Baby food!

The other day I posted pictures of my homemade baby food and thought I would go into a little more about how I make my own.  I enjoy making it and I prefer my babies to have homemade baby food, but I do give them store bought baby food as well from time to time.  I don’t always have access to fresh ripe fruits and vegetables so I will give them some.  But both my boys have always seemed to enjoy homemade food better and I feel better knowing exactly what fruit or vegetables they are getting and not just some “mixed berries”.  

When I first started making food for my now 3 year old I had a “Munchkin Fresh Baby Food Chopper & Steamer Green In Box” and it sucked.  The chopper only cut thin paper and you couldn’t do more than a half of a sweet potato at a time.  I froze it in glass baby food jars and just so you know, that’s a bad idea and they will break.  So I changed to filling up ice trays, freezing, and putting them in a big ziplock.  Well it gets freezer burn fast, so I could never make a lot at a time.  

I finally just started to boil everything and then blend it to smooth and it’s so much better.  I do want to get a good chopper, but it’s not that hard to just cut it up.  I normally let everything boil for at least an hour depending on what it is and then let it cool in the water that it’s cooked in.  Harder fruit and veggies I sometimes cook for an hour and a half to 2 hours, but once they break up easily you are good to go.

 

After it cools, I drain all the water off and start blending.  I always like to let mine blend for a little extra, stir, and blend again just to make sure all the lumps are out.  That’s really all it takes.  I have had a couple things that came out a little too watery and I just added a little rice cereal to it and it was good to go.  I have also made some things and my kids hated the taste, so I would just mix it with another veggie and they would go crazy.  You may have to play a little, but it’s not as hard as it seems.

 

Now the other day I did try something new and I am changed forever.  I have said that the jars didn’t work and the “ice cubes” were ok, but I have found something so much easier and I will never go back.  BREAST MILK STORAGE BAGS!  If you ever nursed you probably have storage bags. I bought some, had tons given to me, and had a lot sent to me as samples.  So when I stopped nursing I still had a box full of them.

 

Well they have a new purpose now!  Fill them bad boys up with baby food, lay them flat to freeze and then they can be stored easy in the door, and they can be thawed in less than a minute.  They have measurements on the side (I do 4 oz) and the label is already there so it’s super easy.  I would recommend buying a funnel so you don’t make a mess like I did trying to pour straight from the blender into the bags, but other than that it’s great.  When you need some you just pull a bag out, turn on the hot water and fill a cup up with the hottest water you can get from the sink.  Drop it down in there and you will have ready to go baby food in a minute!   


Don’t be scared to try this.  It’s easy, cheap, and you know what your baby is getting.  That alone is enough for me.

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Mental Health

David Satcher said, “There is no health without mental health.”  Too often when we think about getting healthy we only think about our body, but we have to remember what it really is that keeps us going and a lot of the time holds us back.  The mind is powerful and can take us to great places when we keep it thinking positive, keep learning, give it time to rest, and don’t beat it up when it’s not so positive.  

Growing up I fought with my mind a lot.  I had a mostly verbal abusive father that turned physical when I was 13 and pushed me to abusing drugs to clear my mind.  I tried to find anything I could to numb the thoughts.  I was very lucky that I got away from it all before it took me away for good.  Too many times that’s not the case and I’m very thankful that I had people that helped me overcome it.  Unfortunately I lost a very close friend to their mind about 5 and a half years ago and it makes me more aware of my own thoughts.  So I think it’s extremely important that everyone be aware of their mental health and know they have options and don’t have to be alone.

As a mom I think it’s very easy to put your health aside because you are too worried about your children’s well being.  After my first I remember being overwhelmed at times, but it wasn’t till my 2nd son was born that I really felt like I was going down a very bad path.  I was nursing him at one point for 7 hours a day.  7 HOURS.  That’s crazy for a 1 month old.  After talking to his doctor, we decided that I wasn’t able to give him enough so we supplemented and it got a little better.  It was still hard trying to keep my 2 and a half year old happy and healthy on top of the very needed new born, so I was very up and down with how I feft.  I started gaining weight and never really felt happy so I went to my OB and we decided I should probably stop nursing and go on a different birth control and see if that would help.  So at 5 months I stopped nursing and tried to start working on losing the weight and be happy with myself again and I had been doing good.

Then my still not so easy baby seemed to be getting worse with sleeping and for the most part is never happy throughout the day unless he is being held.  I started losing my temper with everyone and felt extremely stressed.  I would try to talk to the people closest to me about how I felt, but they would all just say “oh you don’t really feel like that” or “it’s not that bad” so I stopped even trying to talk to them.  I didn’t want to get up at night when he would start crying or scream at him when nothing would calm him down knowing it wasn’t his fault.  I had a night that he had been up 3 or 4 times in 3 hours and I was so tired and sick of trying to get him to sleep.  I was mentally breaking and I was on the verge of crying when I finally got him to sleep.  I went back to bed and wrote in my journal that I was ready to give up, I couldn’t take care of him anymore and that he would be better off with someone else.  I needed to write it down and get it out of my mind.  I needed to sleep and wake up in a better place and start fresh.

Since then I have dealt with everything much better.  I didn’t want to take my own life, but I was ready to pack my bags and find a nice quiet place to never leave.  I know I am going to have bad days when nothing goes right and my mind will try to go down that path, but I know I will get through it.  I also know that if I ever get to a place where I feel like it could go too far I can talk to my husband or call either my insurance help line or the national mental health hotline.  No one is alone if you feel you need help.  Being a mom is stressful and hard so don’t feel like you are doing it alone.  Even for people that are not parents go through things that are hard and take a toll on your mind.  Talk, write, get out of the area that makes you feel bad, meditate, listen to music, or whatever clears your mind.  Never be ashamed of how you feel.  You are going to be ok.  It may take some work and changing some things, but there is always someone who cares.  You may not know them and they are just a voice on the other end of a phone call or they may be your best friend that didn’t know you were having such a hard time.  You just have to open up and be honest.  I promise someone cares and wants you around.

I found this article that is simple, but is really good.   https://www.womenshealth.gov/mental-health/good-health/

Take a moment to look over it.  They have some great resources as well.

 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-8255

Our physical health is important, but our mental health is everything.  Don’t let it slip away!

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1 month down

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I can not tell you that I have done everything I wanted to everyday in the last month.  I can’t tell you that it’s so easy now that I don’t even have to try because that’s total bull shit.  I haven’t lost a ton of weight or dropped 3 sizes in a month.  It hasn’t been an overnight transformation with my body, but let’s talk about what has changed and what is working.

I will tell you first that I rely on my fitbit for most of my motivation.  I jog at 11pm because I need to get my steps for the day or it tells me when I haven’t got 250 steps in the hour and I have 10 minutes to get my butt up and do something.  It tells me how many calories I can eat depending on how active I have been so far that day.  I just add my food and water in throughout the day and it’s super easy to do.   I love this little thing and the app.

 

I have went from struggling to jog for 15 minutes to being able to get in 25 with no problem most days.  Yes that’s only 10 minutes more, but I can feel a difference and try to push myself a little more each day.  Jogging has been the one thing that I have been most consistent with.  If I don’t jog, I have walked a good bit that day or done some dancing to really get moving.  So jogging has been my most successful goal and I’m proud of myself for sticking with it as much as I have.

 

Now I believe that you can’t just change one thing and get the results that you want.  So on top of being active I try and stay under 1200 calories a day, but stay around 1000 most day’s.  I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but I eat a good bit of the right foods.  And that’s what it’s really about, eating the right foods throughout the day so you don’t feel like you are starving between meals.  I try to go light for breakfast and lunch so I can have a little extra for dinner.  My suggested amount is about 1500 calories a day, but I normally have no problem staying under so I do and then when I do go over I don’t feel as bad.

I am not happy to say I am only doing yoga about 3 days a week.  Sometimes it’s only for about 10 minutes a day, but I feel so much better the days that I do and more at peace with how I feel.  I am still a very tired mom with a 7 month old that hates me (that has to be it because he is never happy and sleeps almost as little as I do) and a super energetic almost 3 year old.  I don’t know how I get up most nights when someone starts crying, but I do and the next day I need to feel as good as I possibly can and I feel yoga will help.  My goal is to do it 6 days a week and I hope to be there soon.

 

Meditation, well that’s not going so well.  It’s been really hard for me to carve out time when I am alone to do it.  I can do everything else when the kids are up if I need to, but meditating is not something that can happen with them.  I have to be more dedicated to this because I truly feel it’s one of the most important things I can do for myself.  As a mother and wife I seem to put myself so far on the back burner that I forget I need to take care of me so I can take care of everyone else.   I know this is such a huge problem with so many moms and stressed out, overworked people that don’t think they should take time for them, but YOU NEED TO!  You need to let go of all the crap you deal with and feel like a person again.  Go take a bath and put headphones in so you can’t hear the kids screaming in the living room.  Or go hang out on the front porch for a while.  Do what makes you feel good.  Just do something for you.  And I’m going to work on making time for me!

Now let’s get down to the numbers.  I have lost a grand total of 2 pounds and dropped 1 pants size!  Yea yea that’s not much and believe me, I wish it was a lot more.  But my stomach is flatter and I am able to wear things that I would only wear with my waist trainer to smooth everything out at Christmas.  So yes it’s only 2 pounds, but I am happy with how much my body has started to change.  My body has wanted to hang on to what I had left of my last pregnancy and I have the kid (screaming all the time), so I don’t want to look like I did right after I had him.  But I also know that it is going to take time and how I feel can not be put into numbers.  I have to keep going and I know I will get to where I want to be.  

 

So to recap for you, I am good at getting my steps, ok at yoga, I suck at meditation, I eat pretty good, and I am super tired all the time.  But I also feel better than I have in a long time and am slowly starting to like my body again.  

It’s going to take time, dedication and hard work, but I know it’s going to happen.  So here is to one month down and a lifetime to go.

 

Namaste   

 

 

My Children

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This past week I have been struggling to keep all this up.  I somehow messed my back up (probably from carrying my 22 lb baby around), I have had no energy, nothing makes the baby happy, and stress has been pretty high.  So you can say it hasn’t been the best week.  I have made sure to at least get my steps in with jogging and for the most part eating really well.  Yoga most days, but I have been so bad at meditating and I know I have to find a way to work that in.  If only just to feel at ease for a couple minutes after going crazy being with kids all day.  

But I have had a heavy heart about some things this week.  The world is stressed right now.  So much is going on and there is more negativity than anything.  Many are angry for reasons they have every right to be angry about and I am angry about a lot as well, but I feel it’s my job to protect my small children from all the bad.  Now I am not saying that they need to be pulled away from reality their whole lives, but my 3 year old doesn’t need to learn hate.  Because believe it or not, that’s how it starts.  We were not born with a closed mind to this thing or that.  At some point we heard that was bad and it stuck and I want to teach my children that they should always have an open heart and open mind.  They should give everyone the right to have their opinion and not put them down for it, but stand for the better good.  Know that we are all human and we all have to be good people to everyone.  Help people in need, even if you get nothing back.  Pick up that trash in the park even if you didn’t put it there.  Always say please and thank you, even when the other person is rude.  Those things could make someone else’s day better and if it doesn’t you still know that you did the right thing and be proud of it.

I also want to teach my children to be good to themselves.  Your body is a temple that should be taken care of every day.  You shouldn’t leave trash laying around your house, so you shouldn’t put trash in your body.  You don’t let your house fall apart, you work on it and make sure it’s in good shape and will last.  Same with your body, you can’t just lay around doing nothing or your body will fall apart.  

I see so many people give their kids junk food, sugar drinks and let them watch TV all day.  Well guess what? You are teaching them that it’s fine to not do anything.  Just because they are little and have an amazing metabolism right now does not mean they need that junk food or sweet tea.  You have to be an example to them now and only teach them good habits from the start.  You are their #1 teacher and they see everything.  And I’m not saying never let them have a birthday cake or a piece of candy, but be mindful of what you’re doing to them and ask yourself if that’s the best thing you could do for them.  If they see you eating well it won’t be as hard to get them to.

So I am doing everything I can to keep my kids healthy by cooking for them and not just stopping at the drive thru.  Crockpots and easy meals are my friends.  I meal plan a week at a time and do my best to stay away from packaged meals.  I only give my toddler water and juice (half water/juice) to drink.  I wish he would drink milk, but it’s not going to happen so I give him those vitamins in other juices.  I only feed my 6 month old baby food that I make.  I will start buying some baby food jars of fruits and veggies that are not in season or available to us, but he will not get any table food or “meat” baby food before a year old.  We don’t get the sweet cereal and I do not allow them to have any type of gummy snacks.  They are awful for their teeth and even though we brush their teeth that stuff isn’t coming off easy, so it’s not going to happen.  My toddler for the most part will not eat meat.  He can not take the texture, so I make stuff I can blend the meat in or make sure he gets his protein from something else like beans or eggs.  It’s not hard to make good decisions for yourself and your children.  They will thank you one day, I promise.  

I also try and get my son to either jog, dance, or do yoga with me each day.  He is an active kid, but I want him to see me being active with him.  It’s a little harder in the winter, but we find ways to get moving.  And that’s all it really takes with them.  Just move around and play.  Let them chase you around the living room or in the yard.  Go for a walk on the beach or at the park and let them see the world through experience and not through TV or the internet.  We don’t let our toddler have our phones or tablets unless we are somewhere that we need him to be still and quiet.  Yes he watches TV, but we limit it and don’t let him watch just anything.  I know it’s different now to when we were kids, but we are still the adults and we have to know when they need to step away from technology and go play in the dirt.  

All I’m really trying to say is do good to yourself, your body, other people, and show your children that it matters.  Teach them to care in everything they do, say, or put in their body.  Remember your body is a temple and you have to take care of it inside and out.

Please know that I am just a mom trying to give my children a healthy life.  I am not a doctor or a nutritionist.  I’m a mom that cares about my children’s well being and mindful souls.  

Namaste  

Finding Balance

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Right now I am struggling with fitting everything into my day that I want to do with my mental and physical health.  I find myself jogging at 11pm for 30 minutes to make sure I get my steps in after everyone is in bed.  Every night I think “I will get up early tomorrow and workout before everyone gets up”, but then I am up 3 times with the baby through the night and I feel like death every morning so that goes out the door.  I mean I have to sleep some too.  

So when do I get it all done?  Well today I jogged and did a quick workout after we all got up.  My husband was working in the office, I was in the living room, my toddler was running between us, and the baby was in the walker looking at me like I was crazy.  But I got my 20 minute jog in and I thought it was a great start to the day.  I should have no problem getting my steps in and I would just do a little yoga before bed.

Well here it is 9pm and I still have 2k steps to get, have 32 oz of water to drink (this is a struggle for me EVERYDAY!), yoga to do, and would like to meditate.  And that’s just what I would like to do for myself.  We still have to get both kids to bed, start a load of clothes, pick up around the house, and sweep the whole first floor.  It’s never ending and I always feel like I have only done about half of what I needed to.

Somehow I will figure out what I need to do so I have time for my stuff each day without feeling like I have neglected everything else to do so.  I try and include my kids as much as I can, but sometimes that just makes it 500 times more stressful because I am fighting with them to do it and just waste an hour and didn’t really get any workout in.  That’s not always the case, but getting a 3 year old and a 6 month old to do what you want and when you want them to do it is usually a fail.

So tell me what you do to make sure you get your workouts in and do everything else you need to do in a day?  How do you find balance?  Give me your feedback and let’s help each other!

 

Run for it

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I am fortunate to live on the coast of SC where for the most part you can be outside year round without a problem.  We don’t get much winter weather and if we do it’s gone within a day or so.  Which is good because I am not made for the cold.  I am that person wearing a hoodie no matter what time of the year and the slightest breeze will give me chills.  

I love being outside and I can always bundle up and go out in the cold, but I don’t let my kids get cold.  If they go out in the winter, you would think we live in the north.  2 shirts and a jacket, hats, gloves, scarves, and you better believe they will have a cover over them in the stroller.  I know it’s a little overkill, but I don’t want them to be cold!

So right now it’s very up and down.  A week ago it was in the 30’s and 40’s and yesterday it was in the 70’s.  SC is a little Bi-polar if you didn’t know.  But when it is nice, we make sure we get out each day and enjoy it with a walk somewhere.  I have been doing my best to be a jogger.  I have never been good at getting out and running and it’s really been a challenge for me.  And I have learned that it’s not something that you just start doing all the time.  You have to work your way into it.  

When we are at the park walking I try to do short bursts of jogging, but I do my best jogging in my living room and kitchen.  After the kids are down for the night I can turn on some music and go to town.  I don’t worry about anyone watching me and wondering if I’m going fast enough.  It’s me time at it’s best.  Even if it’s only for 15 to 20 minutes doing small laps around the kitchen and the coffee table or in place watching the first non kids show of the day.  

Everyday it gets a little easier and I can go a little longer.  And when it gets warmer I will be ready to take the kids out and run for it!  So stop giving yourself excuses to not jog or even just walk.  You can do it anywhere when you decide you are going to make it happen.

Lets talk about Meditation

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Back in November 2016 I was invited to do a 30 day meditation challenge that my husband was doing and I thought since we would both be doing it that we would be each other’s support system.  Well I made it 2 days and that was all she wrote.  He did great until we were out of town for the holidays and that can throw off anyone’s schedule.  Since the new year I have been trying to get a little in each day if only to have 5 minutes of peace.  My house is far from a quiet place to relax between a crying 6 month old that never seems to be ok with where he is unless he is in your arms walking around and an almost 3 year old that thinks he can do whatever he wants.  So how do I fit in meditation?  Well I wait til everyone is asleep most of the time or if a miracle happens and they both take naps at the same time.  I use a meditation app called “Insight Timer” and it’s free.  It has guided meditations or you can just use a timer.  I am not to the point where I can do it without a guide.  My mind goes 1000 different ways and it’s useless.  It has some guided sets that are only 1 minute long and up to an hour.  You pick what works for you at the time.  It gives me a much needed break and it relieves stress.  

Take time for you today and figure out what works for you.

Namaste

3 days in!

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When making a lifestyle change that you have planned for and thought about a lot, you go into it with enthusiasm and fire that drives you to really get to your goal.  The first day you go all in.  Making sure you hit everything you wanted to and feel great about it.  That was me January 1st.  I jogged for 25 minutes (in place in my living room and in little circles around my kitchen), I did 20 minutes of yoga, 20 minutes of dance workout videos, 5 minutes of guided meditation, and got my 9 thousand Fitbit steps.  I ate well and got my 64 oz of water drank with no problems and felt really good.  Now keep in mind that this is also on top of the everyday momma of 2 stuff and the nonstop cleaning that comes along with that.  I ended the day with writing down all I had done and how proud I was in myself for doing it.  It was a good day!

Now day 2 didn’t go as well.  It started with the baby waking up early and while he did go back to sleep, I stayed up and started my day with a 10 minute meditation, and a 15 minute jog while listening to my favorite Pandora station!  I was on a success high with how well my morning was going when my youngest woke up so we went upstairs to take a shower, gave him a bath before waking up my oldest to give him a bath.  We were doing great.  Had breakfast and cleaned the kitchen when I decided to take all the Christmas stuff down and that was pretty much where my success slowed down a whole lot.  But we got everything put away, I got my steps in and wrote before bed so it wasn’t a total loss.

Today I went into it wanting to at least do everything.  Well here it is 9 pm and I have jogged.  I am going to make sure I meditate, do some yoga, and get my last 2 thousand steps before bed.  But the point I want to make is that just because I didn’t do everything yesterday doesn’t mean I am giving up.  I still have to take care of my family and unexpected things are going to happen, but I’m not giving up.  I have to adjust my life to make it work every day and that takes time.  When I woke up this morning I weighed myself and I have lost a pound since starting, so I know it’s going to be worth it.  Hard work will always be worth it, so make the adjustments in your life that you need to and and I promise you will be happy with how you feel.

Find peace within yourself today and Namaste.