Posts Tagged ‘ holidays ’

Summer Weight Loss Tips for Stressed Out Moms

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

summer weight loss secrets digest diet Every once in awhile, I receive a book or see a DVD that shifts my thinking, or really peaks my interest. I occasionally step outside “The Adoption Diaries” to tap into what makes all parents fitter and healthier human beings. After all, when I was pregnant with my son Sam, I already felt like a parent and acted more responsibly like one — what about you?

This is one of those non-adoption posts for all parents.

My friend Liz Vaccariello just debuted “The Digest Diet” where she explores breakthrough scientific studies for healthy weight loss and combating overweight and obesity. A busy full-time journalist and mother to 7-year-old twin daughters, Vaccariello knows a lot about trying to be the healthiest mom she can be with limited time and a schedule that’s filled with morning runs, meetings, school obligations, you know the drill. She’s always been straightforward and incredibly curious.

A few of her summer shape-up tips:

Drink your minerals. “Your mom told you to drink milk because its calcium was good for your bones, but I doubt she knew calcium is also good for controlling hunger and appetite,” said Vaccariello. “I found one amazing study from 2010 that shows drinking fat-free milk immediately after resistance training and then again one hour afterward results in greater muscles mass, strength gains and fat loss.”

Laugh it off. “Stress takes such an enormous toll on your health, your waistline and also your immunity,” said Vaccariello. “I found studies that prove laughing actually burns calories, and one study from London showed an hour of laughing can blast as many calories as, say, 18 to 20 minutes of weight training or 15 minutes of walking. Exercise is the ultimate stress reducer.”

Brush up on body image. The great irony, she told me, is that successful weight loss comes when you respect your body at any weight and can stop demonizing fat. “You don’t need a researcher to tell you about the clear link between stress and obesity,” she said. Many of us self-medicate when we’re feeling blue — or worse — but actually having more fat cells actually increases the rate of depression. “Chronic, low-grade inflammation may be tracked back to fat cells; so curb it before it affects your emotional well-being,” Vaccariello said.

Vaccariello, who appears as an expert on The Doctors, offers delicious, simple recipes for moms-on-the-go, and straightforward advice in her new health and weight loss book.

Tell me your story here.

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Celebrating International Adoption Month

Friday, November 11th, 2011

national adoption monthNovember is International (and National) Adoption Month. How will you celebrate? 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is pleased to provide information for parents and prospective parents on preventing lead poisoning in children who are adopted from outside the United States. Many, many children adopted from overseas may have been exposed to lead in their birth countries.

This information is so important when you’re thinking about adopting internationally and from poverty-stricken countries, which might house orphans in older buildings:

  • Parents of children adopted within the last 3 months
  • Parents now going through the adoption process
  • All future prospective adoptive parents

Something else to consider and read up about regarding international adoptions: malnutrition. It pays to do your adoption homework! The information on the CDC’s website explains about lead poisoning prevention and international adoption.  This information includes a fact sheet, health education eCard, and key prevention messages that all parents should know about.

Also, to celebrate International Adoption Month, as well as National Adoption Month, I’d love all readers of  ”The Adoption Diaries” to enter their young one into the American Baby Magazine’s baby cover contest. Wouldn’t it be amazing to see an adopted or foster child winning the baby cover contest? I urge you to read all about it, and then enter your wee one!

I will be finding ways to celebrate adoption all month long, and the best way to do that (for me) is to find success stories about adoption and share them all with you… stay tuned!

A quick adoption update for me: Darrin and I have narrowed down an international agency where we can begin processing an international adoption of a daughter in India — she will likely be at least three years old. However, we have to plunk down an initial $15,000 to begin the process, and we don’t have that yet!

Nationally, Husband Darrin and I are officially signed up for 24 hours of foster training to begin in Los Angeles Country beginning in January. I’ll keep you posted!


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Halloween Holidays for Foster Kids

Friday, October 28th, 2011

IMG_0773My family is very lucky because we live in Studio City, a Hollywood-ish neighborhood that really celebrates outrageous costumed revelry. Every house just full-on decorates, wee ones waddle in too-long costumes for days before the big event where literally thousands of families come to call. Houses may have real coffins in the front yard with resident zombies and light shows for the grandparents. (If we care to go more risque, the gay We-Ho costume ball is rather fun, I hear!)

Halloween also started in our house at least a week ago — you too, right? My 5-year-old bio son Sam is in full Halloween regalia all month long. Of course this year (since we are considering a domestic adoption in the near future) I now begin to wonder about all the children in foster care programs, kids who may not have parents to bring them to well-decorated suburbs and make Blood Punch with the neighbors on All Hallow’s Eve.

I’d like to hear from some parents out there who celebrate Halloween with all of their children! What kind of rituals do you have? The first time a foster kid trick-or-treats with a real family who makes her costume, well, that must be pretty magical. And maybe more importantly, how can I make sure next year on Halloween there is one little foster daughter in my house, coloring pumpkins, dressing like a gypsy (to match her embarrassing mommy) and eating too many Skittles.

Maybe this year I will buy less chocolate and save $30 and give it to children in need of a little Halloween. I need help on this. How can we make Halloween beautiful for every child?

Send me your Comments below and I will respond.

Photo Credit: Me and Sam Straff, his first Halloween at nine months. I recycle the devil costume, as you can see below with dog Blu!

Adoption Shortcuts

IMG_3144I profiled a talented adoption expert in the private adoption field two weeks ago and Thea Ramirez helped me out so much explaining adoption shortcuts. The link I supplied then in her story did not work but I want to thank her again here. Thanks for your hard work in private adoption, Thea.

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