Let’s be honest. We don’t always have time to squeeze in fitness, even when we plan ahead. If this happens to you more often than you’d care to admit, we have the perfect solution: Try working family time into exercise time—you’ll bond with the people you love while working up a sweat in the process. It’s a win-win!
Focus on food. In summer and fall, pick-your-own farms are abundant and usually involve lots of walking. Make a day of it. This season, apple orchards and pumpkin patches are ripe for the picking!
Look for fun runs. A lot of community races encourage family participation with one-mile fun runs or walks, and they almost always benefit a good cause. (more…)
Make sure to stop and smell the roses and play with the kids.
I think that all too often so many of us get so wrapped up in what we are doing and creating that we forget what’s right in front of us. It’s so important to remember to make sure that we are not so focused on making a living that we forget to make a life. I need this reminder so often that I have a plaque that says it on my entertainment center at home. It’s great to be focused, as long as that focus is also directed to finding balance.
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 market with 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. (more…)