Connect the Dots Ginger | Becky Allen: tips and tricks
Showing posts with label tips and tricks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tips and tricks. Show all posts

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon Tips For New Runners: The Expo

Oh the EXPO! We hit the expo on Saturday afternoon last year. A TON of the Disney merchandise was already gone by then.

The Official Even Guide is up right now ( I love that they are taking this Frozen theme into it so much! I am sure that you will be seeing lots of Anna and Elsa's and Olaf's too as you run!). Take some time to look through it. Figure out speakers to go and watch. Familiarize yourself with the booths at the expo. One HUGE TIP! Know your budget before you go in there. Only allow yourself to spend $X amount of dollars so that you don't go crazy when you are in there. THERE IS A TON OF CUTE STUFF and you are going to want to get it all!

Here are my top things that I wanted, and got and other things to check out and do while at the EXPO:

1) The "I DID IT" Shirt! I had to have it. Yes I got a shirt with the race, but I love the idea of the I DID IT shirt. Because I earned that shirt and my gorgeous medal! Like I said above, most of the Disney Merch. was sold out. There were a couple of people at a table with the shirts they had left and they were handing out cards to go to a specific site AFTER the race to be able to order your shirt. BUT you had to do it right after the race, and they only had so many. So you better believe that after I got back to our hotel and before I got in the tub to soak I ordered my shirt. I got the Tech shirt and I LOVE IT! I wear it all the time. The back of it has the race route on it and it is great! It did take me about 2 months (no kidding on that) to get the shirt delivered to my house but when I got it I was doing a happy little dance and I seriously wear it all the time. ( I like the Glass Slipper Challenge merchandise so much this year!)

2) Mini Medal pin. This I ordered when I registered for the race. Yes, I have a lanyard with pins I have collected on it. They are special pins that you can only get if you have done them. Like I have one for the Disney Cruise Mexico, and for the Keys to the Kingdom tour, our Segway tour. So now I have my little princess half marathon pin on there! They had plenty left and Glass slipper pins left too so get those. Also, they make really cute Christmas Ornaments. They are small enough for the tree that you can hang your collection. (Maybe get 2 sets of pins.)

3) KT Tape. If you haven't gotten taped yet, but you have a lingering pain it might be a good idea to stop by the KT booth and get taped up professionally. As a back up though bring your own tape with you. By Saturday they were all out of tape and they said if I had my own they would tape me so, bring a roll with you but have them tape you up! I had my belly taped up for the race, prior to even leaving home so I was already covered with tape.

4) Get something specific for you that you are going to look back on for your experience. There are lots of booths with motivational items in them. I went with the shoe charms. My BFF and I got Sole Sisters. I also now want to get a 13.1 because I have done it. But there were lots of shirts that we saw that we really liked.

5) Try out the different flavors of GU. Gu will have a booth set up with samples. These are the same samples that will be available to you at mile 9. Know before you go. Technically if you haven't tried Gu before running the 1/2, like on your training run, then it might not be a good idea but you might need that pick me up, (that being said, if you haven't tried Gu or another energy picker-uper you still have to try it out before the race!) There are so many flavors from vanilla to mocha flavor to caffeine free. I went with Raspberry and Lime which were both caffeine free since I was so pregnant.

6) I wish I had a chance to listen to the speakers. My friend Elizabeth just did the Star Wars 1/2 at Disneyland last month and got to listen to Jeff Galloway and LOVED IT! She ended up getting his walk/run timer and used it to help her complete her first 1/2 marathon!

7) Take lots and lots of pictures. Even at the expo! It is ok, just do it! You will want to remember everything and the weekend is going to be a whirlwind of craziness and you will forget. So make sure you take PICTURES!

Want more daily motivation and inspiration? Click here get free advice, support and encouragement + a free copy of my Clean Eating guide to help you get started on your health and fitness journey! 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon Tips for New Runners: Costumes

The RunDisney 10k & Princess Half Marathon is in less than 2 weeks! Sadly, I won't be participating in this wonderful race this year but I did it last year and thought it would be fun to share some tips and tricks I learned about the race to any new participant this year! So I am going to do a series of posts over the next few days about RunDisney and the Princess Half Marathon!
(Brave inspired costume. Tutu by Race Junkie. Nike Shirt with custom vinyl by Be Bold.) 

A must do is to DRESS UP! Wearing a running costume is all the rage at RunDisney events! You don't have to but most everyone running will be wearing a costume of some sort! And generally they are Disney themed but seriously you can wear whatever you want to wear!

Trust me it is so much fun to run in costume and to see what everyone else is wearing to run in. Need inspiration? Check out my Pinterest page for some ideas.

Angie, from a Facebook group we are part of, gave me permission to post her picture with her AWESOME costume! She got the skirt from Run Princess Run, the top was homemade. Leg warmers are from Run Alice Run and the cape is from her daughter's costume (way to repurpose Angie!)

Outfit: Styles of costumes are important to think about. Tutu's are great to run in, however the length of the tutu does matter. Last year, I ran in a tutu. It was made by RaceJunkie (I am pretty sure it is past the cutoff point to order a tutu from her at this point.) If you decide to make one, there are lots of tutorials online, between now and the race make sure the Tutu is 9-12 inches in length. RaceJunkie does them 9 inches preferred, but I will say that it barely covers my big butt. The 12 inch tutu might be too long and can get caught in between your  thighs as you run and can cause a TON or chaffing! So shorter might be better in this case. Last year I saw someone wearing an ankle length tutu. Talk about annoying and painful! Oh, and be creative. You don't have to dress up like a main character. I have seen a Chip, from Beauty and the Beast, costume from this year. There is even talk about someone dressing up as a balloon lady, balloon and all. That will get everyone around her to run a little faster!

Trial and Error: Do a Test Run in your costume! So important! You will learn if there is chaffing before you have to deal with it for 13.1 miles. You will learn if your costume can hold up to running. You will learn the annoyances of it too. I had a large pregnant belly to help keep the tutu riding low on my hips, but when I ran in a tutu at 17 weeks pregnant my tutu kept riding up a big and I just ended up pulling it up above my belly button so I wouldn't have to deal with it.
(My BFF K. tutu and shirt from RaceJunkie)

Hair& Makeup: If you put spray color in your hair to temporally change the color of your hair while running. TRY IT OUT BEFORE the race day. Go do a sweaty workout or a nice long run that gets your head all sweaty to see how much the spray dye will drip into your eyes or if it will drip down your head. Also don't forget if you run in makeup try to wear waterproof mascara and eyeliner.

Motivational Quotes: Have sayings on your shirt, front and back. It was fun to read all the motivational sayings on the shirts. Seeing what was on the back and also trying to read the front. My friend who ran with me kept telling me how many people I was passing and I was 29 weeks pregnant. And others would come up from behind and say, how amazing it was that I was running at 29 weeks pregnant. My front of my shirt was my motivation to me and the back was a reminder that a very pregnant lady was in front of them.

Shoes: New Balance released a new series of shoes and they will be for sale at the Expo. Buy a pair if you want, but DO NOT RUN 13.1 MILES IN THEM THE NEXT DAY! Huge rule of thumb is to not do something new that you have already tested out. I saw so many people on the course wearing their new beautiful New Balance Cinderella shoes, some even with the satin as the laces. I saw bloody heels and hobbling going on from some of the ladies. You have been training for the last couple of months for this in your running shoes, stick with it for race day. And wear the awesome new shoes around the parks. Don't mess with running mojo on the day of the race!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Treadmill Interval Training

Some days it is just too cold outside to go running. For me, there is 1 Saturday a month that I  cannot run with the training group, guaranteed, because that is the weekend that Matt has his Army training. GO ARMY WIFE! So I am stuck with running on the treadmill or dreadmill as some call it for my long run that day. YUCK! (anything more than 4 miles on the treadmill is HARD! Also during the week though you can find me at the gym on the treadmill and elliptical. Since my gym has 2.5 hours of daycare allowed per day I try to spend a good amount of time there.

So what do I do from getting bored on the treadmill. First of all. I use the personal TV that is on the machine. Since I don't have cable TV at home I love to watch the Food Network when I exercise. I also go to the gym around the same time each day so that I catch my fav shows. I love cupcake wars and Pioneer Woman. And if I am there late enough I catch Ina Garten.

But also I am starting to incorporate interval training into my daily workouts. Since I do interval running/walking on the weekends I should be doing that during the week. I aim for 30-45 min 2 days a week of my runs. For a beginning runner or like me a slower one here is what I am doing:
You can adjust these speeds based on your current running level but the point it is to push yourself and for me 5.0 is pushing it. But because of this I have noticed that my average running speed on the weekends when I am running is around a 12 min mile. YEA! So it is working!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

What I am LOVING

Coconut Oil! I LOVE THIS STUFF! It is amazing! (oops, $1 goes in the jar!) I have been using coconut oil for everything right now it seems. I cook with it, feed my baby it and use it as lotion. Let me count the ways I love it!

1. It is a healthy fat! As I have mentioned Collin is not gaining as much weight as he should be. He is a super active baby and started crawling at 5.5 months and hasn't stopped yet. And I didn't supplement his solid foods diet with healthy fats. He was just getting super low calorie purees. So this month I have been fattening him up with FATS. No doughnuts or ice cream for him (although he has tried cake and ice cream and loves them) but I want him to have healthy fats. He dislikes avocados, and can stand egg yolks if they are mixed with bananas but the one fat that he will gobble down is coconut oil! I add 1/2 a teaspoon in his solid foods about 1-2 times a day. Like last night, he had prunes and 1/2 a teaspoon of melted coconut oil. (Coconut oil is actually solid until it reaches body temp, then it melts.) He loves the stuff and he smells so good afterwards when his face is covered with coconut oil! I wonder if he remembers the stuff from when he was just a tiny little baby. I used it to help my nipples when I started nursing him to avoid cracking and such. It totally worked!

2. Cooking with it! Matt loves stir fry and so I have been trying my hand at it. So I have been using coconut oil to coat my pan. Really anytime I use my pans on the stove I add coconut oil. I also use coconut oil spray to spray down my pan right before I cook my eggs. Mason loves the taste of coconut oil eggs and so do I. I know I am giving him good fats and not just empty calories and bad fats like from other spray cans.

3. Winter is hard on my skin. Really hard. I drink so much water but my hands and lips always get so chapped during the winter. So I have been using some coconut oil on my hands and lips to help them not be so bad. I apply at night so it has plenty of time to soak into my skin without me washing it off during the day and such and I will say that my hands look great! But it is not a quick fix. By the end of the day my hands are dry and ready for another coat of oil.

If you haven't tried coconut oil yet, GET ON THE BANDWAGON and try it! You will not be disappointed. It has so many good things for your body. You can add it in anything and not really taste it, unless you want to taste it, then you just use more. It is so clean tasting and it is just an amazing product that is like windex and can help almost anything.
What brands?: I use Trader Joe's Organic Virgin Coconut oil and also Trader Joe's Coconut Oil spray can. I also love Spectrums Organic Virgin Coconut oil but it is more expensive.

QOTD: What are you favorite things to use coconut oil in? Also I referenced 2 shows, 1 current TV show and 1 older movie in this blog post. Do you know what shows I am talking about???

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Survival Guide For The Gym In January: Home Gym

Welcome to part 3 of my survival guide for the gym in January. If you missed part 1 or part 2 check them out!

Let's say you have been weighing your options about a gym membership. You haven't been able to wrap your head around all the fees and the overall cost of the gym and it doesn't work for your budget. Or have you been going to the gym for the last 2 weeks and now that it is the middle of the month you might have decided that they gym just might not be for you. You tried it out and, well it didn't quite fit you. Well, This post is for you!

Have you ever thought about making a home gym in your house? A home gym? I bet you are thinking, I don't have the space, or a separate room, or the money? I'm not talking about having a ton of equipment but just getting the essentials for your house and what you personally need. The basics might be a set of dumbbells, a treadmill or elliptical, resistance bands, really that's it! You don't need all that fancy equipment to get a great workout. Here are some ideas below to help you out!

Let's say you just go to the gym and use the treadmill. No classes, no pool, no kids zone. You just go for the treadmill. Compare the costs of a gym membership for a year and the cost of the treadmill. If you have a corner space in your room you might have some space in your house for a treadmill. This can save you money over the long run and you will be able to do your workouts at your own time. Not the gym's scheduled. Same goes for an elliptical.

If you just use free weights, what about getting a free weights set. That have free weights that you can select the weight and with just a move of a button you can change the weight setting and they take up very little space. Or just get a standard 10-25 lbs set of weights. Or even a resistance band you can get a pretty good workout with!

Another great investment are at home workout DVD's. These are not like your mom's jazzercise workouts of the days of old. There are some major butt kicking workouts that will, WILL get you into shape as long as you follow their eating plan and exercise routines. A lot of workouts nowadays are 30 minutes or less. The makers are realizing that people don't want to spend hours at the gym. They want to get the same results in as little time as possible. The 30 minute workouts make you go, go, go for the entire time, and then you can rest. 21 Day Fix, Insanity Max: 30, P90X3, and T25, are all through Beachbody, and are all 30 minute or less workout programs. And if you want to get bulked up too, there are workouts for you too. But they are longer dvd lengths and program lengths. You can pretty much customize what kind of workout program you want to do. There is a DVD for you and whatever you want to do.

As with any workout regime if you want to lose weight you HAVE to incorporate healthy eating into your daily lives because you will not see the results you want unless you cut the crap food and eat clean. Abs are Made in the KITCHEN!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Running In The Cold

Oh man, today was a brutal run! I just checked the weather indicator that my Garmin has and it clocked todays run at 18 degrees. Not including the cross wind we had the whole time. I had no idea it was that cold, and boy was it COLD!  So what can we do to make sure that we are prepared for for that kind of cold.

1. Layers and more layers. Layers are good cause if you do get cold you can tie your jacket around your waist. But honestly I didn't see anyone take off their jacket today.

2. Head Coverage- Wear a headband that can cover your ears or ear muffs or even a beanie. I don't have this but I do have a hoodie on my jacket which helped out today, a little.

3. Wear a scarf to help cover your face and exposed skin. I didn't have this and I can tell you right now that my face is covered in wind burn. My face hurts. Around my lips the most.

4. Gloves. My fingers were very cold. I have a jacket that has the thumb holes that cover most of my hands but my fingers were exposed.

5. Just know that when it is that cold your pace could slow down because it is a little hard to breath when it is that cold. I had a hard time with my legs too because they were FROZEN! And at about 2.5 miles they were so frozen that they were numb. Which helped in me needing to take less walk breaks but my legs were so cold they were numb. CRAZY huh! Or it could be completely opposite that you might run faster to get out of the cold. But most people I talked to today ran just a little slower than usual.

6. DRINK WATER! The winter months are so deceiving but it is a lot easier to get dehydrated during the winter than the summer. We know in the summer to drink. We feel it, we see it with our sweat. Water out means water in. But when it is so cold, you don't sweat as much so we don't compensate with enough water. So make sure you drink WATER!

Hope this helps the next time you have to battle the cold.

~All my Arizona friends are basking in the sunny warmth right now as the are reading this! They live in AZ for a reason. Perfect winter days of 70 degrees!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Survival Guide For The Gym In January: Regulars

Hey all you regular gym attendees! This one's for you! If you missed part 1: Newbies check it out!

We all know what January is like. The gym is usually packed for the first 3 weeks. We all know it is coming and when it happens we all feel a little frustrated. We are so proud of the new people attending but what happens is our routine gets thrown off a little because we either have to wait for equipment to be available and our circuit gets changed up, or we have to hurry off the machines because someone is waiting. And the classes get filled FAST! All week it seems like every spin class has been packed! No bikes available where last month there were at least 2-3 open.

Here you your tips to survive the Gym:

~We know it happens. The gym is more busy in January and that is ok! Great for the gym. It helps keep your prices lower, right because they are meeting their membership requirements and they won't raise the price on anyone because of that.

~Plan accordingly knowing that you might be at the gym for 2 hours instead of 1.5 hours. Last year I did 30 minutes on my favorite treadmill. Someone was waiting behind for me to get off. I got off and went to another treadmill for the last 30 minutes. It happens. (I had to do that 3 times last year on a Saturday when I had a super long run.) But there is a limit on cardio of 30 minutes. Yes I have a favorite treadmill type, I call it the tank! I feel more secure on it and not like I am on a belt. But I am not the only one that prefers that type of machine. (and those machines are on the second floor right under the fans, where a bunch of the other treadmills are like 20 feet under the fans. Without fans, this ginger is even more RED faced!)

~Support and encourage the newbies. If you see someone kind of deer in headlights, help them out. Say hi to more people than usual. It is scary going to the gym and not feeling like you fit in, so help them fit in. You never know, one smile today could make them come back tomorrow.

~Go during off peak hours. Yes this will throw off your schedule because you always go to the gym at 10am to strength train. But guess what, 10 am is when everyone else wants to be there too. I have been going around 11:45 and haven't been kicked off my machines yet. The kids zone is less crowded too. I am so thankful to have the flexibility to go at different times during the day, but if you go when it is super crowded try to see if you can change it up, at least for the first month.

~If you plan to do a group class. Plan on being at the gym 15 minutes early to get a good spot or to sign up if it is limited size. Or pre-sign up if that is available. But just know to be early, or you might not get in the class you wanted or will be squished in Zumba!

~We are all going for the same reason. Let's be happy that we have a place to go to when it is only 11 degrees outside and feels like -2! SERIOUSLY!?! Do not want to run in that!

Final thoughts! It is sad but true fact gyms are super packed in January but this is only temporary. I wish that it weren't true because that means that more people are sticking to their new lifestyles and getting fit. I know many people that have these expensive gym memberships and don't go. Just wasted money. If you are a newbie reading this...PROVE ME WRONG! Stick it out. Don't do too much at once. Keep coming back no matter what. Make this your lifestyle and next year, in January, you will be a REGULAR TOO!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Survival Guide For The Gym In January!: Newbies

I am going to write a 3 part series over the next few days about this topic and it will be for EVERYONE! Today's post is for those that are new to the gym.

The new year is the #1 time of the year for gyms to maximize on their membership rates. So many people start out the new year with a new membership because they want to get into shape. They are tired of living the way they are and want to change for the better.

Is this you? Did you get a gym membership for Christmas???

YOU DID! WAY TO GO! So happy for you and welcome to the world of the gym. I am so proud of you to commit to yourself, and to your family. You are amazing. I know this wasn't easy and I know it was a little scary too! Going to a gym is very intimidating. There are so many fit people there to begin with and you might feel like you just don't quite fit in. There is learning the equipment, what exercises to do, how to fit in and just getting used to adding a new thing into your daily life.

Just know that you are not alone. Everyone new to the gym feels this way. We were all new at one point. My biggest fear about the gym when I went was because everyone was so thin and fit and I was not. I was overweight. What would they think of me?

Honestly, they probably don't even notice you or if they do, they are super proud of you for what you are doing and know that it is hard. No one should ever make you feel less because you joined a gym to take care of you!

The first few months of my gym I wore baggy cotton shirts and cotton shorts to work out in to hide my belly and fat. But I sweat like a Beast because I wasn't wearing the right clothing. I then felt self conscience of how much I was sweating. I felt weak in front of everyone because I was struggling to do squats and even just lift the bar for the bench press. I could barely walk on the treadmill before I was out of breath. I could hardly do the elliptical for 10 minutes without dying! But I kept going. I finally decided that I needed to be comfortable at the gym. I ditched my baggy shirts and cotton shorts. Got tank tops and fitted exercise pants. If the guys at the gym wanted to look well, that was their choice I was doing this for me. I wore no makeup and frankly I wasn't going to the gym to pick up guys. After a few months of dedication those same guys I was nervous of looking at me, judging me because I was fat, started commenting on how much stronger I was getting. And how much slimmer I was. I was losing inches and I WAS stronger. When I maxed out the weights on the leg press machine, not the one where you add barbells but the actual machine, the men were impressed! I was a force not to be messed with.

I had joined their ranks, but honestly I joined their ranks long ago. The day I decided to join a gym. I was a gym rat!
 Here are a few things to know to help you out:

~Don't worry about what other people are thinking of you. It doesn't matter. Honestly. I know at some point you will see someone and be like, to look like that. Well, to look like that, takes hard work and dedication. I frankly admire the women who lift weights. I want arms like some of those women someday.

~Right now know that the gym will be busy when you go. Because when you go, probably mid morning, is when everyone else will want to go. So to avoid the morning rush go a little later in the morning. Also the afternoons are just as crazy if not more so. Times to avoid might be 9:30-11am and 4:30-6. But your gym might be different. You can ask your gym when their busier times are and they will tell you!
~Limit your time on the cardio equipment to 30 min unless the gym is not that busy. In my current gym there are 3 different sections of cardio. I have a specific type of treadmill that I prefer to run on. My rule of thumb is if there are at least 2 machines open around me than I can go beyond 30 min. If not then I know that my workout could get cut short. Once that second machine fills up. I have to get off. There could be someone out there that prefers the same type of machine I do.

~Please use a towel when siting down at machines. Or at least wipe the seat down after you use the machine. You don't like sweating and nobody else wants to sit on your sweat. EWWW! And wipe down your cardio machine too. Wherever you touch just wipe it down.

~Take a little time for you after you workout. I have the kids in the kids zone and they can be in there 2.5 hours a day. I don't do 2.5 hours of working out. I do an hour to hour and half at most. Then I just lounge for a little while longer. Read a book, browse the internet. Use the changing rooms and get ready for the day, take a shower. Take time for you to relax.

~Don't take every class in your first week. Spread out the love of classes because if you do too much too soon you are going to hurt. You won't make it back to the gym tomorrow because you are sore, and then something else comes up and before you know it you haven't been to the gym in awhile. Don't fall into this trap of go to the gym and stop before you start. Take it easy. Go walking on the treadmill and watch a class going on or go to the class but at the back of the room and take it easy. Limit yourself to 1-2 classes a week at first. Know that if you take spin that your butt and other areas will be sore for at least 3 classes, you take! Go slow and over time you will be able to do more. It's ok to only do a little at a time!
~There are trainers there to help you. More than likely when you signed up you got a free 1-2 sessions with a trainer. They can take you around the equipment and show you how to use it, because they don't want you to get hurt anymore than you want to get hurt. DO THIS! It is a must! Have someone show you the ropes.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

My 7 Favorite Stretches After Running

Stretching is a must, especially as you start to add more mileage on. Your body takes a beating and it needs to relax. Stretching should only be done after the muscles are warm. So don't wait too long after you finish running to stretch. I try to do it within 30 minutes of running. Really right after I finish at the gym I tend to go to the stretching and plop down and do it, and if I do outside running then I stretch right as I walk in the door, and take off my shoes of course!

So here are my 7 must have stretches after running. Please listen to your body and don't bounce. Hold each stretch for a good little while. I count slowly to 30 or 45 depending on how much I need the stretch. Check out this AWESOME article about THE BENEFITS OF YOGA, ACCORDING TO SCIENCE by Jen Reviews!

1. Standing Quad Stretch
Just like you did in Jr. High school. Kick the heel of your foot up to your butt and hold. Do not pull the foot to your outside leg or let your knee flare out. Tuck your pelvis under and use a couch or chair for balance if you need. You should feel this in the front part of your thigh. Do both sides.

2. Standing Single-Leg Calf Stretch
You can use a wall to lean against, like the picture shows, or you can just brace yourself on your front knee. Place the right foot in front of you and extend your back leg back, you are doing like a mini lunge. Do not let your front knee go in front of your ankle. Keep a 90 degree angle on your front leg. Try to plant your left heel on the floor. You will feel the stretch in your back leg calf area. Repeat on other side.

3. Standing IT Band Stretch
You can use a wall for balance as in the picture. But I just cross my right foot in front of my left and bend to the left. You can raise your right arm up and over your head for more bend in your waist. You will feel this on the upper side part of the leg that is being crossed over. Repeat on the other side.

4. Straddle Stretch
Time to sit down. Your standing is done. I do it in this order cause if I got down on the ground I would not get up! Just like in dance growing up, just spread your legs out to the side. I like to lean over one leg to stretch each leg individually then go to the middle for the final stretch in this pose. I grab my toes so that I feel the stretch in the back of my legs on the hamstrings.

5. Pigeon Pose
My favorite yoga pose. I could seriously stay in this position forever. It feels so good! Bring your right leg in front and make a 90 degree angle bend at the knee with the foot turned in. Straighten your left leg behind, almost like a half split. Try to sit into that position and you can even lean forward over your bent leg in front. You will feel this in the IT band area, the upper part of your side leg that is bent. Repeat on the other side.

6. Lying Hamstring Stretch
Now going all the way to the ground. Lie all the way down. Raise one foot, flexed or flat, into the air trying to keep the other foot on the ground. Don't round your lower back. Keep that planted on the ground too. Hold your leg at your thigh or calf or grab a towel and sling it over your foot and pull on the ends of the towel to reach more easily. You will feel this in the back of the leg that is straight up in the air. Repeat on other leg.

7. Lying Hip and Glute Hug
Still lying on the ground keeping your lower back panted down, foot on the floor and cross your right ankle at your left knee. Grab the back of your left thigh and pull your legs to your chest. Also try to push your right knee out to the side and you will feel the stretch more in your butt and hips.

8) BONUS STRETCH! Corpse Pose

Lie all the way down on the ground. You can keep your arms to the side of your body or above your head. Just relax! Try not to fall asleep. If you have a 3 year old, this position can be dangerous because he will come and jump on your belly right when you aren't expecting it! TRUST ME! 

~Hope these help you! I just want you to start your year of running off right and taking care of your body, especially after a run, is the way to stay injury free and enjoy years of running! Happy Stretching! ~

Want more daily motivation and inspiration? Click here get free advice, support and encouragement + a free copy of my Clean Eating guide to help you get started on your health and fitness journey! Don't forget to follow me on INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Easy Homemade Baby Food

~Today's selection is: Oatmeal and Butternut squash. Blended together to give a more runny consistency. Add a small pinch of cinnamon for extra flavor. Just because they are babies doesn't mean they don't like good food!~
I am now in the journey of solid foods for baby Collin! I can't believe that we are already here and I even waited till 6.5 months. Time really does go by more quickly when you have more than 1.

Even though I am a busy mom of 2 boys I am still trying to fit in making baby food. It really is a lot easier than it seems. And a lot less expensive, even buying organic.

First of all I love this book. The Best Homemade Baby Food On The Planet. It is my go to book for this age. It is the first thing I will recommend to other mothers when they ask me what I use! It has EVERYTHING! It goes month by month, what your baby should eat. Talks about the consistency and how to slowly introduce new foods and why. And it has amazing recipes! I have tons of pages dogeared and notes written about how to make it work best for me. It even takes you to 2 years old of yummy recipes! We have used many a recipes and even used the older ones for a family dinner recipe. Veggie "Meat" Balls were pretty tasty!
A lot of stores have pre cut and washed foods available to buy. All the hard work already done. I love going to whole foods and getting the butternut squash chopped up. All I have to do it stick it in a pot and steam it or in some boiling water for just a little bit to cook and soften. Stick it in my blender and warm bam DONE!

Also frozen foods are easy too. I used frozen peas, put them in boiling water to cook for about 3-4 min and blended them up. DONE! How easy is that. I know that Whole Foods has frozen sweet potatoes too and that was Mason's fav so I bought a ton of those for him.

~With the lid off. the cubes are rounded off on the bottom to make removing from the tray. Just close up the tray run under hot water for a little bit and they just slide out!~

You will also need ice cube trays or I have these: Mumi & Bubi Solids Starter Kit. This portions out the food to 1 ounce cubes, that I then stick in a ziplock bag, run under warm water to defrost and it is warmed and ready for Collin to enjoy! All you do is just pour your blended up food into the tray, pop the lid on and stick in the freezer. Once they are frozen transfer them to ziplock freezer bags so that you can make more baby food.
~Peas and butternut squash~

Cost of my homemade baby food: 
Container of Cut and cleaned butter nut squash from Trader Joe's: ~$4
Makes 27 ounces

Jar of Earth's Best Sweet Potatoes: 2.5 ounces:
$.89-.99 per jar.

Helpful hint: Make your own rice or oatmeal cereal for baby! Place 1/2 cup of oatmeal or rice in your blender and place on the highest setting to pulverize it to a fine powder. When cooking I find that it makes it really thick. So I add the cooked rice or oatmeal back to my blender and add more breastmilk or water to thin it out. Easier for baby to enjoy.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tips & Tricks: Healthy Halloween

1) Talk to your kids first and foremost about how much candy is enough. Kids like the idea of candy but do they really need all that candy? Talk to them first and say, we are only going to this one neighborhood this year. Also tell them that they can not empty their bag and start over. It is one bag only and explain how much they will get.

2) Find a smaller neighborhood and just go there. Or just go trick or treating at a local church. When you get home have them help pass out some candy or only go and see their friends house in the neighborhood.

3) Line their trick or treating bag with batting or decorations. (Trick I do with our pass out candy!) (Pictured at top)

4) Fill the bottom of their bag with fruit, or make arrangements with a neighbor to give them fruit (you provide the fruit) Make that your first stop so that their bag is weighted down and so the fruit (apples and oranges) take up more room.

5) Make a "fill to this line only" line on their bag or bucket. Once the candy reaches that line, they are done.

6) Buy a smaller trick or treating bag. Invest in a customized one that just doesn't hold as much candy as the buckets do.
~Masson's Personalized Creations bag. Only about as big as his head!~

7) Talk about what you are going to do with all the candy. Make a pre-planned schedule as to when they will get their candy. Reward for doing chores? Or a sticker system?

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