Category Archives: Healthy Living

What Did I Get Myself Into?

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I wrote my post When You Are Discouraged About Your Health about a week before I started writing this one.  Yesterday while I was in our rental office, I found out that we still had a fitness instructor on sight who offered free classes at multiple times.  I thought this could be a great fit for me.  I really missed the idea of working out with people even though I planned on just making due as far as being consistent with working out at home alone is concerned. Hubby said we could work out on his days off, but I knew that fluctuated so I didn’t want to solely rely on that.  

So I let hubby know I wanted to go to the class once he was home from work.  I’m not sure why but when I reminded him today on his way home, suddenly he says, “no, you don’t have to do that.  I will work you out.” I was like huh? Seriously? I’m not sure if I told you all this before, but my husband did personal training for years.  He has gotten his certification in the past but he never renewed it after that so the man knows what he is talking about when it comes to fitness, staying in shape and losing weight.  I guess the issue has been with him needing to work sooo many hours.  He has struggled with finding the time to consistently go to the gym.  He goes at all different times and that is always without me and JR.  We have 2 gyms in our complex that he can use.  So with his schedule being so hectic, I never thought to ask him to work out with me right in our house.  
As my post title states What Did I Get Myself Into? It is what I was thinking during our first session.  We worked on everything and he wants to help me increase my upper body strength because let’s just say its close to zero. He said having better upper body strength is the only way to benefit from a workout.  I have a long way to go, friends. I was quite the dancer once upon a time, but that was mostly core and lower body strength. Figures.  I’ve learned a bit about fitness from him and from doing some research when I used to sell health products on my old health blog, but this is just amazing!  Don’t get me wrong. I’m excited about having my hubby as a personal trainer.  Can you imagine having a hot trainer as a married woman that you can actually hit on with no problem? I’m in complete bliss but at the same time, y’all, the man is working me out! My arms felt like spaghetti after our first session. I’ll definitely keep you all updated on how it goes.  So far, it feels awesome that I get to work out with my husband.  Exercise makes us happy so of course I felt absolutely amazing afterwards! 
Have you ever asked yourself what did I get myself into?
Tell me about your fitness or health epiphanies.  I’d love to hear about them and to find out what you think about our new way to workout together.

When You’re Discouraged About Your Health..

I woke up this morning, feeling extremely discouraged. I felt disgusted with myself because I felt like I was slacking off in terms of my health. Questions started to arise like was I doing all I could to eat well and stay active like I encourage others to do? Why did I feel like I had fallen off? 

In this post, I’m going to be transparent with my readers because I think it is important that you know the truth.  I think overall I am a very positive person.  I have my moments of weakness just like the next person and I lean on my husband for support and encouragement as he does with me. 
The Obstacles…
- The workouts. So maybe you don’t need to go to a gym to stay in shape, but what happens when you are really motivated by class environments. I was a dancer for lots of years.  I enjoyed it so much. Now I have to encourage myself to do things at home. Alone. We have one car and my husband has to be out with it most of the time for work.  Joining a gym really isn’t financially feasible right now anyway.  I know I would be more consistent with my home workouts if I loved it.  I enjoy the movements and the workouts I do at home, but I know it would be a lot more fun if I was in a class.  That would be so motivating for me to want to stay active besides my daily stroller strides with my son. 
- Eating healthy costs money. I found out we have a farmer’s market very close to us and I looked forward to going when they reopened in the Fall this year.  It turns out they are closed because there is construction in the park where they have it every year. So I should go to the grocery store, right? We have been doing that. Fresh produce can be an arm and a leg even when you buy organic only when necessary and in season there.  The farmer’s market would have been our best bet to get a great deal on veggies. So in the meantime, we have to make due. 
- The toddler. My son started off always eating meat and vegetables since around 9 months up until about 2 months ago (he’s 19 months now). This is rare for most kids his age. I was very proud. Suddenly, he barely wants to touch anything green. I felt discouraged about this. Were we neglecting out goals to keep him eating healthy earlier on so that it would be second nature to him? I felt like we were. Thankfully, I came up with some tips to stay on track with that. He really has made me step my game up with this and I feel like I’ve had to try to reinvent the wheel. 
When you’re discouraged about your health, you should create a realistic action plan, so I talked to hubby about everything I was feeling and we did just that. 
1) Yes, I’m going to create a schedule so I can make sure I stick to my home workouts even more.  I really got off track especially since I was visiting family in New Jersey for 2 weeks at the end of last month.  
2) Even if we can’t buy all organic when we should, we are still going to make sure we’re eating more fresh, green leafy vegetables. You have no idea how much better we both felt when we were eating them every single day and not just a couple times a week. 
Letting hubby know my concerns and how discouraged I felt, I believe, was extremely important. Have you ever tried really getting on track with your health but your spouse was on a different page and would bring junk food into the house? We both come from a life of poor eating habits prior to knowing one another so this would be epic fail for either of us if the other did this.  Being on the same page is crucial in marriage. 
How do you stay motivated to be healthy? Do you feel like you aren’t really motivated to live healthy at all? If not, either way, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Tips to Get Your Toddler To Eat Vegetables

It seems like most parents go through that phase where even if their toddler showed interest in vegetables earlier on, they get to a point where they will only eat one vegetable or none at all. In this post, I’m actually going to mention other ways for your toddler to get some of the same vitamins he or she is missing out on since their disgust for veggies has set in.  I hope you enjoy my tips to get your toddler to eat more vegetables: 

Here are my tips:
1) Go with the flow.  Don’t fret about your toddler not eating certain things at the moment. They are people too and they go through phases just like adults do.  I mean, have your taste buds changed over the course of your life? Mine have! You just have to ride this out. It’s just a phase. 
2) Stay along the lines of what he or she likes and use that to your advantage. Here are some examples: 
    a) My son loves pasta so I only will make whole grain pasta instead of the white flour kind. Whole wheat pasta has a lot of fiber and protein. I actually do whole grain everything, even brown rice. He enjoys that too. 
   b) Along the same lines of pasta, try pastas with vegetable flours. At the natural store we bought this kale and spinach ravioli. It had a cheese filling with spinach inside.  It was tasty and my son loved it. 
   c) My son likes meat. He really enjoyed my mother in law’s turkey loaf.  There are vegetables in that- onions, peppers and more. He tastes primarily the meat and gravy so he doesn’t know the difference!
   d) Sometimes he will allow for me to feed him- I’m in the “I do it” phase. So I will sneak in small amounts of peas, spinach or string beans with the pasta or rice. He loves my recipe Spinach Surprise. 
   e) What type of milk is your child drinking? If you have already started them on dairy, perhaps try other types that have lots more vitamins and minerals like the vitamin D and calcium they need from vegetables.  Provided that your child doesn’t have any allergies to these kinds, try almond milk, coconut milk or even hemp milk.  I’m still nursing my little one but often he will get some of the almond milk we drink when we give him pieces of our granola cereal or Cheerios.  
   f) Does your toddler like those puff snacks? The natural store has organic ones that have vegetables in them. My son doesn’t like any snacks like these so it hasn’t worked for me, but if your toddler does, it is worth a try. 
3) If you have a fruit lover on your hands, perhaps you can take advantage of the yummy pouches. There are pre-made organic ones in the store that mix fruit and vegetables or you can simply purée your own at home and buy the empty pouches to put the contents in them.  Most toddlers like to eat on the go so this could definitely be a winner. 
4) Last but not least, keep trying new things. The least expensive way to do this is to allow your little one to try what you are eating. That definitely is a way to stay accountable with trying to eat better since you have a little one who will want to try what you are having. 
I hope these tips are helpful for someone out there.  Toddlers can be a lot to handle, but they are wonderful gifts just the same. Here’s to all of us enjoying this lovable phase!

Homemade Eco-Friendly Shampoo and Conditioner

So I’ve written a post on my first blog with a recipe for DIY shampoo and conditioner. Both happen to be eco-friendly and extremely inexpensive as well which is always a plus!

Here is what I did: For shampoo, I just put 1 tablespoon of baking soda for every 1 cup of water. For conditioner I did 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar for every 1 cup of water. I combed through my hair after putting in the “conditioner.” These amounts could be altered depending on hair type.  After rinsing the “conditioner” out of my hair I apply virgin coconut oil to it and then in the shower I usually wash the rest of my body and before rinsing my hair I comb through again. Cool water on the rinse is best. I do this process probably every week.

If I decide that I’m going to blow my hair out, I do not apply the coconut oil in the shower. In those 7-10 days, sometimes while in the shower, I will apply a little coconut oil in my hair and then rinse it out as well. A couple of times a month, instead of applying just coconut oil after washing, I will deep condition with the following homemade recipe: avocado, egg, extra virgin olive oil and virgin coconut oil. Some people who are used to washing their hair with normal shampoo who want to try this process may have to go through a transition period. Our hair is normally used to being stripped from the sulfates and chemicals in the shampoos so you may need to go through a few weeks or months of awkward oily hair to see that it actually works. 

Here are some changes that I have made after seeing the results over the last several months. I actually started doing this in March of this year. I’ve kept the baking soda and water as my shampoo. It does lather well and my hair does get squeaky clean.

One thing I’ve started doing is putting coconut oil in my hair before washing it. I do use it in between washes as well, but because I had a very dry scalp, I decided to part my hair and put the oil on my scalp. If I do this before showering and then wash my hair with the baking soda and water in the shower, I’ve noticed my scalp isn’t dry and I have no dandruff.

Another change I’ve made is the apple cider vinegar step. This may work for you so feel free to leave it in, but I found that it is too drying on my hair so I leave out that step. I still love using the homemade avocado conditioner. I’ve noticed that the avocado has to be just ripe and putting it in the blender with the egg and oils seems to make it smooth with no residue from the skin being left in your hair.

If you have thought about trying more natural, eco-friendly shampoos and conditioners but they seem too expensive, this is definitely something you should try! I’ve started making several other products right at home and I’ve been able to decrease the toxicity in my house and enjoy more natural alternatives that are so much healthier for me and my family. Thanks for stopping by! I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas on this! Until next time!



Super Mom Tag

This was such a fun idea!  My blogger buddy Penny found these Super Mom Tag questions on youtube and decided to share it with a few of us mom bloggers.  We have some mommies who decided to vlog their answers and some who decided to post the questions. like I did.  I hope you enjoy getting to know our mommy ways as you read how we answered these fun questions.  Here is how I responded to the questions below: 
1.  How many kids do you have and what age(s)?
1 child 17 months,  3 older step children who don’t live with us: 24, 18, 15.

2.  Do you feel like you have it all together every day (cleaning, laundry, baby, etc)?

I think I do but it’s because I don’t put too many demands or much pressure on myself. I have a mental schedule, but I’m not hard on myself when I don’t get something done. Hubby helps so much with this. He never gets upset or says anything negative about something not being cleaned. He actually always thinks the house is clean (there are days when it’s not lol.)
As far as cooking, if I haven’t started or I’m in the process of making it and he’s hungry, he’ll just simply say “what’s for dinner?”

3.  When do you make time to shower? Day or night?

This varies. I’ve started to do it at night during the week because Harroll (hubby) works during the day and during the day on weekends because he’s off of work on Fridays and weekends. I used to be able to do it while JR was napping or while he was playing in the play pen, but he doesn’t really stay occupied that way anymore so I shower at night while hubby is home now and just wash up everyday before I get dressed usually.

4.  Do you wear make up every day?

I don’t. If I started to hubby would ask why. He loves it when I don’t wear makeup. I plan to add some vegan cosmetics to my collection soon. I still wear it when we are going places, though. I just always make it look natural with a little bit of color :)

5.  Do you style your hair every day or pony tail it?

My hair is naturally curly so even if I don’t actually wash it, I still wet it so my curls stay fresh. And then I style it.

6.  When do you find time to do your hair and makeup? When kids are awake or asleep?

 JR is usually standing there watching me wash up, get dressed and fix my hair. I think his favorite part is when I use coconut oil for lotion. He likes to mimick me by helping me rub the oil on my legs lol.

7.  Do you work out and when?

After my food settles from breakfast, I try to do a series of workouts right at home. JR enjoys holding my legs while I do jumping jacks and sitting on my tummy while I try to do crunches :) 

Here is a peek into my little workout routine-
I do Jumping Jacks and Lunges:

(This image is taken from my weight loss support group on Facebook.  We have an album that has these photos in it, and people typically comment on the buttom when they have finished what is on that particular image for that day.)

I usually include some sit ups/crunches. And then I get in some of these easy ballet bar exercises that I showed on my first vlog I did below:

8.  What’s your house cleaning schedule? Do you clean every day?

I clean usually one room a day….sometimes a little more. Laundry is usually done as needed.  I change the sheets every 3 days and do sometimes a load or 2 of laundry every other day. Once in a while I will “slack” and clean absolutely nothing except dishes and counter tops after meals. I’m not hard on myself about this though. When I make the comment that I didn’t do the room I wanted that day, usually Harroll will say “the house looks fine. There is always tomorrow.”

9.  Do you every get overwhelmed with all your responsibilities as a mom?

I think the times that can be most overwhelming are when I’m trying to sleep and JR is having a night where he wants to nurse a lot. He tends to nurse off and on at night but at some point in the night, I like to turn over and just sleep. He has those nights where he gets up to nurse once or twice and then goes back to sleep. (We are still co-sleeping.) If I’m extremely tired and he wants to keep going back and forth nursing on either side it can be a bit frustrating. Other than this, I don’t really have any stress. If I do, I tell my husband and he says something that shows me I shouldn’t be worried about whatever it is. Not to make him sound like he’s perfect, but he seriously is the reason for my identity and confidence in being a homemaker, wife and mom because of his constant validation and encouragement.

10.  How often do you have alone/me time and how do you relax?

Usually when everyone sleeps I get that time. I’m a night owl so I don’t usually go to bed until like 1 or 2 am.
That’s all folks! 

I hope you will visit the other blogs to see how they responded to the questions below: