4 best ways to make sure vacation with baby is good

Vacationing with a baby isn’t always relaxing and there can be moments one wishes they were home instead. However, if you follow these three recommendations you can insure an easier, more restful vacation. 

  1. Make sure you bring or are able to get essential items that make life easier and more fun for you. For example:  a booster seat or high chair so you can have your arms free for meal time, baby monitor that will reach to the pool ( phone apps are great), formula or pump and a bottle so you have freedom to drink or go out without the baby. If you have other freeing recommendations please comment on them. 
  2. Keep your exercise routine if you have one or start one. Get others to help watch the kid(s) because it’s worth getting to spend “you” time in a healthy way. You’ll feel more energized and relaxed. And, no one can refuse to help you be healthier. If it’s hard to carve out the time just dedicate 15 minutes for a full workout. Dailyburn.com has great short workouts and you can take it anywhere there is wifi. 
  3. Don’t worry about time and stop “shoulding” on yourself. That being said, keep baby on a schedule for your own sanity, but otherwise forget about it for yourself and the more adaptable ones. Forget calories (especially if you’re exercising). Don’t worry about TV time, alphabet learning, things at home, and so on. 
  4. Unplug. Allow yourself some quiet screen time without guilt, but make sure it’s not sucking up your day or making decisions for you. If your so wrapped up in writing your blog as the sun is setting and you forget to watch the sunset you need to reevaluate your screen time (whoops!). Also, intentionally set a majority of the day as “screen free” time so that you can be active in your vacation setting. 

Most importantly do what you need to do to make sure you and your family are healthy and happy

Get Your Green Tea On!

IMG_3756Because green tea is so good for us in so many ways it is a great beverage to add to your diet. If you want to know many of its benefits check out this WebMD article. I’m aspiring to drink at least 2 cups a day. I’ve swapped my coffee for green tea most days. I highly recommend the switch but know it can be hard. An easy way to get green tea’s benefits is through matcha lattes ( choose your milk wisely…more on that later). In fact, matcha’s benefits are more concentrated than regular green tea.  With this warm weather coming you might be like me and become obsessed with iced matcha lattes sweetened with only a little maple syrup (the real stuff of course). Cheers to health and a slight caffeine buzz needed for us parents with babies!

Messy Teachers

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Want to know how I got to sit back and relax in the sun with a bottle in my hand?  I let my boys make a giant mess. I used to cringe and stress out about little messes. For example, if I spilled a few beans on the floor I’d get so pissed at myself because I really didn’t want to clean them up and I didn’t want the mess. Kids are amazing at making us get over stupid little things like messes. I’ve learned a lot in the past few years of parentings. One of the biggest is to let the messes happen because really cleaning up isn’t that hard and while they are making a mess I get to relax while they learn and have fun.

This past weekend we had a beautiful spring day so I let my oldest fill his play table with sand and water.The messes my two boy made with wet, muddy sand were amazing. The oldest threw it everywhere and the youngest got it all over himself and everything he touched (including inside and outside his mouth). In the beginning my anxiety started to bubble up, but before I could tell them to stop I took a deep breath, sat down, and made myself enjoy watching them. Within a few minutes I had my feet kicked back with my baby’s bottle in my hand. I only intervened to keep the baby from eating sand. Otherwise, they were having such great and safe fun that I didn’t have to worry about anything. The best part was watching their pure joy.

Putting Pasta in its Place

cropped-img_3638.jpgI know that pasta has gotten a bad wrap lately, but it still holds many merits in my book. Not only is it guaranteed to be eaten by my picky kid, it’s also easy to cook and a great vehicle for eating vegetables.  And, if cooked and eaten correctly it’s not that bad for us.

Pasta is definitely something that should be eaten in moderation. In fact, Dr. Weil recommends we eat pasta like the Italians do, which means we serve ourselves one third of our usual portion. Furthermore, it should be cooked al dente (fancy words) by cutting down the cooking time  by a couple minutes to keep it more firm and reduce its glycemic index.

I generally cook pasta one night a week. I save it for the nights I know I need to make something fast and won’t have the energy to cook something extravagant (not that pasta can’t be made extravagant).  I try to load the veggies on thick to insure less pasta consumption and more nutritious vegetable consumption (also recommended by Dr. Weil).  Spinach is a quick and easy vegetable to add.  Some nights I even resort to a jar of spaghetti sauce, but I always make sure there’s no added sugar.   An unconventional but highly tasty ingredient that I recommend to add to pasta is avocados.  Here’s a great, quick recipe on the website Oh She Glows.

So go enjoy pasta in moderation. Eat it and love it… no guilty feelings!

Money Matters

My relationship with money has been an emotional roller coaster. Sometimes I’ve loved it and other times I’ve despised it so much I wished it were never invented. Nonetheless, money (or lack of money) is going to be in my life forever…like the ultimate ball in chain.  So, I guess it’s important to develop a healthy relationship with it.

The first thing I know I need to do is try to see money as a good and important thing and try not to go into my dark feelings of contempt for it, because contempt is the most harmful emotion for any relationship. I’d even like to work on visualizing money coming to me and see if that works. So instead of ignoring it I’ll start fantasizing about it. I’m sure I’ll need to be careful there too because I don’t want to be too consumed with thoughts on money.

I also know that I need to wear the pants in my relationship with money. So the second thing I’ll do is get my budget really organized and challenge myself to cut down on spending.  I’m going to make sure money does what I want it to! If I harness the power of money then I can save it for big things like cars for my boys, dream vacations, college for my boys, and retirement.

I’ve already gone through and canceled spending on things that aren’t that necessary, like cable (Netflix has all that I need).  My next challenge is seeing how cheap I can get healthy food. Stay posted and I’ll let you know how it goes.

Save Time with Salmon

I have two young boys and a husband who travels A LOT! When he’s not around to help me with dinner I know I need something that’s easy and allows me to be sure my 3 year old doesn’t give my 9 month old a concussion.  I also want whole and healthy foods. It’s been a challenge and I’ve found that my meat intake has increased because it’s so easy to cook. As an environmentalist and health freak raised as mostly a vegetarian the lots of meat worries me a little. Therefore, I’ve decided it’s worthwhile adding healthy, low-mercury fish to the menu every week. Sockeye salmon is my absolute fav!

There are so many great and quick salmon recipes on the web and roasting or steaming a vegetable for the side is a simple task. Tonight I made a pesto crusted salmon that I found on Delish D’Lites. I cheated with store bought pesto which made prep time about 5 minutes. I also steamed some broccoli (came chopped  into bight size pieces from Costco)  and added a little pesto for flavor. My picky 3 year old ate everything off his plate. I was amazed!

If you’re looking for affordable ways to get sustainable salmon into your diet Costco often has sockeye salmon for half the price of most places. The only problem is you have to get a large tray. However, I bring home the large tray, slice up the salmon and stick a couple pieces in the freezer for later. Saves time to not have to go back to the store too.  Please let me know if you have any quick salmon recipes you’d like to share.

 

Finicky Feaster and Super Hero Spaghetti Squash

cropped-img_3429.jpgI am on a mission to find healthy meals that give me time to play with my boys before dinner and at the same time get healthy calories into my finicky feaster (that never feasts… just like the title). My oldest child is the pickiest eater I’ve ever met. He literally gags on tomatoes. He’s skinny and at almost 4 years he can wear the same shorts as my 9-month old (although,they would look a little daisy dukeish). I’m always worried he’s not eating enough healthy  food and I’m constantly pondering on creative ways to sneak veggies in. I really have to entice him because playing is way better than eating.

On the other hand, my 9-month old LOVES food! He get’s HANGRY every time I start prepping dinner. Unless, I keep throwing scraps down to him (that sounds kind of bad) he won’t leave me alone and let me concentrate on making food.  So cooking, once so pleasurable with a glass of wine in hand, is now chaos and requires taking shots of whiskey (just kidding).

My plan is to share one healthy, easy prepared, kid approved meal each week. This first one is spaghetti squash with ground turkey and pasta sauce. I followed the advice for roasting the squash from Chocolate Covered Katie.  It’s the best spaghetti squash I’ve ever made and the first time I was able to trick my oldest into thinking it was real spaghetti. I of course bought a jar of pasta sauce for ease. I always make sure there’s no added sugar because you’d be surprised how many bottled pasta sauces add sugar. Following is the ingredients:

1 jar pre-made pasta sauce

1 lb ground turkey

1 small spaghetti squash (or a large one so you’ll have leftovers, which make good baby food) 

salt, pepper, olive oil

Now the recipe:

  1. Roast the squash 
  2. Play super hero with you kids for about 40 minutes
  3. Take the squash out of the oven. While it cools, throw the turkey onto a large, medium hot pan coated with a thin layer of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Let it brown, mixing it once in a while.
  4. Once cooked through, dump the pasta sauce over the turkey and mix together. Then stir occasionally until thoroughly heated.
  5. Scoop spaghetti squash into the pan with turkey and pasta sauce.

Dinner was devoured by my youngest and at least eaten by my oldest. He thought there was too much tomato sauce and didn’t like his “spaghetti” as much as usual. Nonetheless, he ate more of a vegetable tonight than I’ve ever seen him eat before.   I kind of tricked him. And as for my husband and I, we loved dinner! It was tasty!