Saturday, September 29, 2012

Power Foods

These foods are full of minerals, antioxidants, high amounts of vitamsin, proteins and other nutrients. They will make a big impact on the way you look and feel..give them a try!

Leafy Greens (swiss chard, kale and spinach)
Beans (soybeans, chickpeas, navy beans, kidney beans, lima beans, etc)
Berries (blueberries are the best!)
Sprouted grain bread
Nuts and seeds
Sweet potatoes

Also, take a look at these Winter Power Foods, if you would like some ideas of recipies for healthy foods in season.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012 time for a workout?

Here are some things I found that may be able to help you reach your fitness goals.

Try the Mom Workout..20 moves to keep you fit during every day tasks. 

There is also "Tabata, a type of high-intensity interval training that was originally developed for Japan's Olympic speed-skating team, which is fast gaining popularity as a high-speed new-mom workoutThe Tabata method is used most widely by elite athletes. But Tabata has recently taken off among women looking to get back into postpartum shape. Named after Izumi Tabata, a former researcher at Japan's National Institute of Fitness and Sports, the compressed workout has a simple format: Do an exercise (such as push-ups or jumping rope) for 20 seconds at full intensity, and then take a 10-second break. Repeat seven times, varying exercises, for a total workout of four minutes."

That is why I posted my morning workout. It is a simple way to get started, combines cardio with toning, and only takes a few mins a day. Just remember, do the 20 or 30 secs at full intensity...take a 10 sec break and then go right into the next exercise. You will feel it.

Don't forget...physical activity doesn't mean only working out, it can include everyday household chores like raking the leaves, vacuuming, or sweeping the garage. 
Not only will you burn calories, but you'll get the satisfaction and pleasure of having a clean home. 

Share your workout...27 Activities and Workouts you can enjoy together.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Improve your Eating Habits

Along with a fitness routine, healthy eating is a key factor in promoting good health.
Here are 10 ways you can improve your eating habits:

1. Limit sugar intake
2. Eat more vegetables and fruit
3. Choose whole, natural, non-processed foods
4. Shop weekly to keep fresh food on hand
5. Eat regularly. Three meals a day plus snacks.
6. Think about how your body feels when you eat. Are you hungry or full?
7. Plan ahead to what you are going to eat this week
8. Eat with others
9. Learn to cook
10. Balance your meals with all the food groups

healthy food pyramid

Friday, September 14, 2012

Gifts for the teacher

School teachers are under appreciated. They spent many hours caring and teaching our children, and we don't do enough to show our gratitude. This year, we are going to give a little something to our teachers each month (why wait until the end of the year to show them how much they mean to us?)
The boys are thinking of small things that will make their teacher happy. Their mission is to listen (so they can hear what the teacher likes) and look (so they can see what the teacher needs).

The first week of school, we put these together....a few cookies in a snack size ziplock, with the print out, folded in half and stapled on. 

They may not look as beautiful as these... 
(as I said before, my crafting abilities are non existent)
...but our teachers will still feel loved!

Mason Jar Teacher Gifts & ‘One Smart Cookie’ Free Printable      One Smart Cookie Teacher Gifts

Giggles Galore One Smart Cookie Teacher Gifts

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Gardening..Harvest Time

I know that I haven't been very diligent in taking pictures of the garden progression...and here we are  in harvest season...I really should have taken a picture when everything was beautiful and green...oh well!

It has been a wonderful summer adventure, and we have learned it is very hard work to keep a garden weed free, but the benefits are wonderful. The boys have had a great time picking the veggies, with many more days to pick still! We have made borscht twice already, with the beets and cabbage, we shelled peas and froze them, plucked carrots straight from the ground and ate them, experimented with the green onion, tried a kohlrabi for the first time, ate a ton of spinach and swiss chard (my favorite), found cucumbers hidden under their leaves, and are anxiously waiting for the corn and squash. The beans and the tomatoes were not as successful as we hoped, but we did our best.

Here is the one tomato plant we grew in our backyard has taken over the fence, and is still growing...tomatoes are hidden everywhere, but no red ones yet.

It has been a huge blessing for us to be able to work on the garden this year. Thank you to the wonderful woman who let us take over her yard! We did not go as regularly as I would have liked, especially when the summer got busy with activities, but as I have watched the boys discover their abilities I feel proud that we made the decision to work together.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Scott and I have decided to give the boys an allowance. We tried this a few years ago with Zach, and he did very well. He saved for an entire year, and earned enough to buy a Wii system (that we would not get for him). We stopped allowance for a while, hoping that we could use allowance as a way to get them to do chores too. We started the work pay system, because it made sense to have them work for pay. It turned out that did not work as well as we hoped. 

From the book, Kids are Worth It, by Barbara Coloroso, she states: 
"They learn to handle money, to make decisions about their own money, and to set financial pirorities. The money is given to them, without them working for it. In real life, how hard you work is only a minor factor in how much money you make.  What is important is for kids to learn that no matter how much money they have, earn, win, or inherit, they need to know how to spend it, how to save it, and how to give it to others in need. That is what handling money is about, and this is why we give kids an allowance."

A great way to start allowance is with the Money Savvy Pig. 
They must save, spend and give (and even invest!). They decide how to do all three, and how much of their allowance to devote to each. We are there to guide and give advice, but do not order them, or lecture them about where the money should go. 

Our boys have different personalities when it comes to money. Our oldest saves (we started allwance when he was five), and our middle son will spend it the minute he gets it (we started his allowance when he was six). They each get half their age every week. Zach is 8, so he gets $4.00. 

They each research the thing they want to save for, which helps to prevent them from running to the store once they have their money. Once they know how much it is, we draw a bar chart on our chalkboard, so they can see how close they are getting to earning it. It is a fun and visual way to keep them saving. 

Now, don't think that T has more..if you look closely, he is going up by $1.00, while Z is going up by $10.00. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The morning workout

Every morning I wake up at 6:00am.
Okay, not every morning...and I just started this week...but my goal is to wake up at 6:00am M-F. I want to wake up, do some quiet reading and then do a quick workout before my kids wake 6:00am it is! I tried this for a few months before the summer, and found I loved here we go again.

On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I do a short workout routine. I took some of my favorites from BodyRock, and made a simple and quick workout.
On Tuesday and Thursday I do a run (somewhere between 2 and 4 miles..depending on how I feel and if I am training for a race).

Here is my morning workout routine.
I use a timer on my watch...30 secs on and 10 secs rest.
If you do not have a timer, you could do 20 reps of each exercise.

Bottom Jacks (Jumping Jacks without the arms)
Squat and Kick out to the front
Heel Kicks (Run in place with heels touching your behind)
Squat and Touch Floor in front of you
High Knees
Squat and Leg out to the side
Push ups (on the toes)
Sit ups (all the way up)
Mountain Climbers
Abs - Scissors Legs

This workout is about 6 mins long...if you have time repeat it again and again!
If you don't know what one of these are..check out Body Rock and they will show you.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Kids are Worth It

Your children are not your children
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts...
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday
 - Kahlil Gibran

This is so true. Our children are gifts to us, and we need to treat them as such.

In the epilogue of Barbara Coloroso's book, Kids are Worth it, she writes a letter to are some bits and pieces...

Dear Parents,
After you have been caring, and consistent...firm and've said what you meant and meant what you said and did what you said you were going to've eliminated sarcasm, ridicule, and embarrassment from your talk with your kids...and you have developed a backbone structure around mealtime, bedtime, chores, allowances, fighting - and you are totally exhausted, there is one more thing you can do. After your kids are asleep this evening, walk into their bedroom, look down at each one of them, and remind yourself that there is one thing you can I as parents cannot do, nor do we want to do if we really think about it, and that's control our children's will - that spirit that lets them be themselves apart from you and me. They are not ours to possess, control, manipulate, or even to make mind...we need to encourage members of this next generation to become all that they can become, not try to force them to become what we want them to become...If you want your kids to make wise choices, give them opportunity to make lots of choices, including some unwise ones...when they fall, don't be standing in front of them to rescue, or over them to punish, be behind them to support and guide them...

If you are a parent, you have to read this book. It changed my life, and the way I think about my children. It has helped to get rid of anger in our home (and in myself), and has given me motivation to raise resilient, responsible, compassionate kids.

Kids Are Worth It!: Raising Resilient, Responsible, Compassionate Kids