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I was excited to see this article from NPR posted on the page of my Friends over at GroupExPro titled “Stand up, Walk Around, Even for 20 minutes”
 

It builds on a few conversations I have been having both around the blogosphere and IRL (I had to throw in the “in real life” slang there, since I am soo geeky) about the difference between ‘Health’ and ‘Fitness’.
 

A fitness friend posed the question. “Are 15 minute workouts worth it?”
 

She received a slew of responses from “yes, as a busy mom, sometimes its all I can do” to “No, people are fooling themselves if they think 15 minutes do anything”
 

I freely admit that the former avid exerciser in me often will skip a workout if I can’t make it a long enough one. But the problem with that mentality, is that over the last 4 years, I have skipped more workouts than I have done…
 

I have had to change my attitude about what it means to be healthy and now fall firmly in the any-exercise-is-good-for-you camp.
 

I strongly suggest you go and read the NPR article, but here are my favorite points.

     

  • Research shows that people who stand up for every 20 minutes of sitting have a lower rate of diabetes than people who sit for the full workday.
  • Walking may be the single best exercise on the planet
  • Warm up prior to exercise, but don’t stretch, it sends a signal to your brain your muscles is about to be damaged. But warming up the tissue with a warm up IS important.
  • You can become healthy with much lower time and intensity of exercise than it takes to become fit
  • Chocolate milk is a great recovery drink!

 
 

Lets change our attitudes about what it means to be fit and lets focus on getting healthy!  Now, if you’ll excuse me…I am going for a walk!

One of my favorite mother’s day gifts


 

Mother’s day, Mother’s day….
 
 

Mother’s day was founded in 1914 by Anna Jarvis and by 1920, according to Wikipedia, she was already disappointed in its commercialism.  And I have to agree.  I feel like there is so much pressure on Mother’s day to get the right gift, send the right card, think of all the details, that is loses some of the meaning…to celebrate each families mother.
 
 

I think most moms agree, it doesn’t have to be big, it doesn’t have to be fancy.  We just want someone else to think about it!  (but one mommy friend pointed out, if you have newborn twins or 2 kids under 2….it needs to be big and fancy!)
 

I took a little poll of my mommy friends and the resounding request for Mother’s Day???  No surprise here….alone time!  I mean, we all love those little rugrats that gave us the title of MOM in the first place, but we spend ALOT of time with them already.  A few quiet moments (or a few hours) to collect your thoughts and drink an entire coffee while it is still hot…priceless.
 

Here are the other things that made the top 10 list of MOST WANTED MOTHERS DAY GIFTS
 

1.  Sleep in until 10am (with no one else in the house)

2.  Vanilla Latte (or hazelnut!)

3. Handmade Card

4. Mani/Pedi  and a trashy magazine (alone!)

5. Engraved “mothers” necklace

6. Flowers (never a wrong time for flowers!!)

7.  A family picnic (that dad organizes and packs for, after mom gets to sleep in and drink her coffee)

8. Kids Artwork (check out some ideas here)

9. Favorite take-out dinner (no negotiations)

10. Framed Favorite Family Snap Shot
 
 

What is your most wanted mother’s day gift? Is it on this list??

My view for the majority of my vacation…yes please!

I just returned from a lovely kid-free weekend with my husband. We had an amazing time. We pretty much ate, slept and lounged our way through two and a half delightful Southern California days. But we have also been on a major health kick for the past two months and we didn’t want to blow all our hard work. Here are a few things that help us enjoy ourselves and stay on task.

1. Have an eating/splurging plan– My husband and I would try to think ahead each day about how we wanted to enjoy our meals. We knew we want to have a nice dinner with wine to celebrate our anniversary one night, so we had hard boiled eggs and fruit for breakfast that morning. Then the day we did the buffet brunch, we had salads for dinner.

2. Pick Your Poison- Decide what is important to you, then eat that. While my husband was looking forward to poolside cocktail service, I was looking forward to being a little looser with my food. I stuck with water at breakfast and thoroughly enjoyed 3 pieces of bacon, where as he ordered a Bloody Mary, but skipped the breakfast meats.

3. Drink More Water- If you are on vacation chance are you; flew in an airplane, drove a long distance, you are eating richer, saltier food, drinking more alcohol and/or are in a different climate than you are used to. All of these are reasons to increase your water intake. (Plus, water helps you feel full and sated and may help you from over-eating)

4. Wear More Sunblock Than You (think you) Need– I was wearing 45, but it was my first time in the sun since last summer and I still got fried!

5. Pack Healthy Snacks– An apple, a healthy bar or some nuts pack easily and can take the edge off until you make that later-than-usual dinner reservation. Then you don’t inhale the whole bread basket when you sit down.

6. Fit In Fitness– We were on a (delightfully) kid-free vacation, so we were able to make it to the gym both mornings. But even if you have the little ones in toe, try to take the whole family for a walk, or trade off gym time with your spouse, or a few laps in the pool. Or make your fitness FUN, my husband must have climbed the stairs to the resort’s waterslide 25 times in a row…that’s better than the stair master any day!

Way more fun than the stair master!!

7. Don’t fall for peer pressure– If you don’t want another drink, don’t have one, even if other’s in your party are. Or if the waiter asks if you want a second basket of chips, you can say no.

8. ENJOY YOURSELF– Vacation is all about having fun, relaxing with the one’s you love and enjoying a change of pace. I came home feeling like I enjoyed the food, the drinks and the lounging around immensely and was still proud of the steps we took to stay on our healthy track. But remember, your vacation will end and you will get back to your routine. So if you order a Bloody Mary AND the bacon, you’ll be fine…just be sure to enjoy every vacation-y bite!

ENJOYING date night!

Help me celebrate my dad’s birthday by donating to his fundraising efforts!

My dad is a pretty dedicated guy.  He is a dedicated father, husband and an amazing grandfather.   He seems to always have the best advice, that one line that puts everything into perspective.

For the last 8 years, he has also been dedicated to raising funds and completeing the almost 600 mile bike ride to Los Angels to participate in the AIDs/Lifecycle .   ALC is a 7 day ride from San Francisco to Los Angles to raise money and awareness in the fight against AIDS/HIV.

My dad spends countless hours logging countless miles on his bike to prepare for this ride (not to mention stay in great shape and enjoy his retirement).

He has also become very active in his local bike community and has become an advocate for bicycle safty.  He writes articles for his local paper, speaks at bike club meetings and has even had sit down meetings with others in the community on how to better share the road between bicylists and drivers.

I cannot think if a better birthday gift than to help him reach his fundrasing goal.

It’s easy to think that HIV/AIDS is no longer a problem. Medications have come a long way, and people are living longer, healthier lives. This is why the work of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center is so vital. These agencies continue to provide the critical services and education needed to meet the growing needs of our community. We ride to raise awareness and knowledge about HIV/AIDS among participants, their donors, and the general public. We ride because—in the current economy—our agencies need these funds more than ever. Ultimately, we ride so that someday, we won’t have to.

So please, considered donating to my dad and his ride this year. Remember, even $5 will help him reach his goals and help 2 great organizations reach their goals! You are supporting a great cause and a great man.

Go to his personal donation page here 

Happy Birthday Dad!

ALC is an amazing, fun and ‘different’ kind of fundraising event!

Hummus and avocado on a rice cake makes a great afternoon snack!

My husband and I have been working very hard (and pretty successfully!) to loss some of our post-baby weight.  I call it post baby weight, because most of the extra weight that we both gained was not during my pregnancy, but in the year after our second daughter was born.
 
 

As I mentioned in last weeks Fit Tip Friday post, Cauliflower Pizza Crust, we had become too reliant on take out, sugar and caffeine to fuel our days with two young children.
 
 

I noticed that a big part of my healthy eating breakdown would come during this late afternoon time.  I’d get the kids down for a nap, and I’d be ready for a snack, or a treat.  I found myself always raiding the candy stash, making my self a second vanilla latte or toasting up a big piece of sour dough bread smothered in cheese (or lets face it, sometimes all three).
 
 

I realized that a big part of this afternoon snack was  just the habit I had gotten into.  By thinking of some healthier options ahead of time, I find that I make better choices when I get to that time of the day.
 
 

One of my current favorites now is  a brown rice cake, with roasted garlic hummus (1 TBSP) and slices of avocado (about 1 oz).
 
 

This snack comes in at about 135 calories, 6.5 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of protein and 22 grams of carbs.  In addition it is packed full of healthy fats and over 20 vitamins.  The protein and the fat help you feel full and sated.
 
 

I have found so much of cleaning up my diet is just rethinking the way I normally do things!
 
 

What are your go-to healthy snacks??

Ahh…Pizza

As I mentioned earlier this week, I am addicted to Pinterest.  I love browsing and have found some pretty great ideas.  Like organization tips, crafts for the kids and most recently, recipes.

Last week, I tried this recipe for cauliflower pizza crust.  And let me tell you…it was delicious!

My husband and I have working hard to clean up our diet over the past month.  In the year of having two kids we had become way too reliant on coffee house pastries,  take-out for dinner and dessert with wine to relax after the kids were in bed.  We were (and are) in the trenches, but we weren’t taking care of ourselves.  (More on our journey back to health later.)

One of the efforts we have been making is to eat more vegetables and less carbs.  So when I saw this cauliflower pizza crust, I was excited to give it a try!

The version on Pinterest is from this website.  Her recipe is an adaptation from this recipe “the original cauliflower pizza crust”.  And I modified the recipe a bit more!

I wanted to make two individual pizzas and I wanted to cut down on the overall cheese used, so I upped to amount cauliflower used and decreased the cheese.  I also wanted to up the veggies used for the toppings. We used pizza sauce, fresh spinach, caramelized onions, roasted cherry tomatoes and one Aidell’s Sausage (1/2 a sausage per pizza). You could use anything you wanted for toppings.

Bump Life Version of Cauliflower Pizza Crust

adapted from an adaptation of an adaptation

Crust

  • 2 cups ‘riced’ cauliflower
  • ¾ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • ½ tsp garlic salt
  • Olive oil (to brush on crust)

Toppings- All the topping must be precooked, since you only broil the completed pizza

  • Pizza Sauce
  • Spinach
  • Roasted Tomatoes (halve cherry tomatoes, put in baking pan, drizzle with olive oil and roast in oven while backing the crusts for the same 15 minutes)
  • Caramelized onions- I love the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe.  I like to cut the onion with a mandolin to get them thin, It takes a while, so I always cook a whole onion when I do it. You can keep the extras in the fridge and they are great in scrambled eggs in the morning!
  • Aidell’s Sausage:  We wanted the flavor, but to also keep the totally calories low, so we just used 1 sausage (split between pizzas), cut it thin and sautéed it in a pan.

“Rice” the Cauliflower

Add 1 large head of cauliflower (or I used 1 bag of prewashed cauliflower) through the grater attachment on your food processor (or you can grate it by hand). Don’t over pulse, it should look like a grain (or I thought it looked like fine shredded cheese).  Placed riced cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 8 minute.  There is no need to add water.

I used all the cauliflower I microwaved, but the original recipe said to just use 1 cup and save the rest.

Pizza Crust:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.

Mix all the crust ingredients together and divide into two piles on the cookie sheets.  Pat out to two 8” circles (about ½ inch thick).  Brush with olive oil (or spray with olive oil spray).

Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes

Baked crusts

Remove from oven, top the crust with sauce, cooked toppings and a sprinkle of cheese (we used a pretty light sprinkle of cheese to keep the total cheese used to about 1 cup).  Broil for about 3-4 minutes until cheese is melted.

Dig In!!

*Depending on what toppings you use, this recipe comes in at about 300 calories per pizza.  If you used more meat or cheese than we did, it would be higher.  The crust by it self is about 300 calories for the whole recipe.

Do you rely on this to get you through the day? Me too…lets learn more.

A few weeks ago, a friend, fellow fitness educator, blogger and mom (in fact, when we met I think she was just barely pregnant with her first son) asked me to take part in her series on adrenal fatigue she was running on her blog www.radliferocks.com.

I’ll admit, I was hesitant at first.

First, because I am “so busy” (and I put that in quotes because saying you’re so busy is almost a cliché these days; yeah, yeah Megan, we are all busy). The thought of putting one more thing on my plate just seemed too overwhelming.

Second, because I didn’t know anything about adrenal fatigue and a quick google search left me a little skeptical.  I have a background in nutrition, it was my major in college and some of my professors were and are at the forefront of Nutrition Science.  I also freely admit that it is a growing and evolving science that I certainly don’t know everything about, but between my educational background and my years of being a personal trainer, I feel like I get a bit jaded by whatever the next nutrition trend is.  I feel like I have heard it all;

“Oh, you’re not eating gluten? I see.”

“No, I haven’t tried the Paleo diet.”

“Yes, lots of people are doing South Beach”

“I am sure your uncle did lose 30 pounds on Atkins”

I figured adrenal fatigue might just be the next thing on that list of trends.  But I agreed to go along with it because Selena is awesome and she was a huge help to me on my blog with her series on Green Smoothies.
 Then I read her post, and to quote Selena;

“So I went on my way, doing what I do best: EVERYTHING.  I am a very driven person, and push myself to be great. It is unacceptable for me to aim for anything less than the stars.”

I chuckled because she was describing me. She went on to talk about what she had done in the last few years;

  • Had 2 kids- check!
  • Took on new clients- check!
  • Started a blog- check!
  • Tried to be a good wife and mother- check and check!
  • Family drama- check!

She felt like things were falling apart. She was fighting nagging injuries. She was often emotional.  She was always feeling exhausted.  She was feeling a little extra padding around the middle.  She was relying on coffee and too much sugar to get her through the day.  I couldn’t have described my life better myself.

Even this afternoon, my to-do list said, write adrenal post, but I had just got the baby to sleep and I thought, “I could raid the kids Easter candy, make an iced coffee and watch trashy TV instead.”

And I realized, I NEEDED to write this post!  Not because I promised Selena, but because I needed to find out what I could do to listen to my body better.  I needed to get the information on adrenal fatigue, test out some solutions and make my own conclusion about what is going on for me and I am sure for many, many moms out there.

So, come with me as I learn about Adrenal Fatigue and test out Selena’s theories and solutions.  Am I completely sold?  No, not yet.  But I am completely sold on the fact that nutrition is the foundation of a healthy life and a healthy mama is the foundation of a healthy family.

Lets find out what this is all about together, shall we?

Wondering how to get this sign?? Read on to find out!

I am so excited by today’s guest post!!  Chalita shares with us tips for how to GET pregnant.  These are questions I get all the time and never really new the answers to…until now!  Read on and learn….

******************************************************************************

Guest post by Chalita Photikoe, L.Ac.

Starting to plan the family of your future or trying to conceive can be a very exciting time.  Here are some tips that can help you get pregnant faster and boost your body’s fertility.


Know when you ovulate. 
It is a myth that women ovulate on day 14.  This is based on the assumption that all women have a 28-day cycle each and every month.  Most women do not, and furthermore it is common for ovulation to vary from month to month by as much as 5 days.  Purchase some reliable ovulation predictor kits (OPKs), and begin keeping track of when your most fertile days are.


Time intercourse. 
If your partner has a normal sperm count, begin having sex on day 10 of your cycle, or when you first get a positive on your OPK, which ever happens first.  There after, have sex every other day until you get a positive OPK.  Once you get a positive, have sex 2-3 days in a row.  Skip one day, and then have intercourse once more.


Track your cycles.
  Free online services such as fertiltyfriend.com can help you keep track and chart your cycles.  You can easily enter in basal body temperature, OPK results, intercourse days, and much more.


Increase your cervical mucous. 
Healthy, copious amounts of cervical mucous  (CM) nourish the sperm and maximize travel time and travel conditions to the egg.  As we age, cervical mucous can decline.  Healthy cervical mucous looks and feels like raw egg white.  If yours is less than optimal, increase water intake and limit alcohol and caffeine.  Taking 3000 mg of evening primrose oil a day from the beginning of your cycle up through ovulation can also help to increase the quantity and the quality of CM.


Check your lube. 
Most lubricants, in order to extend shelf life, have harmful additives and preservatives that have been shown to kill or adversely affect sperm motility and mobility.   PreConceive Plus and Pre Seed are two lubricants that are not only preservative and additive free, but also have ingredients that help nourish and feed the sperm, similar to a woman’s natural cervical mucous.


Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.  
Studies have confirmed what practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine have known for thousands of years. Acupuncture can improve fertility by regulating and stabilizing hormone levels, increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs, and reducing stress.


Increase blood flow to the pelvis.
Any regular cardiovascular exercise and deep stretching targeted at the pelvic region increases blood flow to the genitals, which can make sex more pleasurable and can also increase the chances of implantation.  Yoga, power walking, jogging or cycling all target the pelvic organs.  Regular exercise can also decrease stress and improve your mood, both important factors when trying to conceive.

 

Chalita is the owner of Chalita Photikoe Acupuncture in Mill Valley, Ca. In 2010, she expanded her private practice to include a community room offering $35 acupuncture treatments. She believes that healthy and happy mothers are the cornerstone of healthy and happy communities.  For more information, visit www.ChalitaAcupuncture.com.

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Sleeping like a baby? What about mom?

For the last three and a half years its seems than large portions of my day (and night) are filled with 3 topics in regards to my children;

1)   Sleeping

2)   Eating

3)   Pooping

You know, questions like; are they eating enough? Is breastfeeding working? What time are they going to nap?  How long will they sleep?  Did they eat their veggies?  Are they eating too much sugar?  Was that a normal poopy diaper?  When should we potty train?  How should we potty train?  Should we sleep train?  And on and on and on….

And at some point or another I have or will write a blog post on each of these topics…over and over again.

Today, we are talking about sleeping…or lack there of.

I am very lucky to have 2 pretty amazing sleepers.  With Brady, we followed a ‘sleep training’ plan at around 4 months and he got the hang of it in about 4 nights and basically was sleeping though the night at that point.  Rylan, was even easier, she never really even needed to be sleep trained, she just sort of figured it out on her own.

Now before you throw something at your computer screen or ‘unlike’ my blog, let me tell you that I was woken up no less than SEVEN times last night.

My main point of this post is to public admit that even if your kids are so-called great sleepers…as a parent, I don’t think I will ever get a full night sleep. ever. again.

Here was our night last night:

10:15– finally put down my book and turned off the light, closed eyes

10:35– Brady crying- he’s been having some sort of nightmares, which are apparently common at this age.  I went in and he had turned him self sideways in bed and was moaning “he didn’t like that.”  I got him repositions, recovered, gave him his ‘lovies’ and he was back to sleep

10:48– More crying- This time dad went to check on him to find he’d kicked off all his covers.  Recovered, and everyone was back to bed

11:15-Hysterical crying-This time he was sobbing that he ‘couldn’t find Uncle Adam,’  But he was hysterical and couldn’t be consoled.  We tried a trip to the potty, we tried back rubs, we tried holding him, we tried not holding him (he was kicking a flailing quite a bit).  Finally after 45 minutes, a sippy cup of milk, looking at photos on dad’s phone, he settled down and went back to sleep.

2:57-Noises from the baby’s room- listen for a few minutes to see if they escalate, they don’t, so I turn the monitor down and roll over.

4:28-Dog snoring.  And if you know anything about Boston Terriers, you know that she was probably keeping the neighbors awake with that mac truck snore.

5:33– EARTHQUAKE!!  I’m not even kidding…we had a freaking earthquake at 5:33am.  Yeah, yeah, I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and we get these little (4.0) earthquakes.  But this might have been the first one I have felt since having two kids and the in the middle of the night, I just laid there waiting for the big one to hit and planning how I would get to both of my kids.

6:00– Husband gets up to go walk the dog

6:25– The baby is up for the morning and my day has begun.

Now this was a particularly crazy night, but it seems like every night there is something.  A 3 year old needing help getting to the potty, a baby having a fluke night and needing 2 hours of rocking to get back to sleep, a dog defending the backyard from some unseen threat with non-stop barking, the neighbors returning from a night out a little too loudly, a random text message beep,  a restless mind turning all the next days to-dos,  a clock ticking way louder than I have ever noticed during the day…

So, that elusive “sleeping through the night” that parents are always striving for??  Nobody told me getting the kids to sleep through the night was WAY easier than getting mom to.

We are busy getting ready for my daughter’s FIRST birthday here in the BUMP Life household.  But not to leave you hanging for a FRIDAY FIT TIP, you are in for a treat!

 

My friend, Caroline Jordan , has put together an AMAZING ab workout video.  Its only about 7 minutes long, and I guarantee you are going to feel it!  So give it a try today and check out her site and her other videos, she’s got some great suggestions!

 

And I’ll post party pictures later this week!!

 

Caroline Jordan Fitness: Medicine Ball Abs

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About Bump Life

Bump Life is a place to support moms and families across all aspects of our lives. A place for tips, expert advice, parenting resources and entertainment. A great place to come for information, support or just a break from our crazy lives. From fitness to finance, from diaper bags to diaper duty, for everything bump, babies and beyond, you'll find it all here at BUMP Life!