Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Muffin Tin Toddler Meals

A picky toddler can be a frustrating experience! Especially since his/her tastes change on what seems to be a daily basis. I have a few 'fall-back' foods to serve to my son, Jude, when he is being picky, but these days even those are not working. I found this cute muffin tin meal/snack idea from muffin tin mom and decided to try it out.
I filled the cups with the most colorful foods I could find- green beans, bananas, red peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, olives, cheese, nitrate-free ham, blueberries, and avocado.
Jude was a bit unsure at first, but then he grabbed for some fruit (of course). He finished his blueberries and I had him try one bite from two of the other cups before I gave him more. It was a great opportunity to talk about what each food was called and to name the color of each one!
Jude really seemed to like the variety and small portions in his muffin cups. And because none of it ended up on the floor- it was a success in my book :)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

10 Ways Water Helps You to Lose Weight

Woman Drinking Bottled Water

 1. Water suppresses your appetite. People who drink more water feel hungry less often, as water makes a good appetite suppressant.
2. Water helps to reduce cholesterol. Water has a drastic impact on cholesterol and should help you reduce the levels in your body; it also can lead to weight loss.
3. Water helps to tone muscles. If your muscles are dehydrated, you won't see a lot of toning. Up your intake of water and you'll see a difference, fast!
4. Water is necessary for proper digestion. Your digestive system requires a certain amount of water a day to function, and if you fall short of this, it can make you feel bloated and tired.
5. Water helps liver function. The liver metabolizes fat, which is very important when you are trying to lose weight. However, it requires a lot of water to do this successfully, and if your liver doesn't have enough, it will store the fat.
6. Water helps soothe digestive problems. If you are suffering from digestive troubles, try drinking a few glasses of water. This should help jump-start your system again, as a lack of water can cause the entire process to stop.
7. The right amount of water causes the body to stop retaining water. If you usually don't drink enough, your body will have retained water to make up for it. This water retention can add pounds to your weight, making you feel very bloated.
8. Water stops you confusing hunger and thirst. It can be very easy to think you are hungry when in fact you are just thirsty.
9. Water moisturizes the skin and makes it more radiant and supple. Supermodels are known to drink about 68 ounces of water per day to make sure their skin is hydrated and looks its best.
10. Water washes the toxins out of the body. Water washes out the toxins, making your body cleaner and healthier.

**Tip: Put 8 rubber bands around your 8 oz water bottle and take one off each time you empty the bottle. This is an easy way to keep track of your intake!**

Saturday, February 18, 2012

It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's SuperWOMAN


Lie on the ground face-down, arms crossed above your head so you can rest your forehead on your forearms (rather than having your nose smushed into the ground).  Alternatively, just keep your head raised and looking forward when in the setup/rest position. Your legs should be straight out behind you.  A soft surface, such as carpet or a yoga mat is preferable.
superman exercise setup
  1. When you’re ready to begin a set, lift your head and stretch your arms out in front of you
  2. Contract your back muscles such that your feet and chest lift off the ground as high as you can get them, keeping your arms parallel to one another and pointed straight ahead
  3. Hold the contraction for as long as you can (typically 30-60 seconds for an untrained body)
  4. Repeat once or twice as desired, no more often than every other day
superman exercise execution

Tips and Variations

  1. To increase intensity of the superman exercise, you can add a concentric element to it by contracting and then relaxing (e.g., do 3 sets of 30 repetitions) rather than simply holding the superman exercise position for an extended period.
  2. To decrease the intensity of the superman exercise, you can either do the superman exercise without shoes on or leave your arms resting by your side (i.e., only lift your chest), or both.

Muscles Workedmultifidi muscles

  1. In laymen’s terms: back, neck, butt, hamstrings, and shoulders
  2. Specifically:
    1. Erector Spinae
    2. Quadratus Lumborum
    3. Multifidi
    4. Transversus Abdominus
    5. Gluteus Maximus
    6. Hamstrings
    7. Deltoids


The superman exercise is one of the best exercise someone with back problems can do.  The superman exercise, unlike other back exercises, strengthens the entire portion of the erector spinae and all of the multifidi all the way up and down the spine.  Additionally, the exercise necessitates that every vertebrae move relative to one another, thereby making the superman exercise a good vertebra joint mobilization.  The superman exercise is also the single best exercise someone with excessive kyphosis (a condition called desk jockey) can do because the strengthening of the erector spinae muscles will, over time, reduce the forward curvature of the thoracic spine acquired from years of idle sitting. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Cauliflower Popcorn Recipe

Try this popcorn treat for your next family movie night. It has crunchy goodness without the added fat or calories!



  • head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt


  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cauliflower, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Transfer to a baking sheet and spread in a single layer.
  3. Roast, stirring once, until golden brown and tender, about 30 minutes.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

It's time to JUMP!

Imagine the height you want to reach. Identify, concretely, your dream. Focus on the vision of you; what you want to feel like, look like, how you want to perform, who you want to BE in this world. Think about what that level of achievement looks like, smells like, IS: how you will be as an athlete, a friend, a partner, a parent . . . as a person.

Think of what you have to do to get there: the choices you’ll need to make in your workout, your sleep, your nutrition, your work, even think about your reactions to people and stress. How are you going to handle things?

Now, everything else in your life that is not contributing to that vision and is dragging you down and of worthless value? Get rid of it. Now. Don’t wait.

Sounds mean, does it? Might be. But you have to decide where you go from fair, into mean, or not.
You draw your own line. Decide what you want in your life and what you don’t want.
If it’s work but you want to keep it, that’s okay. Maybe you have work to do on a relationship, a friendship, a project: go ahead and do the work . . . if it’s important to you. If it’s not, then get rid of it.
It’s okay to prioritize. It’s okay to decide that this is your life and you get to decide how to live it. Be responsible but chase your dream, aim for those heights. You only get this one shot at life: live now, for it will all be over far too soon. Jump.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

MOMS NIGHT OUT: Wine & Belly Dancing Class

Yep- that's right, a group of us mamas spent last night learning how to belly dance! Did we look ridiculous? You bet! But we didn't care and had lots of fun doing it!! A big THANK YOU to our Luna  Moms Club/Santee Stroller Strides member - Lisa for being patient with our abilities (or lack of) and teaching us some fun little moves! My personal favorites were the hip shake and the veil throw- I hope to master these moves very soon ;) Fun times Ladies!!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Clean Eating Super Bowl Party Rules

One of America’s favorite pastimes is gathering for the Super Bowl, which often involves a spread of unhealthy food options. Spending time with friends and cheering for your favorite team should not add to your waistline. New York Times best-selling author Tosca Reno, makes eating clean easy, even at parties, with tips taken from her newest book, 'Just the Rules'. This pocket sized guide is packed with helpful tips and trims everyday food decisions into a simple guide to eating clean.

Just the Rules for Your Super Bowl Party
Rule #8 – Color Up: Super Bowl junk is often a sea of fatty beige foods. Colorful foods are filled with more nutrients and flavor than bland, monotonous, processed foods. Opt for a rainbow of colors on your plate, which offers numerous health benefits.

Rule #12 – Smaller Portions, Smaller Pants: A festive atmosphere can often create an eating frenzy, which leaves you feeling blah. It’s okay to enjoy an array of foods, just eat smaller portions. Remember one serving of lean protein is the size of your palm; one serving of complex carbohydrates from whole grain is the size of your cupped hand; and one serving of complex carbs from fruit and vegetables is two hands cupped together.

Rule #13 – Fletcherize and Swallow: Do you ever fill your plate, only for the food to disappear moments later? Gobbling food is a common disorder in our fast-paced society. Remind yourself to sloooooooow down, eating is not a race. Eating slowly will not only allow you to enjoy your food, but will help you determine when you’re full and help aid in digestion.

Rule #23 – Good Carbs, Bad Carbs: Carbs can be confusing, and are often given a bad rap! Stay away from ‘bad’ grocery store, processed carbs and stick to ‘good’ carbs like fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grain.

*Worried you might over eat? Drink a protein shake right before you leave for the party so you are full upon arrival!