundle of joy, right? And you'll pick up right where you left off during the next day.

Speaking of days. You know what today is, right? Wednesday, which means:


Sensible snacking is all the rage in the health and fitness world. In any world, really. Snacks go bad for you so quickly if you aren't smart about them. I snack on a lot of Greek yogurt. Oikos was on sale this week, so I picked up a few cartons which leads me to the best snack I've had so far this week:

Half a mango with a handful of blueberries atop some vanilla Oikos Greek yogurt. Total party in my mouth, I swear. Also good, but not as good, was the apple with peanut butter. Quite refreshing, but not filling: The iced coffee with a splash of chocolate milk. And, of course, I'm still making my way through the pumpkin bars I bought at Trader Joe's. 

Anyways. Also today: Another shipment from the CSA.

More lettuce, strawberries and radishes. Hello, lovely cherries! And another bunch of bok choy. Hey-OH do I have a good bok choy recipe for you. Coming soon, I promise.

Question: What did you snack on today? If you're a mom, how do you make time for fitness?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...