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  recipe  :) 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! 

Fitness Friday | Do You Need to Change Your Workouts?

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I'd love to categorize myself as a runner, but I'm not a hardcore runner.  I do enjoy it and it's definitely part of my fitness routine, but I can't say it's my passion.  When it comes to fitness, I like to do it all! Well, maybe not zumba! I run, I lift weights, I do plyometrics, high interval training, and even some pilates!  It's fun to change things up and keep your workouts interesting.  

I've read articles that talk about the benefits of changing your workout routine.  Just google it, you'll find tons! I really enjoyed this article, 7 Reasons to Switch Up Your Workout.  I also found this series of articles, Changing Your Workout Routine Too Often: Are Frequent Changes Needed? and When, Why, & How Often Should You Change Your Workout Routine really interesting.  It's geared mostly towards weight training, but I think it has some valid points for most workout routines too.  Basically, if it ain't broken don't fix it.  The articles suggest you only need to change your routine if you are not seeing results.  

I am a creature of habit.  I love having a set routine and I love schedules.  However, I don't like monotony.  For example, I do Pure Intensity Training classes on Mon. & Wed., I meet with my trainer on Tues. & Thurs., Pilates on Fri, and run Sat. or Sun!  This is my fixed schedule and most of the time I work everything else around it.  Yes, there are times when I have to make adjustments, and I'm ok with that.  There has to be some flexibility to life :) But you see, I am not doing the same thing every day.  Although there is a routine, my workouts are not the same day in and day out.  This keeps things fun & challenging for me.  

So, I am not suggesting you jump around from class to class or machine to machine without a set plan or without purpose.  What I am saying is to enjoy your workouts (as much as anyone could enjoy working out!)  Don't dread it!   You don't want to end up hating your workouts because that will lead to quitting. You don't want to be bored with your workout.  You want to challenge your body! 

When you're in a rut, you'll know! That's when it's time to change it up a bit!  Sometimes it could be something as simple as changing your running route or adding new songs to your playlist!  You could try doing a Boot Camp style class, where they do different workouts each class.  Maybe trade one of your go-to classes for a different one.  Go for a bike ride, instead of a run or go for a hike.  The point of exercise is to get you moving and feeling good about yourself.  Do what you love, do what works, and keep it fun!  

Because no post can be without a photo! Here's me having a super fun time in the mud at Tough Mudder! 

Because no post can be without a photo! Here's me having a super fun time in the mud at Tough Mudder! 

Have a great weekend, everyone!  Now, I'm off to Pilates! xo

The Core Challenge Update

Here's where I'm supposed to tell you that I rocked that core challenge and never missed a day, right? Well, the truth is I kinda failed my own challenge, but I kinda didn't.  I'll explain that logic in a sec. But first, let me explain the core challenge.  Basically, I challenged myself to do this set of core exercises every night in addition to my regular 6 days a week exercise routine.   

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You can read all about why I challenged myself (and my readers) HERE!  I didn't complete the challenge of doing this set every day. I think if I had just tacked this on to the end of my gym workouts or runs, I may have been more successful.  But I didn't, I waited to do the set at the end of the day before bed time.  I am a creature of habit and once the kiddos are in bed, I want to chillax! I want to cuddle on the couch with the hubs and watch a tv show, chat about our day, or just read a book.  I don't want to do planks and crunches.  So, that's the part where I failed my own challenge.  However, I have been focusing more on my core during my regular workouts and actually lost half an inch from my waist in the month of January!! So, I'm gonna take that as a successful win and be happy with the progress I'm making.  I think I'll be adding this routine after my runs, though.  So, how about you?  Did you rock your core challenge? Let me know in the comments ;)