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Introducing bottles to breastfed babies can be a stressful and emotional time for parents and baby.

Some moms feel guilt when baby is introduced to a bottle because it’s a huge change for baby, while some moms worry about nipple confusion (also known as nipple preference). Many parents are overwhelmed by the amount of information and advice on what bottles to use, and when to start using them.

Take a deep breath! It is important to remind yourself – and remind yourself OFTEN – that you are a great mom. Breastfeeding is important when you and baby are together; however, if you will be apart for a feeding, it will take some time and patience by your caregiver to teach a breastfed baby to take a bottle.

Here are some tips we find helpful when introducing breastfed babies to bottles:

  1. If you and baby won’t be apart for feedings, don’t feel pressured to introduce a bottle. Many moms are able to exclusively breastfeed! However, if you and your baby will be apart while you’re still breastfeeding – because you’re returning to...
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MOMS...We see you.

We get your challenges (they are real). We know your struggles (also real). We feel your fatigue...in our bones! We also know a place called "Fervent Joy" lives in you, as well. Let's Go Get Her!

We used to:

  • Laugh without concern for volume or duration.

  • Run towards objects, people and experiences without hesitation.

  • LOVE without trepidation...like your children do.

Yes, adult-ing does ask for a bit of decorum. It's understood that we have responsibilities which ask for reasonably appropriate behavior. But, what about those times when it doesn't?? When your inner, fervent JOY can be released for the world to witness and then emulate?!

Your deep and beautifully chaotic JOY is still there...Let's go find her!

#FIT4MOM #FridayFitnesswithFarel

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Being a mom is stressful, but there is one simple thing we can all do (besides working out ) to reduce our stress today... a bit of spring cleaning and DECLUTTERING!!

Living inside of a messy, disorganized space can make your life feel a little out of control. A couple of times a year we all need to evaluate our space and get rid of the things our family no longer needs.

Purging can be especially hard when you're a mom. Not only do we have emotional attachments to many things, but our kids do as well. Before you know it you might be holding onto every baby outfit and toy because they bring back such sweet memories. But you will drown in the clutter.

Come on – it's time to get rid of a few things and feel good about it because your'e either helping other families with your donations or making a few bucks for your family while making your living space a lot neater and cleaner!

Tip #1 – Be willing to purge; set some time aside, put on some fun music and get ready to be real. You haven't worn or used it in years? – get rid of it.

Tip #2 – It will be...

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Do you put YOU first? Do you think that sounds selfish? We don’t! Most moms put themselves last on the priority list. There’s just not enough time, so you surely can’t make health a priority. It would be selfish of you to care for yourself, right? Wrong! Chances are that you are the back bone of your family. There’s no cheating in health. You can’t postpone it. It happens now. The longer you go without taking care of yourself, the longer and more severe the consequences can be. It’s a lot easier to get a few walks in a week than to be going to the doctor frequently due to illness.

This is why at FIT4MOM we are excited to bring you the FIT4MOM Virtual Marathon this month. We want you to take care of YOU, so by helping to give you goals, motivation, and a way to get out and move, then we are doing what we hope and we know YOU can do this!

Take care of YOU this month and every month, every day, every second. You get one chance, right? Take those challenges and get moving, and if you already are, then keep going because you are doing great.

You can still join in...

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Mother's Day has come and gone, however, you deserve some pampering all year round, right?!? While I am a firm believer in moms taking care of themselves ongoing for the sake of others, sometimes this takes practice. Let's use the month of May to create some habits of self care that, hopefully, will continue all year long!

Our first week has passed but you are welcome to do some care retroactively (consider it extra credit).

WEEK ONE: Take a bath, 20 min walk alone, massage

WEEK TWO: Read part of a book, take a bath, write a note to a friend

WEEK THREE: Meditate or pray for 5 minutes, spend time with a friend, 20 minute walk alone

WEEK FOUR: Write in a journal, listen to a fun podcast, dance in your living room (personal fave)

It's a practice to recognize and then act on making yourself a priority in your life. You were here before your children...you were here before the relationship that created your children...bring her/YOU back! Take time for your emotional health this, and...

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It’s a beautiful thing. Your body is a super-powered machine designed to convert food (aka calories) into potent kinetic energy, feeding that powerful squat or sprint with every bite. Of course, not all calories are created equal and there’s true science behind what your body needs before and after you workout. Not surprisingly, your system runs on different types of fuel for different needs. Timing is also a big factor and knowing when to get your nutrition in both pre and post workouts are critical to your optimum performance and recovery. If you don’t eat enough of the right types of macronutrients at the right time, you can actually ‘undo’ the beneficial effects of the workout before you ever get started. So, before you got hot and heavy into your fitness regimen, keep these guidelines in mind:

- Timing is everything. Enjoy a balanced macronutrient meal around 2 ½-3 hours prior to exercise in order to allow for digestion. Combine mostly high quality carbohydrates like beans, slow-burning grains, fruit and starchy vegetables with some protein and a little fat...

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The original post of this recipe is found here:

Post St. Patty’s Day Recovery Meal: Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Ingredients:

1 head green cabbage

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 medium red onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups mushrooms (you can choose cremini, portabella, shiitake – or mix them up), washed with Eat Cleaner Fruit + Vegetable Wash, then minced (you can do this in the food processor)

1 cup cooked brown rice or quinoa

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (reserve for garnish) flat leaf Italian parsley, washed Eat Cleaner Fruit + Vegetable Wash

1 tsp sea salt

2 tsp black pepper

Tomato Sauce:

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 tablespoon coconut oil

1 1/2 cups low sodium tomato sauce

1 tsp ground cumin

sea salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cut bottom stem off of cabbage head and peel away any torn outer leaves. Gently separate leaves out and place in a colander....
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Daily nourishment

The truth is, the typical Western diet may not always provide the essential nutrients the body needs to support overall wellness and avoid nutrient deficiencies. This may be why many adults in the U.S. take at least one dietary supplement every day. If you supplement with a New Chapter® women’s multivitamin, you’ll get over 20 of these important vitamins and minerals in a whole-food cultured form, as well as complementary herbal blends. Discover more about our Multis.

Bone Health & Calcium

Almost every woman recognizes the need for bone-nourishing calcium, especially after reaching age 30, when maintaining bone strength can be a challenge. Women may look to calcium supplementation to help, but calcium alone is not enough. It’s also important to remember that the body needs other critical nutrients to ensure the calcium gets absorbed into our bones....

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After becoming a mom, many women feel as if they have to "go it alone"...

  • Like they should just know how to care for this baby.
  • Like they should just know how to juggle motherhood and self.
  • Like they should just know how to get out of the house with her baby and exercise.

FALSE.

While it is possible to move through your moments, your day or your week alone...it's not what we were meant to do. As women, we experience changing levels of hormones (oxytocin our LOVE hormone, specifically) when we are in connection with each other. We manage stress better with each other!

We also commit to change and/or habits with greater passion with each other by our side. With your friends by your side, you have the emotional support to stay on track.

Next time you find yourself saying your knee-jerk response : "NO" when someone asks to help you, to join you, to invite you...lean in and accept the connection.

...

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If you’re 30+, you’re losing bone.

Both men and women will begin to lose 0.5–1% of their bone density or degree of bone mineralization per year starting around age 30. In women, the rate of loss will spike to 2–3% per year for the first 3–15 years following menopause.

Beyond bone health: The critical need for calcium

Calcium is a critical mineral that is important not only for bone health, but one that also aids muscle and nerve function, blood pressure regulation, blood clotting, cellular health, and the release of certain hormones. Calcium is even required for a normal heartbeat!

Not surprisingly, given this vital role, the body maintains a constant level of calcium in the bloodstream. To support this constant level, our bones also act as a storage bank for calcium. If blood calcium levels are low due to dietary intake, calcium is taken from our bones and used by the body — which over time can affect bone density.

The body also loses calcium through sweat, urine, cut hair and...

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Republished with permission from Veggies Don't Bite

The original post of the recipe is found below -

LOW FAT CREAMY MASHED CHICKPEA AND VEGGIE SANDWICH

INGREDIENTS

• ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons chickpea brine (juice from can ofchickpeas)

• 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

• 1 tablespoon lemon juice

• 1 can chickpeas (15 oz)

• ½ cup chopped carrots

• ½ cup chopped celery

• ½ cup pumpkin seeds/pepitas

• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (optional, my hubby is not a fan so I leave it out for him)

• 1 teaspoon...

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What do you think of when you think of mommy and me classes?

A class where you take your baby or toddler to sing? or to tumble?

Where's the me in that class?

A mom and me class should get you out of the house. A mom and me class should help you meet like minded moms. And of course it should be fun for baby.

We hope Stroller Strides is all these things and more. We hope that Stroller Strides is your way to find your village, get support and regain the strength you need as a mom. Oh yeah, and we will help you get in amazing shape! Find your mom friends. Find your village.

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“You will always define events in a manner which will validate your agreement with reality.” ~ Steve Marabol

As you may or may not know, several of our FIT4MOM corporate team members and franchisees recently ran a race called Ragnar. It's a 200 mile relay which started in Huntington Beach, CA and finished in San Diego. It took place over roughly 36 consecutive hours and, as you might imagine, was quite challenging. It was a team builder, charity event and really fun...it also gave me a HUGE opportunity to see a new reality.

As I was running my last leg; 8.7 miles in the heat of the day, on one of the toughest of my courses, I met "Sandra". I found myself getting closer and closer to this runner in front of me and as I got to her side, she started to walk. She smiled at me, I was feeling sorry for myself and I slowed to a walk, as well. We started to chat...

Sandra: "I am running for 2 minutes and then walking for 2 minutes"

Me: "Sounds like a great plan"!

...

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Did you know that inflammation after exercise is a normal, healthy response of the body? In fact, this inflammation response is essential for maintaining whole-body health. It can work like this: In the body’s natural cycle of activity and recovery, blood and nutrients are sent to the area in need. Then, the resulting inflammation can sometimes be felt as occasional pain or soreness. Many people notice this kind of minor discomfort after exercise, like a workout or even a brisk walk. It’s the body’s healthy inflammation response doing its job… but it can be kind of a pain.

Holistic Relief with Zyflamend

For soothing aches and pains‡ related to exercise, Zyflamend™ Whole Body is made with whole-food Ginger in a 100% vegetarian formula. To support health, Zyflamend helps balance and support the whole body’s natural, healthy inflammation response after exercise.* Our #1-selling herbal, Zyflamend’s proprietary 10-herb blend delivers the full spectrum of whole...

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Text excerpted from EATING CLEAN, © 2016 by AMIE VALPONE. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

All rights reserved.

Serves 6

Make sure your millet isn’t too dry or the burgers won’t stick together!

1 cup millet½ teaspoon sea salt, plus a pinch for cooking millet

1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds

3 tablespoons water

1 large carrot, peeled and grated

4 scallions, thinly sliced

1 handful fresh basil leaves, finely chopped

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 ½ teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons coconut oil

6 large romaine or Bibb lettuce leaves

1 recipe Mango Salsa, for serving

Large drizzle Cumin Cashew Cream Sauce, for serving

Cook the millet with a pinch of salt. Set aside to cool.

Combine the flaxseeds and water in a small bowl;

set aside for 10 minutes until the mixture forms a gel,then mix well.

While the...

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Did you know that New Chapter’s founder, Paul Schulick, is a Certified Master Herbalist and studied at Dr. John Christopher’s School of Natural Healing? Herbal research and a deep respect for herbal tradition live at the very heart of New Chapter®. Herbs are our reason for being. Paul says that he and his wife, Barbi, started New Chapter in 1982 because “we wanted to make a unique contribution to the market, and share the incredible healing intelligence of herbs.”

As part of continuing this deeply held mission, we present New Chapter’s online tool, Explore Our Ingredients. It showcases the beauty and wisdom of the natural world… qualities that inspire the products we make to nourish your health.

And the ingredient wheel is also fun, packed with juicy bits of trivia. Like, what green vegetable gets its name from the Italian for “little arms”? Do you know the dried fruit that has varieties including Oval Kishmish, Spanish Malagas, Smyrna Sultana, California White Muscat, and Corinthian? Which berry was once believed...

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