Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Love & Intention When Preparing Food

I have a feeling some of you are thinking "Oh geez, what's she talking about now?"  But I think others will know just what I'm getting at and will agree that while it may sound hokey, there's something powerful behind the words.  There's more to it than prep, cook, serve, eat.

With my personal journey back to health in working on healing my Stage 3 Adrenal Fatigue (Adrenal Exhaustion - more from me on that in another post very soon).  I'm working on making a lot of nutritional changes as well as lifestyle changes.  One small thing I've started doing is putting love and intention into my food preparation.  What does that mean?

Let's use today's lunch as an example.  I was getting ready to make my usual - a salad with whatever I could find to throw in there.  I laid my ingredients out on the counter and looked at them.  I felt peace.  I knew that the food I was about to prepare is healthy, fresh, and free of ingredients that will cause me inflammation, digestive distress or added fatigue.  I washed the organic radishes and mini sweet peppers and placed them on the counter.  I opened the new container of organic greens and rinsed those as well.  As I chopped each item and added it to my bowl, I silently thanked the farmers who work so hard to grow their crops.  I thanked them for fighting to do what they feel is right, and for following the USDA protocol to certify their crops as organic.  I also thanked them for not dumping (too many or harmful) pesticides on their crops.  Then I thanked the farmers who have raised their chickens in more humane conditions, without using antibiotics or steroids.  I'm sure they've faced many obstacles in their careers, but they fight to be able to offer us these healthier chickens. 

Once I had everything in my bowl, I felt grateful for the colors I saw.  I thanked the sun for growing these foods and the soil for providing nutrients.  I knew that I was going to sit down and enjoy a bowl of food that would not only taste really good, but also give me fuel, energy, and would sustain me throughout the mid-afternoon.  I ate slowly and kept thinking about my intentions:  Eat to heal.  Eat to live.  Slow down and enjoy the food.  Feel the love that was put into making this food.  Remember the healing and healthful benefits of each of the ingredients in this food.

I don't think I would have felt grateful if I was rushing around, eating on the go or while multi-tasking, grabbing food from a fast food establishment.  Putting love and intention into my meal not only helped me to enjoy it more, but it helped me to slow down and remember why I need to make the nutritional changes necessary to heal.  I was mindful.   I was clear.

Try it next time you make a meal and see if you notice a difference in how you feel during and after eating.  Ask your family members to help you prepare the food.  Talk about the ingredients and what their health benefits are.  Ask your children questions and get them involved so they can also feel the power within creating the food.

Let me know if you feel a difference!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Fit Mom Monday - Guest Blogger: Christa

Happy Fit Mom Monday, friends!!  Today my blog features an inspirational Fit Mom, Christa.  She lives in the Baltimore, MD area and she has a 10 month old baby girl.  Christa has led a very active life including participating in triathalons and she has some great information to share with us!

·      What got you started on your healthy journey, was it before or after having children? My healthy journey started before having my baby.

What are your current fitness & nutritional practices?
I actually don’t work out as much as I did before I had my daughter. My family comes first but working out is still important to me. My husband is supportive of me and knows that quick work-out break makes me a better mom. I run 2-3 times a week. I take spin class 1-2 times a week. I do stroller strides with my daughter 3-4 times a week. I’m also a fan of the Jillian Michaels 30 day shred.
I eat pretty clean. For breakfast I eat protein which is usually eggs. For lunch I like to eat oatmeal with yogurt. I love fruit smoothies for a snack. I also love pita chips! For dinner, I like baked chicken with vegetables. I do treat myself. When I feel like eating a cookie, I eat a cookie or two. ;) I enjoy food. I don’t deprive myself of food. You got to eat to stay active and have energy.  My favorite food is Mexican food. I love to eat chips & salsa at a Mexican restaurant and get the chicken fajita salad. Yum!
I have done Weight Watchers in the past. This really helped me understand calories, fat, fiber etc. I like how Weight Watchers teaches you how to eat.

·      Do you have any tips you’d like to share?
·      Be kind to yourself.  Moderation is key! I think it’s easy to be in opposite extremes. For example, live an unhealthy lifestyle and eat lots of junk food and not exercise. I also know people that are too caught up into what they eat or too caught up into working out. It’s good to have moderation. Too much of something is not usually good.

I also worked out throughout my pregnancy. I definitely think that working out helped my pregnancy. I ran three miles until I was 30 weeks pregnant. I also took spin classes a few days a week until I was 38 weeks pregnant. I also took pre-natal yoga. I was much more active before my pregnancy which allowed me to continue to be active in my pregnancy. I would definitely check with your doctor about what activities you can and cannot do during your pregnancy.

Please tell us a little more about yourself!
I grew up playing sports year round. Every season I played a different sport. I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed playing sports until I was in college and was no longer playing any sports. Looking back on my college years I wish I had swam for college. When I graduated college I found myself 20 lbs. heavier than I am now. I started working out at my gym. I soon started working with a trainer. Then in the summer time I started swimming laps again. I started taking more spin classes, kickboxing classes, and starting running more. Then in 2007, I trained for my first sprint triathlon in Atlanta, Georgia. It was an Iron Girl triathlon. The race was in June. A few months prior I started biking outside for the first time since I was young. Biking was a new sport to me. Since 2007, I have competed in 8 triathlons. I love triathlons. I found myself less sore after a triathlon than after a half marathon because you use different muscles in a triathlon. I hope to compete in another triathlon this year. I am thrilled that in my next race my husband will be cheering me on like he has in the past but this time my daughter gets to come too!

What I want other moms to know:

If you’re a mom you can compete in a race. In the delivery room my husband reminded me of the triathlons I competed in and nothing compares to childbirth. I realized then that I had to share that with other moms. I want to encourage other moms that if they want to race or get in shape-it can be done! My best advice: Start out with small goals. Do a 5k race where you can run/walk and then progressively push yourself harder. Each goal you accomplish will encourage you to push yourself one step farther.

You can follow Christa on her blog:  Angel FIT


Monday, February 4, 2013

Fit Mom Monday - Guest Blogger: Cortney

Not too long ago, I started posting Fit Mom Monday tips on my Fit & Healthy Mommy Facebook page.  They've been some of my more popular posts.  I love reaching out to moms and sharing fitness, nutrition and wellness updates!  I thought it would be fun to welcome guest bloggers and let other Fit & Healthy Moms share their journeys, successes, recipes and tips with us.

My very first Fit Mom Monday guest blogger is Cortney Blejwas.  Cortney is a mom of two little girls, ages 5
& 2 and she lives in the Anne Arundel County area in Maryland.  She is a very talented photographer and will be soon be certified to teach TurboKick!

I asked Cortney a few questions and here's what she shared.

·      What got you started on your healthy journey, was it before or after having children?
My journey started after having my daughters. Realizing that the way I felt, and looked could be changed if I put all of my will and determination into it, was really what got a fire under my britches. 

·     What are your current fitness & nutritional practices?I workout, one way or another, 6 days a week. My current fitness practice is that I am following TurboFire schedule for the second time, along with throwing in some circuits here and there. My first round of TurboFire deemed amazing results, and I knew I could go even harder my second time. I eat as clean as I can, and I track everything I put into my body. 

·         Do you have any tips you’d like to share?
Going with what I wrote in the previous answer, my biggest tip is to track everything you eat. It doesn’t necessarily mean calorie counting. Now, this is not to say it works for everyone, but simply writing down the type of food/drinks you put into your body will help hold yourself accountable. Another tip I have, and love, is to make it a point to find yourself a support system. There are so many people out there who are willing to be there for you. There are so many willing to be your accountability partner and biggest cheerleader. Debi, from Fit & Healthy Mommy, played a major role in my success, for just being the backbone of my support system.

I first realized I needed to do something about how I felt and looked, after coming back from a family vacation last summer. Consuming typical “camping foods” all of our vacation, didn’t help how I was feeling either. I felt sluggish, more tired than usual, my face was broken out all the time, and I was sick of feeling 10 years older than I was. I knew I had to put everything I had into making a change.

I have known Debi for about 5 years now. I followed her on her journey, and have always been inspired by her amazing ability to make goals and achieve them. I can’t answer why I never thought to turn to her prior to my “ah-ha” moment, but when I did decided that she was the one I needed to turn to, a whole new world opened up. When I first started to get on the working out train, I was doing Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. I was not drawn to her style of instructing. I didn’t click with her way of fitness, and knew in order to be successful I needed to find something I loved. A friend, Sarah, told me to try Turbo Jam. She lent me some of the DVDs, and I was hooked! Cardio kickboxing was the way to go for me, I was certain! 

I wanted to go to one of Debi’s Turbo Kick classes as soon as possible. The gym she teaches at is approximately 40-45 minutes away from where I live. I didn’t, and don’t, care how long it takes me to drive there. Her class is completely worth it. She, and my friend Sarah mentioned I try TurboFire, since I loved Turbo Jam. I knew it was a bit faster of a pace than Turbo Jam, and that kind of excited me. I bought it, and fell in love! It truly was and is my soulmate workout. I have completed one entire 12 week round of the program, and along with eating clean and having the determination, have lost 17 lbs to date and about 10 inches overall. I feel amazing. After my first round, I stopped focusing on weight loss, and started to focus more on muscle gain. That was the best decision I have ever made in this journey. I am doing a second 12 week round and going at it hard core. I am also discovering that I really love circuit style workouts so much. I love to Turbo so much that I am getting certified to teach on March 9th! Wish me luck! I am so excited for all of the plans I have that will come from having that certification. It is the step in the right direction of where I want/need to be. The biggest thing I learned in my journey so far is that I *can* do this. I have the will. I have the determination, and I *will* get where I want to be in due time.

You can connect with Cortney by visiting her blog, Cortney Kicks and on her Facebook page, also titled Cortney Kicks.

Here's Cortney's Chicken Avocado, Cranberry, and Almond Salad recipe
Makes 3 servings
254 calories

*4oz cooked chicken breast-diced
*2-3 organic celery stalks-chopped
*1/4 cup dried organic cranberries, roughly chopped
*8-10 raw almonds- crushed
*1 avocado-mashed
*1tbs organic mayo or Veganaise
*sea salt
*fresh cracked black pepper

Combine all ingredients and serve in a whole wheat pita pocket or on 3 romaine lettuce leaves. 

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