My Cleaner Eating Challenge

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There is soooo much chitter chatter about the concept of clean eating.  This has been all up in my business since I’ve started to venture in the fitness community.  It’s primarily really inspiring but it also creates a layer of guilt and fear about what I’m feeding myself and my family.  Here’s my current situation: 70/30. I eat healthy and low fat 70% of the day and 30% of the time I eat whatever else.  It’s loose math but it has kept my weight at a stand still. Here’s essentially what it looks like:

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Then came the new year.  It was my goal to cook more home cooked meals (don’t judge – I’m not a cook) and I’m just starting to get the hang of that.  Yes, it’s soul crushing to see my kids turn their nose up at cauliflower mac and cheese that is barely different than any other mac and cheese and watching my husband cringe at spaghetti squash like a 5 year old is pretty hilarious (JUST EAT IT!), but I keep on trying! My goal is to get more healthy ingredients in all of our bodies.

As I hear more about more about clean eating, I realized I’m not as far off from that lifestyle as I thought.  I already plan my meals, cook at night, etc, so why don’t I take a closer look at the ingredients?

I decided to do some research!  What does Clean Eating mean anyway? There are 3 big takeaways from my reading:

1. As you can see from any quick Google search, there are 2 sides to this story.  There is the ultra purist like Food Babe and then there is the drastic other side most recently represented by an article on Gawker.  These are just two examples and both are worth reads.

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2. Everyone has a very strong opinion.  Like Wonder Woman strong.  People are quick to support and quick to shame. No one hides their opinion. I see this a lot on Instagram, which makes me a little nervous to even share my thoughts publicly.

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3. At the end of the day, it still feel like it’s a moving target to me.  The definition and the execution range for all people.  This is where I see opportunity! What’s my version?

I’ve set out on a new challenge! I’m so close to completing my journey to handstand challenge, so now what? I’m giving myself 20 days to clean up my eating! To be clear…THIS IS NOT A DIET! Like LITerally not a diet.  This might be a lifestyle change. I’m just taking it for a test drive.  My major goals are to have more energy and to put better quality ingredients in our bodies.

Here are some of my fears: Will my family hate the food? Will I have time to eat like this? So many ingredients! So much shopping! Will this blow my budget? Despite these fears, I’ve set some principles for my challenge.

10 Principles for the Mamas Daily Fit Cleaner Eating Challenge

1. Adjust my 70/30 rule. I want to shift the 70% of my focus from low fat to now focusing simple natural ingredients.  This doesn’t mean eating a 20 lbs of pine nuts in a salad is ok, but it does mean I will chose almonds for a snack instead of baked chips. As for my remaining 30%, I’m going to push to make better choices here too, with simple ingredients being the base.  This 30% is still my wiggle room for going out to dinner, eating pizza (now homemade) or enjoying a glass of wine or 2 or 3.

2. Buy only organic meat, produce & dairy. If it’s around the perimeter of a grocery store, I’m going for organic. Fingers crossed we can still pay our mortgage.  Just kidding – I don’t think it will be that bad.

4. Stay away from packaged meat. The butcher should have whatever I need. If I want it ground, they can do that for me. This way the meat should hopefully be from 1 animal.  The packaging of ground meat blows my mind.

5. Focus on plants! Fruits, Veggies, Legumes (note to self, Google Legumes), beans, nuts, seeds and whole grains. The world is my oyster – but not literally bc that’s not a plant. I can still serve Hayden whole grain pasta with carrots and I can serve Adeline whole grain rice and beans and a banana.  The goal is to expand all of our plant based repertoire.

6. If I want something sweet, bake it myself. If it’s worth the effort and the calories then put good ingredients in it.

7. If something comes from a box, shoot for 5 ingredients or less.  This broadly applies to anything that’s on the shelf in the middle of the grocery store.  The number 5 is completely arbitrary and this one might be super tricky but it feels like an interesting experiment.

8. Always have Oreo’s in my house.   It’s the key to my family’s happiness.

9. Always have wine in the house.  It’s the key to my happiness.

10. Don’t beat myself up. All I can do is all I can do. I’m just trying to make a healthier lifestyle for my family, but if these changes don’t work at this stage of the game in life, then so be it.  Life and health are moving targets!

Follow along on Instagram and Pinterest to see how this new challenge goes!

How Do I Find The Time?

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I’ve had a lot of people ask me how do you find the time to do this every day??  It’s true. I have a lot going on in life. Who doesn’t???? It’s how we’re coded as a society. MUST. FILL. PLATE.  We are all short on time and feel like working out is the last thing we have time for.  Whatever is on your plate, it’s totally legitimate that it feels so full and I can ensure you that you’re not alone.  That said, it’s up to you and only you to find the time to do something positive.

There are 5 things that keep me finding the time every single day..

1. I only work out for 10-30 minutes! 5 out of 7 days are definitely short work outs. Like 10 minutes. Sometimes 2 minutes. Sometimes 30 minutes. My only long days are runs and that’s totally by choice. If you look at Mamas Daily Fit on Pinterest, you’ll see that each work out I do is geared to be short! I secretly feel like I’m cheating every day because I’m not at the gym for an hour. Baha I win, I only worked out for 20 minutes today.  Again, welcome to my head. In all seriousness, at this stage of my life I really don’t have the time to go to the gym for an hour 5 days a week, but I do have time to squeak something in every day. There’s a lot of flexibility in this approach. My motto is, whatever it is, it’s for you and IT COUNTS!

2. For me, exercise is more than just psychical, it’s therapeutic. As a result, my goals are around feeling better first, looking better second. I personally think anything outside of mental and physical strength are tough goals to have. That doesn’t mean they are not important or achievable, it’s just nice for me personally to not have a number to measure myself against or a dress to fit in or whatever. Regardless of our goals, shouldn’t we all be able to measure fitness success by A) does my mind feel clearer? B) Do I have more energy? and C) Did I do something today that I didn’t think I could? Those are pretty awesome measures, if you ask me!

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3. I have seen the results and that’s pretty addicting.  I really don’t have any before or after pics, but my arms and my back actually have muscle definition, my legs are stronger, I can run farther, I’m so close to a handstand which I never thought I could do…the list goes on, but my point is seeing results is really inspiring.  It definitely keeps me going back for more.

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4. My energy has 2 speeds: Full throttle and crash mode.  I am hard wired with an exponential amount of energy – like it’s hard to harness most days. My head usually is in a semi spinning state. I can start 7 tasks and finish none of them like a champ. Working out gives me the focus that’s often hard to achieve. On the flip side, ADD comes with energy crashes. I too suffer  from sever couch syndrome where I’m literally stuck to the microfiber (I have small kids. Ok and I spill a lot. Don’t judge).  BUT if I slither off the couch, land on the work out mat and do just 10 minutes – I get my second wind for the night. I’ve seen this work EVERY SINGLE TIME.  After just 10 minutes I feel great! I can hang out, hold a conversation, reflect on the day, watch our favorite show, finish something I started. That 2nd wind makes my day feel so much more valuable.

5. I know someone is watching. It’s my babes. It’s my husband. It’s my mom. It’s all of you. I think most humans thrive on accountability, myself included. That’s why #100fitdays really worked for me.  I had to be accountable because it felt like people were watching, but eventually everyday fitness became a lifestyle. Now I see my kids want to be active for fun, my husband rides his bike around our (double black diamond) neighborhood, my mom does wall handstands and my friend just sent me a pic of her planking with her dog.  I LOVE IT!

So maybe pick one of these 5 things that’s relevant to you and focus on that.  Use that as your reason to make time for YOU every day. You deserve it!!! Cause you’re fab! It’s all about finding time to maximize the fabulousness!

Is This Even Working? – YEP!

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I’ve had a lot of people ask if I have “before and after” photos from my #100fitdays challenge, but I don’t.  I did this totally for stress relief, me time and for fun.  I know I look different. People are kind enough to tell me that (kiss kiss! love you!) and I know for sure that I FEEL different! I feel more in control of my health and my happiness. My clothes definitely fit better. I’m more confident BUT I didn’t see anything change on the scale.  My number has been the same for a long time.  That’s totally fine with me (it’s not like I cut back on the pizza and beer), but I realized that I do have this underlying wonder of IS THIS EVEN WORKING??  Some days I only work out for 10 minutes.  Is that really making a difference?

News Flash! YEP! IT IS! I went for a run outside on Sunday for the first time in a long time.  The first 5 minutes of every run are kind of miserable if you ask me.  My legs are like “do what?” I can’t pick which song to listen to. I’m already wondering how much longer till I’m done.  I think my left shoe is tied tighter than my right shoe. Welcome to my head…

But as 5 minutes turned to 6 minutes and 6 minutes turned to 20 minutes, I realized that I felt awesome! Every hill that used to make pause for a quick walk was totally doable.  There was a bounce in my step. I ran farther than I have in a long time.  I felt like I could breath so much easier.  I realized that these small workouts every day had really made me stronger! (happy dance happy dance dance dance dance!) So here I am on this glorious sunny day with my guns out:

Also, let’s not lie.  There was definitely still walking involved.  I took a nice 10 minute intermission from my run to walk though the double black diamond part of my neighborhood. Talk about booty burn! It was nice to take a break and mix it up a little.  PS – there is this old dude (no offense buddy) who totally lapped me up this hill.  He’s my hero. Then it was back to running for the last 10 minutes home! I even sprinted the last 50 yards and I forgot how fun that was! It feels like flying!

The moral of this story is my fitness journey is about EFFORT.  I have to make a conscious effort every day to work out, to feel better as a person, to keep it up.  In turn, I’m a better mom, a better wife, a better friend…a better person.  We have a choice every day to make it a great one.  So high five (where’s my word press high five emoticon???) to everyone who’s making today great, who’s focused on being a good person, inside and out!

 

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram to see what workouts I’m doing on the daily or check out my Pinterest page to find some quick fitness routines to fit in your day!

Wall hello there!

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Since I’ve started my daily fitness journey, I’ve started following a lot of Yoga peeps on Instagram.  I will never be able to do what they do, but I’ve seen a lot of headstands made easier by using a wall.  So the search was on to find an open wall in my house that was not connected to a kids room.  #fail. Turns out we have a lot of windows and a lot of shit on our walls, but I did find this cozy little spot next to my kitchen peninsula.

I’m 33 and anything that feels like climbing is still super fun for me.  I’m sure I’ll grow up soon.  So I scoured Instagram and Pinterest and came up with a total body strengthening series that used the wall for all sorts of things.  THIS IS SO MUCH FUN!!

I really didn’t think I’d be strong enough, but it was an awesome hard challenge and it feels amazing to have conquered it!

I’m not sweaty. I actually just put my hair back down because we have friends coming over. Makeup still in tact. Kids still asleep.  But I do feel stronger, I’ve done something new which is always a rush and I had a hell of a lot of fun.  So to me, #itcounts

Cardio for Breakfast

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#cardio day!! Trying out early morning workouts instead of end of day. Jury's still out… #girlsruntheworld

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I experimented with quite a few things this morning, all before 6:30:

1. New technology for creating content. I got an iPhone tripod and am testing out a video editing app called VideoShop that is so far awesome.  Two thumbs up for both of these.

2. Working out in the morning.  I was up and at ’em by 6am! To be fair, my alarm was set for 5:15.  But I was done with my workout by 6:30 and ready to get the kids up.  Jury is still out on if this was worth it.  It’s awesome to have my workout done but let’s see if i can stay awake past 8pm tonight!

3. A new cardio workout! It was an awesome mix of getting the heart rate up and working arms, abs & legs.  I personally love the way these sets were laid out.  The first and third are super intense cardio where the middle is more strength.  And if you do it all in Time-Lapse you look like a maniac! And I like it!

Try this bad boy 3 times and you’ll feel like Rocky in 30 minutes!  Thanks Cella Jane!

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To see more quick cardio workouts that drive results, check out Mamas Daily Fit on Pinterest!

Weeee!! Yoga!

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I have to admit, my legs are still killing me between Sunday’s super lunges and wall sits and then 20 minutes on the treadmill on Monday.  My favorite thing to do after a big day or two of cardio is Yoga.  It builds strength, stretches muscles that I didn’t even know hurt and ALWAYS gives me a reason to laugh at myself!

Before I get in to yoga, I wanted to quickly share my newest treadmill playlist.  I personally like this order, but a lil shuffle never hurts when you’re type A…LIVE A LITTLE! I can only mentally handle 30 minutes of running. My thoughts consist of: I’m running, this sucks, ok this is great, I’m still running, this sucks again, nope I love it…1 continuous loop. Anyone else???

Here is my mix to help me power through!

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Now, on to my laugh for the day.  This! My leg is almost straight/NOT AT ALL!!  1. I can’t believe I’m actually doing this move 2. another case in point that my hamstrings are to short. #notmyfault.


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I thoroughly enjoyed this series! It was range of easy to challenging. Thank you POPSUGAR. You always are a great source for awesome, quick at home workouts. Check out MamasDailyFit on Pinterest for the full workout and more Yoga series!

 

Snowmygod! Indoor Fitness

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Sunday was full of family fitness! We have had so much snow (snowmygod!) that as awesome as it is to be playing outside with the neighbors, there is only so much bundling this 1 and 3 year old (or this mom!) can handle! #momtalk. So we’ve taken to indoor activities! It’s so rewarding to watch my kids choose to do workouts to be silly & have fun.  It pails in comparison to playing Super Hero’s but yoga is their jam. Here is Adeline’s Yoga Video .  Finally a good habit from their mama. 
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As for me, I squeezed in quick total body work out.  This definitely took me no more than 5 minutes to do 1 set.  My friend at work doesn’t believe me so stay tuned for a timed workout.  I did 3…so between water breaks, returning texts and shuffling through music, that’s no more than 20 minutes.  This is such a speedy workout that has left my legs so sore! THIS.IS.WHY….any second over 5 seconds of a wall sit is not ok.

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I’m supposed to do cardio today and I’m going to have to give my quads a serious pep talk.  Sounds like the perfect reason to add a new song to the workout mix to power through.

Thanks Social Stylate for the awesome workout.  Check out Mamas Daily Fit on Pinterest for more quick total body workouts!

100 Fit Days

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Looking back I still can’t believe that I’ve worked out for 100 days in a row, but if I scroll through my Instagram account, it’s really true! I started this #100fitdays challenge to make my being healthy and stress free a priority during the busy winter months full of birthdays, holidays, colds, work and whatever else.  I was skipping my usual work outs because I was exhausted and reaching for junk.  It was time to make a change and make myself a priority.

I’ve learned so much.  Finding the time for yourself and doing something psychical is a game changer for stress! My favorite finding is that even 10 minutes counts – it makes a change! It’s not about the 1 hour gym session full of cardio.  Mashing up work outs every day has made me feel so strong and it’s been an awesome creative challenge.  Thanks Pinterest!

Last, even though this is for me and only me, it’s been so fun to have my family cheer me on! So thanks to them for being the coolest, cutest, craziest crew that I love.

So here is a quick snapshot through my #100fitdays …

Day 1

Day 1

Day 7

Day 7

Day 15

Day 15

Day 21

Day 21

Day 39

Day 39

Day 47

Day 47

Day 51

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Day 59

Day 59

Day 61

Day 61

Day 68

Day 68

Day 89

Day 89

Day 99

Day 99

 

Last but not least, DAY 100!! I woke up early to do some yoga, start my IV of coffee & get organized for the day before the kids wake up.

 

Day 100!!

Day 100!!

 

I hope you like my first post. Check out my About Me Page to learn more about why I’m SO EXCITED for this blog!

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Family Work Outs – Fighting Off the Winter Blues

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These are my nuggets! They’ve been watching me work out for the past 95 days in a row, cheering me on, doing yoga with me, attempting jumping jacks, climbing under me while I plank, siting on my lap while I do crunches and all sorts of other mega cute stuff.  Then there is always the ‘waking up early from their naps just in time to demand my attention during my work outs’ move. Sigh. #momtalk.

Here is sweet Adeline, insisting that I read Brown Bear on repeat while I try and do a quick full body workout.  Let me tell you, its hard to count reps while reading! Regardless, this book is a family favorite. Both kids adore it and I highly recommend it!

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Above is the quick total body fire side workout I was able to shake my winter blues with.  I did 3 sets of it and it felt awesome. This is actually the workout I did on day 1 of my #100fitdays journey. I almost get sentimental when I do this one!

Last but not least, Cincinnati finally had some real snow.  We had a blast playing with the kids! It’s one of those days where you’re so grateful for these moments.  Hayden hid baby carrots in the snow to “make a garden” and fearless Adeline loved going fast on her first sled ride.  I hit the bunny hill of the back yard around 20 times on the snowboard we bought Hayden from Home Depot. I crushed it. #freshiesbrah! Why not have a little fun. #itcounts

Snowboard Sesh Video!

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