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Motivation Monday

Monday, April 2nd, 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: around-the-world plank. Try this variation of the plank to keep your core muscles guessing! Building strong abs is part of functional fitness, so you will be able to keep up with all of your kiddos more easily. Lie down on your stomach; then, lift up onto your forearms. Hover while keeping your core tight and your back straight. Make sure your head is neutral by looking a few inches in front of you. Here comes the mix-up! Straighten your right arm out to a 45-degree angle, and bring back to center. Then, step the right leg out and repeat this motion on the left leg and arm. Keep this circular pattern up for 20 to 30 seconds. Do 3-5 sets for some strong momma abs.

Healthy Snack of the Week: spring parfait. Whip up a delightful parfait for a snack that has some spring-time flair. Grab a Greek yogurt, fresh papaya, a handful of Goji berries, Agave nectar, coconut flakes, and toasted almonds. Fill the bottom of the dish with a third of the Greek yogurt, adding a layer of sliced papaya. Spread another layer of yogurt; then, drop a handful of Goji berries on top. Finally, add the last layer of yogurt and sprinkle the top with toasted almonds and coconut flakes. Drizzle with Agave nectar to your liking. This parfait is packed with protein, fruit, antioxidants, and a little bit of sweetness.

Enjoying the nature. Young woman arms raised enjoying the fresh air in green forest via Shutterstock

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Motivation Monday

Monday, March 26th, 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: jump rope. Grab your kid’s jump rope and exercise
theold school way. It may be challenging at first, but it will be beneficial for yourcoordination skills as well as your health. Start off slowly and jump for as as long as you can. Go at it for ten minutes and work your way up to 25 minutes. When you get to the point where you can go for minutes at a time without stopping, jump for 40 seconds and rest 2o seconds. This provides an interval effect that helps heart health and calorie burn. If the rope is too much, try jumping in place sans jump rope. You will still get the hops and the movement necessary for benefit. Get the kids involved with your workout and have timed jump roping contests!

Healthy Snack of the Week: cinnabun shake. Yes, you can slurp down beverages that taste like cinnamon rolls and still be healthy. What good news to start your Monday! Grab your blender and pour a half a cup of almond milk, 16-ounce Greek yogurt, 1-2 tablespoons of cinnamon, a few ice cubes, handful of raisins, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon Agave nectar and a handful of mixed nuts. Blend and enjoy!

Happy woman jumping in the park via Shutterstock

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Motivation Monday

Monday, March 19th, 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: side plank. Start with your right side and lie down on the ground with your legs stacked. Slowly raise your hips and legs off the ground while balancing on your right forearm. Rest your left arm across your chest or raise it upward for a more advanced position. Hold this position for 30 seconds to a minute and repeat three times. Don’t forget the left side! You can squeeze in your three times throughout the day or knock them out consecutively.

Healthy Snack of the Week: Cinnamon-dusted orange slices. Peel a medium-sized orange and sprinkle it with cinnamon seasoning. For added sweetness, give slices a touch of Agave nectar or Stevia. This snack works perfectly when you are really in the mood for a treat and it’s packed with vitamin C. Get the kids involved and have them help peel oranges and then share the sweet slices with the family.

Young happy woman standing in yellow rapeseed field holding a white piece of cloth in the wind expressing freedom via Shutterstock


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Motivation Monday

Tuesday, March 13th, 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 run. Well running isn’t really a move, but it sure does count! With warmer springtime weather on the horizon, it’s time to break out the
sneakers and get outside. If you haven’t jogged in a few months (or years!), it’s best to start out with run/walk intervals. Try running for two minutes and then walk for one minute. After completing this cycle 10 times, you will have a 20-minute run under your belt. Start where you are comfortable and play around with the intervals. A run in the fresh air will burn calories, increase your endurance and keep your heart healthy (just to name a few benefits!). Squeeze it in before the kids wake up and you will feel rejuvenated for the rest of the day!

Healthy Snack of the Week: apple pie a la mode. The sweet smell of cinnamon and the feeling of comfort come together in perfect harmony with a slice of apple pie. The traditional flavor can be packed into a healthy snack for your hectic week. Grab a Greek yogurt, apple (sliced), dash of cinnamon, a few pecans and Agave nectar. Scoop the yogurt into a bowl, slice up the apples and add the cinnamon, pecans and Agave nectar to the mix. It’s a protein-packed snack that tastes like dessert.

 

Young woman running outdoors on a lovely sunny winter/fall day via Shutterstock

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Motivation Monday

Monday, March 5th, 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 wall sit. This intense exercise requires no equipment and provides the ultimate leg workout. It can be done while the food is cooking for dinner or even in your room before you get the day started. Stand against the wall, and sit down into a squat, stopping when your legs are at a 90-degree angle. Make sure that your knees do not go over your toes. Keep your back straight and shoulders back with your arms out in front of you. Hold the squat for 30 seconds to one minute. Repeat three times. You can increase the time as you strengthen your legs. Get the kids involved, and have a wall sit competition!

Healthy Snack of the Week: Brad’s Raw Chips. If you are up for a crunchy snack during the afternoon, this chip variety is ideal. They are made with all raw and organic ingredients. It’s a good way to sneak in some veggies for your kids as well! Brad’s Raw Chips feature different flavors, including garlic and vegan cheese, kale, red pepper and sun dried tomato. Grab a handful, and pack in a Ziploc bag for an on-the-go treat. Pair it with hummus for a little extra staying power.

 

The smiling girl portrait against a mountain landscape in Mongolia via Shutterstock

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A New Lesson From Sesame Street

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a Sesame Street Workshop event in New York City. We learned about its new mission to increase awareness of developing good oral health habits in young kids. According to the Surgeon General’s report, 40 to 50 percent of children will be affected by tooth decay by age 5 and more than 51 million school hours are lost each year due to dental conditions. The experts pointed out something I hadn’t considered: Dental health isn’t just about appearance. It affects all parts of a child’s life, from their general health and well being to their levels of confidence and performance in school.

With the help of the Sesame Street gang, including Abby Cadabby (who I got to see in person!), the message to take care of kids’ teeth is spreading.

Healthy Teeth, Healthy Me teaches children about teeth and how they can keep them clean to maintain a strong, healthy body. Sesame  Street partnered with MetLife to make this program a reality for kids. Three hundred and fifty thousand Healthy Teeth kits will available at no cost through many partners such as Alliance for Hispanic Health Fund, Sam’s Club and Children’s Health Fund, which was founded by one of our advisors, pediatrician Irwin Redlener, M.D. The outreach kits are available in both English and Spanish and include a Sesame Street DVD and a family booklet. See what it’s about with this new video for the “Brushy Brush” song—see if you can spot the celeb guests, including Bruno Mars, Wendy Williams, and Nicole Kidman!

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Motivation Monday

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Let’s start the week off with some nutritious eats and a little bit of core work.

Get moving with these tips to stay healthy and fit. Here is your weekly dose of inspiration to jump start your Monday.

This Week’s Work-Out Move: plank. Springtime is on the horizon and the hype about tight abs is continuing to build. Tight abs are nothing to complain about, but a strong core that helps you lift tiny children is a lot more valuable. The plank is the ultimate go-to move to strengthen the deeper abdominal muscles that help you with stability and balance. Stop what you are doing three times a day and hold a plank for 30 seconds to one minute. Keep your feet shoulder width apart and rest your forearms on the ground. Keep your abs contracted and stare at a spot a few inches in front of you making sure to keep the neck and spine in neutral alignment. Make sure that your rear end is in line with the rest of your body and that you are tight and compact. You should be raised horizontally over the floor. Set the timer and make sure to inhale and exhale! If you want more of a challenge, come up onto your hands with palms on the floor instead of forearms. Work your way up in time and make sure to challenge yourself as you get stronger.

Healthy Snack of the Week: Larabar. This snack is the epitome of a nutritious and quick option for the busy mom. It comes in many flavors ranging from peanut butter and jelly to cappuccino. Larabars contain minimal ingredients so that you and your kids won’t be consuming extra harmful additives. The base ingredients are a combination of dates, nuts and fruit. You can even nab some mini Larabars for your little ones.

Candid skipping carefree woman in field with flowers at summer sunset via Shutterstock

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Motivation Monday

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Let’s start the week off strong and focused with a positive perspective! Get moving with these tips to stay healthy and fit. Here is your weekly dose of inspiration to jump start your Monday.

This Week’s Work-Out Move: incline push-up. This week, try the king of arm exercises—the push-up. It targets the chest muscle and is challenging because it forces you to control your entire body weight. The body flexes during the movement and the core tightens to keep all of the limbs in alignment. The incline movement puts more stress on your triceps and the back of the shoulders as well as the chest. Find a couch, bed or the edge of a chair and place your hands shoulder width distance on the bench. Lower down so that your chest touches the surface. Rise up to the starting position and make sure to keep the neck relaxed and in alignment throughout the movement. To help with this, try to find a spot on the ground a few inches forward to focus on. It takes some time to build up your chest muscle endurance, so start slow and work up to more repetitions each week. Begin with 3 sets of 5 to 10 repetitions.

Healthy Snack of the Week: power-up antioxidant trail mix. Package up the trail mix into separate Ziploc bags with the appropriate single serving size in each one. That way, when the week gets away from you, you can provide your kids and yourself with something nutrient dense to snack on. Grab a handful of almonds, a handful of Goji berries and a square of dark chocolate chips (preferably 70 percent or above). This mix is packed with protein, free radical-fighting antioxidants and a little sweetness.

Young woman doing pushups in a field via Shutterstock

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