Monday, February 16, 2015

Working moms and exercise

"I'm a mom, I don't have TIME to exercise." I hear this all the time. In fact, I used to use the same excuse, that is until postpartum depression set in and I needed to do something about it pronto. Exercise has been one of my top depression busters ever since.

The truth of the matter is, you can exercise and it doesn't matter how busy you are as a mom. You can always find the time just like you find time to go pee and eat. The body needs movement just like it needs air, water, and nutrition. Some of the benefits of exercise:
  • Improved mood
  • Decreased Depression
  • Stress relief
  • Cardiovascular Fitness
  • Increased Metabolism
  • Better Sleep
  • Improved Well-being

With that being said, I totally get the mentality behind non-exercise. Motivation plays a key factor. It's so hard to get moving when you don't FEEL like exercising. For me, changing the way I view exercise helped me develop a more regular practice of daily movement and I'm here to tell you even if you work a full-time job you can still find time for exercise. Here are five simple ways to add exercise to your super busy mama life:
  • Walking/running  (stroller) Take 15 minutes to go outside and walk! If you are a runner, you can do that too. I started training for a 5K last fall by taking my daughter in the jogging stroller for a 15 minute run 3 times a week.
  • Mommy and me yoga. There are plenty of classes out there, but also videos and books. Check out your local library.
  • Join a gym with a daycare. This is a great way to get exercise and mommy time in one setting.
  • Dance for 5-10 minutes to your favorite tunes with or/without baby.
  • Stairs. I work at a seven-floor hospital and when I'm in the office, I take a 15 minute break and just go up and down the entire stair case several times. 
  • Hike it Baby. Great way to connect with other moms and get some exercise in. They have plenty of hikes on the weekends for working moms.
  • 7-minute workout app. There are several out there to choose from, most of them free. These apps are awesome because they will take you through an entire workout including pushups, squats, and crunches in 7 minutes! Who doesn't have SEVEN minutes to devote to their health?
As you can see, there are plenty of different ways to get moving throughout the day.You need this girlfriend!

Monday, February 2, 2015

A Working Mom's Pantry

I'm vegetarian. So is my family. And the number one question I get asked is, "What do you eat?" Sometimes I fantasize answering, "Oh, you know, water with bread. And some grass with some sprouted seeds." But my usual answer is "Food." After giving me a "duh" look the questioner wants more specific answers and I'm more than happy to share.

Today however, I'm going to give you a sneak peek into my pantry and what I keep stocked at all times. While I'm big on cutting out processed foods, I'm going to keep it real because as a working mom, I don't have time to slave away in the kitchen. To be honest with you, cooking is one of my least favorite activities. Yet feeding my daughter good organic food free of chemicals and preservatives is super important to me.
So here are a random sampling of foods I keep on hand from snacks to quick meals:


Nature's Path Organic Frozen Waffles (not pictured). I usually pick the ones that have extra protein from whole grains. These are great because you can just pop them into the toaster and a minute later you have a hot waffle ready to be devoured by a hungry little toddler.

Stonyfield Organic Plain Greek Yogurt (not pictured). Most flavored yogurts are loaded with sugar, that's why I choose the plain version. Why feed your child unnecessary sugar? To add flavor and sweetness, I chop in some fresh fruit or berries and add a teaspoon or less of organic maple syrup to a cup of plain yogurt. My daughter loves it and it's a great way to get some extra protein in her. Plus yogurt keeps her regular, if you know what I mean. *wink* Happy baby gut, happy mamma.

Bob's Red Mill Organic Quick Oats. Add water and microwave for a minute. Throw in some frozen berries (which will thaw out within seconds), cinnamon, and a little maple syrup. Bam! Instant healthy breakfast. I usually put in some protein and vitamin powder for extra nutrients.

Immaculate Buttermilk Biscuits. Okay, these aren't the healthiest option in fridge, but they don't have many of the preservatives and artificial chemicals as the mainstream brands. And it makes for a quick breakfast addition in a pinch. 

For my daughter's lunch, I often pack dinner left overs if there are any. I also add fresh fruit, crackers, cheese, and a Mama Chia pack.

I try to always keep sandwich fixings in the house too. My go-to sandwich bread is Dave's Killer Bread, because it's organic and made locally. 

Lundburg Organic Rice and Bean meals. They take about 30 minutes to cook. I throw in some frozen veggies and sprinkle a little cheese for some extra protein.

Back to Nature Shells and Cheese (not pictured). 15 to 20 minutes prep and cook time. Again I add extra cheese and veggies to make it a balanced meal.

Quorn Chick'n Nuggets. I always keep these in the freezer because I can add them to any meal for extra protein or throw them in my daughter's lunch for school.


Whole Foods 365 Organic Crackers. They have great options to traditional Cheese'its, Ritz, and other snack crackers.

Earth's Best Toddler Biscuits. My daughter loves these. They're organic and come in two biscuit mini packs that are easy to throw in my purse, her backpack, and in the car for a last minute snack. These puppies have saved me from many meltdowns in public because someone got hungry and cranky.

Plum Organic's Mighty Four Toddler Snack Packs. This is another staple I keep with me at all time. Anytime I'm going out with my girl, I throw a pack in my purse "just in case" she doesn't like whatever food we are eating at a restaurant or if we get delayed between meals. Also a great way to sneak in some veggies.

In my freezer, I always keep: Cascadian Farms Organic Veggie Mix, Broccoli Florets, Mixed Berries, Blueberries, and Raspberries. Sometimes, I buy the Whole Foods 365 Organic brand when they are on sale.

In the fridge (organic): carrots and cucumbers for snacks, cheese, eggs, yogurt, kefir, and fresh greens (for green smoothies). And I try to keep a variety of fresh fruit that are in season. Right it's apples, bananas, and citrus fruits. 

There you have it. Hope you enjoyed a peek into this working mama's pantry.