How to Encourage Kids to Eat Healthy & Be Active

OOPS, so I haven't blogged all week.  I feel bad about it.  I really enjoy blogging and it helps keep me sane.  But sometimes, life gets crazy and there aren't enough hours in the day to do what needs to be done and work, laundry, dishes, all these things tend to pile up on you...BUT, that's for another blog post because I finally did carve out some time this morning to share a bit of my family life with you.  
Most of you know, I'm a mom of two kiddos!  I blog about them a ton, especially when it comes to doing fun stuff together and going on family vacations and adventures!  Today, though I want to talk about how important it is to lead by example and how to encourage kids to eat healthy and be active.  When I started this weight loss journey and began exercising regularly I did it for me.  I mean, yeah, I wanted to be able to run around with my kiddos and not be out of breathe, I wanted to be a good example to them about eating healthy and keeping active.  But guess what?  These things don't happen by osmosis.  Kids don't just become interested in eating kale chips because you are.  They won't trade video games for jumping jacks because you tell them they should be more active.  Nope.  You have to engage children.  You need to get out there and do these things with them.  They not only need to see you go for a run, they need you to invite them to join you.  It took me a little bit to realize that while I was enjoying the benefits of a healthier, more active lifestyle, my kiddos weren't as involved as I wanted them to be.  So, I made a conscious decision to change that!  And for the past year or so, we've been making changes for the kiddos too!  

Here are a few things we do & you can use to help you and your family eat healthier and be more active:

Making easy Lexi's Clean Kitchen no-bake nut-free Powerbites! Check out the recipeĀ :) Kids love these!

Making easy Lexi's Clean Kitchen no-bake nut-free Powerbites! Check out the recipe :) Kids love these!

  • Cook together!  Having my kiddos help me cook dinner or a healthy snack helps a ton when trying new things.  It doesn't mean they'll love it, but they will at least try it because they helped make it.  And, even if they don't like a certain dish or vegetable, it's still a great way to spend time together and talk about the benefits of healthy foods verses junk food.
  •  Make Exercise Fun!  Kids are kids.  You can't pop in a workout DVD and expect them to love the burn!  You gotta make it fun for them and for us, that means taking it outside. Whether we're going on a family hike, a bike ride with daddy, or a 1 mile run I like to let them know we're not just having fun but also exercising.  We'll do fun little "boot camps" or challenges at the park.  Jason & Diego will play football or basketball.  The important thing is to stay active! 
  • Be Sneaky!  Yup, I am not above tricking my kiddos into eating healthy.  I mostly do this by adding spinach & chia seeds to all our smoothies and making fresh juices with both fruits & veggies!  Smoothies are usually a few spoonfuls of greek yogurt, a banana, milk, berries, a bunch of spinach, and a tablespoon of chia seeds.  One of Elysse's favorite juices is made with 5 carrots - 1 cucumber - 4 celery - 2 big handful of grapes!  It's fun to experiment and try new combinations and of course, have the kids help ;)   
  • Share your Passions!  I love to sign up for races and my favorite are obstacle races and lots of times my hubby runs along with me.  It's fun to take the kids to watch us run and cheer us on.  By race day, they are super excited because they saw how much we trained for that day.  They see us put in the work and then see the results of our hard work.   Nothing like your kid see you succeed and be proud of you! 
  • Get them Involved!  Not only do we sometimes take the kids along to see us race, we also sign them up for their own races!  Of course, there is nothing competitive in these races, it's just a ton of fun for them and that's what we want.  There are lots of races that have fun 1 mile family runs or are kid/stroller/walker friendly.  We want our kids to enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle now and as adults!  

How do you encourage your kids to eat healthy & be active?  Feel free to share your tips too! 

Fashion Friday | Confessions of a Non-Shopaholic

I'm here to tell you that I am not a fashionista!  Long gone are the days of "Best Dressed" awards in high school.  These days, you'll most likely find me in running shorts and a workout tank or what I like to call my "loungewear" aka old sweat pants & t-shirts! On the occasions when this attire is unacceptable, I do have very limited options to choose from, therefore you'll find me staring in my closet like something new is just going to pop out at me to wear.  This, of course, never happens and I'm left wearing the same jeans or shorts (depending on the season) with the same 1 of 3 shirts.  I'm not kidding.  Ask my husband.  It's drama.  I'm an adult woman (geez, I'm a mother) and still having the same,  "I don't have anything to wear!" meltdowns I had back in 1993!  And, let's not even talk about accessorizing.  That isn't even a word in my vocabulary.  I have a pair of silver earrings and a pair of gold earrings.  That's the extent of my accessorizing.  

So, rather than continue to be depressed about the state of my bare closet, I decide I need to go shopping.  Ha! What a joke this is.  I walk into these stores with racks of clothes and nothing draws my attention.  Everything is either too "young" looking or too stuffy.  Or if I like something one of these things 3 things will happen: 1. I don't think I can pull off that style 2. It's too expensive 3.  It really doesn't look right on me.  Then, I follow my sister's fashion mantra, "If you already wore it, you shouldn't wear it again." This of course, referring to how fashion styles just come back around.  Sure enough, all the clothes I see in the Misses department look like what I wore back in 1995, little flower dresses, combat boots and all!  Yup, I can't wear that again!  So, I go to the women's department.  Everything there looks like I'm ready to walk into a board meeting.  Not happening.  So, I walk out empty handed back to my bare closet and think now what?  What's a girl like me to do?  

It's so much easier just not to go out and believe me the thought has crossed my mind!  I go on pinterest and look around for outfit combinations and looksthat might work for me.  Most of them look too dressy, too girly, too sexy, too stuffy, too boho, too preppy and again I'm frustrated. 

Here's where Instagram comes to the rescue!  Yes, Instagram.  Somehow, someone, reposted a picture from Hilary Rushford's feed a few weeks ago.  She's a stylist and blogger at Dean Streat Society and was offering a free video series called Style & Styleability.  I've been watching the videos, downloading the worksheets, pinning outfits and pieces that inspire me, and learning a lot about myself along the way.  The biggest thing I've learned is not to be afraid to try new things. Easier said than done, I know!  I'm drawn to bright and colorful pieces and although I do own some patterned tops, I tend to shy away from being too bold because I don't like to draw attention to myself.  This is also why I shy away from jewelry and anything form-fitting.  But, alas, I will be applying some of her tips and hoping in the next few weeks I'll be able to go shopping again with a bit more confidence and direction and not just end up with another pair running shorts!  Seriously, it's so much easier to shop for workout clothes!  But, a girl has to do more than workout and when she does, she should look good ;)

I'll be back next month sometime to let you know if I've made any progress in the fashion department!  In the meantime, feel free to check out my S&S Style Board on Pinterest and maybe you'll get inspired to spice up your wardrobe or give your own closet a mini makeover!  

5 Tips for Running in the Morning | Motivational Monday

I am not a morning person.  I've ignored my 6am alarm more times than I care to admit.  I'm not a night owl either.  I can rock 10am like it's nobody's business, though!  I have a flexible schedule and can get away with mid-day workouts at the gym and when the weather is just right, I can go for a mid-morning or early afternoon run.  Unfortunately, even with a flexible schedule, sometimes it's just best to get your workout done and over with first thing in the morning, then you can focus on the rest of your day without interruption for a mid-day sweat fest.  An early morning run also guarantees it gets done.  I've had plenty of days when I had every intention of working out or going for a run mid-morning, but then life happens and my workout doesn't.  

Take today for example, I ignored the 6am alarm clock.  I told myself I'd go run at the indoor track at the gym this afternoon, but then my 9 year old woke up sick and didn't go to school.  Now, I'm left trying to figure out when I'll get to run today and it most likely won't be the 5 miles I was planning.  How I wish I'd just sucked it up and gone for my run this morning.  I know I would have felt great afterwards.  And that's just it, while I'm fighting with myself to get out of bed, I need to remember how good it feels when it's done!  I'm determined to make early morning runs part of my routine, especially since I'm considering running the Hoover Dam Half Marathon in December!  So, I've come up with a plan to help me and those of you who also struggle getting out of bed in the mornings to prepare for early morning runs.

  1. Set out your clothes & gear the night before.  We've all heard this before, but I think it really does help.  Not only does it save you time in the morning, but by going through the motions of setting it all up beforehand you are making a commitment to yourself that you will get up!  
  2. Go to bed early.  Here's another given.  If you want to wake up early, you have to go to bed earlier than usual.  Plan an earlier bed time and make it happen.  
  3. Visualization.  Visualizing yourself running your route is a good way to keep motivated.  It especially helps to visualize the end of the run and how you feel when it's done.  
  4. Make Plans.  Whether you make plans to run with a friend or a running group, having that accountability will always get me out of bed!  
  5. Suck it up buttercup!   No whining, no complaining, just get up and go for it.  Because, when it's done, you'll feel amazing!  

Do you have any tips or tricks for getting your morning runs done?  Feel free to share them in the comments below!  Thanks :)