What’s lurking in your pantry?

mom cringingDo you cringe thinking about the ingredients in your family’s favorite packaged foods?

With all the gory ingredients that food sleuths like Food Babe and Lisa Leake from 100 Days of Real Food are uncovering, it’s hard not to wonder what’s lurking in your pantry?

Yet, we’re all guilty of convincing ourselves “everything in moderation”, right?

Weeelll, moderation simply goes down the tubes when it comes to kids and busy lives.  It may start with goldfish for snack at a friend’s house and then suddenly organic boxed mac and cheese and chicken nuggets makes its way onto the weekly meal plan. Sound familiar?

I know you want your babies to grow up healthy, smart and strong. REAL food is the key. Food fuels your kids’ bodies and creates the cells that make up their little brains, hearts, bones and muscles. That’s why, NOW is the time for us to stop ignoring the pang in our stomachs that ache every time we pack a school lunch or fill up the grocery cart.

Let’s tackle that pantry. Let’s start the process of dejunking what your kids are filling up on.

The first goal in this journey is learning three simple steps to deciphering what’s in those packages. It’s a quick read that I shared this week over at the get REAL for kids blog.

Check out the blog post. Then, come back to tell me which ingredients you’ve found lurking in your pantry? This week, I found some zinc oxide. Sounds harmless but is it really?

Fitting exercise into a busy family life

It’s the million dollar question for most moms, “How do I fit exercise into a busy family life?”

I know you’re all begging to learn the secret trick that mamas who exercise aren’t sharing with you (those bitches…) For the love of god, where on earth do these moms find the time to run half marathons? Do triathlons? Or hit the gym 4x per week?

I’m going to tell you where. And, it’s not rocket science or a crazy magic trick either.

 It all starts with priorities. If exercise isn’t written on your mental priority list alongside grocery shopping and get an oil change, then it just won’t happen. No siree.

Between September 2013 and July 2014, the most exercise my ass saw was chasing my son (out of breath) around the yard. At that time, I was on double duty while my husband commuted 120+ miles per day. It was a short stint when exercise was the least of my worries.

Now, think about your life. Will you be happier or healthier with more exercise?

If so, then you’ve got your answer and it’s time to make exercise a priority.  Nice!

But, if you want to be one of those exercising mamas then the next step is critical. To really make exercise stick around in your life, you’ve got to pick an activity that makes you SWOON. Seriously.

How busy moms fit in exercise

 For me,  I’d be willing to lose sleep for a little yoga or a shake of my ass in a dance class. But, running or spinning – forget it. I’ll stay in my cozy bed, thanks.

So, which physical activity would get your ass out of bed at 5:30am?

It’s got to be good. Reeeeal good, mama. Choosing something you LOVE puts your heart into and, at the end of the day, your heart leads the way and keeps you on motivated.

The final key about being an exercising mama requires a huge but CRITICAL mindset shift. If you’ve still got it stuck in your pretty little head that you need 45 consecutive minutes a day for exercise to count, you’re doomed.

An exercising mama has come to the realization that:
her hips will never be the same
her breasts are forever transformed, and
her exercise schedule doesn’t resemble a schedule at all.

Want to run around with the kids without getting out of breath? Or, look hot in your yoga pants? You can in just three easy steps!

  1. Make exercise a priority.
  2. Pick a physical activity you freaking LOVE, and
  3. Fit exercise in during the most whacky, unheard of moments in your day.

Exercising for 45 consecutive minutes multiple times per week may never happen again until your kids are off to college (or high school if you’re lucky). But, that’s okay. Every minute counts!  Tell me in the comments where can you fit exercise into your busy life? Let’s get moving!

9 Fruits and Veggies A Day Makes for a Healthy Mama

However insane or ridiculous it might sound, it is possible to consume 9 servings of produce each day. Add kids, a job, hobbies and life to the mix and, well… it’s a bit more challenging, but still possible.

You might be wondering “why on earth do I need NINE servings of produce daily?”

I get it. Why would you go to the trouble of counting your fruits and veggies daily when most people are counting calories (a strategy that I don’t recommend)?

Counting your daily produce servings isn’t as silly as you’d think. In fact, we’d all be a whole lot healthier if we were eating the fruits and veggie requirements. And, I’d venture to guess that most of us aren’t even meeting half that!

In fact, America doesn’t even produce (or import) enough fruits and vegetables for every one of us to eat the USDA’s recommended daily intake (report from UCS here).

Changing policies to reverse this ridiculous situation will not be covered in this blog post (you’re welcome!). Instead I encourage you to create positive change with your wallet and fork.

While I’ll refrain from sharing the fascinating details of nutritional biochemistry, there are a few key reasons why a busy mom would want to eat 9 servings of fruits and veggies each day.

More energy to chase rug rats

Without enough magnesium and B vitamins, your body can’t produce energy for its cells – the result is one tired mama! Skip the fatigue and instead add in more spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, and bananas to keep your energy stable.

Better immunity to fight off germ factories (aka kids)

The body uses vitamin A in veggies like sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach and kale to produce functional immune cells that fight off infections and bacteria. Plus, ongoing consumption of fruits and veggies high in vitamin C like strawberries, bell peppers and broccoli reduces duration and intensity of common colds.

Faster healing from cuts

Folate in leafy greens and asparagus is critical in repairing tissues from small kitchen cuts to wounds from c-sections.

Hang with the kiddos longer

Phytochemicals, the compounds in fruits and veggies that give them color, are used to fight off infection and disease. These same compounds speak to the genes in humans and can essentially keep our genes healthy! Harvard consistently sites several large studies that prove noshing on LOTS of fruits and veggies lowers your risk of heart disease, stroke and many forms of cancer.

Hopefully, these nuggets of knowledge will motivate you to quit counting calories and start counting produce servings! It doesn’t have to be as difficult as you think.

Here are two sample daily menus that include a whopping 9 servings of fruits and vegetables.

Sample Meal for 9+ Servings of Produce Daily


Sample Menu 9+ Servings Produce Daily

Did you learn anything new that will motivate you to eat more fruits and veggies? Which fruits and veggies could you add to your daily nutrition intake? Tell me one step you’re taking to boost your produce intake this week!