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This goes perfect as a spread with sliced avocado or as a sauce for farro or pasta. You can also toss with roasted vegetables or as a complement to grilled meats and fish. - Chef Mareya

You will need :

1 Cup fresh or frozen green fava beans (if using fresh, remove beans from shell)

½ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Juice from ½ fresh lemon

¼ Cup extra virgin olive oil

½ Cup low sodium vegetable stock

2 Tablespoons fresh mint

¼ cup fresh basil

4 cloves fresh garlic

1 teaspoons sea salt

2 teaspoons black pepper

DIRECTIONS

Wash all vegetables and herbs with Eat Cleaner® Fruit + Vegetable Wash. In a food processor, add fava beans, cheese, lemon and olive oil; pulse all of the ingredients together. Add vegetable stock, herbs, garlic and seasonings; adjust to taste. Double the batch and freeze for a rainy day.

Serve as a hot or cold...

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What the heck am I talking about? Quite simply; this is about how you physically move through your world as a mom. Over the years I have drafted a more clinical look at "mommy movement patterns"...let me know if this rings true for you:

"Motherhood happens asymmetrically, with ever increasing, dispersed, non-compliant load (aka. BABY/CHILD)"

Sound about right?

Your role as a mom is very physical and that lovely child, whom you care for non-stop, just gets bigger every day. Everything about motherhood can potentially pull you out of good posture or alignment, causing you muscle fatigue and/or pain. All of our FIT4MOM instructors are specially trained to develop class formats which address this challenge you face all day, however, with some insight and intention into your world, you can help reverse this forward pull too! Here are some TIPS:

  • Place your shoulder blades into your back pockets - This is a general reminder to draw your shoulders back and down (like you are placing them into the back pockets of your jeans) throughout your day.
  • Keep a...
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Somewhere between 500,000 and 750,000 pregnant and new moms experience perinatal mood and anxiety disorders like postpartum depression each and every year. That’s more than are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. And yet the stigma, shame and lack of good resources for moms with maternal mental illnesses mean that only 15% of those women get the professional help they need.

At Postpartum Progress, it’s an all-out full court press to raise awareness and provide peer support for moms who struggle so that we can increase the number who recognize when they need help, know where to get it, and feel safe asking for it. This is key, because we know that untreated PPD in moms leads to problems in cognitive development, poorer school performance, increased aggression, increased substance abuse and increased likelihood of future psychiatric illness in their children. This is a public health problem that we can’t afford to allow to grow year after year, and...

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One month! We are one month in to our 8-week Summer Body Countdown. How's it going? You can always go back to week 1 and work on one habit at a time before you move on! If you are on track, then here we go...

Nutrition

- Eat less salt. Our body holds water to dilute salt in our body. When you reduce, you will see some pounds drop. Just realize that it's water weight and not actually fat. 400 milligrams of sodium could equal two pounds. You may see a reduction in bloating in just a matter of days! A healthy recommendation is 2,300 milligrams per day. Most Americans eat 3,500 plus! Don't think that you are fine if you don't salt your foods. Most of our salt intake comes from processed foods and restaurant foods.

- Cut out carbonated beverages. Those fizzy drinks can cause gas to get stuck in your belly. This doesn't cause belly fat but the bloating is probably something you want to avoid in your bikini. Try water flavored with lemon, lime or cucumber.

- Get your portion sizes in line. How much are you eating? Really? Food portions in the U.S. have doubled...

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Servings: Makes a 9 x 12 baking dish

Ingredients:

  • 24 ounces penne pasta (gluten free pasta if wanted, I use this kind)

“Meat” sauce:

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 cups veggie broth to cook rice in
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 1 cup French green lentils
  • 8 fresh tomatoes
  • ½ cup fresh parsley
  • ½ cup white cooking wine (make sure it is vegan to make this dish fully vegan)
  • extra 1 cup veggie broth to sauté (or olive oil)
  • Himalayan pink salt & ground black pepper to taste

Cream sauce (makes about 4 cups):

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 cup raw cashews(soaked overnight if not using a high speed blender)
  • 1 cup walnuts (soaked overnight if not using a high speed blender)
  • 1 cup veggie broth
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Himalayan pink salt & ground black pepper to taste
  • Optional: top with Hemp Almond Parmesan (or other parmesan of choice)

note: I used the green lentils here because they stay the most firm when cooked. You can use brown, but...

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Did you know that May is National Postpartum Depression Month; also known as Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month? Postpartum Support International wants you to know you are not alone. Do not just close this blog because you don't have the blues. Chances are, you know someone who does, and you may be their life line!

For 1 in 7 women, motherhood brings sadness, depression, anxiety and sleepless nights. But with proper treatment, most will recover completely in the first year. PSI is asking women to "speak up when they are down". We need to help women gather their courage to speak up, ask questions and get support. Untreated depression is the #1 complication of pregnancy!

There are four recognized types of maternal depression: prenatal depression, “baby blues,” postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis. Although all types have similar symptoms, the prevalence rates, some symptoms and time frame of the depressions differ....

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FIT4MOM and one of our programs, Stroller Barre, were featured in a CNN segment on Tuesday and we couldn't be happier! It's very exciting to be featured on a channel with such enormous reach...but why? It builds our brand and credibility, for sure, but there is a MUCH greater end result of this immense exposure. With millions of moms in our country, a piece like this means that even more moms will know they have a VILLAGE to connect to! We ARE a fitness company, however, it is truly the vehicle to a deeper connection to each other and support!

Please check it out and share with moms you know...you never know who might need the extended hand you reach out with in this.

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Here we are, entering week 3 of the Summer Body Countdown. How's it going? Please don't get discouraged if you are off track. If it's important enough to you, you will do it. What's important is how you feel. Just get clear on your where you want to be at week 8 and then you will know how important it is to stick to the plan.

Nutrition

- Eat fiber rich meals. Fiber has the power to fill you up without filling you out! You are less likely to overeat if you feel full. Plus, fiber can reduce constipation, decrease cholesterol and can improve digestion. High fiber foods include choices like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds.

- Eat healthy fats like nuts, seeds and avocado. MUFAs (Monounsaturated fats) raise good cholesterol, lower bad cholesterol and aid in burning belly fat. That's right, fat can help you burn fat! Imagine that! When you increase fat intake and decrease carbohydrate intake, you have a perfect fat burning balance. The key is in the balance.

-Drink 2-3 cups of green tea each day. Multiple studies show that...

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A delicious bite size treat, somewhat like a Reese's peanut butter bites.

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My friend and colleague Michelle sent me this image today. It shows our precious daughters at 4 years old. They are 10 now. We got to talking about how we need to savor the moment. I can just remember the smell of the sunblock, the wet bathing suit and the little body that fit in my lap. We have older boys as well and have gone through over a decade of birthday parties and holidays. I used to plan elaborate birthday parties for the kids when they were little. You would find me scrambling to get everything just right. I'm quite sure I snapped at my kids and got impatient with my family as I tried to get it all done. Wow, the whole reason was to give them a memory to remember. We get caught up in getting through the party instead of being in the moment. I know we hear it over and over...but these moments are fleeting. They will never be this age again. Be present in their expression, their hug, their smile. Michelle just celebrated Ella's 10th birthday. When the girls asked to blast the music in the car...she did it. She let them sing and yell at the top of their lungs. And that,...

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Spring and summer are almost here, yippee!!! Let’s celebrate the warm weather with a picnic and a deeelicious drink not from concentrates and made just for BIG KIDS ! Now available exclusively at Target stores, Ella’s Kitchen® certified USDA organic smoothie drinks provide a full serving of fruit in every 8 fl oz. serving.

Launched as part of the Made to Matter, Handpicked by Target™ Campaign, to create yummy, healthy and innovative products little ones will love, the new Ella’s Kitchen® Smoothie Drinks are perfect for big kids in three scrumptious flavors like superrr sweet potato + mango, amaaazing apple + zucchini, and mmmightly strawberry + red beet! An unsweetened alternative* to juice boxes, each smoothie drink provides one full serving of fruit and is a good source of Vitamin C per 8 fl oz! They are made from pureed fruit (not concentrates), and are unsweetened with 8-9 grams of sugar per serving from fruit making them a perfect pick-me-up for explorers without the fake stuff – that parents can feel good about giving to kids!

...

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It's such fun seeing moms across the country joining our summer body countdown. Just a gentle reminder, that our goal for you is not to be six pack ab, bikini ready mama. Our goal is to get you comfortable in your body. It's crazy to us that a mom feeling comfortable in a bikini on the beach is considered newsworthy. Good for her and good for you! We are glad that you want to get out there and enjoy your body and your summer! We want you feeling confident!

So, without further adieu, here is Week 2 of the Summer Body Countdown. The goal is to keep adding new habits each week! Follow us on Instagram and we will post some daily inspirational pics and videos to keep you going! Tag #SummerBody #FIT4MOM so we can all inspire each other!

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As we approach Mother's Day, I can't help thinking about the gifts of motherhood. The gift that consistently stands out for me is the gift we share with our family when we model healthy behaviors.

If we want our kids to eat healthy, we need to eat healthy.

If we want our family to exercise, we need to exercise.

If we want them to stress less, laugh more....you get the picture.

Taking care of you is taking care of them!

Kids will rarely do what we tell them to do. But they do follow what they see.

"It’s not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can’t tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it, myself." Joyce Maynard

So this month, remind yourself that what you do matters. I invite our moms across the country to share pictures of their kids as they watch their moms live healthy lives. I want to see pictures of your kids with you during your workout or making dinner or eating your veggies!...

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It's the month of May which always brings about the notion of moms and Mother's Day. Moms, this is YOUR month to be celebrated, honored and appreciated. It's ALL about YOU!

Wait a minute...shouldn't it be ALWAYS be about you? Don't get me wrong, clearly there are others in our lives who need and deserve attention, that goes without saying; specifically our children. My concern with the many moms I have the pleasure of meeting around the country is, when did it get to be mostly about them/others?

You were here before your children. You were here before the relationship that made the children. AND you being happy and healthy is paramount to their lives.

Let's collectively use this month of May to bring YOU back into your starring role. Decide to take care of yourselves, they way you take care of everyone else. How, you ask?

  • Move your body for YOU everyday
  • Fuel your body with foods that make you feel good
  • Take some time, everyday, doing something for you (however small)

Moms, it IS all about you! When you take the time to...

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8 weeks! We have 8 weeks until summer! And while I am not one to promote dieting or place too much weight on how you look in a bikini, I do want you to enjoy your summer. I want you out there playing with your kids. I want you in the pool, on the beach and on the lake enjoying your family. I want you comfortable in your skin so you don't feel the need to hide behind sundresses or beach towels. Your body is meant to be enjoyed.

Would you be ready right now to bare your body? No worries if not. We have 8 weeks to get you feeling great!

Each Wednesday, I will post a new Summer Body Countdown assignment. The trick is to commit! Commit to trying something new and creating new habits. If something doesn't fit you, swap it out for a new healthy behavior that does. If you are already doing what I ask, then add a new healthy habit. Are you ready? I'll be doing it too so follow along on Instagram and I'll share my own journey as we get ready for summer!

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