Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Do kids Need Juice? & Today's Awesome Kid Friendly Recipes!

Let me be clear, I am not a registered dietician, although I would love to be ;)  So, the info I give in my blogs are my opinions, based upon research I have conducted and info from knowledgeable nutritionists.  But, I am pretty sure that most people would not argue with me that juice is nothing more than flavored sugar water.  This has been one of the biggest issues I have had in converting my family to a more healthy lifestyle.

Monday, January 30, 2012

How Busy Mama stays Fit & What's Cooking

This is a complaint I made for many years....I'm too "busy" to eat healthy!  Well, it's true, we are all busy I'm sure.  Whether we're working outside the home or stay at home parents, there is always a lot to get done in so little time.  But, I have been very determined this last year to show that no matter how busy you are, there is still time to eat healthy and get/stay fit.  I am a very busy person myself.  I have 4 little ones, 2 of which are home with me all day, 1 at school all day & 1 at school half-day.  I make 2 trips to the school every day, run errands, grocery shop, do laundry, change diapers (probably somewhere 10 per day), pick up the constant array of toys strewn about, cook, vacuum, do crafts with the kids, help with homework, and I could go on and on....  This does not include any efforts I make at being healthy.  If I really wanted to, it would be super easy to make this excuse that I'm too "busy" to get our family healthy and probably no one would ever question that.  But, it is extremely important to me that my kids, husband, and I are healthy.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Fit Mama Runs...

Well today is a beautiful day in Tulsa!  It's 65 degrees with a slight breeze.  And after a great church service and lunch, I decided it was time for a run.  Babies went down for a nap and big kids stayed home to play with dad.  I got to try out my new running shorts!  Don't hate on my pasty legs...it is January afterall!
I went out with my runkeeper app set to coach me for 4 miles and I ended up running 5!  AND I felt great when I got home.  

It got me thinking about when I started running a little over a year ago and I had no idea that there was certain "gear" you should really have if you want to run!  No one ever told me...  I was at my first half marathon in May in my tank top, gym pants, and Nike Shox.  I am sure the runners there were laughing behind my back.  So when I decided I wanted to run all year round and even possibly train for a full marathon, I realized it was time to get some real running apparel.  So, I'm not like a professional runner and I don't race to win but I absolutely love running.  I came to find out that there are things you should and shouldn't wear and use if taking up this sport. 

Let's start with bottoms since I showed you my nice pic of my new running shorts.  Yes, there are certain shorts actually designed to run in.  Not just the cotton shorts you buy in the PJ section at walmart (like I wore last summer unknowingly).  My favorites are Nike running shorts like these:
I own 2 pairs of these and bought them directly from nike.com when they went on sale last summer.  They are sweat-wicking so you stay cool and are very well ventilated.  Also, they have a nice length, not too short.

The new shorts I bought this week (well my husband bought for me..) are the Brooks running shorts:
I wore these today and they are SO comfortable.  The waistband is thick and is way more comfortable than the Nike shorts.  They are a little shorter in length but still had good coverage.  I didn't feel like I was flashing anybody.  I highly recommend these.  I found them at sun n ski because we had a groupon there from a couple months ago we had to use up but you can also purchase them straight from brooksrunning.com.

For those cooler mornings (we've been so lucky this winter to have some very mild weather), I LOVE my Nike running leggings/tights.  I was a little self conscious at first because they're pretty tight but they're definitely a must.  Here is a pic from me the day I finished my 2nd half-marathon:
Those pants kept me surprisingly warm and cool at the same time (if that's possible).  They are the Nike tech tights and I bought them from our local running store, Fleet Feet.  But of course you can purchase them from Nike.com. 

Let's start with the sports bra just because that was a major deal breaker for me for years.  Because I couldn't find a supportive sports bra for running, I didn't run.  But, I did a TON of research and tried on probably a cajillion sports bras until I found the perfect one (for bigger busted women).  **side note**if you are on the smaller chest size, you may not have an issue with finding a good bra for high impact sports, such as running**
OK, so the best high impact sports bra is the Enell, as pictured below:
Oh yes, this thing is about as ugly as you could possibly get.  But I wasn't going for cute, I needed practical.  If it wasn't for this sports bra, I would not be running...period.  They are available in black too and maybe another color but this was all they had at my local running store, Fleet Feet.  I highly recommend finding a fitness store nearby where you can try it on, as it doesn't come in your traditional bra cup size.  And it is pricey, I believe I paid $60.  But, like I said, it is definitely worth every penny.

I am pretty simple when it comes to tank tops when I'm running.  I don't like anything that rides up and it has to be sweat-wicking.  I don't care about a built in shelf bra (as you know I've got my trusty Enell).  So, here is me modeling one of my favorite running tops:
Sorry you can't see that very well, but it's a champion brand (I got it at Target), it's super light-weight and made of 92% polyester, 8% spandex.  So, it doesn't ride up when I'm running and it is sweat-wicking.  There are lots of great options from Nike and Under Armor that you can pick up at your local sports store, but at my level of running, these type of tops work great. 

I stay pretty hot when I run, so on those chilly mornings, I'll put on my running tights, a running tank and my Nike zip up (I got from my hubby for my birthday).  This thing is awesome: another pic from my last half-marathon:

It is also sweat-wicking, has a small hidden pocket on the back (for a key or cc), has little pouches on the end of the sleeves where I can stick my hands in if they gets cold, thumb-holes to keep the jacket in place, and a loop on the back of the neck to keep your head phone cord in place.  This jacket is high tech!  And it's super cute.  I wore this on a chilly 29 degree morning and even a 55 degree day and it kept me both warm and cool, depending on the weather.  I'm not sure how they build all this cool technology into a jacket, but it's pretty awesome.

  Here it is as pictured on Nike.com
It's called the Nike Element Shield Jacket.  OH and it has a "half-zip" where you can zip up from the bottom half way up if you're getting warm.   It is really cool.  They are pricey, $105.  But, it's the only running jacket I own, so it's worth it. 

Let's move on to shoes.  I am a huge proponent of going to get your feet measured and fitted for running shoes.  Go to your local running store and have them do this for you.  They are the experts..  I am definitely not.  I went over to Fleet Feet and told them that I wanted to run a marathon, they measured my feet, and even tracked how I run to see what type of support I might need.  Here are the shoes I run in and I LOVE them:
The Asics GT 2160 with the orthopedic support.  I might add that you have to put 5-10 miles (at least) on your orthopedics before running a half marathon or marathon in them.  I love the orthopedic insert now but when I first started running in them, my legs would cramp up real bad and my feet would be really sore.  But they have great support. 

Some gear is pertinent if you're going to be running. 

1.  An armband for your ipod.  I use the Belkin Dual Fit Armband, for iphone.
2.  Head phones for your tunes.  My favorite head phones are the Motorola cordless bluetooth headphones.  How freeing to not have cords dangling while you're running! You can find them on amazon for $60-$100 depending on which model you go with.
3.  Runkeeper app on my iphone.  Although it is not running gear technically, this is absolutely VITAL for my runs.  Not only does it track my distance, pace, and time, it has GPS so I can look back over my route when I'm done.  And I just set it up with my run tunes mix and I'm ready to go!  I set it to "coach" me every 5 minutes so I know my current and average pace and how far I've gone.

4.  Good sweat-wicking ball cap, such as the Nike Dri-Fit hat, as pictured on me above.  I don't use sunglasses because they just get sweaty, so I use a hat to block the sun.  And this hat doesn't get hot, I love it.

5.  A good hydration belt is necessary for long runs.  The only times I wear my hydration belt is if my scheduled run that day is going to be longer than an hour.  I have found that I don't need to re-hydrate if my run is short, such as between 3-6 miles.  And, I have tried out several hydration belts until I found one that is absolutely amazing.  The one I have is the Nathan Speed 2 Hydration belt with two 10 oz flasks:
I promise not all hydration belts are created alike.  Many leak all over you while you're running, or ride up, or bounce too much, or are too heavy.  This belt is great because it's stretchy so it fits like a glove and I don't even know it's there.  Plus, there's a little pouch to put things if you need it.  You can get it on amazon right now for $28. 

Well that's about it for my running gear.  These are things that I have found that help me to enjoy the sport even more.  So, I hope it helps you too if you are a runner or thinking about taking up the sport.  I do have some great tips for getting started running and i can post those in future blogs.  Thanks for reading!!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

This is How a Busy Mama Rolls....at Sam's

If you are a busy mama like me, then you understand how valuable a Sam's Club (or Costco) membership can be!  But, there's something about that store that sucks you in...you go there with a small list and BAM!  $300 later, you're walking out the door.  Everything is in bulk and yes, there is a savings, but that doesn't mean you have to buy everything you think you may need!  Well, I went there today to get some diapers, paper towels, spices I use every day, and some fruits and veggies.  Well I hit the jackpot!  Here is what I found....

Friday, January 27, 2012

Today's shenanigans and healthy snack options for kiddos

Hey everyone!  Happy Friday!  Babies are down for a nap so I thought I'd make a quick post.  Yesterday I did a Nike Training App workout.  I did the "get lean advanced" heart throb workout.  It is a quick 30 minute workout but it was KILLER.  I can barely walk today and I feel some muscles I didn't even know I had...  So, that means I'm taking a rest day today from my workouts.  If you don't have the app on your iphone (may even be available on the android), you must get it.  It is a free app and has tons of great workouts.

Here is my breakfast this morning:

Don't hate people!  It's my fave drink in the world...a grande non-fat iced mocha (no whip).  It has 170 calories and is delicious.  I wasn't feeling 100% this morning and I wasn't in the mood for my usual hot coffee with french vanilla. 

Last night I made Baked Pretzel Chicken with cauliflower gratin.  It was awesome and the kiddos all ate and loved it.  Here is a pic with the recipes:

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Healthy Breakfast Options with Kiddos

One of the hardest part about cooking healthy for my kids is breakfast time.  I'm tired and the kids are hungry...not a good combination.  I am not a big breakfast person myself.  And when you have little ones going off to school at 7 am it's not easy to cook this fabulous breakfast every morning.  SO, here are the breakfast options I have for school age, pre-k and toddlers for quick, easy, & healthy!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What is Clean Eating?

So I've mentioned several times in my blogs about "clean eating" and I just realized that I have failed to fully explain what that means.  This goes beyond low calorie/low fat.  Here are some rules of this eating lifestyle:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cooking, Shopping, and Food Prep Day!

Today was my grocery shopping day and I did a little food prep for this week's meals.  I made a trip to walmart and to Akins to get enough food for 5 dinners, breakfast food items, and lunch food to last about a week.  I spent $150 at walmart and $28 at Akins (organic cheddar block cheese x 2, organic american cheese singles, organic parmesan cheese, and 2 packages of brown rice tortillas).

I didn't get to eat lunch until around 3 pm today since I was busy trying to get everything done while babies were sleeping.  But here is what I had for lunch:

It's my usual....big veggie salad.  Baby spinach, carrots, cucumbers, grape tomatoes (all organic), chick peas, and some avocado.  I also make my own salad dressing.  If you've ever seen the ingredient list on a bottle of salad dressing, there's tons of added chemicals, preservatives, and artificial coloring.  I make my own goddess dressing and it is DIVINE.  Here is my recipe:

Monday, January 23, 2012

My weight loss and fitness journey

My whole life I have struggled with weight. Even as a child, all my friends were thin and I was a little chunky. I can't say I was "fat", but definitely over weight. I always hid it pretty well and knew how to dress to cover it up but I still never felt comfortable in my skin. I remember as early as 3rd grade thinking I was fat and jumping rope on the back porch or running around the neighborhood to try to lose weight. I'd run around the neighborhood, come home, and step on the scale thinking I MUST have lost a pound at least!  I had no idea what I was doing. I did not know anything about nutrition or certain foods being "bad" for you.  So, I ate whatever I wanted.

My first Blog Post! My Life till now...

So welcome to my blog!  My name is Jess and I am a stay-at-home momma of 4 adorable kiddos.

My life is pretty sweet right now.  I grew up in Lakeland, FL and at 15, my mom decided to uproot us to Tulsa, OK.  I was devastated.  I had to move away from all my friends I had known since I was a young child.  I was going into my sophomore year in high school and didn't know 1 person.  It was depressing.  But I managed and found some friends.  I graduated high school and started off to college, as a business major.