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.
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.
Offer a healthy snack consisting of fruits/veggies every afternoon. Before long kids will know what to expect and look forward to this healthy treat. A few ideas to get started include Fruit Kabobs with Yogurt Dip, Fresh Strawberry + PB Sandwich, and One Ingredient Banana Ice Cream.
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…)