Adventure is my middle name! Well not really but you get itΒ 

Is this weather crazy or what? It is so warm even in the city, which for those of you unfamiliar with San Francisco, is rare. Today we ventured right outside of the city to a town called Sausalito amd celebrated my husband’s grandparents anniversary (yeah, that’s a mouth full.) Few things make me happier than getting out of the house with the family and going on an adventure, especially if it’s somewhere I haven’t been before. I’m sure I’m not the only one who realizes that sometimes we take our surroundings for granted because we are so used to them and our daily routines are so scheduled. I’m realizing it’s important to take the time and experience the beautiful places in our own backyard, so to say. I hope our lil guy enjoys adventures as much as I do and that we can help him appreciate nature. It worries me how reliant children are on social media and technology these days for entertainment, and while I wouldn’t want Sean to miss out on that, I also want him to be able to have experiences like did growing up; building forts, playing in the mud, climbing trees and then some. Do any of you who have kids have advice on how to balance the intense technology and the simple things in life as your kids get older?  

 

Stop and smell the roses

Happy August everyone, the Sunday of summer! Anyone else kind of confused as to how it can already be August? I feel like it was January five minutes ago. I was reminded the other day that my little human will be one years old in just two and a half months..people always tell you time flies by once your baby gets here but wow..what an understatement. I remember when I was pregnant last year during the hottest summer on record here, I prayed for time to just hurry up, now all I want is it to slow the heck down. Sean is quickly becoming a little man with his very own personality and I want to hold onto these moments as much as I can. Today we strolled around the park, him in his little baseball shirt, me with a large coffee in hand (per usual); I saw so many people with their toddlers running around and realized how soon that will be him and that I need to appreciate this pre-walking baby phase as much as possible. Sean loved looking at all the kids running around and laughed as they screamed and played tag..oh to be young again. I’m looking forward to the days when he can run around and talk, but don’t get me wrong, I’m in no hurry! It’s so fun watching our little ones grow up, and we grow up right along with them. Three quarters of the time I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing, there’s definitely no manual for becoming a parent and I may look like a mess or feel like a zombie sometimes but he’s happy and healthy, that’s what counts and in return makes me happier than I’ve ever been.  What have been some of your favorite memories with your little humans?

 

Low fat dinner, happy tastebuds

Happy Monday everyone, I hope it’s not toooo bad! Over the weekend I surprised myself by making some things that were very low in fat and my husband actually liked..I know, hold for applause. I made a reduced guilt taco salad (minus the taco) and frozen yogurt dabs. I shop at Trader Joes but you can modify the ingredients for where you shop. I will start with the yogurt dabs because they are embarrassingly easy and should be done first to be put in the freezer for a few hours. I hope you give these a try and let me know if you make changes that I can try out the next time I make this! 

Yogurt Dabs

Ingredients 

  • Trader joes non fat pomegranate Greek yogurt 
  • Trader joes non fat black raspberry Greek yogurt
  • Parchment paper

Take a tablespoon and scoop enough yogurt to cover the spoon, then use your finger to slide yogurt onto parchment paper. Carefully life the paper (might want to use two people for this) and place on freezer for a few hours, they freeze pretty quickly. Take off of parchment paper and enjoy! ..told you it was easy. 

Reduced guilt taco salad

Ingredients

  • Lean ground beef or ground turkey
  • Trader joes reduced guilt guacamole made with Greek yogurt
  • Light sour cream
  • Trader joes taco seasoning 
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Mexican blend cheese 
  • Salsa or tomatoes 

Place meat on the stove, once it starts to brown add 1/4 package of taco seasoning (if you like it very strong add more) Wash romaine and place in bowls while meat cooks. When meat is ready spoon over the lettuce, top with the sour cream, guacamole and cheese. I did not add the salsa on mine because with no gall bladder it’s hard for me to eat spicy foods right now but normally I would add chunky salsa as well. This is so easy and quick to make but satisfying, perfect for busy parents and students. Now eat up!  

 

Run, mom, run!!

This is my first guest blog! Janice is a working momma of two whose article I was introduced to through a mutual friend. I won’t go into much detail as her article speaks for itself but I am so proud to be apart of a community of fit moms who give so much to their kids and their work, but also realize how important it us to for us to carve out time to work on ourselves and our health.

How to Be a Running Mom

By: Janice Bruce

I hear it all the time: “How do you do it?” Occasionally, someone is asking about my decadent mashed potatoes, but usually this has to do with my diligent running routine and how I am able to balance working and being a mom. Unlike many running moms, I think I had the benefit of already being a runner before I had kids.

I know it doesn’t come easily for everyone, though, and I have definitely struggled and sacrificed at times. Because running is so necessary for my sanity, I knew I needed to figure out a precise plan in order to be able to lace up my kicks multiple times a week. With 2 boys younger than 7, everything must be a coordinated effort.

Here is a rundown of how I manage it.

Always Be Ready

I know, you probably rolled your eyes when I mentioned a “precise plan.” When it comes to kids, everything is perfectly unplanned. I decided that the same goes for running. I tell myself, “I will get a run in some time today,” but I don’t always know when that will be, so I stay ready to dash out the door at any given time.

When my second was born, I was often doing my errands in my running clothes. I might drop the kids at swim lessons and run around the pool neighborhood. Or as soon as my wonderful husband came home from work, he took over kid duty for the next 30 to 45 minutes so I could work in my run for the day. (I should definitely mention that my partner in parenting has been hugely supportive, and I wouldn’t be able to juggle it all without him.)

Since returning to work, my routine has actually gotten a bit easier because the kids are at school or daycare all day and I run at lunchtime, then eat at my desk. On days when that doesn’t work out, I do sometimes find myself running as late as 10 o’clock at night. If you’re considering running alone very early or late, please take appropriate safety precautions or think about a gym membership. Here’s a bonus tip: Keep a backup set of shoes and clothes in your vehicle.

Pump Early & Often

I chose to breastfeed my little dudes. After learning everything I could about using and storing breast milk, I devised a plan. I pumped between 3 and 5 times a day because, remember, I didn’t know exactly when or for how long I would be gone on runs. While the duration of many of my runs wasn’t that long, sometimes my run times would coincide with feeding time. This would give my husband the ability to feed with or without me there. Another benefit of this was that I wasn’t always the one obligated to get up in the middle of the night, as we always had some milk stashed in the fridge.

The only time this didn’t work as well was on race days. Running a half marathon would mean that I would go up to 3 hours without pumping. To compensate, I pumped as soon as I woke up that morning around 4 a.m. I remember when my older son was just 7 months old, breakfast was in the car parked as close to the start line as we could manage while fellow racers were milling around waiting for the race to start. So learn the guidelines for milk storage, and save all you can.

Letting Go Sometimes

My best advice is probably to not stress out if you have to sacrifice something every so often. Take breaks when you need to. There will be a time when some other priority has to somehow fit into the schedule. For instance, I took a long break when I got a mommy makeover. As I said, I’ve been a runner a long time, and my athletic body was something I was proud of and really a part of my identity. Of course, pregnancy and breastfeeding brought changes. I suddenly had a lot of lumps and bulges that wouldn’t go away, even after a year and a half of diet and exercise.

I started reading up on surgical solutions and found this website from San Jose mommy makeover specialist Dr. Lepore. I realized I was going to need several weeks of downtime, and although I could gradually resume some exercise, I needed to keep it low-impact for a while. I decided this was something I wanted to prioritize, so I didn’t run for a few months. This little exercise in shifting gears helped make it easier to cope when other things came up, like the husband getting sick or school being canceled unexpectedly. I learned to let go a little and not beat myself up about skipping days.

I truly believe that running helps me be a better mom, so my family and I have found a way to make it a priority in our lives. With your loved ones’ support and some careful planning, you can make it a priority, too. 

 

Learning to live a healthier life

Last Friday I had my gallbladder taken out so I’m sorry for being MIA the past week or so but I loved reading all your comments about your own similar experiences. One good thing that has come from this craziness is that my blood work from the ER showed that my HDL cholesterol is really low and I have some hereditary cholesterol issues, that we most likely would never have known about until it was too late, so the gallbladder attack was a blessing in disguise. Now naturally it’s not been all roses, recovery has been a little slow and all of the dietary changes have been a struggle for me..and I mean STRUGGLE. No more red meat, no more dairy, no more fatty or fried foods, no more alcohol..say it ain’t so! However, like all parents I want to be around for as long as possible and if these are the changes I need to stick to then damn right I’m going to do it; I know as I adjust everything will become so much easier. The lesson of this post is you may control your health by eating pretty well and exercising, but some things just happen and can go undetected so get check ups when you can, check your blood work every so often and try to be the healthiest version of yourself by taking preventative measures. Now on a lighter note, Sean our toothless wonder, is almost 9 months and is one crazy kid, but he’s definitely the best motivation I could ask for. While being stuck in the house with him has been entertaining, I decided to try to walk a bit today to start getting back out into the world, and although I didn’t last long it felt good to be outside and get some fresh summer air. How are you guys spending your weekends this summer, anything fun??   

 

When life hands you lemons

You have no choice but to make lemonade. As many parents know, vacations and relaxation come far and few between these days. We went up to Clearlake with my husbands family at their beautiful new house, and the first day of our trip consisted of trying to soothe our lil human who is teething badly right now. By later afternoon he was finally feeling better and mama was ready to get her vacation on. I swam, tanned, played games, drank some coronas and throgouhly enjoyed having family there to help with the baby so we could rest a bit. We all went to bed late after talking and fishing on the dock, which was so fun. Then our vacation was cut extremely short, I woke up at 4 am feeling as if I was going to die so my husband ran me to the ER (on 4th of July) and turns out I developed gallbladder stones and some liver issues. Life is going to be very different from now on in terms of my lifestyle, no more fatty foods, no more Taco Bell after a night out on the town, no more dairy, which for an Italian is unthinkable; veggies, fruit, chicken and fish is all I can stick to. I’m trying to look at this as a positive in terms of finally getting fully healthy and getting my weight back to pre-baby status, but I’d be lieing if I said I think it’ll be an easy change. Have any of you made this change or have advice? I’d love to hear some  

 

27 going on 22

So apparently I turned 27 today..which is super strange since I still feel like I’m in my early twenties. I think most of you can relate, but this year I didn’t even realize my birthday was coming up and for the first time I really didn’t even care. Before our little human came along I would get so excited to celebrate my birthday, but I would also dread it a little bit because birthdays mean getting older. This year I felt relaxed, and ready to welcome this new chapter in life, because for once I actually understand the saying “another year older is better than the alternative.” Part of me is envious of Sean because he literally is just starting his life, but how lucky are we that we get to spend the rest of our own lives watching them grow and become amazing human beings. To celebrate today my husband took me across the bay to Sam’s Anchor Cafe, one of the most beautiful locations with delicious sea food, if you live in or visit the Bay Area I highly recommend checking it out. The little guy loved watching the birds and seeing sail boats come in and out of the harbor, he had never seen that before. The weather was perfect and it felt so nice to get out of stay-at-home mom mode for a few hours. We are officially at the stage where Sean is trying to talk and had a few loud outbursts during lunch, which was followed by several stares from other customers..needless to say I officially felt like a parent.  It’s hard to believe I am 27 and Sean is 8 months, I’m not sure how time is flying so fast but I know that now more than ever I want to take advantage of every day I have.