How to take YOUR measurements…

When you start on the road to a healthier you, it’s best to take your measurements so that you can track your progress. Here is the recommended way to measure:

Chest: Measure directly across your nipple line

Upper arms: Measure 7 inches down from the tip of your shoulder and be sure to measure both arms (don’t flex your biceps or triceps)

Waist: Measure at your belly button

Hips: Measure at the widest area of your hips

Abductors: Measure just under your butt (feet tight together)

Thighs: Measure 6 inches down from your inseam and be sure to measure both thighs (have your legs apart and weight evenly distributed on both feet; don’t stand on one foot while either thigh is being measured)

Peace, Love & Fitness,

Hope

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Pay Attention!

Mindless eating  = eating when you’re stressed, bored, sad, or distracted.

How many times have you walked into the kitchen and stared into the fridge?  I’ve done it….more times than I can count.

Over the last few years, I’ve learned to treat food as a fuel for my body.   You MUST use the right kind of fuel! How do you want the machine that is your body to run?  How many miles do you hope to get out of it?

Every once in a while, I still get that nagging little feeling…and  I ask myself “Am I really hungry?” If not,  I’ll go and grab a glass of water and find something else to do. Distraction can be a GREAT tool!

I’ve also learned to keep a food journal.  Writing down what I eat, my exercise and how I feel each day helps me see progress and feel accomplishment. It also helps me stay accountable to myself.  Those are two simple tips that anyone can implement into their life.

Give it a try and let me know if you see a difference.   Not sure where to start? Connect with me on my Facebook page. I share tips and advice. I would LOVE to hear from you!

Peace, Love & Fitness,
Hope

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Monday Meal idea| Quick easy meals for busy Moms

Please share with a friend!! If you try it, I would LOVE to hear what you and your family think!

ps – if my Pescatarian daughter had been home for dinner, I would have simply made a small svg sans meat.

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It’s the GREAT Pumpkin (pancakes), Charlie Brown!

credit goes to my wonderful boyfriend Rob who created this recipe and makes it for me most weekends!! It’s quick, easy, healthy AND DELISH!! Give it a try!

 

 Pumpkin Pancakes

* 1 1/2 cups Vanilla Protein powder
* 1 cup Multi Grain Pancake Mix
* 3 tsp Baking Powder
* 2 cups Unsweetened Almond Milk
* 2 eggs
* Pumpkin Pie Spice to taste
* Optional for extra fun (and a few added calories) – Dark Chocolate Chips

Mix dry ingredients. Add eggs and milk. Mix. If adding chocolate chips, sprinkle desired amount on top of pancake(s) while cooking. ENJOY!

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Let’s talk about sex, baby. Let’s talk about…

you and me…okay, not literally! Geez!!

Want in on a happy little secret, this Friday morning? A key to a better sex life? If you are asking “What sex life?” READ ON!


While many different factors lead to a lack of drive, according to a recent study…weight is a BIG factor!

According to the study conducted by Binks and his colleagues at Duke, up to 30% of obese people seeking help controlling their weight indicate problems with sex drive, desire, performance, or all three. Often, the latest research shows, these problems can be traced to physical conditions that co-exist with obesity.

read more on the study, and what those physical conditions are here: Better Sex:What’s Weight Got To Do with It

Okay, on to the good stuff, how to get us driving in the right direction, so to speak!

The GOOD news is that small changes can jump-start your sex drive! You do not have to make dramatic changes to see results. Just by beginning to take better care of yourself, experts report a substantial increase in interest in sex.

Participation in a healthy lifestyle really helps, even if you don’t lose the extra pounds!!

For some these small changes will be all that is needed, for others it may also be the simple stress of every day life. Can you moms out there say…PTA meetings, grocery shopping and sick kids? A weekly date night, a little me time and/or some romantic reading (I hear good things about this book) may help when life has you feeling anything but romantic. Husbands/Dads remember giving Mom a break is important to a rested and willing partner.

Let’s face it, when you look and feel better you have better sex! You do NOT have to be at your end goal to enjoy the benefits, only on your journey! If you would like some help in getting started on the road to taking better care of yourself, I have an easy solution and would love to share it with you! Click HERE and lets make it happen!

Peace, Love and Fitness!
Hope

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The 5 Reasons you have FAILED at running!

Many people believe they cannot run. I was one of them.

This is me finishing my first Half Marathon!

I was wrong and chances are you are too.

Here are 5 of the top reasons many who are new to running fail:

* Running too fast

It’s not a race. You may be training for one but a great mantra for those new to running would be go slow to go fast. You have to start slow, often taking walking breaks and build up slowly to increase endurance and avoid injury.

* Not mixing it up your routine

Another common mistake is picking a pace (often too fast) and sticking to it every time out…often running the same route. This can lead to boredom, might lead to injury and will eventually stop producing the kind of results that move you forward in your training. Speed and interval work, hill training and long slow runs are all essential ingredients in the runner’s recipe for success.

* Wearing the wrong shoes

I’m not going to weigh in on this too much. There is a lot of differing opinions out there on what shoes are best for running and even a VERY popular barefoot movement. What I will say is, if you are going to take up running, go to a running store and get some help from someone who knows what they are doing. Grabbing whatever shoes you have in your closet is NOT getting you started on the right foot. Too much support or not enough for your type of foot can cause injuries.

* Setting unrealistic goals

Goals are important and I encourage setting some to help yourself keep your eyes on the bigger picture. Setting HUGE goals that are way beyond your current fitness level may just lead to getting frustrated and giving up. There WILL be bad runs and you will learn those are sometimes when you learn the most, about yourself and about running. Set small short term goals and some bigger long term goals. Make sure that you also have some runs thrown in that you are not watching the clock or trying to make it further. Its okay to slow down and enjoy your surroundings.

I highly recommend getting on a training to program such as the Couch to 5K running program.

If you get started or are training now I would LOVE to hear about it!

Peace, Love and Fitness!
Hope

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Mom jeans, don’t be the butt of jokes!

As Moms, we sure take a lot of crap from society. Overworked, unpaid and juggling this funny little thing called LIFE…really?? Now we have to worry about if our jeans are acceptable? I’d rather see someone in “mom” jeans than stuffed into skinny jeans that are clearly 2 sizes too small.

SNL’s Spoof – Sensible Jeans for Moms Everywhere

Okay, its kinda funny BUT other than being RIDICULOUSLY outdated these women look pretty well put together. Accessories, hair styled and make up on. Realistically, its a pretty great day for most moms of little ones if they remember to brush their teeth and get out of pajama pants.  Personally, I think if you have your kids fed, can remember their names (forget keeping them straight) for more than 5 minutes and are wearing two of the same shoes – you are a ROCKSTAR!

Most moms I know DO desire to look and feel good, its just hard to balance between your role (Mom) and you.  When you have little ones needing new clothes, its easy to put yourself on the back burner. Between that and fighting the battle of what birthing babies and age can do to your body, there is also the guilt about buying a new pair when your own size is fluctuating.  Not so surprising then that, on average most women own 10 pairs of jeans but only wear 4.  Think maybe this is why women LOVE shoes?

Oprah’s Denim Do’s and Don’ts

Knowing the right style of jeans for your body style can be a HUGE help. For a long time I kept trying to buy jeans in the Juniors Dept, it was very depressing. I would grab my size and feel deflated. Then one day AHA! I realized, I was a woman. Women, in general compared to teens, have hips. Um, duh.

The good news is you won’t have to own more than one (or two) if you have ones that FIT you correctly. Can you picture it? Going into the dressing room, trying on jeans that fit and feeling AWESOME?   For a great guide to figuring it out, click the pic below.

The Best Jeans for every body type – Shape Magazine

If you would like to get into one size and STAY there,  I am here to tell you its not only possible, its EASY and you will not have to starve yourself!!  Contact me and lets work together to get you there! Hop on over to my FB page and lets chat!

FIND ME HERE on FB

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EASY Freezer cooking with your slow cooker

*reposted with permission from Mama and Baby Love – check her out…gorgeous Mama, adorable baby and AWESOME ideas!

Like I mentioned in my post the other week, the last time I did a big cooking day, I had big ah-ha moment.

Although, I had a blast with Lauren, it was logistically very difficult to accomplish, between the juggling of cooking and childcare, the prep work, organization and scheduling, it can be overwhelming.

So this latest big cooking day, I did it by myself and only did slow cooker recipes.  Basically, all I was did was chop vegetables and assemble ingredients.

Even with doing it this way, it was still a 3 hour affair, but during this time I was able to finish all the cooking AND the cleaning.  Most importantly my feet didn’t ache at the end like they normally do.  I also didn’t have any sort of panic or anxiety leading up to the big cooking day like I normally do. HUGE.

I chopped all the vegetables with Penelope in her Learning Tower before nap (which was really fun, I went through all the colors of the vegetables with her and talked about rainbows and made it a fun learning experience).

Then I assembled everything during her nap (thank you Jesus, I can now skip a pump session here and there and can do other things at nap time than sit in front of a computer) and finished cleaning up after nap, again with her in her Learning Tower.  This time she played independently with a bowl of soapy water, she made a huge mess,  but the rags I used to clean up her mess where the same rags I used to clean up my mess so it wasn’t that bad.



I just dumped the veggies into the gallon ziploc bags, then added the meat, then added the spices.

Once I was done and cleaned everything up, I felt like I had invented electricity!  I thought I was such a genius for finally (it took me over a year, people) getting once a month cooking down to an efficient and easy art form.

I am telling you it will change your life! Give it a try and tell me how it went!

Here are my recipes.  I use a ton of vegetables in each meal, because I don’t tend to eat a lot of veggies through out the day, so I try and get them all in at dinner.  And Peter is more apt to eat veggies if they taste like barbecue or curry than as a plain side dish.


Healthy Mama Barbecue Chicken
3 medium unpeeled  sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 large green pepper, cut into strips
1 large red pepper, cut into strips
1 zucchini, chopped
1 medium onion, sliced
1 tablespoon quick cooking tapioca
2 pounds chicken thighs or drumsticks
1 8-ounce can of tomato sauce
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon yellow mustard (I wasn’t sure if this meant actual mustard or the spice so I did a little of both)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt

Dump everything into two gallon freezer bags, shake it up, seal, label and put in the freezer.

Stephanie’s Goulash
3 cups chopped onions
2.5 cups coarsely chopped green sweet peppers
4 large beets, peeled and diced
2 cups of carrots
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 pounds beef stew meat, cut into one inch cubes
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
4 teaspoons Hungarian paprika or regular paprika (I used regular)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups hot cooked noodles
1/2 dairy sour cream

Dump everything into two gallon freezer bags, shake it up, seal, label and put in the freezer. EXCEPT the sour cream, that is for garnish after the meal is cooked.

Chicken Curry
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons curry powder
1.5 teaspoons ground cumin
1.5 pounds chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cups chopped peeled sweet potatoes
2.5 cups baby carrots
2 cup coarsely chopped mango
1 cup chopped onion
1 zucchini chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
chicken bouillon
.5 cup raisins (for garnish)
.5 cup peanuts or cashews (for garnish)

Dump everything into two gallon freezer bags, shake it up, seal, label and put in the freezer.

To cook, take out of freezer and set on counter for about 30 minutes, then dump contents of bag into slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 8 hours.

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Should you workout while sick?

There are many schools of thought when it comes to being sick and working out. A Google search will get you all sorts of varying information.  It seems the general rule of thumb is the above the neck rule. If your symptoms are all above the neck, working out should be okay, unless of course, they are severe or include muscle aches/fatigue (which would mean they were not just above the neck).

What is an under the weather workout enthusiast to do?

The good news is that we should have to deal with this issue less often than our couch potato friends. It is still likely that you will find yourself faced with this dilemma at some point during cold and flu season. Ultimately you are going to have to listen to your body and give it what it needs. Resting a day or two will not ruin your results and may help you recover quicker. You don’t want to be sidelined for two weeks because you were unwilling to take off two days.

If you decide to workout, you may want to go at it with a little less intensity. Usually a runner? Try a walk or the recumbent bike. If you workout in a gym SANITIZE SANITIZE SANITIZE after you use the equipment, your fellow gym goers do not want what you have!

 

 from MensHealth.com: Flu-Fighting Chilli


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Achoo to you, and you, and you…

It’s HARD when you get sick. Moms are typically the ones taking care of everyone else. What happens when the caretaker is under the weather?

If possible, REST. I know! I know! You have a house, chores, work and kids to take care of …one hand tied behind your back, blindfolded, while saving THE WORLD! Believe me…the laundry will wait.

Often, neglecting ourselves is what gets us sick in the first place!! Here are some tips for taking care of YOU so that you can avoid getting sick this cold and flu season

#1 Wash Your Hands
#2 Don’t Cover Your Sneezes and Coughs With Your Hands
#3 Don’t Touch Your Face
#4 Do Aerobic Exercise Regularly
#5 Eat Foods Containing Phytochemicals
#6 Don’t Smoke
#7 Cut Alcohol Consumption
#8 Relax

If you do get sick, enlist your families help. It is never too early for your children to learn how to care for someone. Even very little ones can cuddle and fetch things for you. Older kids can make you tea and help with chores. It’s a skill that will serve them and you well for years to come!

for the extended list visit : http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/11-tips-prevent-cold-flu

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Who you are speaks SO LOUDLY…

As I came home yesterday from shopping I saw new pictures up on my neighbors front door.  Sometimes they stay up for days. and it rains. and it looks awful.

The little girl who lives next door  also hangs pictures from the tree and hangs things from the tree branches. She digs all over the place and plants fake flowers and cups and pots in the ground. and I think this is an absolutely beautiful, wonderful thing!!

Earlier, as I finished up my shopping and waited in line, I overheard a man call his son bad, an idiot, stupid and a baby. As if the words were not bad enough, it was the tone which hurt me the most. The little boy looked to be about three years old and had lost his wallet. Apparently the wallet had money in it. Why a three year old was responsible for a wallet with money is beyond me, but I felt helpless and angry as I listened to him being told how awful and stupid he was. He didn’t cry. He didn’t yell. He just looked sad. It broke my heart.

A few weeks ago, I was in the stands prior to my daughters Field Hockey game, and I overheard a conversation between my daughter and another player. The girl asked for help with her hair. She had braided it herself but was unhappy with how it looked. My daughter fixed her braid, and when the girl said she felt like her hair needed to be special for the game…Amelia replied “You don’t need anything special, you are beautiful and perfect JUST the way you are!”

How are you speaking to your children? How do you speak to yourself? How are your children speaking to others?

Words MATTER!! Children are PEOPLE! Do not take lightly the job we have in raising them.  The way you speak to them will matter for years and years to come.

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Cannellini Bean Tuna Salad

A classic light summer salad combination that is one of  my favorites.

This salad packed with nutrients: anti-inflammatory fish omega-3 fat, fiber-rich beans and added antioxidants from the EVOO, lemon and herbs—this is one super-easy to make, super-YUMMY salad that should be a staple on your summer salad list.

  • One 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • One 6-ounce can or pouch chunk-light tuna packed in water, drained and flaked
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil or sage
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a bowl gently toss together the beans and tuna. Fold in the red onion, basil or sage, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.

Serves 4

NUTRITION –

Per 1/2 cup serving:

  • Calories: 244
  • Fat: 12 g (0 g EPA, 0 g DHA, <1g ALA)
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Cholesterol: 17 mg
  • Sodium: 422 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 18 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 4 g
  • Sugars: <1 g
  • Protein: 17 g

Recipe excerpt from Prevent a Second Heart Attack

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Heatwave…LICK FAST!

Running has so many fun little perks…like this tip from Runner’s World’s August edition…berryjam.ruhttp://dekor-okno.ru

“having a popsicle or icy drink before a hot run will lower your body temp so you can go longer without overheating.”

DUDE! I get to eat POPSICLES?!?!  screams my inner 5 year old!

oh. wait. I have long since outgrown those syrupy sweet icy treats.

While not much of a fan of traditional popsicles I am VERY excited to try this grown up, healthier version posted in the New York Times Magazine this past Sunday. MUCH healthier than the sugar ladden, rainbow colored boxes gracing the super market frozen food aisle…I will be playing around with adding in my Vi Shake Mix and using unsweetened almond milk in place of milk.

I will let you know! YUM!

 

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Warriors of all kinds

 

I had intended on writing some cute, tongue in cheek, little post about boobies. I searched the internet for something fun like a pink ribbon cartoon girl or a Save the Ta Ta’s graphic.  Instead I came across the image you see above…and I was moved.

I am walking the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure in September. I get to sleep in a pink tent city. I get to walk with some of my best girlfriends. We are making plans for all the pink things we will wear, like we are going to some awesome girly pink party…and we are…but I believe we will come out with SO much more.

I am going into this as someone who has always admired those who have walked, without a real grasp of why. I have never personally been effected by Breast Cancer…I have friends who have. It steals Moms, and sisters, and daughters. It steals wives, and Grandmas and BEST friends.

Please click on the picture above and read the blog post at The Jewish Womens Archive…I hope it moves you too.

I am raising money for this walk, and while I would appreciate a donation (snazzy little donation button on the right) what I would prefer is that YOU WALK. Walk with me and my friends ( Team Triumph ) or look for a walk in a city near you.

~ Peace

Hippie

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