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.
Listen up parents! Making sure our preschool children get their ‘5 a day’ (servings of fruits and veggies) can be easy and painless… if you are prepared. Providing our kids with a healthy foundation, helping them acquire a taste for fruits/veggies will be something that stays with them for the rest of their lives. If they get used to eating fresh produce as kids, that will often translate in to adulthood.
Working with a pediatric population, parents repeatedly ask the same questions. So here’s what I tell them.
Kids can get overwhelmed when they see large portions. Serve appropriate amounts for the child’s age. A 2-3 year-old needs one cup fruits and one cup veggies while 4-8-year-olds should consume half a cup more, respectively, per day.
Try a new fruit/veggie tomorrow. If today it’s pears, tomorrow try oranges. Mix it up and keep kids interested. Have them take a bite and if they don’t like it now, let them try it again another time. “I don’t like it now” doesn’t mean “I don’t like it forever.” (more…)
One of the most common questions I get from women is how to get back into shape after having a baby.
While I don’t have kids myself, I know that nothing can change your body, and life, as quickly as having a child. Your body doesn’t want to respond to the same activities in the same way and your previous three nights a week at the gym seem like an impossible dream. Oh wait, dreams are the luxury of those actually getting sleep.
This can make working back into a fitness routine seem like an insurmountable task. But it can be done! It just requires a little creativity, planning and perhaps the occasional babysitter. And your efforts will pay off in more energy, stress relief and a renewed self-confidence. Try these strategies to help you get back on track. (more…)
It’s a very common practice amongst mom bloggers to accept products from companies to review or promote to their audiences. The bloggers get everything from candy bars to mattresses and vacations for free and the brands benefit because, for what is usually no more cost than samples of their product, they get a lot of highly influential publicity.
This weekend, some of those mom bloggers came under quite a bit of fire from their peers. Several moms were invited by Kentucky Fried Chicken to visit the restaurant’s headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky to learn about their new “healthy” kids meals and in turn promote them to their followers using #KFCKidsMeals on Twitter. That’s pretty standard, but where eyebrows raised on this publicity event was that the company invited the moms with their kids.
The health of our children is a hot button issue right now, and the #KFCKidsMeals hashtag was practically high jacked by moms condemning both KFC and the participating moms for subjecting their children to what is no better than chemically laden, nutritionally void food.
Leah Segedie, known best as @BookieBoo and the leader of Mamavation, was one of the moms on the outside of #KFCKidsMeals tweeting in. Any time you intersect kids and nutrition you’ll find Leah, and this campaign was no different.
“I basically took control of it to make sure it was done in a fair way without attacking the bloggers involved,” she told us. “But I can’t control what people write on their blogs, obviously.”
Leah spent this weekend tweeting out questions to the moms involved. She wanted to know about MSG, sodium, carcinogens, and other chemical ingredients in the food. Who better to ask than the people sitting right inside KFC HQ? As far as we could tell, no one got back to her with those answers; although, one tweet implied that the company would get in touch with her. (more…)
It’s easily arguable that many families have a box of macaroni and cheese mix in their cabinets right now. It’s basically a staple in most homes, especially those with children. Many of us grew up with mac and cheese, and not just any brand, but specifically the blue box, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Today the brand is just as popular, but those who read labels have discovered that this food contains some of the most family unfriendly ingredients and they want it changed.
Vani Hari runs the website Food Babe and Lisa Leake is the voice behind the blog 100 Days of Real Food. Together these two women have made some noise as they have brought the ingredients of Kraft’s mac and cheese to light. The American version of this boxed food contains artificial food dyes, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6. Hari and Leake are out to change this.
The two women have created an online petition to the Kraft company asking people to understand the dangers of the dyes and then sign the petition to get them removed. The information around the petition states that the mac and cheese in the UK does not contain the dyes. They were removed when the public cried out. Curious why they were left in the American product? Hari and Leake are too. (more…)
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…)
Author Dara-Lynn Weiss’ airs her dirty linen in public in a controversial new memoir, “The Heavy: A Mother, A Daughter, A Diet.” She shines the light on a most important topic: How can we prevent our kids from becoming overweight? The Heavy chronicles the journey of a mother’s struggle to help her young daughter to get healthy. We first met Dara-Lynn and her daughter, Bea, last April in a Vogue essay from the overbearing mom’s point of view. Bea was deprived and publically shamed. It wasn’t pretty. The blogs condemned mom.
For sure, we need extensive interventions to curb the childhood obesity epidemic, but does the solution lie in a rescue by mom as the food police? The research does not agree. Dietitian Evelyn Tribole, co-author of the bookIntuitive Eating, outlines the studies nicely in this video, Warning Dieting Causes Weight Gain.
She shows how the act of dieting, independent of genetics, is a cause of overweight. Deprivation diets can lead to food obsession, binge-eating, and more weight gain. Dieting is passed down from mothers to daughters. Dara-Lynn had strange practices of her own with frequent weigh-ins and juice cleanses to keep the numbers in line. Studies show that a mother’s over-concern about her own size is later expressed in her daughter’s negative body image and feelings of low self-worth. (more…)
The world has watched either in awe or in horror as Katie Holmes and six-year-old daughter Suri eat their way through restaurants of every genre and price point. While she and her daughter have private chauffeurs and don the cover of tabloid magazines, the duo aren’t unlike many Americans. Katie is a newly divorced mom with a hectic career and a daughter she dotes on. While Katie can seemingly give young Suri anything she wants, a home cooked meal isn’t one of them.
“I’m a terrible cook,” she told Us Weekly. That would explain the revolving door of restaurant excursions for the new New Yorkers. Katie paints a devastating picture of piles of pans and burned food that would make anyone want to grab a take-out menu. But maybe Katie, and a lot of moms like her who also feel overwhelmed with this domestic duty, should take a step back, breathe, and get a little help.
Cooking doesn’t have to be overwhelming, hard, or tragic. With a few simple ingredients, a little patience with yourself, and some thoughtful planning, there isn’t any reason you can’t make one of these easy dinners in your home. We think Katie could pull these dishes off too if she wanted to. Besides, she could enlist Suri to help for one more mother-daughter bonding moment.
It might sound fancy, but it’s perfect for novice cooks thanks to the slow cooker. With this tool the meal practically cooks itself. You do some minor chopping of lean beef, onions, mushrooms, and carrots, and use some basic herbs and spices from your pantry. When you return six hours later you’ll find a ready-to-eat meal. (more…)
What do you do when you live in an apartment, don’t belong to a gym and have a hectic schedule? How do you find time to workout? As a working mom with two young boys, it’s often a struggle to find the time to fit fitness into my day between work, school drop-off and pick-up, client meetings and other responsibilities.
Over the summer, I was introduced to theJCORE Accelerated Body Transformation System – a 40-day program that claims to work around these constraints and transform your body. It was created byJay Cardiello, a celebrity fitness trainer and wellness expert. I mean, he trains 50 Cent so his plan must work, right?
I will admit that I was highly skeptical before starting this program. Generally I try to workout for an hour, 4-5 days a week, mixing cardio with strength training. For JCORE, all you need is a 4×4 space, no weights, and 20 minutes a day/4 days a week. Was 20 minutes going to be enough?
I opened the calendar and found 40 days of workouts, rest days, and fit tests. Literally, I did not have to think about a thing. There are five different workouts, each fast-paced and comprised of 20 minutes of 30-second intervals of body-weight exercises. While 30 seconds might not seem like a long time, believe me, it can be intense. I was breathing hard and a sweaty mess by the end of the workouts. The exercises largely focus on your core, which helps build overall strength and stability. Think lunges, squats, planks, and fire hydrants. I modified many of these moves to make it easier on my knee. JCORE also starts with a Fit Test that allows you to gauge your progress week-to-week. (more…)
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