When I first started Live Big With Ali Vincent I met Carmen Martinez who wrote into me asking for help. Originally I was just going to spend the day with her and her family to give them some pointers, cook a little, move a little and then part ways. After talking to Carmen and then seeing wow her family reacted to her getting real with her feelings about how she felt, I knew this probably wasn’t going to be the case, I fell in love with the family.
I went to the farmers marketwith the whole family. The kids got to see a variety of new fruits and vegetables and pick out what to get as we talked about the different ways they could prepare each and help their mom out. The girls were thrilled at the idea of helping, and I believe this is where their family turned the corner. For so long Carmen was trying to do everything on her own; by doing this she took away the opportunities for her family to give to her. The Martinezes have not only gone from always having mom watching what she was eating (aka dieting), to planning, cooking and eating healthy food together. They were all getting results and dropping weight where weight needed to be lost.
I wanted to reward them as well as push then to that next level of working together as a family on the road to living a life of health and fitness. So I challenged them to an all-in-one family weight loss challenge.
Parents are always juggling many priorities. However, in times when obesity, diabetes, food allergies, and picky eaters are so prevalent, the most important priority is the health of their families. With everyone’s busy schedules, it’s hard to provide healthy foods all the time and not reach for the wacky mac or frozen pizzas. But it is possible with a bit of planning and organization. Below are my best tips that can help your family get on the right track.
Be Organized! Create a shopping list at the start of the week. Take into account each family member’s food preferences. Make a tentative meal plan early in the week so you can buy all the ingredients you will need in advance. Try to prepare one main meal for everyone so you’re not a short order cook.
Cook Ahead! Pick a day at the beginning of the week that you’ll have available time (hard as it may be!) to prepare and store items in the fridge or freezer. Slice up fruits and vegetables and keep them in the fridge. This will help save time when preparing salads during the week and make grabbing healthy snacks easier. Read Full Post >
In a two-minute spot that aired during Super Bowl XLVII, Dodge Ram highlighted the farmers who are the life blood of our nation.
The spot featured the real men, women, and even youth who “put in 40 hours by noon on Tuesday,” but also sow and harvest the food that we all consume every day.
Paul Harvey narrated the commercial, based on audio of a speech he gave to the Future Farmers of America in 1978.
Farmers markets are an affordable and accessible way to not only provide wholesome fresh foods for your family, but also support local farmers and therefore your local economy.
The spot shared the beautiful scene of a family gathered around the table for dinner, something that can improve a child’s performance at school and give them greater self esteem. A family dinner can reduce in the incidence of obesity, eating disorders, depression, and substance abuse. Read Full Post >
September 21 is the official first day of fall! Once the season begins leaves start to change to beautiful shades of yellow and orange, the weather starts to cool down from the triple digits, and apples and pumpkins begin to fill the market. For these reasons, we think fall is the best season of all with the weather at perfect temperatures and every possible food combination using pumpkin at our fingertips.
As we enter this ideal season, how can families get outside and enjoy it? Fitness expert and CEO of Step It Up with Steph,Stephanie Mansour, shares some of her favorite activities for families to enjoy this fall.
The first family activity is pumpkin picking. Before Halloween, lots of families head to the pumpkin patch to pick out a pumpkin perfect for carving. Stephanie recommends turning the hunt into a workout. “Show your kids how to do squats while holding the pumpkin, or make an obstacle course out of the pumpkins you and your family pick out,” she said. “Have the kids jump over the pumpkins and run around them!”
After your family has picked out the perfect gourd, head home for carving. And after you’ve sculpted your best designs, set the seeds aside and teach your kids how to roast them. Stephanie recommends rinsing the seeds, spreading them out onto a cookie sheet lined with tin foil, sprinkling them with salt, and then baking them in a 400-degree oven for 10 to 20 minutes. This is yet another fall activity that provides a fun and healthy way to bond with your children. Read Full Post >
There is something inherently playful about August. Even as we are bombarded with the reality that fall is just around the corner and the kiddies will soon be off to school there is a bubbling mischievous and naughty nature about the final weeks of summer. We just want to play hooky, have fun, let loose, experience life, swim, frolic and laugh.
What if we allowed ourselves to do just that? What if play became more important and food less important? What if you spent a day like any 4-year-old where food was absolutely secondary to FUN.
There is a delicate balance that begs to be struck between nourishment from life and nourishment from food. When life is out of balance (unhappy career, long work days, little to no sleep) food can creep in to try to fill the void. When our very essence is begging for fun and our “busy trap” keeps us from having fun it’s amazing how food seems like the solution. What if we satisfied the need for fun? Would food become less important?
Here are three ways to increase your play and upgrade your fun in these last few weeks of summer and allow food to be secondary to the immense joy that a summer frolic can offer. Read Full Post >