BYTES of Informationon Motherhood, Food, Fitness & Real Life

Cheers to Freedom!

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Celebrate freedom in a healthy way!

Celebrate freedom in a healthy way!

Happy 4th of July! As we celebrate our freedom and remember all of those who have worked so hard to protect our great country (extra thank you to my amazing Daddy for his service!!), it’s also important to express your ability to party! Just don’t get too crazy ☺ And remember, you can celebrate in a healthy, but still delicious way. If you want to sip on a festive cocktail that isn’t packed full of sugar this weekend, try this easy-to-make option that can be either kid-friendly or adult friendly. After this busy week, I know which option I’m choosing! Red-White-and HELLO Tasty Cocktail (or Mocktail) 1 oz cranberry juice ¾ cup seltzer 1 shot vodka (for the adult version) Mix together, top with crushed ice and fresh blueberries and serve chilled. Enjoy!

The reason why some people are skinny and the rest of us are not

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skinnyfriendWe all have that one friend, the one who can eat anything she wants, never counts a calorie, and never worries about her weight. She just looks good all the time. I have a friend like that (maybe more of a frienimy since I secretly hate her at times). We were recently shopping together when she was discussing how it can be hard to find clothes because many times everything in the store is simply too big on her. Did I kind of want to slap her –yes! But in watching her and listening to her, there’s a lot of takeaway messages we can all learn from these seemingly “effortless” skinny people.

 

For one thing, just because you are skinny doesn’t mean that you love your body or that your life is any better or easier than someone who is overweight. Sure, I haven’t experienced this myself, but I could see how it may be upsetting to try and shop for clothes and everything you liked is just way too big and doesn’t look right. It can be just as hard as when everything is too small and too tight. We all want to look our best, and when we can’t, it impacts our confidence. So, let’s not be too jealous of skinny people- they have clothes shopping problems too.

 

But the biggest thing I have learned from this friend as well as working with clients who are thin, is that being skinny isn’t something they were necessarily born with. There’s a reason they don’t gain weight easily. So here are the top three lessons you can learn from skinny people if you want to be one yourself:

 

#1: Skinny people are some of the slowest eaters you will ever find! The slower you eat, the sooner you feel satisfied on less calories. Give it a try- take at least 30 minutes to eat your meal or snack. Put the fork down in between bites and rest a bit before diving in for the next. You will be amazed at how much less you eat.

#2: Take smaller bites. Skinny people don’t just eat slower, they eat smaller too. My friend will go out to eat and order a burger, fries, and a regular soda. This meal probably has over 2000 calories, if she were to eat all of it. But does she? Well by the time she is done taking bites smaller than my toddler takes, after about 30 minutes she is full. And guess what, only about 1/3 of the burger has been eaten along with a few fries and a few sips of soda. It’s not always about what we order, it’s the portion size of it that matters the most.

 

#3: Skinny people are fidgety. My same skinny friend, if you weren’t already mad enough at her, she doesn’t go to the gym either. Or workout at home. Nope, she’s skinny, eats what she wants and doesn’t exercise. I know, I know- you want to smack her now too! But guess what she does do- she never stops moving! She doesn’t sit when she talks on the phone, she paces. She is animated when she talks. She takes the long way to the bathroom at work and she never uses the escalator or elevator unless she has to. She’s not doing this to burn extra calories, she’s doing this because she feels good when she moves. Even if you workout for a solid hour each day, if you sit the rest of it, you won’t burn as many calories as my friend. You have to make sure to fit in movement at every possible chance during the day.

 

So there you go. The next time you start feeling envious of your skinny friend, take a look her behaviors and you may just see some of these traits. If you start to adopt them yourself, you may find controlling your weight to be more “effortless” as well.

Fitness Friday: One Tough “Tookie”

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Joey just hit the big 1-8! That’s right- he’s officially 18 months old, or halfway to 2! It’s amazing how quickly he is growing. And yes, currently his favorite word is “tookie” short for cookie, which he calls almost every food he eats. How thrilled am I that as a nutrition professional all my son requests to eat day in and day out are “tookies” 🙂 Luckily, when he requests a “tookie” it can mean anything from a cracker to a fruit!

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Now that he is getting so mature, Joey has been showing signs that he’s about ready to start a career in personal training. He’s getting just a little too big to wear (although he still loves it so we do it for fun at times), so we’ve had to adjust our exercise routine together. My newest strategy is using him as added resistance, and since he is almost 24 pounds now, it’s pretty effective.

He’s loves to jumping on my back when I sit down lately, so I have started to use this to my advantage. I’ve trained him to sit on my back and hold onto my shirt so we can do push-ups and planks together. Now an extra 24 pounds on your back during a push-up or plank can tire you out pretty quick. So, after about 5 rounds of 10 push-ups, I was ready to take a break. But did Joey think it was time for me to rest? No way! He jumped back on and kept yelling “up” at me. I swear, I think he’s tougher than Shawn T.

So if anyone is in need of a personal trainer, we are renting Joey out by the hour. Hey, we have to build up that college fund somehow right? 🙂

If you are looking for an effective and fun Mommy & Me workout, try our routine:

  • 10 slow pushups with baby on back
  • 30 second rest
  • 30 second plant with baby on back
  • 30 second rest
  • 10 pushups at a moderate pace with baby on back
  • 30 second rest
  • 30 second plank slowly rocking hips side to side to engage obliques with baby on back
  • 30 second rest
  • 10 slow pushups with baby on back

Trust me- you will be tired!!

Note: Just have baby watch if they are not old enough to hold on or too heavy to perform this exercise safely!

Why we should all eat like a baby

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I’m sure you have heard the expression “sleep like a baby.” Well, if I was sleeping like Joey does, I would never sleep (oh wait, I don’t ever sleep since my child doesn’t sleep), but anyway- back to the point of this blog J When it comes to developing a healthy relationship with food and achieving an optimal body weight, aiming to eat like a baby can show you just how we were really meant to eat.

 

When feeding a baby, the parent or caretaker’s role is to provide nutritious options. It’s the child’s responsibility to determine how much he will eat. This allows your baby to understand his own internal hunger and satiety cues. Now, think about how we as adults eat. If I walk past a bowl of candy, I’m not hungry, but that certainly doesn’t stop me from grabbing a handful and chowing down. Or at dinner, if there’s a few bites left on my plate, I may just gobble them up without thinking instead of asking myself if I am still truly hunger. These are the almost unconscious behaviors that lead to us as adults consuming far more calories than we actually need.

 

Look at how a baby eats on the other hand. He uses all his senses to really focus on the food he is eating. He eats slowly and pushes the food away as soon as he is no longer hungry for it. As a baby eats, his only focus is the food offered to him. He’s not eating with distractions such as a TV, computer, or phone pulling his focus away from the food experience. This is what we call “mindful” eating- the practice of involving all of your senses in the eating experience with minimal distractions to allow yourself to get back in touch with your hunger and satiety cues while feeling truly satisfied from the food you are eating.

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The next time you sit down to eat, try to think about eating a bit more like a baby. Now, there’s no need to eat exactly like a baby- for instance, I don’t plan to smash sweet potatoes in my hair or throw eggs across the room like Joey enjoys doing, but the goal is to just try to really focus on the food in front of you. What does it taste like, smell like, what’s the texture? The more you can slow down, involve all of your senses, and take your time with your meal, the less likely you are to overindulge.

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