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Something about motherhood makes us just raw to the world. It makes us see opportunities to be kinder and possibilities to create a safer world. We realize quite quickly upon becoming a mom how many things may be unsafe for our baby and for our world.

I remember opening up the bag of goodies that the hospital gave me (who doesn't like free goodies?) and being astounded at how many products were not safe for my baby. They gave me a popular brand of baby shampoo that had formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxan. They gave me an ample supply of formula samples which I resented as I wanted to nurse. The ingredients included processed sugars and synthetic ingredients. My girlfriend told me to throw out the plastic bottles that I had purchased because they had bpa in them. Sadly, my baby was exposed to hundreds of chemicals before he even left the womb. Isn't being a new mom overwhelming enough?

I realized I needed to take a deep breath. I found some great resources like Drgreene.com and...

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You CAN do more Push Ups and this challenge will get you there! Each day layer on a few more and watch your strength increase!! We start on Monday...Get ready!

(If you have already built up push up strength, feel free to double the reps each day!)

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Every mom wants to feed her baby the very best. Some moms make their own baby foods. However, busy moms like me often need to depend on prepared baby food. When I had my kids thirteen years ago, there were not many choices. Many of the popular brands had fillers, GMO's and were definitely not organic. Some of these brands do not have the appropriate nutrients for your baby. Some have less than a fifth of the recommended daily supply of calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron and other crucial minerals. Babies are far more sensitive than we are so exposing them to pesticides and other allergens is a huge concern. It outrages me that some big companies like Nestle (parent of Gerber) will agree to take GMO's out of baby foods in South Africa, but not in our own country. Clearly, it can be done.

Play it safe! Go with one of our FIT4MOM approved brands and you will know that it is organic, free of GMO's and good for your baby!

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The Fit Foodie’s Veggie Mac n’ Cheese Cupcakes

The perfect lunchbox entree you can eat with your hands, filled with

veggies to boot! Make it dairy and gluten-free with our options in

the recipe. Wash all produce with Eat Cleaner® Fruit & Vegetable Wash

to keep it safer, cleaner and fresher, longer.

Makes: 8 servings

Ingredients

1 lb. bag whole grain or gluten-free pasta shells, fusilli or elbows

(quinoa, brown rice or organic corn)

2 Tbsp. Olive oil or raw coconut oil

1 Cup cooked butternut squash, cauliflower or 2 Cups fresh spinach

1 container Blue Isle Mediterranean Yogurt Spread or 6 oz. non-dairy

cream cheese

1 Cup nonfat milk or unsweetened almond milk

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp sea salt

2 Cups shredded part skim mozzarella cheese or dairy-free alternative

Muffin tin with cupcake liners

Nonstick cooking spray

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line muffin tin with cupcake

liners and...

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We all know what we should do, but somehow often fail to hit the mark with our healthy life intentions. We know we should eat more vegetables, get more sleep, etc. Maybe you should make a list of the top 10 things that work for YOU to feel healthy and happy. Print them and put them in your kitchen, on your desk and on your bathroom mirror. Check in with yourself daily to make sure you stay on track. Even if you miss the mark a little bit, you will make great strides to your healthy life.

What would be on your list?

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This is a great exercise to stop and do for your glutes when you are out walking or running with your stroller. Be sure to keep your abdominals engaged to support your spine and keep your grounded leg slightly bent. Do 15-20 reps on each leg and then repeat 3 times. ENJOY!

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It’s no surprise that during pregnancy – more than at any other time in your life – you need to eat well. You are doing everything for two so in addition to providing for your own health, you also need an extra boost of vitamins and minerals to grow a healthy baby. After all, your intake will be your baby’s main source of nutrition!

We know you want to do what’s best for you and your baby, so here’s a little background on why these extra nutrients and minerals are so important:

Folic Acid: Folic acid is a B-complex vitamin found mostly in leafy green vegetables. Foods like kale, spinach, orange juice, and enriched grains are loaded with folic acid which is vital for your baby’s cell growth and development, as well as tissue formation. It has been shown that folic acid is essential to prevent spina bifida (also known as neural tube defects) and related birth defects that occur during the first 28 days of pregnancy, which is often before a woman even knows that she is pregnant! For this reason, it is recommended that women start taking at least 400 micrograms (0.4...

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It's been over a week since the passing of Robin Williams. Our entire country has grieved as if he were a dear friend. While his death is tragic, it has also inspired much discussion about the gravity of depression. We know that 1 in 10 people in America suffer from depression. But did you know that 1 in 8 moms suffer from postpartum depression? It's probably more as many don't talk about it. Postpartum depression is one of the most common complications of childbirth. The vast number of women with postpartum depression are not identified or treated.

The response from Robin Williams' death has been overwhelming. People are realizing the depth of pain that one must feel if they would consider taking their own life. It's making us realize that we need to be more sensitive and supportive to those who may suffer. The response from Robin Williams' death and many celebrities who have now admitted to their battle with depression helps to destigmatize this disease. We are realizing that this disease must be taken seriously. Each year, 38,000 Americans die by suicide, according to...

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Most parents know that kids need to be active and eat a healthy amount of good food to maintain a healthy weight. What they don’t know is the link between the quality of sleep and obesity.

New information has recently been uncovered about an important link: the link between kids’ sleep quality and obesity. The link is more profound and more specific than many people expected. This information is so important because more than 1 in 3 children today end up overweight even as kids.[i] Sleep in kids has been decreasing since 1905, about the time electric light bulbs were popularized.[ii] Some research suggests that sleep has been decreasing rapidly since the 1980s, during the same period when the childhood obesity epidemic took off.[iii] More than a dozen studies have shown that the worse kids sleep, the more likely they are to be overweight or obese. But which comes first? Is it that overweight kids...

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Eggplant Fries from our friend Sophia at Veggies Don't Bite

Makes sides for 4

Ingredients:

· 1 eggplant

· a drizzle of your favorite cooking oil (or veggie broth if you are avoiding oil)

· 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt

· ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

· 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

· 2 teaspoons maple syrup

· 1 cup almond meal

· 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)

note: You can sub another flour for almond meal to make this nut free.

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400. Wash and cut eggplant into thin fry like sticks. The thinner they are the crispier they will get.

Put eggplant pieces in a deep bowl and sprinkle with oil (if using), salt, pepper, paprika and maple syrup. Mix to coat.

Place almond meal and nutritional yeast (if using) in another bowl or dish and mix. In small handfuls, put eggplant pieces in bowl of almond meal and toss to coat well.

Place on a baking...

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A FIT4MOM franchisee recently asked me for a link to an article that I wrote back in 2007 titled "Miscarriage, Please Talk About It". Unfortunately, that was from a past website and it is no longer available online. But it's such an important topic that I thought I should talk about it again.

I created Stroller Strides 13 years ago. And in that time I have had the amazing opportunity to connect with thousands of moms. I have shared many joys with them but also countless stories of heart break about the loss of a baby. It's rarely a story that's told. When it happens, you feel so alone. It's one of the deepest pains you will ever feel no matter the time in the pregnancy. For some reason, we just don't talk about it.

I have lost two babies (that I know of). The first was during an ectopic pregnancy. We were trying for years to get pregnant with our second child and I ended up in the hospital, nearly losing my life, with severe internal hemorrhaging. I was devastated. I felt like my family wasn't complete and that I wasn't going to have an opportunity to get pregnant...

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As a busy mom and full time entrepreneur, I often feel caught up in the beautiful chaos of family and wind up spending weekends running errands and toting children from one sport event to another. Spontaneity is not something that comes easily to me but I'm hyper aware that I need more of it in my life. I believe that life is an adventure but I have to work hard to create it. So that's what I have done. I created Mommy Adventure days with my kids. They know that these days are completely unplanned, totally spontaneous and can land us anywhere. I unplug from my text, social media and the such and focus on nothing but fun. Ok, I sometimes use my phone to see what's going on in town. I drive and try to take my kids to places they have never been. We become tourists in our own town. While my kids are hoping for amusement parks or video games, I do my best to bring them to nature or unique places in our city. We have gone to the tide pools to look for starfish and climbed highest peaks in our city. We have found seals at a special beach and traveled down a dark cave (safe of course)...

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Feeds 4 for dinner, 6 for lunch sized portions

What you will need :

2 lbs. Wild Coho or King Salmon

Blackberry Sauce:

1 container fresh blackberries

1 C water

2 Tbsp pure maple syrup

2 tsp fresh lemon juice plus 1 tsp grated lemon zest

1 1/2 tsp arrowroot powder or corn starch

1 tsp fresh grated ginger

Dash of sea salt and black pepper

Two Untreated Cedar Planks

Salmon gets sauced up with a simple blackberry reduction with a touch of maple syrup, lemon juice and zest, and some grated ginger. So fresh!

Directions and Tips:

1) Start by selecting wild caught salmon. I can’t emphasize enough why wild caught is so much better than farm raised. You can tell by the color, first of all. It’s a bright pinkish-red flesh that doesn’t have any color added, and that goes to show the food the fish is eating is more nutrient dense, too. Cooking it on the cedar plank gives it almost a smoked flavor and texture. You can buy cedar planks for grilling from most hardware stores or online. Just make sure they...

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It's nothing new for me to be suggesting that you unplug from your devices. But I admit that I too have a problem! It's gotten to the point where I feel the need to take pictures of everything my kids do. I almost feel like an event didn't happen if I didn't capture it with my iPhone. Last week, I went to a Canopy Adventure in Austin. They would not allow cameras or phones. And guess what I did?.... I snuck it in! That's right! I knew it was going to be such a cool experience that I just had to sneak it in. Yes, I have a problem. I realize that and that's why I'm writing about it!

I took a few shots and then the attendant kindly reminded me to go back and put my phone away. I complied. And know what? I really had so much more fun when I could be 100% in the moment and not looking through the screen of my iPhone. It's true that I missed some really cool pictures but I'm guessing that my kids will remember it always in their hearts. Last year Beyonce got a ton of press for telling an audience member to put the camera down. "I'm right in your face baby, You gotta seize this...

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A Friday Fitness blog about HUGS??? Heck Ya!

Beyond how great they feel, there are very REAL physiological changes that our bodies experience when we give, or receive, a hug. The health benefits of this seemingly small gesture are profound...not to mention that I am a HUGE FAN!

Here are some of the benefits of a hug (from mindbodygreen.com):

  • Hugging induces Oxytocin in the body-Oxytocin is a powerful hormone, one that not only fortifies bonds with our loved ones, but also has the capability to stimulate solidarity between total strangers.
  • Hugging builds stronger bonds with the people you see everyday-Hugging nurtures human relationships, cultivates trust, increases confidence, and frankly, makes us happier people.
  • Hugging lowers stress-A good hug literally decreases the levels of cortisol found in the body. Talk about a drug-free anti-anxiety treatment.
  • Hugging lowers blood pressure.
  • Hugging is a reciprocal good deed-One never knows what is going on in another person’s life. When a good, sincere hug is given, it has the...
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Back to school often means back to a routine for many moms. This year, let's set you up to have a routine that makes your life easier and healthier! A little planning goes a long way! Here are some tips to help you get organized and have a healthy school year.

- Pre pack lunches: I know you're tired but if you pack lunches ahead of time, you will feel so ahead of the game come morning. You can even freeze sandwiches. They will be perfectly defrosted by lunch time.

- Pre set breakfast. Take 10 minutes to figure out what you are going to make for breakfast. Put out what you can. There are many breakfasts which can be prepared the night before such as overnight oats or breakfast muffins. You need breakfast too. No excuses!

- Create a checklist for each child of the things they need to get together in the morning. If they don't read, make pictures. Examples include backpack, lunch, sunblock, etc. Teach them to be responsible for themselves!

Now it's time for you!

- Go to bed 15 minutes earlier than normal and set your alarm 15 minutes earlier. Use...

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