5 Simple Instructions for Husbands on Mother’s Day

MOM text letters with white and red hearts over blue wooden background

Follow these 5 simple tips to create a Mother’s day she won’t forget!

 

  1. Spoil her rotten

This doesn’t mean go out and buy her an expensive piece of jewelry, this just means let her sleep in, fold the laundry, empty the dishwasher, entertain the kids, and make school lunches for the next day. In our house nothing says love like an empty laundry basket and folded clothes.

 

  1. Mother in-laws are not invited

There are many amazing mothers to celebrate and your mom deserves major kudos…but that doesn’t mean we need to spend the entire day with her. PS…I hope my mother in-law doesn’t read this blog ;). Set aside a little time to make your baby mama feel like #1. There’s plenty of love to go around!

 

  1. Spa Day

A little relaxation goes a long way! A gift card to a local spa for her to use on Mother’s Day or another day is always a hit and never gets old. If you don’t have the funds think about turning your bathroom into a spa for a few hours. All you need are some candles and bubble bath. If you really want to take things to the next level click here for some great do it yourself spa ideas. Remember the tricky part is making the house quite enough for some good ole piece and quite. Otherwise known as, take the kids to a movie while spa time is happening.

 

  1. Homemade Gift

Yes please!! Nothing warms a mother’s heart like their little cherub’s handprint or a homemade coupon book full of free hugs. No worries if you aren’t a crafting kinda dad, just head on over to the Wellements Mother’s Day Pinterest Board for some great easy craft ideas.  We also happen to be big fans of Cool Mom Pics Mother’s Day Crafts.

 

  1. Acknowledge all Her Hard Work

Drum roll please….This may be the easiest and simplest instruction on the list, but it is by far the most important. Being a mom is the hardest and most rewarding job in the world. Every once in a while it just feels great to hear that your family recognizes and appreciates everything you do for them.

Top 4 Favorite Natural Cleaning Products

Homemade green cleaning.Lemon and baking soda on white background

It’s that time of year! Dust off the cob webs and get your spring cleaning on! With small children in the house you may be looking for nontoxic chemical free products. Here is a quick list of the key players we use in my house:

1. Baking Soda

This is the base to many of my homemade cleaning creations. It is a natural deodorize and can be placed in just about any stinky situation…think litter box! I also love to make a paste out of it by adding some water and then using it to scrub grill gates, stainless steel appliances and crayon marks that have mysterious appeared all over my house…hmm.

2. Vinegar

If I could pick a cleaning product to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame it would be Vinegar. Why?? It can freshen a fridge, clean stains off of coffee cups, eliminate orders, kill bathroom germs, clean carpets, take stains out of clothes and remove gum. The list goes on and on!! Click here for more information on how to make vinegar solutions.

3. Lemon Juice

“Lemon tree very pretty, but the fruit is impossible to eat!” Huh!? Yes, that was a song lyric from and old 70’s music group and so true! The high concentrate of citric acid in lemons makes it possible for this juice to get out all types of stains and it is also the reason that it tastes so sour. It is amazing at removing soap and toothpaste scum! All you need is half a lemon and some salt to get started.

4. Essential Oils

Lately everywhere I go I see these little gems! My favorite to clean with and keep lice away is Melaleuca or Tea Tree Oil. This oil has many awesome benefits and since it is antibacterial, it can be used in cleaning products and to stop the spread of germs. Fifteen drops of this powerful oil mixed with 1 quart of some warm water will make an awesome multipurpose cleaner.

Happy Spring Cleaning!! Don’t forget to enter our Spring Cleaning Contest for a chance to WIN a $150 Whole Foods Gift Card and Vapamore Steam Cleaner!!

 

What do you use to clean your house?

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Baby’s Gut Health

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By Katie Ferraro, MPH, RD, CDE

www.ingrainhealth.com

 

Your baby’s gut is a remarkably complex set of organs and interactions that work in unison to provide nutrients to the growing body. But when something goes wrong in the gut, boy does that baby want you to know about it! Here are 7 things you didn’t know about your baby’s gut health:

 

1.Probiotics

Not all bacteria are created the same! While parents work hard to minimize kids’ exposure to harmful bacteria, babies should also have an opportunity to let their good bacteria thrive. Probiotics used during the first three months of life can contribute to the prevention of colic and also aid in digestive health[i]. Wellements Organic Probiotic Gripe Water helps treat both colic and promotes digestive health with its beneficial strain of probiotic bacteria. And it’s not just babies who benefit, a recent study in Genome Biology found that bacterial exposure during infancy may affect gut health later in adulthood[ii].

 

2. Constipation

Some babies poop every day, others can go days or even a few weeks without a bowel movement. If a child is straining because of hard stools, constipation may be the culprit. There are natural remedies that can help alleviate constipation or slight changes to the diet that can be tried for older babies. For babies over 2 months old, adding 2-4 ounces of fruit juice such as grape, pear, apple, cherry, or prune juice two times per day can help promote motility and get things moving again[iii].

 

3. Allergies

The medical community’s conventional thinking about introduction of allergenic foods has changed in recent years. For many years it was thought that withholding potentially allergenic foods – such as peanuts – would help reduce allergy. But new studies suggest that even for a baby at elevated risk for food allergy, he or she could start on peanut-containing foods prior to one year of age, and this may actually reduce overall allergy risk. Widespread adoption of updated guidelines is still pending, but the consensus is shifting towards earlier introduction of potentially allergenic foods, even for at-risk-for-food-allergy babies.

 

4. Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) does not just afflict adults. In fact, recurrent abdominal pain is present in 10 to 20 percent of children[iv]. Factors such as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), genetics, even mental health and grain-gut signal problems may all contribute to IBS. While there is no cure, IBS can be treated and managed with changes in medication, diet and nutrition, addition of probiotics and a variety of therapies for mental health problems.

 

5. Stomach Size

New mothers often worry that they may not be producing or expressing enough milk for a newborn baby. Knowing how small your newborn’s stomach actually is can help alleviate fears about adequate intake in some parents. An adult’s stomach capacity is roughly the size of a softball. Compare that to he much smaller capacity of a newborn’s stomach:

 

  • Day 1 of life: a baby’s stomach capacity is approximately the size of a shooter marble
  • Day 3 of life: stomach is approximately the size of a ping pong ball
  • Day 10 of life: stomach is approximately the size of an extra-large chicken egg[v].

 

6. Frequency of Stools

New parents often marvel about how much interest they are taking in their baby’s poops! Counting wet and dirty diapers can provide valuable insight as to whether or not a baby is getting enough milk:

 

  • In the earliest days of life, a baby has roughly one dirty diaper for each day of life
  • By day 4, the baby has at least 3-4 stools per day, but they are only about the size of a quarter
  • Moving into weeks 2-6, parents can expect 3-4 or more stools per day, the size of a quarter or larger
  • After 4-6 weeks, babies have less frequent bowel movements; some babies even go 7-10 days without stooling

 

Regardless of your baby’s frequency or size of stool, as long as the baby is gaining weight per the recommended guidelines, variations from these numbers can be entirely normal.

 

 7. Introducing Solid Foods

For years, N. American healthcare professionals have recommended waiting until 4-6 months until starting solid foods. But a growing body of organizations around the globe now recommends no solids until 6 months (not 4-6 months). The reason for waiting is that earlier in infancy the space between the cells in the gut are open, which is great for absorbing antibodies in breastmilk. But this “open gut” can also allow large proteins from other foods through, which can predispose babies to food allergies. After about 6 months, gut closure occurs and babies begin producing their own antibodies that can help protect against allergy and other invaders[vi].

 

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[1] Prophylactic use of a probiotic in the prevention of colic, regurgitation, and functional constipation: a randomized clinical trial. Indrio, et al. JAMA Pediatr. 2014 Mar;168(3):228-33

[2] http://genomebiology.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13059-015-0763-5

[3] https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003125.htm

[4] Di Lorenzo C, Rasquin A, Forbes D, et al. Childhood functional gastrointestinal disorders: child/adolescent. In: Drossman DA, ed. Rome III: The Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. 3rd ed. Lawrence: Allen Press, Inc.; 2006: 739

[5] http://www.ameda.com/breastfeeding/the-first-12-months

[6] http://kellymom.com/ages/older-infant/delay-solids/

 

Putting the Good Bacteria to Work for Your Baby

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By Katie Ferraro, MPH, RD, CDE
www.ingrainhealth.com

 

As parents, we sure do spend a lot of time trying to protect our babies from bacteria. Baby-centric aisles at the store are packed with anti-bacterial soaps, hand sanitizers and entire lines of antimicrobial products that tug on the heartstrings – and pocketbooks – of well-intending parents.

A Probiotic Primer

While bad bacteria can certainly wreak havoc on our little ones’ systems, we should not underestimate the power of good bacteria for babies. All humans young and old house both good and bad bacteria.

You may be surprised to learn that your microbial community is established during the first few years of life. Factors such as gestational age at birth, delivery method, infant diet (formula vs. breast milk) and exposure to antibiotics all impact the microbiota of your gut.

Microbiota refers to the normal inhabitants of our digestive tract, which houses somewhere between 300-500 bacterial species that are made up of almost 2 million genes. Collectively this is referred to as the microbiome. And our babies’ microbiome is a really big deal. Striking a balance with our babies is an important consideration for establishing optimal digestive and immune health later on in life. One way to help increase our body’s good bacteria – and, more importantly, our baby’s good bacteria – is to consume probiotics and prebiotics.

Probiotics refer to living microscopic organisms that can have health benefits. Probiotics are the actual “good” bacteria in your gut whereas prebiotics are the food that feeds the probiotics. Prebiotics are beneficial because they promote the growth of healthy bacteria over the harmful types.

Soothing a Baby with Good Bacteria

Crying is the number one cause of pediatric visits for infants under three months of age . It is estimated that up to 28 percent of infants are affected by colic . As a mother of infant quadruplets myself, I can tell you firsthand that statistic holds true in our household: three of our babies (the boys) are perfect angels from whom you never hear a peep, but our dear sweet daughter has a catastrophic case of colic.

As a registered dietitian nutritionist, I knew about the benefits of probiotics for digestive health. But as a mom looking for a natural cure for crying, I was interested to learn that probiotics in babies can also help reduce colic. One study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics found that prophylactic use of probiotics during the first three months of life contributed to the prevention of colic and also helped improve digestive health . As a busy parent who wants what’s best for my kids, any product that can promote my baby’s digestive health and reduce crying (while at the same time preserving my sanity) has my vote!

Probiotics Perfectly Packaged

So if probiotics can help both digestive health and colic, how can we safely administer probiotics to infants? The Wellements Probiotic Gripe Water is the perfect solution for parents seeking a natural solution for both overall digestive health and colic. This organic product contains no preservatives, no alcohol or parabens and is gluten, dairy and soy free. There are no artificial ingredients and it is a safe and natural remedy designed for babies age 2 weeks and older.

I was able to pick up Wellements Probiotic Gripe Water at Walgreens for $18.99. I’ve been using the product daily for a month and I can honestly say I’ve seen an improvement in my daughter’s colic. I’m also pro probiotic for my baby since I know probiotics are linked to lower risk of asthma and eczema, as well as food allergy in infants at high risk for developing food allergy .

With probiotics on board I feel like I am giving my baby her best shot at starting life out healthy and happy.

______________________

 1Problems of early infancy, formula changes, and mothers’ beliefs about their infants.
Forsyth BW, McCarthy PL, Leventhal JM. J Pediatr. 1985 Jun; 106(6):1012-7.
2Reducing parenting stress in families with irritable infants. Keefe MR, Kajrlsen KA, Lobo ML, Kotzer AM, Dudley WN. Nurs Res. 2006 May-Jun; 55(3):198-205.
3Prophylactic use of a probiotic in the prevention of colic, regurgitation, and functional constipation: a randomized clinical trial. Indrio, et al. JAMA Pediatr. 2014 Mar;168(3):228-33
4Probiotics, Prebiotics & Food allergy Prevention: Clinical Data in Children. Fiocchi, A; Pecora, V; Dahdah, L. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2016 Jul 63 Suppl 1:S14-S17.

Here are 5 Simple Tips to Make Your Life as a Mom Easier

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1. Make a Plan

Every Sunday night sit down with your family and go over the upcoming week’s schedule. Let them know of any doctor appointments, sports practices, games, or other events that may affect their daily routine.

2. Get Rid of all the Extra Junk in Your House

If you don’t use it, recycle it by giving it to a friend who will use it. If none of your friends want it, donate it!! Nothing feels better then getting rid of junk and organizing your house!

3. Early Bedtimes

Kids need a lot of sleep, so don’t feel guilty for putting them to bed early. You are giving them the gift of sleep and yourself the gift of valuable alone time!

4. Use a Key Rack and Purse Clip

If you are anything like me you probably spend a good portion of your time looking for things for yourself and other family members. Keep your keys on the rack, your purse on the clip and you will have two less things to search the house for!! Yippee!!

5. Keep Extra In Your Car

You can never have enough treats, diapers, and wipes. I always travel with an extra outfit for my toddler!

 

4 Ways to Avoid Holiday Happiness

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The first signs of the holidays show up in August. I repeat the same line in my
head each year, “Already? They already have Halloween decor in the stores?”
For some unknown reason this alone sends my brain into panic. “What will my
kids be this year?” “Where will we go?” “And of course that means
Thanksgiving is on it’s way. I better figure that out too.” The thoughts continue
until I’m thinking about summer plans and it’s still August! Phew. That was
draining and what happened to my last years resolution of being “in the
moment.” This year, when I spotted the Halloween decor after spending a
summer day at the pool, I didn’t worry. Well maybe the thoughts came, but I
told them to go away. I decided I wasn’t going to destroy the spirit of the
holidays with stress.

Looking to ruin your holiday happiness? Here’s how!

1. Loosing Yourself in Commercialism.

Let’s face it. Holiday’s mean big bucks for the economy. I will be the first to admit that it is fun to shop for and give gifts to family and friends. However, I  am realistic with my budget and expectations. According to a study, 1/3 of adults go into debt during the holiday season. I don’t know about you, but overloading my credit cards will without a doubt get in the way of my personal peace and happiness. The tradition in our home, is to pack up bags of toys and clothes to give to the less fortunate before new gifts arrive. Discussion of how lucky and grateful we are reminds us all what is truly important in life. There are so many ways to get your family involved in giving during this time. From “adopting a family” for gift giving, to volunteering in a soup kitchen, our help is needed. My intent is to create new traditions in our family that focus around “giving.”

2. Perfectionism

I love Pinterest and I hate Pinterest. As I search to add recipes for my New Years feast, I take note of everything else I need for the meal. I can’t forget decorations,kids crafts, place cards and festive napkins. The list goes on. Although, I will admit to loving the thought of doing it all, I can’t possibly find the time. As I bring myself back to reality, I again remember what’s important. A delicious healthy meal with friends and family always sounds “perfect” to me.  And let’s face it, if the food isn’t yummy no one will notice the décor! Speaking of the food, I order it. Well I order the main  dish at least. May grocery stores offer turkey, ham, or other meats that can be pre-ordered. Ordering my main dish allows me to focus on all the yummy sides and desserts.

3. Cutting Exercise Out

I get it. There is so much to do and exercise seems like the easy thing to let go of. The truth is if you keep it in your schedule, everything else will seem easier. I think of exercise as my medicine. It keeps my muscles limber and relaxed. It lowers my anxiety. It gives me more patience and kindness towards others. The list goes on. Does this sound like something that is worthy of giving up? Now way! Again, I give up on the “perfect” and strive for something meaningful. I can take a 10-30 minute walk, go through a series of yoga poses, or even close my eyes and breathe, I feel better. Studies have shown that  even 15-20 minutes of more intense exercise can burn more fat and improve endurance levels.

 4. Participating in Family Drama

For many, being surrounded by family is stressful. Again let go of perfect. No one is. The holidays tend to bring the ugly out, and I’m not talking sweaters. Choose to avoid gossip, negative talk and grudges during the holidays and all year. We are hardest on the ones closet to us while they should be who we forgive the quickest. If you need a time out, take it. Bringing humor to any situation will help decrease tension. Or better yet, think of Granny Bo’s quirks as the entertainment for the night 🙂

 

How will you keep smiling during the holidays this year?

 

Written By: Karyn Hendricksen, MS M.A.T

Karyn Hendricksen is a health and wellness enthusiast. She is passionate about gathering as much knowledge as possible pertaining to staying healthy, naturally.

Karyn’s education includes a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology and Specialist Certification in Muscle Activation Techniques. She loves to educate others on how fun and easy it can be to lead a healthy lifestyle through both blogging and public presentation. When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her awesome husband Russ, and daughters’ Alexa and Stella. She can be found Restorative Wellness Center.

Three Ways to Avoid the “Halloween Hangover”

Halloween candies

Do you know what scares me? It’s not ghosts, witches, or bats. It’s S-U-G-A-R! In just a few short days our adorable, character dressed, kids will be on a mission. Knocking door to door singing songs of smelly feet, searching for their pot of gold. They will accomplish their task in two hours or less, arriving at home with a plethora of sweet, sugar-filled, mouth watering…….candy. For those that try to limit sugar consumption, Halloween night can be frightening. Rest assured, I am here to tell you not to panic. Here are three tips to keep your kids happy while avoiding the “Halloween Hangover.”

1. Blame it on the candy fairy

I have heard parents use this tactic over the years and I think it’s awesome. Explain to your children that excessive sugar isn’t good for their teeth, tummies or brains. In our house we call it the “sugar bugs.” Introduce them to the candy fairy. Her goal is to keep them healthy. She will replace their candy with a present. Let your kids pick out their 5-10 favorite pieces to ration over the week and put the reminder in a bag. Have them write a list of 5 gifts they would like the fairy to leave in lieu of the candy. Reinforce that this is a gift for making a good choice about their health. To this day, I have never heard of a child denying this option.

2. Candy for cash

We all know at some point our kids won’t buy the ‘ole “candy fairy” story. Over the past couple years I have seen dentists offering cash for candy. Many of them donate dollar for dollar to a charity. This is a win-win for everyone. The kids are taught about helping others in need while earning money for their candy. To find a dentist participating in your area go to Halloween Candy Buyback.If there is no one local, you can always implement this tradition in your home. You just may want to implement a rule that they use their cash for something non-sugar related.

3. Teach them moderation

There is nothing wrong with an occasional indulgence and it’s important to show kids at a young age how to enjoy a little a day. This may be the most important lesson when it comes to food. If we deny them of sugar, they want it more. However, if we give them control over choosing a couple small pieces a day to enjoy we demonstrate self-discipline, and healthy eating behaviors. Growing up, this is the choice my parents made. I believe this taught me how to enjoy and not over-indulge. We have done the same with our children. After about a week they forget the candy is on the shelf and stop asking for it. By late November it’s in the trash and sometime around January I hear, “hey what happened to our Halloween candy?” I simply tell them I had to throw it out, it got stale:)

 

 What are your tips for avoiding the “Halloween Hangover”?

 

Written By: Karyn Hendricksen, MS M.A.T

Karyn Hendricksen is a health and wellness enthusiast. She is passionate about gathering as much knowledge as possible pertaining to staying healthy, naturally.

Karyn’s education includes a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology and Specialist Certification in Muscle Activation Techniques. She loves to educate others on how fun and easy it can be to lead a healthy lifestyle through both blogging and public presentation. When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her awesome husband Russ, and daughters’ Alexa and Stella. She can be found Restorative Wellness Center.

Are Your Pots and Pans Toxic?

pots and pans

 

When you’re working hard to feed your family healthy foods, it’s devastating to find out your cookware could be toxic. This is exactly what happened to me about five years ago. I had friends over for dinner and was cooking vegetables on my aluminum pan. My friend peered over my shoulder and said, “do you know that pan can leech toxic materials into your food?” And so began my research on “safe” cookware. My findings led me continuously to three materials that were deemed the safest.

 

  1. Cast Iron

    Cast Iron pots and pans have been used for many generations. They are heavy, durable, safe. The brand that has the highest reviews is: Le Creuset. I decided the price tag was way to high for me to replace all of my pots and pans. They range from $75 – $400 a piece. I have decided recently that this is a great birthday present.

  2. Stainless Steel

    Stainless Steel was my personal choice although there are some drawbacks. My set is made by Calphalon.The advantages are that stainless steel is affordable, safe and fairly light. The disadvantages are the conduction of heat and messy residue it leaves if it’s heated to quickly or too high for the food. Since I wanted to replace all of my pots and pans at once, the safety and price-tag were the most attractive for me with this material.

  3.  Hard Anodized Aluminum

    Hard Anodized Aluminum Pans that are safe and toxin free. This means they have been sealed so they won’t leech toxins when heated. It should say “sealed” on the label and if it doesn’t make sure to ask. The Environmental Working Group says if you choose to use these pans never to pre heat the cookware and to use an exhaust fan above the stove. They suggest the best pots and pans to use are cast iron and stainless steel.

Who knew that choosing our pots and pans had to be so confusing? My advice is to pick a couple pieces that will work for almost anything. One medium sized pot and one large pan is a great place to start. You can always add to your collection in the future but at least you know your healthy food will stay “clean” and free of contamination.

 

What are your favorite pots and pans and why?

 

Written By: Karyn Hendricksen, MS M.A.T

Karyn Hendricksen is a health and wellness enthusiast. She is passionate about gathering as much knowledge as possible pertaining to staying healthy, naturally.

Karyn’s education includes a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology and Specialist Certification in Muscle Activation Techniques. She loves to educate others on how fun and easy it can be to lead a healthy lifestyle through both blogging and public presentation. When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her awesome husband Russ, and daughters’ Alexa and Stella. She can be found Restorative Wellness Center.

5 Ways to Trick Your Toddler Into Healthy Eating

Funny sandwich for child on wooden boards

1. Hide the evidence

There is nothing more pleasing then watching my girls suck down a smoothie filled with greens. As they delight in the flavor and icy texture, I grin from ear to ear, knowing they are getting their vitamins and minerals for the day. I have found ways to mix berries, bananas and greens in a smoothie where the green taste is hidden amidst sweet fruit flavors. For tips on how to make the perfect green smoothie check out: Super Healthy Kids: How to Make a Green Smoothie.

2. Sauce it up

Kelley Bird co-owner of Grabba Green, a healthy fast-food establishment in Scottsdale, Arizona says simply, “kids like to dip.” Their menu includes proteins like chicken, tofu and steak on a skewer with fun sauces to dip them in such as; honey mustard, guacamole, and ginger-miso. When it comes to our home, my girls love hummus and vegetables. Ketchup is also a big hit with homemade fries and buffalo hot dogs. I stick to the organic brands without high fructose corn syrup so I don’t mind them indulging.

3. Make it visually fun and colorful

I will admit it, I’d much rather eat a meal that is aesthetically pleasing to the eye off fine china then a mashed up meal on a paper plate. Kids are the same way! I recently had my daughter’s birthday party at our home and wanted to offer healthy snacks before cupcake time. I searched Pinterest and found awesome displays of vegetables in the shape of a smiley face and a fruit tray that looked like a rainbow. Served with princess plates and fancy forks, the kids gobbled up the snacks like candy.

 4. Give them A Chef Hat

Letting children help cook and make their own plate gives them added control over their meal. Taco night is a favorite at our home. I put all the fixings; lettuce, tomatoes, beans, meat, peppers, etc in little bowls. I give them a taco shell and let them go to town filling them. They actually put more vegetables in the tacos then they would normally eat just because they like to make it themselves. I have also found giving them kid knifes and forks allows them to feel independent, as if it’s their choice to eat and not because they are being forced to.

 5. Be A Role Model

Remember in the early years, your kids are your shadow. They look up to everything you do including the food you eat. If they witness you enjoying a salad and making healthy snack choices, they will too. At young ages they want to please you and share in your meals. Let them try anything. Well almost anything. When it comes to my iced tea—ALL MINE J.

 

What are your tricks for getting kids to eat healthy?

 

Written By: Karyn Hendricksen, MS M.A.T

Karyn Hendricksen is a health and wellness enthusiast. She is passionate about gathering as much knowledge as possible pertaining to staying healthy, naturally.

Karyn’s education includes a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology and Specialist Certification in Muscle Activation Techniques. She loves to educate others on how fun and easy it can be to lead a healthy lifestyle through both blogging and public presentation. When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her awesome husband Russ, and daughters’ Alexa and Stella. She can be found Restorative Wellness Center.

Making Time For Mommy

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As I sit here on an airplane bound for Salt Lake City, I feel naked. On

either side of me, are two grown women who can feed themselves, take

themselves to the bathroom and are fully independent human beings. Our

conversations are both meaningful and meaningless ranging from cars to

natural make up. Before I was a mom, travel was a stressful event. Now,

traveling alone is relaxing and enjoyable. It’s funny the way things change as

we dive into motherhood. As precious as the time is with our children, the time

without is equally as significant. It is essential to our survival….. “mommy-time.”

Over the past seven years, the most important thing I’ve learned about being a

present mom is taking care of myself.

1. Exercise is not just for your heart

In my twenties I viewed exercise as a way to burn calories and “look good.”

Now, I am focused on “feeling good”. A huge shift in my patience and ability to

cope with daily stressors is evident after I move. My mind is calm, my body

feels relaxed and I am ready to deal with whatever comes my way. I am

grateful to fit it in whenever I can. I don’t stress about miles logged or calories

burned. If I have even ten minutes, I go for a walk or practice deep breathing.

Always keep in mind that even a small amount is better then nothing and

research shows that as little as ten minutes helps your cardiovascular system.

2.It’s okay to make friends that are not moms

I remember feeling very alone the first year of my 7 year olds life. I went from

being a professional, talking to adults everyday to trying to understand and

communicate with a fussy baby. I struggled with meeting moms who had

something to talk about other then their kids sleeping habits. Not that there is

anything wrong with those conversations but day after day like that left me

feeling a bit lifeless. I didn’t realize that it was ok to make friends without kids. I

have learned to enjoy the play dates for my children but have sought out

woman with similar goals and interests. I believe everyone comes into your life

for a reason and to stay well-rounded with friendships is very important for self growth.

3. Play dates are a nice way to socialize with other moms but lets face it, it’s not the same as a “girls night out.”

This tip has been so vital to my survival as a parent. Day after day of caring for

children keeps your energy and focus on them. This can be extremely draining

to a mother’s spirit. There is nothing like a “girls night out” to bring some energy

into your soul. When I’m with my close mommy friends, we laugh,

commiserate, and am able to let my guard down and relax. I prescribe a

minimum of one per month but more is ALWAYS better!

4.Put on your mask first

I know, we’ve all heard the airplane cliché but it’s nothing short of the truth.

Until we can take care of ourselves mind, body, and spirit how are we to care

and love another? I remember feeling so guilty when I was without my baby. I

worried about how others would think of me, a new mother alone and shopping

at the mall. I now realize how much that alone time means. If my mind is not

calm and peaceful I am no good to my children. I understand now how

important it is to take care of my needs too. Whether it be yoga, shopping, a

manicure or reading a book in silence, I treasure my alone time. I know that it

makes me a more attentive and loving mom. I also know how important it is for

my girls to know that I respect myself enough to take time for me. My hope is

when they have children of their own, they will follow my example.

What are your struggles when it comes to taking care of yourself?

Written By: Karyn Hendricksen, MS M.A.T

Karyn Hendricksen is a health and wellness enthusiast. She is passionate about gathering as much knowledge as possible pertaining to staying healthy, naturally.

Karyn’s education includes a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology and Specialist Certification in Muscle Activation Techniques. She loves to educate others on how fun and easy it can be to lead a healthy lifestyle through both blogging and public presentation. When she isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her awesome husband Russ, and daughters’ Alexa and Stella. She can be found Restorative Wellness Center.