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Motivation Monday

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Let’s start the week off with a new snack and work-out move to keep up healthy habits!

This Week’s Work-Out Move: inner-thigh squat. Traditional squats are super beneficial, but it’s smart to target all parts of the legs. It will enhance your strength and keep you looking trim. Stand in a traditional hip-width squat stance, and turn your feet out so that your hips are open. Lift your right heel up, and sink into a deep squat. As always, make sure that your knees don’t go over your toes. Repeat for 12 repetitions, and do the same movement on the left side. Move through three sets, and use 5-10 pound dumbbells for an added challenge.

Healthy Snack of the Week: cherries. The fruit is full of anti-inflammatory properties and makes for an ideal afternoon snack. Eat it raw, or spice up your snack a little bit. You can dip it in melted dark chocolate and freeze it the night before to make a more decadent cherry. If you are looking for some extra protein, you can add cherry slices, coconut flakes, and some flax seeds to a small Greek yogurt.

Young happy woman in wheat field via Shutterstock

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Tags: | Categories: GoodyBlog, Health & Safety, Your Life

Easy Reading with the NOOK Simple Touch

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Books are timeless joys for you and your kids, but sometimes it’s inconvenient to lug them around or check out all of your child’s favorites from the library. Long gone are the days of carting around your novels–the new NOOK Simple Touch holds over 2.5 million books and allows you to borrow books from your public library. It also stays charged for about two months at a time, and it’s lightweight so you can throw it in your purse and whip it out while the kids are waiting for an appointment, bored on errands, or simply just need entertainment. The best part is that it still reads like a book and isn’t affected by sunlight (similar to the Kindle). To top it off, the NOOK has a variety of kid-friendly apps available! You can get it for $79 now. Click here for more details.

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Tags: | Categories: GoodyBlog, Shopping & Gear, Time for Fun

Parents Quick & Easy Kid-Friendly Meals

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Parents magazine has a new cookbook filled with 125 tried and true recipes to ensure your family stays healthy and satisfied. Parents Quick & Easy Kid-Friendly Meals features recipes for breakfasts, lunches, suppers, snacks, drinks and treats. Even the pickiest eaters will dig in to tasty recipes like Mini Beef and Bulgur Burgers and Apple-Cinnamon Pork Roast.  And don’t forget dessert! Options such as Blueberry-Nectarine Buckle and Pixie Cakes are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. Order a copy today and start cooking.

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Lemonade For a Cause

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Can you imagine waking up in the morning, reaching for your glass, and discovering you had no clean water? It’s bad enough to resort to dirty water for yourself, but even worse to have to fill a child’s cup with that unsanitary water.

That is daily life for over 320 million people in Africa who don’t have access to clean water. Lemon:Aid encourages kids to take a stand in their own communities by setting up Lemon:Aid stands and donating the profits to Blood:Water. The Blood:Water Mission is a grassroots organization that empowers communities to work together against the HIV/AIDS and water crises in Africa. Children can learn how to help people in the world through their own work and experience the satisfaction of community service at a young age. Blood:Water even offers a Lemon:Aid kit complete with posters, temporary tattoos, and balloons to help with the planning of a Lemon:Aid stand. Check out their website to learn more about how you can help.

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Tags: | Categories: GoodyBlog, Health & Safety

Motivation Monday

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Let’s start the week off with a new snack and work-out move to keep up healthy habits!

This Week’s Work-Out Move: the chair lunge. Sneak your workout in by cranking out this move in the kitchen while dinner is cooking. Grab a kitchen chair, and rest the top of your right foot on it. Make sure that your left leg is far enough in front of you so that your knee bend forms a 90-degree angle when you lunge. Also, be sure that your knee doesn’t go over your toe to avoid injury. If you are having trouble balancing, hold on to another chair with your right hand for support. Bend left knee and sink into a lunge. Then raise it up, contracting your glutes. Complete 12 reps, and switch sides. The chair lunge will tone your powerhouse lower body muscles just in time to wear shorts all summer long.

Healthy Snack of the Week: choco-coconut berry mousse. Whip up something airy and decadent for your afternoon snack. Grab a Greek yogurt, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and raspberries. Use a knife to slice up the raspberries into tiny pieces. Mix the Greek yogurt with the raspberry pieces in a bowl. Sprinkle the top with the dark chocolate chips and coconut bits to top off the healthy snack. It combines your fruit and protein for a powerful punch. If you want to add a little extra fat, try topping with one tablespoon of almond butter as well. Bonus: Sub this snack in for your usual ice cream fix for a healthier alternative!

A portrait of a young woman outdoors via Shutterstock

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Motivation Monday

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Let’s start the week off with a new snack and work-out move to keep up healthy habits!

This Week’s Work-Out Move: leg lifts. Work the muscles of the outer thigh with this simple move. This exercise is incredibly functional because it supports the entire chain of muscles and joints in the leg. You know you have many more years to keep up with your kids, so you might as well get the gams in good condition. Lie sideways and place support on your right knee with your left leg straight out to the side. Keep your left arm bent behind your head to support your neck and use your right arm for balance. Raise your left leg to hip height and lower. Repeat for 30 seconds and switch to the other side. Do this 1-3 times a day, 3 days a week. Your leg strength will come in handy now and in the future!

Healthy Snack of the Week: Banana-nutter-butter bites. Grab a large banana and cut into quarter length pieces. Place a mini dollop of peanut butter on each banana slice, and then sprinkle with oatmeal flakes and mini chocolate chips. Stick each banana slice with a toothpick. Snack time will suddenly become an entertaining experience with these banana skewers. It’s a balanced mini meal with mostly fruit and protein and a little touch of sweetness. You can even put them in the fridge for a more refreshing summer treat. Keep the bites on hand for a tasty midday treat that your kids will love. If you want a slight flavor switch up, try dusting them with cinnamon or adding coconut flakes to the mix.

Happy woman jumping in the park via Shutterstock

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2012 CLIF Kid Backyard Game of the Year Contest

Friday, April 13th, 2012

It’s time to get your kids off the computers, Wiis, and cell phones and outside kicking soccer balls, swinging, and playing tag. Good old-fashioned outside play needs to make a comeback. On average, kids have eight hours less of outdoor playtime than their parents did. The folks behind CLIF Kid recognize the importance of outdoor play and are doing their part to help with their 2012 CLIF Kid Backyard Game of the Year program. “This contest tapped into something that kids need, which is inspiration to get outdoors,” said Jennifer Yun, CLIF Kid brand strategist.

Kids ages 6 to 12 are challenged to create a unique backyard game for the chance to win big. Six finalists will be flown to San Francisco in July 2012 to show off their new games with one being chosen for the grand prize: a $10,000 educational scholarship, Marin Bike’s kid’s bike, and a Bell kid’s bike helmet. The other five finalists will each receive a $1,000 educational scholarship along with the bike and helmet.

Here are the ground rules and instructions for entering: Each game must be able to be played outside with two or more players. Bonus points for game creators who use equipment such as balls, hula-hoops, and chairs. Some past game innovations include Hoop Ball, a rolling-target game; and Eagle’s Nest, a strategic tag game. “The contest focuses on not just getting the kids outdoors, but the positive benefits of nature long after,” said Richard Louv, best-selling author and Chief Outdoor Officer for the CLIF Kid Backyard Game of the Year. Sign-ups end on June, 17, 2012, so be sure to tell your kiddos about the contest and fill out the application here.

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Motivation Monday

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Let’s start the week off with a new snack and work-out move to keep up healthy habits!

This Week’s Work-Out Move: oblique-twist kick. This exercise is the ultimate stress-reliever to fight the busy and tiresome Mondays. Crank up some of your favorite jams and alternate these ab-toning kicks for one-minute sessions. Stand with legs shoulder-width apart and simultaneously twist your upper body to the left as you kick with the left foot. Switch sides and repeat. Make sure to bring the knee up high and really explode with the movement. Rest for a minute in between each session or bust a move to burn a few more cals. Squeeze in three rounds before your day begins or mid-afternoon when you need a burst of energy.

Healthy Snack of the Week: mini pb & js. Grab some multi-grain crackers, a nut butter spread, and ajelly of your choice. Instead of the traditional PB crackers, mix it up with some fresh fruit jelly spreads and varied nut butters. Use almond butter with an apricot spread for a twist on the traditional. Apple butter and crunchy peanut butter crackers offer a satisfying flavor that your kids will gobble up. Experiment with different kids to see what you and your kids enjoy. Mix blackberry and raspberry spreads for a springtime flair for your regular cracker snack. Pumpkin seed butter is a nutritious alternative for kids with peanut allergies. If you are looking for on-the-go products, Justin’s Nut butter offers squeeze packs in delectable flavors including chocolate hazelnut and maple almond butter.

Kick boxing female outdoors. Shot was taken with polarized filter via Shutterstock

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