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INDULGE in Nutrition’s 5 Best Weight Loss Tips

It’s the end of April, which means summer is quickly approaching (despite what the weather may be trying to get us to believe!) And the impending summer brings with it visions of building sand castles with the little ones, wading in the cool water, barbecues and picnics with loved ones, and…those shorts. Or maybe that swim suit or tank top that fits just a little too snug for comfort (literally).

We know it comes with the territory- having babies and being responsible for a human life is a huge job that seems to leave little time for thinking about yourself, much less taking time to spend 5+ hours a week in the gym and the kitchen. And it’s honestly probably not something you think about (or should be thinking about) right after child birth. You have babies to nurse, toddlers to feed, a house to clean, maybe a career to further, and relationships to maintain- and it’s too easy to get lost in the mumbo-jumbo of weight loss.

In today’s world, there is a LOT of contradicting information and a lot of fad diets telling you how to lose weight, and it can be overwhelming. But here at INDULGE in Nutrition, our goal is to help you separate fact from fad and give you science-based information that you can actually apply in your life. Fitting into your pre-baby skinny jeans or weighing 120 lbs. isn’t the goal here-  the goal is to be healthy, happy, and full of energy to play with those kiddos! Here are 5 of our BEST factual weight loss tips to help you do that, just in time for summer fun! (And fitting back into those cute shorts is just an added bonus 🙂 )

Back In the Swing of Things

A new school year can also bring with it new stresses. And as we all know, stress can be one of the biggest preventers of weight loss and can increase your risk of hypertension and other health problems. More stress can lead to fast food meals, lower sleep quality, and overall compromised health. Here are a few tips to help you stay de-stressed this school year so you can enjoy and make the most of this new school year!

1. Take advantage of your school’s online menu. Most schools will post the month’s meal calendar for parents to view. You can then plan the days you want to pack your child a lunch accordingly. It will save you tons of time and energy by planning ahead.

2. Being a mom is the biggest job in the world in my opinion, so taking time for yourself is one of the hardest (but most necessary) things for moms to do. Whenever you can fit some “me time” in is wonderful– whether that be 15 minutes in the morning, a hot bath or shower after the kids are asleep, or a quick run in the afternoon while the kids are in school. Get a few minutes alone, for your sake as well as your family’s.

3. Make sure you are staying active.  Try clearing your schedule for a 20 or 30 minute walk with your kids after school. It can be a fun way to hear about their day and get a little moving in too! Walking your kids to the bus can also be a great way to incorporate physical activity and can also be used as your alone time in the morning.

4. Stock up on groceries at the beginning of the [...]

Lean, Green Workout Machine

Who ate way too much Valentine’s Day chocolate? Yeah, ME too! And after a couple of days of that, I think it’s time for a hard workout and a CLEAN, GREEN smoothie!

I always feel so much better when I’m able to sweat after a few days of eating badly. Cardio is my favorite way to sweat, and it’s SO good for your heart! The American Heart Association actually recommends at least 150 minutes/week of moderate exercise OR 75 minutes/week of vigorous exercise.

Your cardio can be anything that you enjoy doing—walking, jogging, biking, rowing, training for a race, swimming, or using the elliptical, StairMaster, or treadmill. You can also try your hand at HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training. This is a cycle of a short burst of vigorous exercise followed by a slightly longer recovery period. It’s more effective at burning fat than exercising at a steady pace for a longer amount of time because it keeps your body guessing, while still allowing you to preserve your muscle. It also keeps your body burning fat for hours afterwards because of all the vigorous exercise performed during your workout.

At least a couple of times a week, I like to spend about 30 minutes on the treadmill alternating between 1 minute of sprinting and 1.5—2 minutes of a brisk walk. I don’t stick to the same speeds, which keeps my body guessing so that I really get the most from my workout. You can also alternate between jumping exercises (lunges, squats, burpees, or jumping jacks) and a static exercise like (push-ups, sit-ups, leg lifts, planks, etc.)

Make sure you warm up with moving stretches and cool down with static stretching and walking at a slow pace for [...]

Wrapping Up Our January Series

January has come and gone! How crazy is that? So far, we have given you 8 tips to help you keep your 2014 New Year’s Resolutions. I hope you all are still working hard at developing a healthy lifestyle, and have hung in there even when it got hard. You are probably feeling more comfortable after hitting that three-week mark, along with seeing small changes in your body, health, and even your mind! Way to go!

So we learned that maybe it’s not so easy to start a new habit! But now that we have developed these new, healthy habits, how are we supposed to keep it going? This week we are sharing tips about maintaining your resolutions so that you don’t lose your month of hard work!

Tip #9: Don’t lose sight of your end-goal

In the beginning of this journey we talked a lot about how visualizing your goal is beneficial. As the year goes on and you continue to see more results or consistently meet your goals, it can become very easy to slack off. Before you know it, you’re right back where you started!

To help yourself stay on track, make sure you continue to visualize and keep your end-goal in mind. I know that for myself, it is very easy to get discouraged about school or to not try as hard when I don’t keep my end-goal (graduation, a dietetic internship, and becoming a Registered Dietitian) in mind. The same is true of your New Year’s Resolutions.

This is my “motivation board.” I keep quotes, pictures, and goals on it to see when I’m working at my desk.

In week one of this series we asked you to make measurable or quantifiable goals—this is where [...]

Part 3 of How To Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

I can’t believe we are halfway through January already! I hope everyone is off to a fantastic start on their New Year’s Resolutions, and you’re beginning to feel the difference…it doesn’t take long to feel the benefits of healthy living, that’s for sure!!

Here are tips 5 and 6 for you this week!

Tip #5: P-R-E-P-A-R-E

It’s a good tip for anything in life, because being prepared goes such a long way! For healthy living specifically, it makes your day go smoother, (especially for early-morning exercisers) and can really help you accomplish those goals.

If you have to exercise before your day starts, lay out your shoes, clothes, headphones, keys, water bottle (like I’ve shown below)—whatever you need to accomplish your workout. If you workout after work, don’t forget to pack your bag so you aren’t tempted to go home and risk skipping your workout. You’ve worked too hard to set yourself up for failure that way!

Another topic to talk about here is MEAL PREP. Perfect for busy moms!! I can’t stress enough how much time it saves me, and how convenient it is (once you get it done of course). It’s easiest to do your meal prep at the beginning of each week. Start with meal PLANNING (referring to last week’s post.) Write out your meals for the week, and all the ingredients you will need. You’ll then have to shop for what you don’t have. I like to cut up all of my vegetables, make a big fruit salad, and grill a few pieces of chicken at the beginning of each week. You can even go so far as to portion it out, and put it in single serving size containers so you can just grab [...]

How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions: Part 2

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope you were able to get a good start on your New Year’s Resolution with last week’s tips! I know a lot of us have healthy living resolutions…or at least I do. Again. And I woke up New Year’s morning noon ready to meet my goal in the first week. (I’m kidding, but you get it.) But you know what I didn’t do? I didn’t overdo it and act like a crazy person. I remembered last week’s tips and made very specific goals. And I purposely DID NOT under any circumstances, go to the gym. I’ll stick to at home workouts until the crowd thins out.

As part of our January series, I have two more tips to scoot you right along in your healthy living goals for 2014!!

#3: Make a plan

We’ve all heard the saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” I roll my eyes, but it’s true. I have been the most successful when I make a plan.

We all have non-negotiables that we have to schedule our time around. Mine is class. Yours might be your job or staying home with kids. Whatever it is, get a planner, and WRITE IT DOWN. Or put it in your phone—something! It does wonders! Even if you feel silly because you obviously know you have work 8-5. Just do it. Once you do that, pencil in your workouts and whatever other things you need to do.

Bare with me—but here is MY schedule, where I’ve tentatively planned my typical week. I promise I’m really fun….Really!! 😉

(click for a better view)

Side note: To an extent sometimes life just happens, and we can’t stick to our planner. This is ok. Our planner [...]

Happy Earth Day!

So, I know I’m a day late, but I’m sure the Earth won’t mind me celebrating with you a little late. I hope you don’t mind either. Besides I think I’ve heard “Everyday is Earth Day” before, and we really celebrated all weekend by enjoying the wonderful weather here in Texas. So if you missed out yesterday, don’t worry you can still enjoy Earth Day too! Maybe we will just call it Earth Week!

Not sure what to do? Anything “earthy” goes! Here are some ways to celebrate with your kids.

Plant something (trees, plants, flowers)
Play in the sand
Go on a nature walk (point out different leaves, bugs, flowers, etc.)
Feed the ducks
Turn your lights off all day (use flashlights at night)
Make a craft with nature items
Make granola bars

If you are looking for more activities to do with the kids check out Tip Junkie’s Earth Day post. Lots of cute ideas!

My favorite ideas are those that get you moving and enjoying the outside at the same time! We went to a park, fed the ducks, played in our sandbox, and cleaned our bird bath (not so fun, but the birds are happier.) What about you? How are you celebrating Earth Day Week this year?

By |April 23rd, 2013|Get Moving|2 Comments|

Sneaky Ways for Moms to Exercise

I don’t have time to exercise.  I’m too busy.  Gyms intimidate me.  Said any of these before?  Then this is for you.  It is time for you to think about exercise differently than you have before.  Instead of setting time aside just for exercise, think about ways to incorporate exercise into things you are already doing.  Remember that the key to making exercise count is to get your heart pumping.  The easiest way for busy moms to do this, play with your kids.

Jam Session.  Turn up the music and dance your heart out.  Teach your kids some cool moves, and I’m sure they will show you some of their own moves!  This one is guaranteed to get your heart pumping, and your abs a workout from giggling.

Tag Your It.  When I play chase with my toddler, I always tickle him when I “catch” him.  It makes the game so much more fun when I hear his laugh.  When he is not in the mood to run, I carry him and I run.  This always makes him laugh.  Maybe I run funny?  It definitely gives me a great workout though!

Jump, Jump.  Don’t have a trampoline?  Play leap-frog, hop scotch, or jump rope.  My little one is still learning how to jump, so I simply jump up and down to try to help him learn.  Watching toddlers try to jump is hilarious so it keeps it entertaining.

Play Ball, while you are doing sit ups.  When you sit up, throw the ball to your kid.  Go down, and catch the ball when you come back up.  This one is to advance for my toddler (he can’t play catch yet), but he is entertained when I throw the ball in the [...]

By |November 5th, 2012|Get Moving|3 Comments|

Fall Garden

Gardens are a great way to get your family to eat healthier.  Gardens encourage you to eat more veggies, and veggies always taste better when they are fresh!  If you haven’t tried to garden before I encourage you to try.  Start small with just a couple of vegetables that your family likes.  Make sure you involve your kids in the whole process.  It not only gets them excited about vegetables, but it gives them a biology lesson as well.

This will be our second year to have a fall garden, so I am definitely a novice.  Last year, when we first started our garden.  My husband and I went to the store to pick out plants and seeds.  I was like a little kid in a candy shop.  I wanted some of everything.  My husband kept telling me, “We don’t have room for all of that.”  I didn’t believe him until we got home with all the seeds and plants, and the directions said we had to plant them 18 inches apart.  Luckily my husband didn’t let me buy everything I wanted, but we still had leftover plants and seeds.  This year I did much better.  I just had a few extras!

To get us started we pulled up all of our plants from the summer garden, except for the peppers.  The peppers are still producing, so we left them alone for now.  We don’t own a till, so my hubby hand tilled the garden for me.  Thanks Sweetheart!

I gave up on seeds, since I really don’t have a green thumb, and we just purchased plants this year.  My mom was visiting for the weekend and helped us plant everything.  Thanks Mom!  We planted broccoli, cauliflower, acorn [...]

By |September 28th, 2012|Get Moving, Vegetables|4 Comments|

Olympic Family Fun

Am I the only one who has Olympic fever? I haven’t watched much TV this summer, but then came the Olympics! It is crazy how excited I get for these athletes whom I don’t even know, but root for because of the great country we share. I haven’t started chanting USA and jumping up and down on the couch yet, but believe me, I had some close calls when Michael Phelps won his 19th medal, and the Women’s Gymnastics Team won gold!!!

My 18 month old is still a little young to get into the Olympic spirit, but he has been a little mesmerized by the TV being on. (It is usually off while he is awake.) I did get a little excited when rowing was on and he said, “Boat.” Who says TV can’t be educational for 1 year olds? 🙂

Here are a few ideas to take advantage of your kids excitement about the Olympics:

New Cuisine
Try cuisine from different countries of the athletes you see competing. Talk with your kids about how people from different places eat different foods. Extra bonus if you choose Mediterranean countries as they are typically healthier!

Healthy Olympic Snack
Grab five prep bowls and fill them with foods that are the same colors as the Olympic rings. I used blueberries, *chocolate covered almonds, strawberries, mangos, and *grapes. Get creative and use fruits and veggies that your family will like.

Join the Games
Bring the family or neighbors together and hold your own mini Olympics. You can easily replicate several sports in your own backyard: Running, Hurdles, Long Jump, Shot Put (probably want to stick with something soft to throw), [...]

By |August 3rd, 2012|Get Moving|1 Comment|