Five Steps to a Healthier You

Good morning mommas! I am so excited to introduce you to our new Fitness and Health Contributor here at Mine for the Making. Shannon of Fitness Food Diva has a passion for healthy foods and healthy life choices and it shines through on her blog. I am so happy she is apart of our Creative Team this year!

*****

Five steps to a healthier YOU starts by getting the idea out of your head that you need to DIET to get healthy and/or loose weight.  “Diets”, as it has been said over and over are so restrictive.  As soon as I here the word “diet” I cringe.  No one wants to omit everything in life that is good and puts a smile on your face while you eat it.  Those moments must exist.  Food is crucial to a healthy lifestyle, so do not deprive yourself.  Being healthy consists of setting goals, making good choices (not perfect), getting rest, staying active, and incorporating more water into your day.  These simple yet attainable steps can be accomplished in making a healthier you.

  5 Steps to a Healthier You

1. Setting goals:  This is such an important part of everyday life, from setting simple daily goals like; reading every night to your kids, paying your bills, calling a friend, etc.  Goals are meant to be reached and acquire a feeling of accomplishment.  Each goal needs to be obtainable and realistic wether it is personal or family oriented.  If you are looking to set goal for a healthier you, make them real to your character.  Write them down, look at them and hold yourself accountable for them.  If you are setting goals for working out, then start with something simple like, join a gym, get familiar with the equipment by asking one of the employees to show you around (if you don’t have a personal trainer).  Try to go to the gym a few times a week and then set another goal for more.  Goals are meant to be set, worked towards and accomplished, which in turn provide us a sense of happiness and accomplishment and a healthier you.

5 steps to a healthier you4

2. Making Good Choices:  This is a hard step and I understand that.  Making good (healthier) choices when it come to food and snacks is not always easy.  We think it is, but when you are in a hurry fast food is always so much easier than going to the store and making dinner but, this is where setting goals can help.  Plan out what you need for the week to provide yourself the healthier choices in meals and snacks so you are less tempted for the fast food or sugary snacks.  Instead of eating out every night, choose to eat in and make a healthy breakfast, lunch, dinner a several times a week.  Try to avoid the high calorie snacks that spike your sugar levels and then leave you crashing, they are not your friend.  Snacking needs to turn into “GRAZING”, eating something “good”every three hours.  For example choose a Quest Protein bar instead of a candy bar or granola bar.  Eat pretzels in place of chips, choose whole wheat crackers rather than white flour cracker.  Replace white rice with quinoa or brown rice.  Drink lemon water or crystal light rather than reaching for high sugar sodas or sports drinks.   Try more fruits and vegetables in lieu of candy or cookies.  Staying away from high fructose corn syrup, which is in a lot of foods is a really simple choice that will help towards a healthier you.

3. Getting Rest:  We always here “we need eight hours of sleep” to be fully rested.  I admit, it is hard to go bed at night especially when there are only so many hours in the day to get things done.  I know I am always trying to fit a million things in after I get off work before going to bed and my night continue to get longer and the morning begins to come quicker.  Sleep is so important to our recovery from the day and how we are able to attack the next day.  When we feel tired and sluggish that is when we start to slip on our goals and go for the bad food choices rather than the good, which really often make us feel worse.  Eight hours is hard and sometimes just unrealistic, but it is essential to rebooting our bodies to a healthier you.

5 steps to a healthier you2

4. Staying Active:  Getting out everyday and just moving can make us feel better and keep our heart and mind strong.  Wearing a pedometer can help you set goals to move a certain amount of steps each day, which can be at home or work.  If you sit at a computer all day it is good to step away and relax your eyes and stretch your body out.  Staying active doesn’t mean you have to run 5 miles everyday or do hours of yoga, it simply means “move!”  Play with your kids, wash your car, vacuum, walk the dog.  Being sedentary is not an option, we must find a way to get our bodies moving to provide a healthier you. 

5 steps to a healthier you3

5. Drinking more water:   Water is truly a big must for me.  I try to drink a gallon of water a day ( a bit obsessive), but trying to drink one 8 ounce glass of water every hour is not unreasonable.  Again, it comes back to setting goals, making smart choices, avoiding fatigue, and staying active.  Drinking water is essential to our health.  It helps us to control calories, if we drink more water we feel fuller and will eat a little less.  Water helps us push through those final sets at the gym by providing energy to our muscles and helps replenish the water we loose when we sweat.  I like to put a little amino acids in my water at the gym to help retain muscle mass . Water helps us have clearer skin by flushing out toxins in our body, it helps avoid muscle cramps from dehydration.  Water keeps all things flowing through our bodies and is a large step in becoming a healthier YOU. 

I hope these tips make it a bit easier for you to becoming a healthier YOU this year! I’d love for you to head over to my blog for great workouts and yummy, healthy recipes.

Shannon {Fitness Food Diva}

 

Mommy Tell All Monday: 6 Health Tips for Mom

Thanks for joining us for Mommy Tell All Monday! Grab your mug of tea, coffee, or hot chocolate and kick your feet up. Sara, our health and fitness contributor, is back today to share 6 health tips for mom during the busy holiday season. I know this is something I definitely need to read!

Mommy Tell All Monday button (300x300)

 

 

You can sense the change in the air. People are busier; the days are going by quicker as are the hours and minutes. We find ourselves rushing to check items off of our to-do list and, if you’re like me, you sit down at the end of the day unable to remember the last time you ate anything. We feel like we are being pulled in a million directions and one of the first things to get tossed aside is the focus on our own health.

Guess what?

That doesn’t benefit anyone, especially not us.

When life gets busy, don’t toss your health aside. How do you expect to be supermom when you’re not functioning at your optimal level?

Here are some helpful tips for when life gets busy:

1. Whatever you do, eat breakfast. 

I know, I know. You’ve got kids to get ready, lunches to pack, babies to tend to, work to rush to, and coffee to make. (Okay, maybe not coffee, but in my world I can’t function until after coffee o’clock.) Quite often, people skip breakfast because it’s inconvenient and/or they ‘aren’t breakfast people.’ Did you know that people who do not eat breakfast are more likely to be overweight/obese versus those who do eat breakfast? Eating breakfast helps to reduce hunger throughout the day and you’re more likely to make better choices throughout the day. There are many easy and on-the-go options to make breakfast more manageable: homemade smoothies, veggie omelet and whole wheat toast, whole grain cereal with fresh fruit, low-fat yogurt and a piece of fresh fruit, and even a homemade breakfast sandwich (1/2 english muffin, scrambled egg, low-fat cheese, and a tomato). Breakfast really is one of the most important meals of the day.

2. Remember your water.

Not only does water provide hydration to your body, it also helps with hunger. A good tip before eating a meal or when you feel like you’re ‘starving’: drink 1 full glass of water. Not only will you feel refreshed, you will help ease hunger and fill your stomach. I’ve heard people say, “I don’t like the taste of water.” Okay, so, if we are talking actual flavor, water doesn’t have a flavor. (You may prefer one brand to another and I totally get ya on that.) Transform your boring ‘flavorless’ water into fancy water by adding some lemon slices, pieces of fruit, cucumber, or berries. Sweetened beverages deliver an estimated 75 to 150 calories a day; switching the water can save you up to 15 pounds a year!

Fruit-infused-waters

{Great recipes for fruit infused water at I Heart Nap Time}

3. Don’t forget your fiber.

By focusing on high-fiber foods like fruits, veggies, and whole grains you can help maintain your weight. These types of foods are low in calories, but high in nutrients. High-fiber foods also take time to digest helping you feel fuller longer and easing hunger. I know snacking on carrot sticks and celery isn’t as fun as those chips, crackers, or chocolates, but in the long run you’re body will thank you. When it’s time to eat, go for the veggies first. Having a salad before a meal helps you fill-up on nutrients that help you feel full which then help you eat less at dinner.

4. Grab a plate.

I know your calendar is quickly filling up with holiday parties and family functions. I often find myself saying, ‘Yay, snacks!’ (I love snacks, like way too much). If you’re like me, you might find yourself camping out at the food table, catching up with people and your brain keeps telling you ‘eat all the snacks’. Hanging out near the snack table is quite possibly one of the worst things you can do. (Well, okay, I’m sure there are worse things you could do at a party, but that’s a topic for a totally different post.) When we stand near the snack table we lose count of just how much we’ve consumed therefore, causing us to consume a bucket load more calories than we should have. So, next time you’re at a party, grab a plate. It will help you control how much food you take and how often you go back for seconds. (Or thirds or fifths) You know someone at the party is tracking every morsel you put into your mouth (and wondering how you keep your girlish figure), make sure that someone is you.

healthy habits

5. Get moving.

When schedules get full fitness is usually the first thing we begin to skip out on. People say, ‘I don’t have to go to the gym’ or ‘I don’t have enough time to workout’. And you know what, that might very well be true. However, you do have time to move. It is recommended that adults get 60 minutes of physical activity everyday. On days you may not have to time to hit the weights or gym there are other things you can do to get your booty moving: park in the farthest spot from the entrance to Target, take the stairs, go for a walk with the family, play with the kids at the park, turn on some tunes and dance while doing laundry (trust me, it helps the task of laundry suck a lot less). One of the best things you can do for yourself on the day of a special event is to get moving first thing in the morning. Physical activity helps to curb appetite caused by boredom, helps you burn calories, reduces stress, and it helps improve your self-esteem.

6. Moderation is key.

When the weather gets cooler (which is never in Arizona, but we like to pretend) one of the first things that comes to my mind is, ‘Pumpkin flavored everything!’ and I’m pretty sure I get more excited about a Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino than the average person should. Not to mention the holiday breads, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cakes, muffins, and eggnog. For me, giving up my favorite ridiculously calorie filled drinks or holiday snack items is not an option, but I also know that I can’t have them everyday. (I don’t even want to know how burpees it takes to work off a cookie from Paradise Bakery.) My motto becomes moderation. In reality, this is my motto year-round. I know when I feel deprived of something ‘good’ I can get grumpy and resentful of that cookie (how dare they taste so good, but be so bad) so enjoying things in moderation is a staple to my healthy life. If I know I want a Frappucino, I make it a special ‘date’ with myself. Seriously, I do. I normally take time every week, grab a drink, and go wander Target by myself enjoying every single calorie. When I know I have a date with my calories later in the week it helps me be more conscious of my food and fitness choices throughout the week. The same thing applies with other functions in the week: date night, parties, football games, etc. If I know something special is coming up and I know I will ‘let loose’ more than normal, I make better choices throughout the week. Unfortunately, it’s not good for our hips or thighs to eat ALL the cookies, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy them in moderation with balanced diet. {P.S. A cookie from Paradise Bakery contains upward of 280 calories which equates to approximately 275+ burpees.} 

burpees

Life gets busy.

Life gets hard.

Don’t lose focus on what’s important: you and your health.

Light and Love,

Sara

Mommy Tell All Monday: Fit Moms Have to Eat

Good morning and happy Monday mommas! Sara is back again this month with more Mommy Fitness tips and tricks for us! Today’s topic is all about one of my favorite things… FOOD! Sara is sharing that Fit Moms Have to Eat in order to lose unwanted weight/gain muscle. Sara shares some great tips and go-to recipes for the busy mom who is trying to stay fit. 

fit moms4

When you bring a new baby home everything changes instantly. When I became a new mom, I found that it was a crash course in time management. Here I was with my thoughts of, “I can get so much done when the baby is sleeping or playing or –fill-in the blank–.” Don’t worry, I can hear you giggling now as you read this because you know what I didn’t know, having a brand-new baby takes so much time.

Now, for the most part I figured it out the tricks for finding tid-bits of time to get things done here and there.

What I didn’t have figured out was something pretty essential to sustaining life (and sanity): eating.

Seriously, eating.

There would be evenings my husband and I would say, “Gosh, we are so hungry” and then try to recount the last actual meal we had eaten. Sometimes, we wouldn’t have eaten since breakfast and others it would be the night prior.

For someone who loves food, not eating really doesn’t bode well for the body or mind (you know you’ve all reached a point of being ‘hangry’ before). Also, when you’re trying to lose the baby weight (that was supposed to magically go away because you’re breastfeeding, but it didn’t so now you actually have to work at it) not eating makes losing weight really difficult.

hangry quote

Did you know that when you skip meals it makes it more difficult for your body to sustain enough energy to properly function? Your body actually goes into starvation mode and takes whatever you eat (healthy or not) and stores it as fat to be later used as energy because it has no idea when it will be fed again.

Yeah, so, not eating = not a good weight loss trick.

For the first three months postpartum when I figured out eating actually helped, a lot, I lost a bit of the baby weight.

And then, nothing.

For two months.

Not a single pound.

Eating is one thing, but eating the right foods is a whole other thing. (Doughnuts aren’t healthy, say what?)

For me, I knew I had to clean it up. (Seriously, why can’t doughnuts be healthy?)

Now, if you know me, you know I don’t cook. I bake…. Which of course is completely counterproductive to losing weight.

In our household, my husband is the cook, but he is also a fireman which meant that for forty-eight hours I was on my own for meals. Six meals to be exact. For a girl who doesn’t cook and can’t cook very well, that’s too much thinking and too much work. Add a brand-new baby in the mix and that makes the task of cooking a meal daunting.

To solve that problem we began to prepare meals that were very simple for him to prepare ahead of time, easily re-heatable, and versatile. This included meats, veggies, and breakfast pancakes. (C’mon, if doughnuts were out of the picture I needed something to take its place.)

I am a master at re-heating foods.

I’m also a master at eating really healthy if someone else does the work. (Thank you, husband.)

The plan worked. Within a matter of months, I dropped the baby weight and by the time my daughter was eight months old I was in my pre-baby jeans. (My goal was to be in them by twelve months so eight was stellar in my book.)

One of our go-to recipes that is part of our weekly menu is Mexican-style shredded chicken. It’s so simple and easy to prepare that even I can do it. (Can we get a cheer for crock-pot meals?!) Plus, it is super versatile and can be used on a salad, tacos, healthy tex-mex burritos, healthy enchiladas, or, if time is really tight, heaped on a plate with a side of sweet potato.

fit moms2

Mexican-style Shredded Chicken

Ingredients:

3 lbs. Chicken

Dash of garlic salt, cumin, Spanish seasoning of your choice

1 large can of Mexican stewed tomatoes

1 can of Rotel

1 small diced onion

1 can of green chilies

Directions:

Chuck it all in the crock-pot and let it cook. Our timing depends on how quickly we want to eat it; we put it on high if we need it within a few hours or on low when we want it after a workday. Once the chicken is ready, shred it and enjoy.

For breakfast, I am a fan of easy-peasy. I normally scramble four egg whites and one whole egg to be enjoyed with a side of healthy pancakes. The pancakes my husband throws together are amazing, but he literally throws them together so I have no idea what the ‘recipe’ is. Maybe someday he will actually come up with a recipe for me to share. Until that day, however, you’ll just have to enjoy this photo of said delicious pancakes.

fit moms5

Finding time to cook is difficult when you have a new baby (or have kids, or a job, or a life) at home.

It’s easy to just go through a drive-thru or pick-up something that can be thrown in the microwave. But, with a little planning you can make really healthy and really yummy food that you can use throughout the week.

Don’t let all of your hard work in the gym and in life get sabotaged by what does (or lets be real, does not) in the kitchen.

fit moms quote

Light and Love,

Sara

Mommy Tell All Monday: Making Time

Good morning and Happy Monday mommas! Sara, our Mom Fitness Contributor, is back this month to talk to us about a word that is sometimes my worst enemy… time. It can be difficult making time for fitness…especially as a busy mom.

Mommy Tell All Monday button (300x300)

I’m pretty sure if you asked anyone what their biggest foe is when it comes to any fitness routine (or life routine for that matter) they would answer with one simple word: Time.

Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset

Whether you’re a parent or not, time is a hot commodity.

If you’re lucky, you might be someone with too much time on your hands. If you’re like most people, you probably find yourself saying, ‘if only there were more hours in the day.’

Before I became a mom, I never really put much stock into the concept of time. The only things I really had to worry about were my job, my marriage, playing roller derby, and working out; some of which could be moved around to create any schedule I needed for that day. If I couldn’t workout before work, I went after school. If I had a meeting that was okay because I could just go to the gym later. If I had derby practice until nine at night, no biggie, I would simply go to bed later that night. If my husband and I wanted to go on an impromptu date night, we just went.

I didn’t have to worry about snack time, play time, nap time, bed time, meal time, cuddle time, and I didn’t have to worry about a small human being completely dependent on my time for survival.

sara miller4

Before I became a mom, I used to listen to friends say that having children made it so hard to make it to the gym or do things that needed to be done. I would smile, listen politely, but internally I would be saying to myself that those were just excuses, if they wanted to they would. I know, harsh. Judge me all you want, but you have to admit you’ve probably said the same thing at one time or another in your life.

Then, I became a mom.

And I understood what my friends were talking about.

Not having enough time really was a genuine problem.

I didn’t notice it at first, the lack of time, because I was too busy enjoying being with my daughter, cuddling, napping, playing and learning to be a mom.

You all know what happened next though…. That feeling of a lack of time crept up on me and whacked me over the head.

For me, it made its appearance in the form of overwhelming anxiety.

I found myself as a stay-at-home-mom who couldn’t find the time during the day to do simple tasks like unload the dishwasher (I quickly became an expert at dish Jenga), do laundry (I just pretend like I never left a load of laundry in the washer for two days), vacuum the dog fur sweater my floors started wearing, and, oh yeah, working out or spending any amount of time on myself.

At first, my husband and I tried our best at ‘winging’ it. Our gym doesn’t offer childcare so while I would go workout he would watch her and then we would switch. Sounds like an awesome plan, right? It was, for a while, until just getting our workout in took up four hours of the morning and we found ourselves not even being ready to tackle the day’s errands/chores until noon or one o’clock. If you’re good at ‘I have a kid math’, this left only about five-ish hours until we had to be home for dinner, bath, and bedtime. Oh, and don’t forget, we needed to fit nap time within those five hours.

We got pretty good at the down-n-dirty grocery shopping trips, escapes to lunch, and other errand running. But, we knew it couldn’t last forever because we were would be exhausted and in bed as soon as the baby went to sleep. There were nights were going to bed when the sun was still up.

Processed with VSCOcam with a1 preset

My husband is a fireman which means he doesn’t work the typical work-day/work-week. Any workouts, chores, or fun things I needed or wanted to get done became dependent on his schedule. As a new mom, just getting ready in the morning with an infant felt like an Olympic sport; laundry, dishes, cleaning the house, forget about it. My daughter also flat-out refused taking a bottle which made dropping her off at a babysitters for anything longer than two and a half hours impossible.

Everything revolved around time.

How long could I be gone? How long would this take? How long before she needs a nap? How long would she actually nap? How long will it take me to work out? How long…. The list goes on and on.

Can you sense my anxiety while you read this?!

It was nuts. I knew I had to fix it.

I narrowed it down to the two things that caused me the most anxiety: household chores and fitness.

First, I had figure out how to overcome a house that refused to clean itself. I knew I would feel less overwhelmed (and guilty) if I could solve this problem. (We all know the days of just taking a few hours once a week to clean the house uninterrupted were long gone.) Thanks to Pinterest, I found a great daily cleaning schedule that helped split up the household chores into daily one hour chunks. I know, I know, I give you full permission to laugh at me here for actually needing, searching for, and using a cleaning schedule. I used to pin nifty cleaning schedules and think, ‘who actually needs one of these’. You know who needed one, ME! You know what else, it worked and to this day I find myself still following the same cleaning plan. Even if I miss a few days (or weeks) and my floors go back to their fur-sweater wearing days, I simply look at the plan, do those chores for the day, and move on. No more guilt. No more anxiety.

Second, I had to tackle the whole working out fiasco. Fitness is extremely important to me. I wanted my body back (and to feel less wimpy, remember). Plus, working it gave me an outlet for stress which makes for a happier mom and wife. Not working out wasn’t an option. With my husband’s schedule and the lack of gym childcare, I knew I had to workout when he was home or I had to be home before he needed to leave for work. With the baby’s non-use of bottles, I knew I had to be fast and no diddle-dallying was allowed. My solution: go to the gym directly after my daughters 3:30 am feeding. Yup, you read that correctly. I drug myself to the gym and started working out by 4:30 am, five to six times a week. I also planned and wrote every single workout to be done and have me home by the latest at 6:15 am. As hard as it was to wake up that early and have the energy to lift heavy objects, it was a plan that worked.

I quickly found myself being a morning person and I looked forward to getting in an amazing workout while most of the world slept.

Third, I had to solve the problem of ‘what if I can’t make it to the gym because _____’. My solution: at-home workouts. C’mon, I know all of you have some sort of at-home fitness DVD system that could work if you are in a pinch. (I still have my Billy Bank’s boot camp DVD’s if you find yourself lacking from a random infomercial purchase.) I’m pretty sure my Insanity and P90X DVD’s have gotten more use since before I had a baby. Plus, having your baby laughing at you while you attempt to keep up with Shaun T doesn’t suck.

By the time my daughter was five months old, I was in my mom groove. It felt great to finally feel like I had my stuff together. The anxiety was better, not gone, but much better. I finally got to the point where the schedule didn’t have to be so ridged, things could slide by, and I wouldn’t break down into a puddle of stressed-out mommy tears. (Tears only happen occasionally now.)

As I continue on this journey of motherhood, I realize that schedules and fitting it all in will always be an ever-changing challenge. I’ve also realized that you have to prioritize your time as a mom. Not every spare moment you have has to be dedicated to the baby or cleaning or whatever else seems to be taking center stage.

You have to make yourself a priority as well. If you want to go workout, make time for it. If you want to go enjoy a coffee or an unaccompanied shopping trip to Target, make time for it. If you want to just lay on the couch and catch up on trashy TV or Netflix, make time for it.

sara miller5

Being a ‘fit’ mom isn’t just about being physically fit, it’s about being mentally fit as well.

24 hours.

1,400 minutes.

86, 400 seconds.

We all have the same amount of time in a day.

No matter what we do, the time will pass anyways.

Waste it wisely.

Light and Love,

Sara

All of the lovely photography in this post was done by the talented Bailey Carlin (Sara’s cousin). You can find her on Instagram and Pinterest

 

 

 

Mommy Tell All Monday: Motivation

Hello mommas and welcome to Mommy Tell All Monday, a place where we share all things motherhood. Today I get to introduce you to another new MTFM contributor! My dear friend Sara is going to be sharing about mommy fitness and health once a month. Sara is a writer, mother, physical trainer, and fitness gym owner with her husband. I’m really looking forward to her monthly posts, as I could use some great tips and fresh perspective. Today she’s talking about motivation. 

  mommyfitness1

Fitness is such a tricky topic to cover no matter the genre you are writing for. Mom fitness? Well, that is a whole other ball game entirely.

I am not an expert on working out. I am not an expert on eating clean. I am just a mom that just so happens to be passionate about fitness and nutrition. I am just a mom treading through the uncertain ‘Post-Baby Body’ waters. The same waters many of you might currently find yourselves in.

If that is the case, let me first say CONGRATULATIONS on your new baby. Also, WELCOME to your ‘post-baby body’ life and to your biggest challenge: getting back to the ‘you’ you want to be.

I am a first-time mom to a 6 month-old baby girl. The last six months have been the most stressful, wonderful, exhausting, beautiful, eye-opening, and best experience. Ever. During my pregnancy, I read all the books and filled my brain with (too much) information. I knew what to expect while pregnant and during labor, but do you know what those books forgot to mention? The after. The adjusting; not the adjusting to life with baby, but the adjusting to life with a body after it has been through labor (any type of labor).

I will wholeheartedly admit I thought for sure I would be ‘ready’ to work out, go hog wild, drop all my baby weight within a few months (I mean, I have these super-powered breastfeeding hormones working in my favor, right?!) and be the superstar mom.

What I was not expecting was to be told by my doctor she was not going to release me for physical activity for another three weeks because I was not fully recovered yet.

Mentally I was thinking: Wait, what? You want me NOT to work off this extra fluff for another four weeks? Okay, I can do that because (if I am being honest here) working out just really does not work for me right now as I am pretty much obsessed with my kid and have ZERO desire to even enter the gym…. Or stop eating my waffles…. Or drinking my hot chocolate…. Or leave my kid any longer than it took me to shower.

You see, what I was not prepared for (not even in the slightest) was the complete and total lack of motivation I would have to return to my post-baby body. Sure, I loathed the scale entirely, I would look longingly at my closet full of fun clothes that were many sizes too small, I would think about working out (and would actually miss working out), I would read mom blogs about fitness post-baby, I would stand in front of the mirror in total shock of my changed body, and I would pin the heck out of ‘motivational’ things on Pinterest, but nothing seemed to really give me that kick in the behind I needed to jump-start my weight loss journey. My motivation just seemed, gone.

Motivation is defined by Merriam-Webster as a force or influence that causes someone to do something.

Motivation. A noun. A thing. A thing that can often times be the equivalent of that pot ‘o gold at the end of a rainbow.

Where does it come from? How can I get me some? Oh, and how can I keep it once I find it?

For me, my ‘oh-my-goodness-I’m-finally-ready-to-work-out’ moment came when my daughter was 12 weeks old. (2 weeks after being released from the doctor. So much for going hog wild, right?) She was entering the stage where she enjoyed playing on her activity mat, but only if I was playing with her. Down there. On the floor.

I found myself getting up and down and up and down (and up and down) so many times throughout the day it was ridiculous. By the end of the night, my back would be killing me, my knees and ankles aching, my arms exhausted, and do not even get me started on how my legs felt.

I remember saying to my husband on many occasions, ‘gosh, I am exhausted from playing with the baby’ or ‘lifting the stroller is just too much work for me can you please put it in the car’ or ‘can you just help with the baby because I am so sore.’

Wait.

What?!

Hold the phone.

Was that really ME saying those things?

Was that the same me who used to work out six times per week before getting pregnant?

The same me who would lift heavy objects just because I wanted to and I liked to? The

same me who loved being able to do things I was previously physically unable to do?

Answer: Yup. It was.

Truth: I felt like a wimp.

A big fat wimp. Fact: I did not like feeling like a wimp.

And there it was. There was my source of motivation. I did not want to feel like a wimp anymore.

mommyfitness2

I knew that the older my daughter got the more active she would become and the wimpier (is that even a word?)I would get. That was simply not going to work. Nope, not at all. So, Monday morning I told my husband I was going to the gym. I nervously got dressed (in the one random workout outfit I could fit into), cried (a lot), worried about how she would do without me (but, really, I was worried how I would without her), got in the car, and drove to the gym. By myself.

That was 13 weeks ago and I can say it was the best decision I ever made. I feel better, I have so much more energy, I can actually play with my daughter (yup, down on the floor) for hours and still be able to function properly, and…. I am happy. Really happy.

Oh, and my feelings of ‘wimpiness’ = GONE! I finally feel like a strong woman and mom that can slay dragons or climb mountains for my daughter. (Or, you know, put the car seat in the backseat without completely throwing my back out.)

My motivation to get back into shape was all about me. I found my pot o’ gold. And I am still carrying it on my back whilst doing lunges back to my side of the rainbow.

Motivation comes in many variations. I asked several moms what their source of motivation was to get back (and keep) a healthy and active body. Maybe their answers are just the sort of motivation you need.

“I would say my number one motivator is that it is my obligation to set a positive example for my kids. I used to be a fat mom and now I am a fit mom. My son always checks ingredients before eating something new, we work out as a family. I hope to raise them in a lifestyle they will choose to live with their children and so on. Number 2 motivator, my sanity. Sometimes, when I am out for a 15 minute run or I go to yoga that is literally the only time that day I will get to myself. I cherish that time.” Michelle, mother 3.

 

“Exercise is something I want to do for me. It is nice to have a goal to work towards to break up the monotony of work/kids/sleep. I also love having my son ‘workout’ with me and I want it to become a routine for me so that my kids do not see it as me just trying to lose weight again (and have them develop insecurities about weight or body issues), but as something that is normal and something you do to stay healthy.” Cristina, mother of 2.

 

“A ton of my motivation is wanting to feel sexy for my husband! I realize that the pounds do not come off fast and I respect that my body needs nutrition while I am nursing, so I give myself a little grace and do my best to get back into the gym at that six week mark. The truth is, as I feel healthier, I feel sexier, and when our intimate life is active this momma is a lot happier during the day!” Sara, mother of 5.

 

“WELL, other than being able to fit in my clothes because I do not want to spend hundreds on a new wardrobe, I want my son to have an example of what it is to be healthy. He will be bombarded with unrealistic expectations of health. I am his first role model. I want him to know exercising is a way of life, not a chore.” Jayme, mother of 1.

 

“For me, as a new mom I put all my energy towards taking care of my daughter and neglected myself. She was seven months old and I still looked six months pregnant. We talked about growing our family and I realized I could not enter into another pregnancy without first losing the baby weight. After a month of working out to videos at home and eating right, I had lost the baby weight. It was hard to put myself first, but I realized that I could not be the best mom for her if I was not healthy.” Joanna, soon to be mother of 2.

 

“My main motivation has to be the ‘been there, done that’ factor. I knew from my first child that if I did not get up and get moving ASAP I would regret it. I knew from having my second child that if I ate well, hydrated, and walked our sweet precious babe around like I had with my previous baby, the weight would start to melt away. I had learned. Another main motivation was myself. I had gotten there before and I would again. In my own time.” Breanna, mother of 3.

 

“Okay, one of my biggest guilty motivators is knowing that other moms can work out and are working out. It helps me tell myself that there is no reason I cannot workout as well. Reading about and hearing other mom’s success stories, seeing their pictures, or watching them working out, it gets me moving.” Crista, mother of 3.

mommyfitness3

If you’ve just begun your search for motivation or maybe you have been searching for a while, but still have not found it, do not fear. You will find it. Most likely, however it will find you.

Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow.

One day, it will come flying out of nowhere, slap you in the face and drag you back to ‘you’. The ‘you’ you want to be.

Light and Love,

Sara

Food-a-licious Friday: Tomato Mozzarella and Avocado Salad

Happy 4th of July everyone!! We are swimming, BBQing and enjoying friends and family today. I hope you are doing the same! I am so excited to introduce you to another MFTM contributor. I met Erin of Crafty Auntie at blogger/crafting meet ups and we instantly became friends. We found that we have many things in common with one another and she is just a really cool chick. You are going to LOVE her. Erin will be stopping by monthly to share yummy recipes with us. Today she is sharing a tasty Tomato Mozzarella and Avocado Salad!

Crafty Auntie

With summer in full force here in Arizona, I avoid turning on my oven at all cost. So I resort to making different types of salads. This recipe came from something my sister just threw together. I love the simplicity and versatility of it. I often make this as a meal, but it is also great as a side dish.

Tomatoe Mozzarella Avocado Salad1

Tomato, Mozzarella, and Avocado Salad

(Serves 2-4)

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 tomatoes, cut into bite sized pieces (I prefer the tomatoes on the vine, but just about any variety will work for this.)
  • 16 oz. fresh mozzarella, cut up into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup balsamic vinaigrette dressing (I used Newman’s Own Creamy Balsamic for this recipe.)
  • 2 small (or 1 large) avocado, chopped
  • 5 oz. package of Texas Toast Seasoned croutons

tomato mozzarella avocado salad7

Recipe:

Place tomatoes and mozzarella into a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss. Add the avocados and croutons, and then gently toss.

That’s it! Pretty easy, huh?

If not serving immediately, leave out croutons and add just before you are ready to serve. This will prevent them from becoming soggy. Also, you could use string cheese in lieu of the fresh mozzarella.   The best part of this salad is you can add as little or as much of each ingredient to your liking and it will still be amazing!

tomato mozzarella avocado8

 

So yummy!! And a great side to bring to your 4th of July festivities! Thanks Erin!

 

Linked up with The Creative Collection.

Almond Milk Recipe: Dairy Free Pina Colada Smoothie

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. #CollectiveBias 

PinaColadaSmoothie3

Summertime in Arizona requires mandatory cold treats. It’s just too hot to handle at times, and a yummy, cold treat is just what you need. The other day I made everyone in my family a Dairy Free Pina Colada Smoothie; an almond milk recipe. They are healthy, easy to make, and totally kid friendly. 

PinaColadaSmoothie4

Almond milk is a staple in our home. We drink, cook, and bake with almond milk. So the other day while grocery shopping at Safeway, I picked up a couple of new Silk Almondmilks: Silk Almond Coconut Blend and Silk Almondmilk Protein + Fiber. I love Silk Almondmilk for so many reasons but the health factors is something that’s really important to me. With 50% more calcium than cow milk, zero cholesterol and lower calories, you can’t go wrong. Plus, it’s yummy. 

PinaColadaSmoothie5

I used both of the new Silk Almondmilks to make the Dairy Free Pina Coladas, and they turned out so good. The perfect summer treat. All you need is Silk Almond Coconut Blend, Silk Almondmilk Protein + Fiber, pineapple juice, greek vanilla yogurt, and ice. That’s it! 

PinaColadaSmoothie1

 

Dairy Free Pina Colada Smoothie
Serves 1
A delicious almond milk recipe.
Write a review
Print
Total Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup of ice
  2. 1/2 cup of pineapple juice
  3. 1/2 cup of Silk Almond Coconut Blend
  4. 1/4 cup of Silk Almondmilk Protein + Fiber
  5. 1/4 cup of vanilla Greek yogurt
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into a glass.
  3. Top with a pineapple slice and drink from a fun straw!
Mine for the Making http://mineforthemaking.com/
PinaColadaSmoothie2

Search the hash tags #CollectiveBias and #SilkAlmondBlends on social media to find more ways you can incorporate Silk Almondmilk in your diet. 

 

Linking up at The Creative Collection.

Food-a-licious Friday: 25 Homemade Hummus Recipes

One of my MOST favorite snacks is hummus. I just LOVE almost every version out there. It’s great to dip veggies, chips, crackers, pita…I even use it as a sandwich spread! The other day at our homeschool co-op, one of my cute friends was talking about how easy it is to make homemade hummus and how tasty it is. So I thought I would gather up 25 Homemade Hummus Recipes as my go-to source for healthy snack time options. Lucky for me, my daughter and husband love hummus too. 

25 Homemade Hummus Recipes

Don’t these look so yummy? I want to try every.single.one. Click the links below to get to the full recipes. 

Simple, quick, healthy, delicious. I’m sold! 

Thanks for stopping by today! Have a great weekend!

Food-a-licious Friday: Yummiest Healthy Popcorn Ever

It’s Friday…the 13th! Dun dun duuuuuuuun!

I am super happy today is Friday because I get a girls night out to craft with some of my favorite women! Best Friday ever, right? Until then, I will be snacking on my new favorite healthy snack. Are you ready for this, peeps? It’s the Yummiest Healthy Popcorn Ever. No joke. And it’s SUPER easy to make.

healthy popcorn2

Ingredients:

-Popcorn seeds

-Coconut Oil

-Sea Salt

 

Directions:

In a large pot on the stove, heat up 3-4 tablespoons for coconut oil.

Toss a popcorn seed or two in the oil to test it…it needs to be nice and hot! If the oil starts to sizzle around the popcorn seeds, dump 1/3 of a cup of seeds into the pot and cover with a lid.

Keep the pot moving on the stove top and watch that popcorn POP!

When the popping slows, remove from heat.

Pour popcorn into a bowl and season with Sea Salt (to taste).

I promise you, this popcorn is AMAZING and so easy to make. Plus…it’s CHEAP. We’ve got a win-win, folks.

healthy popcorn1

Thanks for stopping by today and happy healthy snacking!

Food-a-licious Friday {87} Mostly Healthy Snacks

We LOVE to snack in this house. And I feel like we snack waaaay more in the summer. 
With that said, I’ve been looking for fun, easy, and (mostly) healthy snacks for my mini and me. Thank goodness for good ol’ Pinterest *winks*
Just double click on the image to go to the original source. 

Don’t you think these look so yummy?!!
Do you have a favorite (mostly) healthy snack? 
Share it with us! I’d love to add more to our list!
Have a wonderful Friday, friends!