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.
Provencal Beef Stew
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.
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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 the JCORE Accelerated Body Transformation System – a 40-day program that claims to work around these constraints and transform your body. It was created by Jay 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.
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If you’re a mother, you can certainly relate to first-time moms as they dream their dreams during pregnancy. We all did it. We dreamed of the new little face we’d soon meet, the blissful hours of snuggling, and we planned all the amazing ways we were going to educate, feed, and rear our baby.
I feel it’s fair to say I’m not alone in having most of those dreams dashed. Don’t hear me wrong, I fell in love with my son deeper than I thought possible. Our time together during his first few years was the most gratifying experience in my life. But it came with lots of tears (his and mine) lots of laundry, so many messes, lots of sleep-deprivation, so much poop, and a lot of saturated fat.
You read that right, saturated fat is part of the new-parent routine, unfortunately. According to a recent study, this chaos that hits new parents like a ton of bricks has lead to a trend in increased saturated fat consumption. CNN reported on a study from the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Jen Christensen interviewed the lead author of the study, Dr. Helen Laroche. Essentially, the study revealed that parents eat more saturated fat than adults without children, especially within the first seven years of becoming parents. Laroche pointed to the fact that busy and tired parents tend to have more convenience foods in the home and many of these types of foods are high in saturated fat.
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I’m a real mom. And I’d take a stab that you’re a real mom, too. Like many of you I have a full-time job that I love, a family that I adore, and a laundry list of obligations that vary from the actual laundry to charitable work and everything in between. In the midst of all that, I’m conscious about my health, do my best to workout regularly, keep my daughter active and entertained, and give my husband a full eye-contact hello on a semi-regular basis. Oh, and I make dinner most nights. It’s a lot to balance.
Do I have more or less to balance than all of those Hollywood moms we all admire from a very far off distance? These days, more and more of them try to at least paint a picture of themselves in a normal mom light. Jennifer Garner and Alison Sweeney seem to have that down between movie sets and book deals, but Beyonce and Sarah Jessica Parker seem to be more on the celebri-mom wavelength. And Jenna Fischer, star of The Office, is making sure everyone knows she’s a normal mom, too.
The drop-dead gorgeous actress told People that “I think there’s the perception that every [famous] woman has a driver and a chef and a personal trainer and a nanny.” And she’d be right, but she’s trying to correct that stigma. “I don’t have any of those things. Like other working moms, I’m trying to figure out how to balance it all.” In fact, in the November 2011 issue of SHAPE Magazine, she brags about how she ditched her trainer and got her enviable body all on her own.
Like many of us normal moms, she told People that she’s grateful for a steady job and health insurance. To add to her aura of normalcy, Jenna is raising infant son Weston on with her husband, but no other helping hands. She thinks there’s a cynical opinion of her life when people see her on a jog or looking fit because of the assumption that she has a team helping her pull it all off.
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Bachelorette season 8 has got America talking about southern sweetheart and bachelorette Emily Maynard.
If you don’t know Emily’s heart-touching story, about six years ago Emily was engaged to a race car driver and the love of her life, Ricky Hendrick. But just six months after their engagement, he passed away in a tragic plane crash. Days after Ricky’s death, Emily found out she was pregnant with his child. Emily named her now six-year-old daughter Josephine Reddick “Ricki” Henrick.
Four years after the death of Ricki’s father, Emily jumped back into the dating world and appeared on season 15 of The Bachelor. She turned out to be the winner on the show by winning over bachelor Brad Womack’s heart. Although the couple got engaged on the season finale, they eventually called off the wedding due to a number of reasons. But now, Emily’s back to find true love as Bachelorette Season 8′s woman to win over.
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