June 12, 2011

Long Lost Blogger Mom

So I have had NO time lately to work on my many unfinished blog posts... Ahhhh, the folder under documents that says "Blog Posts" has a dozen or more deep-thought, research ridden nuggets to be shared, and eventually some day I am sure I will get to them each. But for now, I am caught up in the magical mayhem of life with a [nearly] 16 month old, a full school load (online so I can be at home with Mia) and just life.

Mia's first Easter egg hunt! She did such a good job!

Every day I have to adjust and readjust my "to-do" list to make it more manageable, because as a good friend told me at my baby shower, "cross off 'today' and write 'month' at the top of your to-do list... you'll be a happier person." As I have done that, I have also been coming up with various things to make life easier as a Mom and human being; small adjustments and shortcuts and time-savers. I thought I'd share a few with you since I think we're all in the same boat. Forgive the randomness, it is what it is. ;)

Workouts: Yes, working out is still a #1 priority for me. It HAS to be. And anytime that little voice starts to speak up saying that I should be doing something else with my time, I shut it down, because working out (at least for me) is one of the best things that I can do to make life better not only for myself, but for my family. If I've had a chance to burn off some stress, get my blood pumping and serotonin cruising, then I am happier, I am more relaxed, I have more energy and that radiates into my day and those I spend time with. Getting in the workout can be hard, especially with little ones, but it is crucial for your mental state. I have come up with many avenues of getting it in.
1. Jump up first thing in the morning, babies in the jogging stroller and take off running. You can get in an amazing calorie kick and day-long burn if you start with some sprints. Warm up for 5 minutes, then start in on 30 seconds of your fastest sprint possible, then reduce to a slow jog or race walk for 90 seconds. Repeat 8 times and head home! I run along a wall in my neighborhood. And after my 30 seconds of sprinting, I park the stroller and do triceps extensions on the wall, followed by single-leg and formal wall squats.
2. P90X Ab Ripper. This will get your tummy back from baby, and get you a 6 pack you've never seen before. The best part is that this particular segment is only 16 minutes long. I do with Mia climbing all over me after a run, or after I've read her 13 books in a row and need  a break. She is happy and fine to play by herself for 16 minutes while I get in some core work. This is very doable, and if you can work it in 4x/week, you'll have a sculpted core in a couple of weeks. It's amazing! Best ab workout, ever.
3. Stretch with your kid(s). Mia now knows when I am "exercising" or "stretching" and she is starting to get into it. What a good example to set for them about staying physically active and healthy. She loves it when I'm on the floor with her anyway, and throwing her around is almost better then a session of kettlebells (my second fav workout).

Mia swimming with her cousin Mark; she loves the water!

1. One of my favorite short-cuts lately are lemon cubes! I snagged a bag of lemons off my brother and sis-in-law's trees, came home and juiced the whole bag, and used a couple jars of fresh juice, but froze most of it in ice cube trays, and that has been amazing! I will make a smoothie and toss 1-2 lemon cubes in with a handful of spinach, a dropperful of stevia, green powder, coconut milk, handful of blueberries, and an avocado, and BAM, awesome smoothie. I put a cube in my water with a drop or two of stevia for fresh lemon water, and add a couple mint leaves from my garden. Delicious. I've even added a cube to my vegetable stir fry. They come in really handy.
2. As soon as I get my organic produce for the week, I take the 30-60 minutes when I get home to "prep" it all for fast use during the week. This seems like a pain but it ends up being a huge time saver. I chop melons into cubes and put them in a container, I wash grapes, lettuce, carrots, celery, etc., chop it all and place into separate baggies for easy snacking and access.
3. I make a triple batch of organic quinoa 1-2 times per week. I use chilled quinoa on top of my salads, or I just toss in some cucumber and avocado with the quinoa and drizzle balsalmic on top for a snack. I sautee veggies and eat them over quinoa, or I have quinoa with almond milk and fruit for breakfast. In short, it is an amazing gluten-free, protein rich grain that has proven essential to have ready-to-use in my fridge.

1. Yah right! Ha... :) They are never ending, but as long as I get 3 things done everyday, I don't sweat the rest. If those three things happen to be super basic, like Mia's laundry, a load of towels, and a trip to the grocery store, I call it a super day. Don't sweat the small stuff. I focus on the basics -if I can get the floors done and counters disinfected, and a "quick sweep" of the bathrooms, I am learning to live with that for the time being. It just not worth worrying about! Errands I can take Mia with me, and I can involve her in cooking and make it fun, but just take one day at a time and don't worry about what you don't get to.

The best "job" in the world xo

Mia has grown up so much in the past several weeks. She is signing like crazy thanks to the introduction of the Baby Signing Time videos from my girlfriend... Mia signs cat, dog, thank you, please, sleep, poop, eat, all done, more, car, cracker, bird, bunny, frog, horse and many, more, and she gives kisses all day, and blows kisses... it is precious! She talks up a storm, having double the verbal vocabulary as her signing one... saying "flower, butterfly, kiss, dog, Dada, Mama, Gramma, sleep, rest, cracker, more, please, sign, curtain, truck, choo-choo, Kipper, uh-oh, uh-uh, help, stuck, hug, etc. It blows my mind how fast time is going. She runs around in her little pig tails, smiling with blue sparkling eyes... she is getting into coloring, and is growing out of all her baby toys. She is obsessed with her new wagon, and wants nothing more then to be in the water all day... whether it's helping Mommy water the garden and flowers, swimming in the pool, or playing in the bathtub. And who knew how much fun a couple of kitchen utinsels and a bucket of water on the porch could be? And she loves "painting" our brick fireplace with a paint brush and a cup of water (very supervised of course). I am loving every minute of being a Mom, and learning to adjust to life outside of the ridged structure and task-completion that I was once used to.

Becoming quite the little person with a huge personality!

The other day she finally managed to scale the railing of her crib and flipped out. It was horrifying but we managed to get through, with just a bump on the forehead. As I speak a muffin crumbled Mia is looking up at me having just awoken from a nap and had her snack, so I am off once again on the Mommy Marathon, but can do so with more peace then ever knowing that I only have to take things one day at a time.



June 3, 2011

Recipes: Killer Quinoa Muffins

I got the base of this recipe off the back of my quinoa flakes box, but it needed some serious fixing up. So after I made a couple of changes, and added a thing or two, these muffins were the perfect start to my Sunday, and Mia ate them up. Completely gluten and dairy free, they are rich in protein, and melt in your mouth.


2 Ripe Bananas
2 Eggs
2 Tbsp. Organic Raw Honey
7 drops Liquid Stevia
1 tsp Organic (gluten free) Vanilla
1/2 tsp Pink or Sea Salt
1 tsp Banking soda
2 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 C. Quinoa Flakes
1/2 C. Blanched Almond Flour

Preset oven to 400 degrees. Mash bananas and combine with vanilla, stevia, honey and eggs. Stir together well. Whisk together dry ingredients in separate bowl, then combine all ingredients. Grease muffin tins (I use coconut oil spray) and fill about 2/3 full with batter.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, possibly more or less depending on your oven (start checking about about 13 min). Mine were perfectly done at 15 minutes. Mix it up by trying the recipe with peaches or blueberries, both also SUPER yummy! Also, you can add 2 Tbsp of cacao powder to make them chocolate banana muffins... probably the best thing you'll ever taste muffin-wise. :)