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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!

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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.

Candy-Free Easter Baskets. Good mom? Mean mom?

I’ve decided not to put any candy in my kids Easter baskets this year.

I am not against candy.  I let my kids have candy and treats pretty much on a daily basis (well, not the 1 year old…she still thinks yogurt melts are a treat).  But a few recent incidents have made me rethink the need for candy in their baskets

  1. Brady has a cavity– I am beside myself with parenting remorse over this poor little guy who now has to be sedated to have a cavity filled.  The dentist has said that some kids have groovy teeth and the ‘healthy’ All Natural Annie’s Gummy Bunnies we have been giving him are probably the culprit, despite teeth brushing.
  2. The need for treats is causing melt downs-  I am noticing more and more that he is not content to have 3 jelly beans or 1 Hersey’s kiss.  He is constantly pleading for ‘just one more’.   I feel the treats are becoming not a ‘treat’ but a norm.
  3. Sugar is Addictive– More and more research is showing the sugar triggers the same pleasure centers in the brain as drugs.  My husband and I both have a strong sweet tooth and we have just gone through a major detox ourselves.  We feel better and have lost weight because of it. It is so easy to become completely dependant on it, and I don’t want to set my kids up for this.
  4. We often use it as a bribe, not a reward “If you get dressed, you can have a treat” or “when you get ready to go, you can have a treat in the car”
  5. They still will get plenty of Easter Candy Between the community Easter Egg hunt and the easter gifts that came from both sets of grandparents, Brady is not going completely candy deprived.

I had already decided to severely limit the candy when I was out shopping for basket fillers.  Because of the cavity, I am trying to stay away from the sticky, gummy treats and go more with chocolate that is easier to brush away.  But as I started to fill the baskets…there were so many great fun things, that I put the few candy items I had purchased back in the bag and went with a completely candy free basket.

So here is what I put in each basket:


Brady:

  1. Bubbles
  2. Spider Man sunglasses (for our beach trip this summer)
  3. Spider Man night light (do you see his current favorite super hero)
  4. New Crayons
  5. Pool dive toys
  6. A painting craft project
  7. Play dough (I get the party favor bag, they are small)
  8. Plastic eggs filled with quarters for his piggy bank obsession
  9. Phinnes and Ferb Pez dispenser (I put the actual pez candy away in the cupboard.  He like playing with the dispensers too, and he can have the candy later)

Rylan:

  1. Bubbles
  2. A sun hat (also for our beach trip)
  3. Small sand toys
  4. Playdough
  5. Sidewalk chalk (I hope she doesn’t eat it)
  6. A stuffed bunny
  7. A light up toy (to match one Brady already has and wont let her touch)
  8. Empty plastic eggs (she’s one, she just like opening them anyway!)

We are going to color hard boiled eggs Friday and I think Easter morning they will be so excited to find eggs and their baskets hidden in the back yard, I don’t even think they will notice what is missing!

What do you think?  Candy free or am I being a scrooge?  What the treat policy in your house?

Take your kids out for a bike ride today and you'll both get a little extra activity

I find the days I am busy are the days I make the unhealthiest choices.  I tend to make “convenient” food choices and skip activity.

 

But as I often advise my clients, small choices add up (both positively and negatively).  And you don’t have to have a perfect day every day to be healthy.

 

So my FIT TIP FRIDAY suggestion is make ONE extra healthy choice today.

 

Here are some ideas:

  1. Run around with your kids at the park instead of watching from a bench
  2. Have some carrots with hummus as an afternoon snack instead of pirate’s booty
  3. Have 1 glass of wine with dinner instead of two
  4. Skip dessert
  5. Do 10 squats and 10 push-ups while watching TV tonight
  6. Ask them not to bring chips to the table
  7. Have an apple sliced with peanut butter
  8. Eat a larger portion of veggies and a smaller portion of the rest of your meal
  9. Commit to drinking 8 glasses of water today
  10.  Hard boil some eggs to have on hand this week…when you are busy again

 

It might be that large vanilla latte, not the baby, causing the extra weight

Ok, Ok, I know it is Saturday, not Friday, but cut a busy mom some slack!

I received this question from a fitness friend of mine who has a few clients who told her they want to lose the “baby weight”.  She wanted to know if;

“…there such a thing as “baby weight” vs. just “weight” to get off?
Weight, regardless is hard to lose, but does “baby weight” have more issues? “

GREAT question.  I think “baby weight” is all in the definition.  Are we talking about weight that was gained during pregnancy or weight that was gained from the demanding first few months of motherhood when mom is sleep deprived, stressed out, not exercising and doing a lot of ‘convenience’ eating?  Sometimes these two overlap and get confusing.

Here is my answer back to her:

Baby Age:

How old are the babies (that caused this baby weight)?  If they are under a year (or more so under 6 months) and especially if the moms are still breastfeeding, then I would consider that ‘pregnancy weight.’ The average mom gains around 30 lbs during pregnancy and it  is made up of the weight of the baby, placenta, increased cellular fluid, increase breast tissue, increased blood column, and some increase fat.  In fact, increase in blood volume alone accounts for about 4 pounds and increase breast tissue is 2 pounds!

Breast Feeding:

Also, breast feeding is a big contributor to weight loss.  Although very calorically expensive (some say breast feeding is the best weight loss system…never the case for me), your body tends to store between 5-10 lbs of weight (read: fat) while you are feeding a baby to make sure that if there is a famine or your tribe is not able to kill a buffalo, you will still be able to feed your child. No one has told our bodies about Whole Foods, and that, really, its ok to ditch that security weight.

Hormones:

Also, weight around pregnancy is very hormonally driven, just like gaining weight at puberty and menopause is common. When hormones start to regulate, the weight some times does too.  Experts say hormones after pregnancy can stay out of balance for 6-18months.  *If you are doing EVERYTHING right and still not able to lose weight, you should have your hormone levels checked.

Too Much Take-out:

Now if your clients are, like me, a year or more out, no longer breastfeeding and survived on too much take-out, and vanilla lattes in those early months, the extra weight is probably just that, extra weight.

For most of your group, its probably the latter.  What tends to happen is in the few weeks following birth, the ‘extra’ weight IS pregnancy weight, extra fluid, blood volume etc.  But as those factors start to regulate (and come down), mom’s habits are taking over.  She is probably sleep deprived and eating extra carbs, sugar and caffeine  for that energy boost.  She is also probably eating that creamy noodle casserole the neighbor brought over, or asks her husband to pick up something on his way home, since the baby cries from 4pm to 10pm straight and there is no way to make a healthy dinner during the witching hours (that wasn’t just me, right??)

Bone Structure: 

One more thing. Remember that bone structure can actually change during pregnancy. And sometimes the expanded hips or rib cage don’t go all they way back to pre-pregnancy size. So if you have ladies that are back or close to back to pre pregnancy weight *number* but not fitting in their old clothes, this could be the culprit. They may need to adjust what size clothes they wear or what style jeans they buy to accommodate their new “mommy” bodies.

A year after my first son was born, I was totally confused why my old jeans were too tight, but the size up were too big.  A lovely sales lady brought me some different styles to try and low and behold…they fit!  Shocker, that I no longer wore the style jeans I had worn since college, right??

Be Realistic:

The best suggestion for either group is common sense eating and realistic, appropriate  exercise.

I think the biggest thing for moms is helping them make realistic choices that fit with their new, crazy, lifestyle. And for those under a year (or heck for all moms) cutting themselves some slack.  Being healthy and taking care of that new little life is the most important thing and the weight will follow.  But maybe I should get that latte habit in check?

So if you find you are still struggling with “baby weight”, take these things in to consideration.  And I’d love to hear what YOUR struggles are, fitness or otherwise, and I’ll feature my answers in an upcoming post.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Yeah, Yeah, we all know that right?

But despite being a personal trainer with a degree in nutrition, I’ll admit to skipping breakfast.  On any given morning, I am either leaving the house at 5am under a shroud of silence to ensure my family stays asleep for a few more hours or hustling and bustling about to get everyone else fed, dressed and entertained.

It not that I don’t like breakfast, or don’t have anything in the house, but by the time I think of myself, I often settle for a Latte, maybe a banana. OR a pastry from the coffee shop.

As part of my New Years Resolution, I committed to put my own heath first more often and breakfast seemed like a good place to start. I operate better when I have a plan, so I made a list of quick, healthy breakfasts on a sticky note and put it on my fridge;

Hard boiled eggs on the weekends

A hard boiled egg and a piece of sprouted wheat toast with butter: The easiest to peel recipe I have found is to cover the eggs with cold water, bring to a boil, then turn of off the heat for 10-12 minutes.  The secret ingredient is to add a heaping tablespoon of salt to the water while you’re boiling the eggs, makes them super easy to peel.

 

Are you on team "chunky" or "creamy"?

Apple slices with peanut butter: This is also a great snack for after a workout or when you need a ‘treat’ but are trying to avoid sugar

 

 

A whole wheat tortilla with almond butter and banana slices rolled up: This is another easy one to take in the car.

 

All packed in my bag and ready to go

A high quality meal replacement bar  and an orange: This is my go to early  morning breakfast.  I can actually put it in my bag the night before, no hassle in the morning!  My favorite brand of bar is the “Kind” brand.  I love the almond/coconut!

 

 

 

 

 

Steel cut oatmeal with almonds and raisins: Wait, you say, steel cut oatmeal takes 30 minutes to cook?  Yes, but you can make a big batch over the weekend and just reheat it during the week.  You can even make it in the crockpot overnight.

Frozen or fresh berries and yogurt are easy!

 

Greek yogurt with berries: Even frozen berries work great.

 


Green Smoothie:  We did some great recipes for green smoothies here, here, here and here.  But when I am really in a hurry, my favorite recipe is;

½ banana

a handful of frozen spinach

almond milk

water

ice

protein powder or scoop of nut butter (optional)

 

This is a special treat!

Now I have no excuses to not eat a healthy breakfast and I can save the pastry for a doughnut date with my 3 year old!

What is your favorite quick, healthy breakfast? 

The day after Thanksgiving seems like the perfect Friday to introduce the newest addition to the BUMP Life Blog – FIT TIP FRIDAY!

 

Of course, the day after Thanksgiving it also took me ALL day to get my post up  (its not even still Friday for some of you.)  Oh well…life as a busy mom, right!

 

FIT TIP FRIDAY is a quick fitness or health tip to incorporate into our busy lives.  Something completely feasible, probably something you already know, but need a little nudging to actually be doing. AND it’s probably something I need a little nudging to be doing also. So, we’ll do it together, deal?

 

Today’s FIT TIP:

 

If you don’t really like something, don’t eat it.

 

This tips comes straight on the heels of a HUGE feast filled with dish after dish of delectable delights…or are they all really delectable?  Do you really love every dish on the Thanksgiving table?  Often we take a scoop of Aunt Sally’s green bean casserole to be nice, but do we really want those extra calories?

 

A few days before Thanksgiving, is my Mother-in-law’s birthday.  After dinner we had my Mother-in-laws favorite dessert, ice cream sundaes.  I have a huge sweet tooth and am usually not one to turn down dessert, but I realized that the only reason I was looking forward to the ice cream, was for the caramel sauce.  So while everyone else had ice cream sundaes, I cut up an apple and dipped the slices in the caramel.  I completely enjoyed my dessert, and saved a few hundred calories in the process.

 

So, as the holiday parties roll on by, try to make your choices more consciously.  Put food on your plate (and in your mouth) that you love and enjoy them.  If you feel you could take it or leave it…leave it!

 

 

 

 

They maybe be lucky, but not if they are your trigger food

Guest Post by Life Coach, Sharon Lincoln, PCC


Here’s a dirty secret. I am addicted to Lucky Charms cereal. In fact, I find it so irresistible that I would have absolutely no problem finishing off a box it within the course of a day. I have the same problem with chocolate covered pretzels. I can write paragraphs around what I’ve learned about portion control and counting points all in an attempt to indulge in my love of food, as well as maintaining my weight. In short here’s what I’ve learned:

I have zero self control when it comes to my “trigger” foods.

Trigger foods are the items that we can’t stop eating once we’ve started. They can also be the kinds of foods that lead us to eat other food (ex. the need for a salty food after we’ve consumed this particular sweet treat.)  I’ve learned I’m not alone when it comes to trigger foods. Here’s some advice I’ve gathered along the way:

  • Put simply, clear out your home of all trigger foods. I’ll never forget the “Snackwell” phenomenon that occurred years back. My friends and I were all so amazed that these delicious cookies were low fat! It wasn’t uncommon to polish off a box within one sitting all under the guise that we were eating healthy. If you know that eating one low fat item will cause you to indulge in the whole box, toss it.
  • Create your own space and consider stocking it with upgraded items that feel like an indulgence. For example, spend up at the local farmer’s market for healthy snacks and condiments. Though pre cut fruits and veggies may cost more, the cost is worth it if it helps you with your healthy living goals.
  • Make room in your cabinets to store your family member’s treats away. My toddler loves to snack throughout the day. Knowing that I love pretzels more than he does, I’ve stopped purchasing them and have instead replaced them with whole grain Goldfish, a snack that he loves, and one that doesn’t tempt me.

By removing the triggers you will be creating the environment to succeed with  your weight management goals.

**Enjoying Sharon’s posts?  Check out her other BUMP Life posts;**

Season of Change: Change Your Geography 

Creating Space for Change

Sharon Lincoln, PCC, is a Certified Personal and Professional Coach. She is a working mom of two, and can be reached at sharonlincoln5@gmail.com

Is it the candy or the costume that is causing him to ‘blast off?’

At family birthday dinner a few months ago, my then-toddler excitedly shoveled spoonful after spoonful of colored frosting directly off the birthday cake into his mouth.  As the rainbow of colors smeared across his face, my father-in-law whipped out his video camera and everyone else laughed and snapped pictures.  The only child at the dinner table, all eyes were on him.

Once Brady realized he had everyone’s undivided attention he jumped from the table and sang the “happy cake” song (his version of happy birthday) when his crowd erupted in applauds, he began to run, literally, in circles around my in-laws living room.

My mother-in-law laughed and said, “well, there goes that sugar kicking in!”

But I wondered, was it actually the sugar, or was he just hamming up the undivided attention he was getting?

A quick google search confirmed my suspicion.  Although generations of parents have blamed their child’s banshee-like behavior on too much sugar, scientific research says otherwise.  In no less than 20 clinical, double-blind research studies, sugar was found to have no affect on children’s behavior or their ability to concentrate.  In fact, the evidence is so conclusive; experts say the link is a “non-issue” in the science world.

So what does cause kids to climb the walls after a dose of the sweet stuff?

Chances are it’s actually the situation in which sugary snacks are served that causes the amped up behavior.  For kids, excitement breeds more excitement.  Most parents wisely limit the amount of sugar their kids eat, so when they are in a situation where they get that piece of candy…the thrill of the special circumstance leads to the excited behavior.  So it is most likely not the birthday cake that is sending your child into a frenzy, but the excitement of the birthday festivities and the 10 other 5 year-olds that is so stimulating.

Also, parents’ perceived expectations of behavior really come into play as well.  In one study, two groups of moms were told their child either received a sugar drink or a non-sugar drink, in reality all the children received the non-sugar drink.  Moms who thought their kids had the sugar, rated their child’s behavior as more hyperactive.

Now of course, there are plenty of reasons not to skip the peas all together in favor of jelly beans.  High sugar foods often replace more nutritious choices in the diet and high sugar intake is linked to obesity and tooth decay.  But, this Halloween when your little ghouls and goblins are bouncing out of their costumes, it probably has more to do with the costumes than the candy.

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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!